Continuing with our topic of triads, we are going to be discussing what and which triads are built from scales… covering major, natural, harmonic, and melodic minor.
Beside the lead-sheet note note names, the Roman numeral figured-bass and triad quality remains the same from each respective scale regardless of starting pitch.
Let’s start with the major scale:
Building triads on each note, we get what we have above. 3 major triads, 3 minor triads, and 1 diminished triad. Chords I , IV , and V will always be major in a major key.
Now, natural minor:
We have the same amount of major, minor, and diminished triads… but they are in a different order.
As for harmonic minor:
With the inclusion of the raised leading tone, we see a quality of the chords change. Instead of v being minor, V is major in harmonic minor. Also, we have two diminished chords.
Finally, melodic minor:
With two raised pitches, we get another completely different group of triads. Now, the ii chord is minor… but the vio chord is diminished.
NOTE: the “B” symbol in the pictures means “flat” just like the “b” sign.
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