You are here

Triads in Root Position

22 July, 2019 - 10:18
Available under Creative Commons-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Download for free at
Figure 5.1 Triads in Root Position

The chords in Figure 5.1 are written in root position, which is the most basic way to write a triad. In root position, the root, which is the note that names the chord, is the lowest note. The thirdof the chord is written a third (Figure 4.26) higher than the root, and the fifth of the chord is written a fifth (Figure 4.26) higher than the root (which is also a third higher than the third of the chord). So the simplest way to write a triad is as a stack of thirds, in root position.

Note: The type of interval or chord - major, minor, diminished, etc., is not important when you are determining the position of the chord. To simplify things, all notes in the examples and exercises below are natural, but it would not change their position at all if some notes were sharp or flat. It would, however, change the name of the triad – see Naming Triads.

Exercise 5.1:

Write a triad in root position using each root given. If you need some staff paper for exercises you can print this PDF file.

Figure 5.2 Build Root Position Triads