Music that excites, entertains, and educates!™


Many people generally agree on the definition of a chord.  I have compiled a few links below of various chord definitions.  To read a few of the definitions, simply click on the links below.  They are informative and should be examined, reviewed, and applied in any musicians playing repertoire.  To simplify, I will quote from the Harvard Concise Dictionary which says:

A chord is “Three or more tones sounded simultaneously, two simultaneous tones usually being designated as an interval.  The most basic chords in the system of tonic-dominant (or triadic) tonality are the major and minor triads and their inversions (ie., sixth chords and six-four chords).  Other chords that play an important, though subordinate role, are the seventh chord, the ninth chord, the augmented sixth chord, and the diminished triad, each of which is regarded in this context as dissonant.”

Essentially, you have two or more notes played one after another (melodic chords) or together at the same time (harmonic chords) that create a certain mood.  I like to help students understand the feeling of chords.  A simple way to explain chords is to talk about the quality of chords.  Chords are like emotions.  Sometimes we are happy, sad, devastated, excited, elevated, tense like we want something to happen or change, cool and collected, or any other emotions you can think of, describe, or feel.

Each of these emotions can also be expressed through the chords.  Happy chords are major chords, sad ones are minor chords. When we think of extremely devastated and depressed emotions we think of diminished chords, excited and elevated emotions lead us to think of augmented chords. When we feel tense like we want something to happen or change we can refer to suspended chords. Cool and collected chords can be expressed by major sixth and seventh chords. When students think of chords as emotions instead of little black dots on a page they understand the feeling of the piece and know how to play the songs. They think about the emotions and can play the piece with feeling.

For a more in-depth explanation, click on these examples:

Wikipedia describes Intervals

Wikipedia describes Triads

Wikipedia describes a Chord

Wikipedia describes Chord Notation

Wikipedia describes Major Chords

Wikipedia describes Minor Chords

Wikipedia describes Diminished Chords

Wikipedia describes Augmented Chords

Wikipedia describes Sus2 Chords

Wikipedia describes Sus4 Chords

Wikipedia describes Sus4/Sus2 Chords

Wikipedia describes Add2/Add9 Chords

Wikipedia describes Major Sixth Chords

Wikipedia describes Major Sixth/Nine Chords

Wikipedia describes Minor Sixth Chords

Wikipedia describes Minor Sixth/Nine Chords

Wikipedia describes Augmented Sixth Chords

Wikipedia describes Major Seventh Chords

Wikipedia describes Major Seventh sharp the fifth Chords

Wikipedia describes Minor Major Seventh Chords

Wikipedia describes Dominant Seventh Chords

Wikipedia describes Minor Seventh Chords

Wikipedia describes Minor Seventh Add 4 Chords

Wikipedia describes Minor Seventh flat the fifth Chords (or Half Diminished Seventh Chords)

Wikipedia describes Minor Seventh sharp the fifth Chords

Wikipedia describes Diminished Seventh Chords (or Whole Diminished Seventh Chords)

Wikipedia describes Major Ninth Chords

Wikipedia describes Ninth Chords

Wikipedia describes Minor Ninth Chords

Wikipedia describes Eleventh Chords (or Dominant 11 Chords)

Wikipedia describes Augmented 11 Chords

Wikipedia describes Minor 11 Chords

Wikipedia describes 13 Chords (or Dominant 13 Chords)

Wikipedia describes Minor 13 Chords

Wikipedia describes the Extended Chord

Wikipedia describes Tri-Tones

Wikipedia describes Tri-Chords

Wikipedia describes Tetrachords

Wikipedia describes Pentachords

Wikipedia describes Hexachords

Wikipedia describes Neapolitan Chords

Wikipedia describes Chord Progressions

Wikipedia describes Slash Chords

Wikipedia describes Compound Chords

Wikipedia describes Jazz Chords

Wikipedia describes Modulation using Chords

You may also visit these sites to create various chords:

Piano Chord Dictionary

Sheet Music USA explains about Chords

Piano Chords Chart

Piano Chords Chart 2

Piano Chord Finder

Nathan Andersen’s Piano-Chords

Piano Room Chord Chart

Pocket Piano Chord Finder

Keyboard Chords

Danman’s Picture Chords

Piano Chords (Shane Mcdonald)

Scales and Chords for piano from a Passion for Jazz

Chord Progression Generator

In addition, as a resource for piano teachers and piano students, Music Motivation® has several FREE downloadable PDF resources available on this blog website.

If you know of any other additional resources and website links you would like included on this page, please email Music Motivation® at

Copyright © 2009 Music Motivation®
All Rights Reserved


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