Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Keyboard chords are chord played on a piano or any other keyboard-based instrument, such as a synthesizer or digital piano. The differences between keyboard chords and chords of other kinds are minimal; in fact, the only real distinguishing factor is the instrument on which they are played. By virtue, keyboard chords are exactly the same as guitar chords. The keyboard may be played differently than the guitar, but the basic chord formation remains the same.
Keyboard chords, like all other chords, consist of three or more notes played together. The notes don't necessarily need to be played at the exact same time, however. Broken keyboard chords, or arpeggios, are three or more notes that are staggered as opposed to simultaneous; as long as the notes are close enough to be heard as a whole they're still considered keyboard chords.
The names given to keyboard chords are based on either note number or interval type. Keyboard chords classified by note number are given names like trichord (three notes), tetrachord (five notes) or hexachord (six notes). Keyboard chords named by interval type are given names such as tertian (keyboard chords based on a third), secundal (keyboard chords based on a second) or quartal (keyboard chords based on a fourth). It's also possible to name keyboard chords based on both qualities; for example, tertian trichords are keyboard chords consisting of three notes a third above each other. These type of keyboard chords are extremely common, often a staple of rock and pop music.
Keyboard chords are extremely versatile and can be altered in a number of ways. Lowering the pitch by a half-step produces diminished keyboard chords (notated by the abbreviation "dim"); likewise, raising the pitch by a half-stop creates augmented keyboard chords (notated by "aug"). Inverted keyboard chords carry a bass note other than the root, and seventh keyboard chords are those that add to the triad a note that is a third above the chord's fifth. Extended keyboard chords are variations on seventh chords, created by adding notes that go beyond the seventh interval into a ninth, eleventh or thirteenth.