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What is musical harmony and chords?

by Eduardo Mendoza November 03, 2017

What is musical harmony and chords?

When we practice it is common to find technical words of music and we cannot understand them in a simple way. I will try to explain quickly and understandably some key concepts of music and we will begin with harmony and how chords are formed in an easy to understand way. Let's see it!

Harmony

I will start by saying that music is another language and therefore has some nomenclatures that are the same to refer to different things. For example "Re" can be used to refer to the chord of Re (D, F #, A), the note Re (D) or the scale of Re (D - E - F # - G - A - B - C # - D). This may confuse us at the beginning but not to make us so much trouble, let's clarify how harmony works.

Everything we hear (sound) is part of a "range" called Sound Spectrum and is infinite, we humans can only perceive a part, to be precise ... we perceive sounds from 20 Hz to 20.000 Hz. These ranges are not divided into anything, it goes from serious to acute without cuts, just like a plunger flute.

The musical notes

In order to handle the sound we have divided it into parts called notes. Same as the keys of a piano. A feature of this division is that every 12 notes, we will find the same note as we started. Only more acute.

This means that if we start in Do (C) twelve notes later we will meet another Do and so on. But why if a C sounds serious and the next C sounds sharper they are called the same? The answer is that if we take the first Do this it makes a vibration of 130 times per second, (We must remember that the sound is a vibration in the air that stimulates our ears) and the next Do vibrates 260 times per second.

When a note is produced by a vibration that is twice as much as another vibration, those two notes are given the same name, which is explained by its physical properties because when playing the two notes at the same time the result sounds very consonant and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish whether the two are sounding or only the serious one. At this point we have already resolved how and why the sound is divided into notes and each number has its name as the famous 440Hz vibration that corresponds to the note La (A)

In conclusion we can say that the notes of our musical instruments are sounds that vibrate at standardized frequencies which have been given a name to identify them easily.

The musical chords

A chord is created when three or more notes are played at the same time and are classified by types (major, minor, augmented, diminished, etc.) and each one is classified according to the distance between the notes that make it up.

Take as an example the chord of Re (D). To do this we need to start from the D note, count 4 notes and then continue counting until we reach the 7 and when we play them at the same time we will have our D major chord.

This formula works to create major chords of any musical note. I must clarify that it does not matter if they are close or far apart. the chord will remain the same if we take the most recorded Re, the Sustained Fa in the middle and the sharpest La we have, when we play these three notes at the same time we will have played a chord.

That is why the positions of our ukulele step on notes and when we play these at the same time the chord is produced. Let's set the example of the Re chord again

We will talk about this and more in other blogs, leave your comment that is what you would like to know about music and we will gladly make a blog dedicated to that topic.



Eduardo Mendoza
Eduardo Mendoza

Author

I am passionate about art in general, food and sharing. Instagram: @Anxolotes @Lalo_Anxolote


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