Chords may be grouped into families based upon the principle chords
found in harmony. These principle chords include the Root, Fourth and
Fifth. (Notated as: I, IV, V).
In the key of C Major, we have the Root, (or the I chord), occurring as
the C Major chord. The fourth step chord, (or the IV chord) occurs as
the F Major. And, the fifth step chord, (or the V chord), presents as G
These families are named as the; Tonic, (I), Sub-Dominant (IV), and the
Dominant (V). The notes of each family combined spell out every tone of
the major scale. The movement from one chord to another creates the
basic harmonic effects of all tonal music.
It is important to memorize the function of each chord as well as the
other chords which relate to each chord family.
- Tonic Family
The function of the Tonic family is to temporarily, or permanently
begin, or end a piece, or section of music.
- Sub Dominant Family
The function of the Sub-dominat family is to move-away from the tonic
family and move toward the Dominant family.
- Dominant Family
The Dominant family wants to resolve back toward Tonic. The pull of the
3rd chord tone (the leading tone of the key - in the case of C Major it
is a B note) combined with the root of this chord (in Cmajor it is a G
note) being out by a fifth. And, the major second interval of the chords
5th chord tone, (in C major it is a D note) all work together by
surrounding the arrival of the movement toward notes of the Tonic chord.
In the end the result is a very strong resolution. In Classical theory
it is referred to as an Authentic Cadence.
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theoretical concept in use, please visit CreativeGuitarStudio.com