Dear Flat community, A new year is ending and we wanted to seize the opportunity to share with you all our love and thankfulness. 2017 has been full of unforeseen developments and...
This is the 4th post in a series of 6 posts dedicated to the fundamentals of music theory for chords.
Today I would like to discuss one more chord type: the suspended chord. It is not a triad, but is usually grouped with triads.
A new chord...
Let me introduce you another chord: the suspended chord (or sus chord)
It is made of a root, a fourth, and a fifth. As you can see, it is similar to a triad, the only difference being that the third has been replaced by a fourth.
Here we have, a C (the root) , an F (the fourth : the interval between the C and the F is a perfect fourth) a G (the fifth : the interval between the C and the G is a fifth)
This structure (root, perfect fourth, perfect fifth) has a name : it is a sus chord in root position.
…but not a triad
As you remember,
"A triad is a chord of 3 notes that can be stacked in thirds."
Let us have another look at this chord :
It is made of a C, an F and a G. There is no way of staking those pitches un thirds. None of the combination C-F-G ; C-G-F ; F-C-G ; F-G-C ; G-C-F ; G-F-C are made of third staked.
This is why this chord is not a triad... but it's not really important. 😉
Here are some examples
Here are some examples of sus chords:
Just take a minute to check that:
1. Each chord is a sus chord root position (root, fourth, fifth);
2. For each chord, the interval between the root and the next note is a perfect fourth;
3. The interval between the root and the fifth is a perfect fifth, which means that all those chords are suspended 3 note chords in root position.
In everyday music, a 3 note suspended chord is often followed by a major triad.
If you are a guitar player, I am sure you have played those two measures a million times. 😀
See you next week for our part 5/6: we will discuss inversions. ✌️
Have a nice day,