FRIDAY, September 27, 2019
All About 3rds…
Any 3 (3rd) uses two letters and skips one. For example, C to E is a 3th. Either note can be sharped, or flatted, or both. One can be sharp and the other flat. Anything is theoretically possible. Regardless how strange it looks or feels in your hands, or how weird it sounds, it’s a 3rd. Some possibilities are so weird or impractical that you will probably never see them or write them. But they are theoretically possible.As you play intervals you may see two black notes, two white notes or one of each. Now, here are the 3rds that are used frequently:
- 3 (major 3rd) does not have a name for the sound only, but think of it as a “bitone” (my word, not a standard term) because the total width is two whole steps.. The two keys you play can be both colors, or both can be white, or both can be black keys. It is the default 3rd, just the number 3 in chords, because it is the 3rd note in a major scale.
- b3 (minor 3nd) is either one piano key smaller than 3 (major 3rd) or one piano key bigger than 2 (major 2nd) The total width is one and a half steps.
- b3 (diminished 3nd) is another way to write a whole step. It is awkward visually but appears in inverted 7 chords.