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Major and minor piano chords.

Major and minor chords are similar except for their thirds.

Image © Brandy Kraemer
Definition: A chord is a group of notes played simultaneously1 to create harmony; two or more notes2 that complement one another.3 Chords add texture to a melody, and provide rhythm to a song.

1 The notes in a broken chord are not played simultaneously.

2 Two-note “chords” are referred to as intervals.

3 Some chords - such as diminished and augmented chords - have a bizarre, unbalanced sound. These are “dissonant” chords; and although not as pleasing to the ear in the traditional sense, they are quite captivating when placed strategically in piano music (Learn more about dissonance).

More About Piano Chords:

Also Known As: Pronunciation: korrd


More Chord Terminology: Related Lessons

  • French Musical Terms
  • Helmholtz Pitch Notation
  • Find Middle C on Smaller Keyboards


More on the Piano Keyboard

  • Piano Keyboard Layout
  • Pattern of the Black Piano Keys
  • How to Safely Whiten Piano Keys


Beginner Musical Symbols

  • Essential Articulation Marks
  • What Are Accidentals?
  • How to Read Music Rests


Piano Lessons
• Memorize the Notes of the Grand Staff
• Left Hand Piano Fingering
• How to Play Dotted Notes
• Musical Quizzes!

Piano Chords With Fingering
• Chord Types & Their Abbreviations
• Easy Bass Piano Chords
• Piano Chord Fingering
• Diminished Chords & "Dissonance"

Musical Glossaries
• Italian Musical Glossary
• Beginner Piano Glossary
• German Music Terms
• Musical Terms A – Z

Piano Terms & Musical Symbols
• Reading Musical Rests & Pauses
• Accidentals & Double-Accidentals
• Note Accents & Articulation Marks
• Mastering Segno & Coda Repeats

Piano Care
• Safely Whiten Piano Keys
• When to Tune a Piano
• 6 Easy-to-Spot Signs of Piano Damage
• Ideal Temperature & Humidity Levels for Piano Rooms


Tempo Commands:
 ▪ largo
 ▪ rhythm dot
 ▪ (accel.) accelerando
 ▪ vivace
 ▪ tempo giusto

Musical Articulation:
 ▪ staccato
 ▪ tie
 ▪ (rfz) rinforzando
 ▪ arpeggiato
 ▪ accentato

Volume & Dynamics:
 ▪ (mf) mezzo forte
 ▪ (sfz) sforzando
 ▪ diminuendo
 ▪ al niente
 ▪ (fp) fortepiano

French Musical Glossary:
 ▪ en ralentissant
 ▪ indication de mouvement
 ▪ à l’aise
 ▪ mi-doux
 ▪ retenu

Essential Beginner Terms:
 ▪ (BPM) beats per minute
 ▪ whole step
 ▪ ledger line
 ▪ interval
 ▪ broken chord


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