# A minor chords

The Solution below shows the A minor scale triad chords (i, iio, III, iv, v, VI, VII) on a piano, with mp3 and midi audio.

The Lesson steps then explain the triad chord construction from this scale, and how to name the quality of each chord based on note intervals.

For a quick summary of this topic, and to see the chord quality chart for this scale, have a look at Scale chord.

## Solution - 7 parts

### 1. A minor chord i

This step shows the tonic triad chord of the A minor scale.

#### Chord identification

The A minor chord i is the A minor chord, and contains the notes A, C, and E.

This tonic chord's root / starting note is the 1st note (or scale degree) of the A natural minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 1 is 'i' and is used to indicate this is the 1st triad chord in the scale. It is in lower case to denote that the chord is a minor chord.

Chord names for A minor chord 1
Root positionA minor chord in root positionia
1st inversionA minor chord in 1st inversionibi6
2nd inversionA minor chord in 2nd inversionici64

### 2. A minor chord iio

This step shows the supertonic triad chord of the A minor scale.

#### Chord identification

The A minor chord iio is the B diminished chord, and contains the notes B, D, and F.

This supertonic chord's root / starting note is the 2nd note (or scale degree) of the A natural minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 2 is 'ii' and is used to indicate this is the 2nd triad chord in the scale. Just like a minor chord, the diminished chord is constructed using a minor third interval, so the roman numeral is shown in lower case.

The diminished symbol 'o' is placed after the roman numerals to indicate this is a diminished chord.

Chord names for A minor chord 2
Root positionB diminished chord in root positioniioa
1st inversionB diminished chord in 1st inversioniiobiio6
2nd inversionB diminished chord in 2nd inversioniiociio64

### 3. A minor chord III

This step shows the mediant triad chord of the A minor scale.

#### Chord identification

The A minor chord III is the C major chord, and contains the notes C, E, and G.

This mediant chord's root / starting note is the 3rd note (or scale degree) of the A natural minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 3 is 'III' and is used to indicate this is the 3rd triad chord in the scale. It is in upper case to denote that the chord is a major chord.

Chord names for A minor chord 3
Root positionC major chord in root positionIIIa
1st inversionC major chord in 1st inversionIIIbIII6
2nd inversionC major chord in 2nd inversionIIIcIII64

### 4. A minor chord iv

This step shows the subdominant triad chord of the A minor scale.

#### Chord identification

The A minor chord iv is the D minor chord, and contains the notes D, F, and A.

This subdominant chord's root / starting note is the 4th note (or scale degree) of the A natural minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 4 is 'iv' and is used to indicate this is the 4th triad chord in the scale. It is in lower case to denote that the chord is a minor chord.

Chord names for A minor chord 4
Root positionD minor chord in root positioniva
1st inversionD minor chord in 1st inversionivbiv6
2nd inversionD minor chord in 2nd inversionivciv64

### 5. A minor chord v

This step shows the dominant triad chord of the A minor scale.

#### Chord identification

The A minor chord v is the E minor chord, and contains the notes E, G, and B.

This dominant chord's root / starting note is the 5th note (or scale degree) of the A natural minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 5 is 'v' and is used to indicate this is the 5th triad chord in the scale. It is in lower case to denote that the chord is a minor chord.

Chord names for A minor chord 5
Root positionE minor chord in root positionva
1st inversionE minor chord in 1st inversionvbv6
2nd inversionE minor chord in 2nd inversionvcv64

### 6. A minor chord VI

This step shows the submediant triad chord of the A minor scale.

#### Chord identification

The A minor chord VI is the F major chord, and contains the notes F, A, and C.

This submediant chord's root / starting note is the 6th note (or scale degree) of the A natural minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 6 is 'VI' and is used to indicate this is the 6th triad chord in the scale. It is in upper case to denote that the chord is a major chord.

Chord names for A minor chord 6
Root positionF major chord in root positionVIa
1st inversionF major chord in 1st inversionVIbVI6
2nd inversionF major chord in 2nd inversionVIcVI64

### 7. A minor chord VII

This step shows the subtonic triad chord of the A minor scale.

#### Chord identification

The A minor chord VII is the G major chord, and contains the notes G, B, and D.

This subtonic chord's root / starting note is the 7th note (or scale degree) of the A natural minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 7 is 'VII' and is used to indicate this is the 7th triad chord in the scale. It is in upper case to denote that the chord is a major chord.

Chord names for A minor chord 7
Root positionG major chord in root positionVIIa
1st inversionG major chord in 1st inversionVIIbVII6
2nd inversionG major chord in 2nd inversionVIIcVII64

## Lesson steps

### 1. Piano key note names

This step shows the white and black note names on a piano keyboard so that the note names are familiar for later steps, and to show that the note names start repeating themselves after 12 notes.

The white keys are named using the alphabetic letters A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, which is a pattern that repeats up the piano keyboard.

Every white or black key could have a flat(b) or sharp(#) accidental name, depending on how that note is used. In a later step, if sharp or flat notes are used, the exact accidental names will be chosen.

The audio files below play every note shown on the piano above, so middle C (marked with an orange line at the bottom) is the 2nd note heard.

### 2. A minor scale notes

This step shows the scale note names that will be used to construct all triad chords that harmonize with those scale notes.

The piano keyboard below contains the notes of the A natural minor scale.

Starting from the 1st scale note, each lesson step below will take each note in turn and construct a triad chord using that note as the root / starting note of that chord.

The triad chord will be built using only the notes of the scale we are interested in.

#### Identifying the 3 notes in the chord

Triad chords are built using the 1st, 3rdand 5th notes of the scale, so the first triad below will constructed a chord using notes A, C and E.

 No. Note 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 A B C D E F G A

The second triad below will repeat this, but this time starting on the 2nd note, so its notes will be B, D and F - ie. the 1st, 3rd and 5th positions relative to that 2nd root note.

This pattern is repeated for all 7 notes in the scale, resulting in 7 triad chords.

#### Identifying the chord quality

Although the above method identifies each triads notes from the scale used - it does not identify the complete chord name including its quality.

Should each triad that we build be called major, minor, augmented, or diminished ? Every triad chord must have one of these quality names.

To decide the name the chord quality, each step below will use note intervals to calculate how many half-tones / semitones / piano keys between the root and the 3rd (and 5th).

Taken together, the combination of the 3rd and 5th note intervals will define the complete triad quality name.

The steps below will show how this works for each triad in turn, but in practice it might just be easier to memorize the triad quality table in the Scale chord summary for each scale type.

### 3. 1st triad chord in A minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a triad chord whose root note is the 1st scale degree of the A natural minor scale.

#### Identifying the 3 notes in the chord

The table below shows the A natural minor scale, ordered to show the 1st note as the first column in the table.

To identify the triad chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, and 5th columns / scale degrees, which are notes A, C, and E.

 No. Note 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 A B C D E F G

#### Identifying the chord quality

To identify the triad chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd Interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between A and C is 3 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore minor, also called m3 for short. More details of this interval are at A-min-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between A and E is 7 half-tones, and the note interval name is perfect (P5). More details of this interval are at A-perf-5th.

Finally, we have the name of the two note intervals of this triad, and can now lookup the name of the triad chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Triad chord table, the name of the triad chord quality having minor(m3) and perfect(P5) note intervals is minor.

And so the complete triad chord name prefixes the root note, A, onto this quality, giving us the A minor chord.

#### Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol i could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is A minor chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A minor scale chord ia.

Instead, i could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is A minor chord in 1st inversion - A minor scale chord ib.

Finally, letter c could be used to indicate that it is A minor chord in 2nd inversion - A minor scale chord ic.

#### Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the b or c symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate inversions after the chord number symbols i:

So in this key, i6 refers to the A minor chord in 1st inversion, and i64 refers to the A minor chord in 2nd inversion.

#### The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the triad chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, A, will be moved to the final column of the table.

### 4. 2nd triad chord in A minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a triad chord whose root note is the 2nd scale degree of the A natural minor scale.

#### Identifying the 3 notes in the chord

The table below shows the A natural minor scale, ordered to show the 2nd note as the first column in the table.

To identify the triad chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, and 5th columns / scale degrees, which are notes B, D, and F.

 No. Note 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 B C D E F G A

#### Identifying the chord quality

To identify the triad chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd Interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between B and D is 3 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore minor, also called m3 for short. More details of this interval are at B-min-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between B and F is 6 half-tones, and the note interval name is diminished (d5). More details of this interval are at B-dim-5th.

Finally, we have the name of the two note intervals of this triad, and can now lookup the name of the triad chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Triad chord table, the name of the triad chord quality having minor(m3) and diminished(d5) note intervals is diminished.

And so the complete triad chord name prefixes the root note, B, onto this quality, giving us the B diminished chord.

#### Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol iio could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is B diminished chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A minor scale chord iioa.

Instead, iio could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is B diminished chord in 1st inversion - A minor scale chord iiob.

Finally, letter c could be used to indicate that it is B diminished chord in 2nd inversion - A minor scale chord iioc.

#### Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the b or c symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate inversions after the chord number symbols iio:

So in this key, iio6 refers to the B diminished chord in 1st inversion, and iio64 refers to the B diminished chord in 2nd inversion.

#### The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the triad chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, B, will be moved to the final column of the table.

### 5. 3rd triad chord in A minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a triad chord whose root note is the 3rd scale degree of the A natural minor scale.

#### Identifying the 3 notes in the chord

The table below shows the A natural minor scale, ordered to show the 3rd note as the first column in the table.

To identify the triad chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, and 5th columns / scale degrees, which are notes C, E, and G.

 No. Note 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 C D E F G A B

#### Identifying the chord quality

To identify the triad chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd Interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between C and E is 4 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore major, also called M3 for short. More details of this interval are at C-maj-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between C and G is 7 half-tones, and the note interval name is perfect (P5). More details of this interval are at C-perf-5th.

Finally, we have the name of the two note intervals of this triad, and can now lookup the name of the triad chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Triad chord table, the name of the triad chord quality having major(M3) and perfect(P5) note intervals is major.

And so the complete triad chord name prefixes the root note, C, onto this quality, giving us the C major chord.

#### Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol III could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is C major chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A minor scale chord IIIa.

Instead, III could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is C major chord in 1st inversion - A minor scale chord IIIb.

Finally, letter c could be used to indicate that it is C major chord in 2nd inversion - A minor scale chord IIIc.

#### Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the b or c symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate inversions after the chord number symbols III:

So in this key, III6 refers to the C major chord in 1st inversion, and III64 refers to the C major chord in 2nd inversion.

#### The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the triad chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, C, will be moved to the final column of the table.

### 6. 4th triad chord in A minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a triad chord whose root note is the 4th scale degree of the A natural minor scale.

#### Identifying the 3 notes in the chord

The table below shows the A natural minor scale, ordered to show the 4th note as the first column in the table.

To identify the triad chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, and 5th columns / scale degrees, which are notes D, F, and A.

 No. Note 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 D E F G A B C

#### Identifying the chord quality

To identify the triad chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd Interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between D and F is 3 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore minor, also called m3 for short. More details of this interval are at D-min-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between D and A is 7 half-tones, and the note interval name is perfect (P5). More details of this interval are at D-perf-5th.

Finally, we have the name of the two note intervals of this triad, and can now lookup the name of the triad chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Triad chord table, the name of the triad chord quality having minor(m3) and perfect(P5) note intervals is minor.

And so the complete triad chord name prefixes the root note, D, onto this quality, giving us the D minor chord.

#### Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol iv could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is D minor chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A minor scale chord iva.

Instead, iv could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is D minor chord in 1st inversion - A minor scale chord ivb.

Finally, letter c could be used to indicate that it is D minor chord in 2nd inversion - A minor scale chord ivc.

#### Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the b or c symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate inversions after the chord number symbols iv:

So in this key, iv6 refers to the D minor chord in 1st inversion, and iv64 refers to the D minor chord in 2nd inversion.

#### The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the triad chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, D, will be moved to the final column of the table.

### 7. 5th triad chord in A minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a triad chord whose root note is the 5th scale degree of the A natural minor scale.

#### Identifying the 3 notes in the chord

The table below shows the A natural minor scale, ordered to show the 5th note as the first column in the table.

To identify the triad chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, and 5th columns / scale degrees, which are notes E, G, and B.

 No. Note 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 E F G A B C D

#### Identifying the chord quality

To identify the triad chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd Interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between E and G is 3 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore minor, also called m3 for short. More details of this interval are at E-min-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between E and B is 7 half-tones, and the note interval name is perfect (P5). More details of this interval are at E-perf-5th.

Finally, we have the name of the two note intervals of this triad, and can now lookup the name of the triad chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Triad chord table, the name of the triad chord quality having minor(m3) and perfect(P5) note intervals is minor.

And so the complete triad chord name prefixes the root note, E, onto this quality, giving us the E minor chord.

#### Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol v could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is E minor chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A minor scale chord va.

Instead, v could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is E minor chord in 1st inversion - A minor scale chord vb.

Finally, letter c could be used to indicate that it is E minor chord in 2nd inversion - A minor scale chord vc.

#### Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the b or c symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate inversions after the chord number symbols v:

So in this key, v6 refers to the E minor chord in 1st inversion, and v64 refers to the E minor chord in 2nd inversion.

#### The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the triad chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, E, will be moved to the final column of the table.

### 8. 6th triad chord in A minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a triad chord whose root note is the 6th scale degree of the A natural minor scale.

#### Identifying the 3 notes in the chord

The table below shows the A natural minor scale, ordered to show the 6th note as the first column in the table.

To identify the triad chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, and 5th columns / scale degrees, which are notes F, A, and C.

 No. Note 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 F G A B C D E

#### Identifying the chord quality

To identify the triad chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd Interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between F and A is 4 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore major, also called M3 for short. More details of this interval are at F-maj-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between F and C is 7 half-tones, and the note interval name is perfect (P5). More details of this interval are at F-perf-5th.

Finally, we have the name of the two note intervals of this triad, and can now lookup the name of the triad chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Triad chord table, the name of the triad chord quality having major(M3) and perfect(P5) note intervals is major.

And so the complete triad chord name prefixes the root note, F, onto this quality, giving us the F major chord.

#### Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol VI could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is F major chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A minor scale chord VIa.

Instead, VI could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is F major chord in 1st inversion - A minor scale chord VIb.

Finally, letter c could be used to indicate that it is F major chord in 2nd inversion - A minor scale chord VIc.

#### Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the b or c symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate inversions after the chord number symbols VI:

So in this key, VI6 refers to the F major chord in 1st inversion, and VI64 refers to the F major chord in 2nd inversion.

#### The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the triad chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, F, will be moved to the final column of the table.

### 9. 7th triad chord in A minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a triad chord whose root note is the 7th scale degree of the A natural minor scale.

#### Identifying the 3 notes in the chord

The table below shows the A natural minor scale, ordered to show the 7th note as the first column in the table.

To identify the triad chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, and 5th columns / scale degrees, which are notes G, B, and D.

 No. Note 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 G A B C D E F

#### Identifying the chord quality

To identify the triad chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd Interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between G and B is 4 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore major, also called M3 for short. More details of this interval are at G-maj-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between G and D is 7 half-tones, and the note interval name is perfect (P5). More details of this interval are at G-perf-5th.

Finally, we have the name of the two note intervals of this triad, and can now lookup the name of the triad chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Triad chord table, the name of the triad chord quality having major(M3) and perfect(P5) note intervals is major.

And so the complete triad chord name prefixes the root note, G, onto this quality, giving us the G major chord.

#### Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol VII could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is G major chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A minor scale chord VIIa.

Instead, VII could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is G major chord in 1st inversion - A minor scale chord VIIb.

Finally, letter c could be used to indicate that it is G major chord in 2nd inversion - A minor scale chord VIIc.

#### Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the b or c symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate inversions after the chord number symbols VII:

So in this key, VII6 refers to the G major chord in 1st inversion, and VII64 refers to the G major chord in 2nd inversion.

This completes the set of all triad chords that harmonize with the A natural minor scale.