Year 7 : Chords

Lesson 2

Activity 1 - Learning about triads

A three note chord is called a TRIAD.  TRI comes from the latin for THREE.  Can you think of any other words beginning with TRI which mean THREE?

To form a TRIAD, you do exactly the same as for two note chords (see last lesson) except you add another note over the top of it.

Chord of F

This is called the chord of F, because the ROOT NOTE is F.  Here is a picture of the keyboard with the notes of the chord of F highlighted.


Activity 2 - Playing triads

You can play triads in lots of different ways.  Click on the button to hear them.

1.   All the notes together - BLOCK TRIADS

2.  As an ascending broken chord (one note at a time, starting with the root)

3.  As a descending broken chord

4.  As a broken chord going up in octaves

5.  As a broken chord going down in octaves

There are other ways of playing triads.  Experiment with the chord of F.  If you have problems finding the notes, use a water based felt pen to mark in the notes.  Eventually, when you get confident, erase the marks.



Activity 3 - Composing using the chord of F

Compose a piece of music using the notes of the chord of F.  Here are some hints to help you.

1.  Think of  a good beginning for your piece and a good ending.
2.  If there is a group of you making up this piece, you can all do the same thing together for a while, then do different things.  You can also have solos in your piece.
3.  Use broken chords, block chords and different octaves if you can, to make your music interesting.
4.  You don't have to use broken chords all the time if you don't want.  Try using a low F then a high F (octaves) as a low part for a while.
5.  If you have percussion instruments, you can add rhythm to your piece as well.



Information box

Philip Glass is a composer who uses repeated patterns of notes in his music.  He has composed many pieces of music which use broken chords.  Listen to this piece, called Dance VIII


Philip Glass