• Exposed: The Application Of Primary Chords

    in Beginners,Contemporary Music,Piano,Theory

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    If you’re interested in learning about the application of primary chords, you’re on the right page.

    But before we get into the application of primary chords, let’s invest some time in refreshing our minds on what primary chords are.

    A Short Note On Primary Chords

    Every key has seven unique scale-tone chords that are formed from every tone of the scale. For example, the key of C major:

    …has seven unique notes; consequently, seven unique scale-tone chords — one for each tone of the scale.

    “Check Them Out…”

    The C major triad:

    The D minor triad:

    The E minor triad:

    The F major triad:

    The G major triad:

    The A minor triad:

    The B diminished triad:

    “What Are Primary Chords?”

    Primary chords are the chords of the first, fourth, and fifth tones of the scale. In the key of C major:

    …the chords of the first tone (C major triad):

    …fourth tone (F major triad):

    …and fifth tone (G major triad):

    …are the primary chords.

    They are considered as primary chords because they have the same quality with the key. For example, primary chords in the  major key are the chords that have a major quality.

    Alright, now that we’ve refreshed our minds on what primary chords are, let’s go ahead and learn the application of primary chords.

    The Application Of Primary Chords

    Primary chords are vital to the key because of the role they play in harmonization and accompaniment which are two vital aspects of harmony that any serious keyboardist cannot do without.

    Th Application Of Primary Chords In Harmonization

    Primary chords can be used in the harmonization of every tone of the scale. Let’s take a look at how scale tones in the key of C major:

    …can be harmonized using the primary chords: C major, F major, and G major.

    The first tone (which is C):

    …can be harmonized using the first inversion of the C major triad:

    The second tone (which is D):

    …can be harmonized using the G major triad in root position:

    The third tone (which is E):

    …can be harmonized using the first inversion of the C major triad:

    The fourth tone (which is F):

    …can be harmonized using the first inversion of the F major triad:

    The fifth tone (which is G):

    …can be harmonized using the C major triad in root position:

    The sixth tone (which is A):

    …can be harmonized using the second inversion of the F major triad:

    The seventh tone (which is B):

    …can be harmonized using the second inversion of the G major triad:

    Then back to the first tone (which can also be called the eighth tone):

    Harmonized using the first inversion of the C major triad:

    So the C major scale can be harmonized thus:

    C:

    D:

    E:

    F:

    G:

    A:

    B:

    C:

    Example #1 – Harmonization Of The Song “Mary had a Little Lamb”

    Ma:

    …ry:

    …had:

    …a:

    …li:

    …ttle:

    …Lamb:

    …li:

    …ttle:

    …Lamb:

    …li:

    …ttle:

    …Lamb:

    Example #2 – Harmonization Of The Song “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

    Twin:

    …kle:

    Twin:

    …kle:

    Li:

    …ttle:

    Star:

    How:

    I:

    Won:

    …der:

    what:

    you:

    are:

    The Application Of Primary Chords In Accompaniment

    Primary chords can be used to accompany melodies and every primary chord has a specific set of notes in a melody it can accompany.

    The C major triad:

    …can be used to accompany melodies associated with C, E, and G.

    The F major triad:

    …can be used to accompany melodies associated with F, A, and C.

    The G major triad:

    …can be used to accompany melodies associated with G, B, and D.

    Example #1 – Accompaniment To The Song “Mary had a Little Lamb”

    Mary had a:

    …little lamb:

    …little lamb:

    …little lamb:

    Mary had a:

    …little lamb Its:

    …fleece was white as:

    …snow:

    Example #2 – Accompaniment To The Song “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

    Twinkle twinkle:

    …li-ttle:

    …star:

    How I:

    …wonder:

    …what you:

    …are:

    Final Words

    Now that you’ve learned how to apply primary chords, in a subsequent lesson we’ll proceed into the application of secondary chords in the harmonization and accompaniment.

    See you then!

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.




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    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Mugisha

    hello .happy to be with you

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    2 Mugisha

    happy to be with you

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    3 Straton

    piano

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    4 straton

    here i am

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