Why are second inversion triads considered less consonant than first inversion triads?



Asked by: Nicole Reyes

What is the difference between first inversion and second inversion?





A triad is in “ root position ” when the root is the lowest note, “ first inversion ” when the third of the chord is the lowest note, and “ second inversion ” when the fifth of the chord is the lowest note.

What does it mean when a triad is in 2nd inversion?

A chord (triad, seventh chord, or any other chord) with the 5th scale degree in the bass and the root and third somewhere above is said to be in SECOND INVERSION. For a triad, this would mean the chord is spelled (from bottom to top) either 5 – 1 – 3 or 5 – 3 – 1.

Why are second inversion triads not used as substitutes for root position triads?

Although both first and second inversion triads are created through bass arpeggiations, second inversion triads are not used as substitutes for the root position. The reason is that the second inversion of a triad is considered to be a much less stable sonority than either of the other two bass positions.

Which is the lowest note when a chord is in 1st inversion position?

In the first inversion, the lowest note is E – the third of the triad – with the fifth and the root stacked above it (the root now shifted an octave higher), forming the intervals of a minor third and a minor sixth above the inverted bass of E, respectively.

How can you tell the difference between inversions?





There are three ways you can learn to tell different inversions apart:

  1. Overall spread of pitches. This is a vague and somewhat unreliable approach but it is the way you will instinctively start to hear the differences. …
  2. Listen for the top and bottom notes. …
  3. Listen for the intervals in the chord.


Is the interval between the lowest and the highest notes forming a chord?

The interval between the lowest note and the highest note of a major or minor triad is a perfect fifth, but the inner intervals differ. A major triad has a major third on the bottom and a minor third on the top, whereas a minor triad has a minor third on the bottom and a major third on the top.

What does second inversion mean in music?

Definition of second inversion



: the disposition of a triad or seventh chord so that its fifth is in the bass : the arrangement of notes in a triad or seventh chord so that its fifth is in the lowest position — compare first inversion, root position, third inversion — see seventh chord , triad illustration.

How do second inversion chords function?

Like first inversion, second inversion may be used to smooth out a bass line. Look at this example – notice the movement of the bass line. By using a second inversion V chord, the bass line moves by step and becomes smooth. A second inversion triad used in this fashion is called a passing six-four chord.



What is a first inversion triad?

A chord (triad, seventh chord, or any other chord) with the 3rd scale degree in the bass and the root somewhere above is said to be in FIRST INVERSION. For a triad, this would mean the chord is spelled (from bottom to top) either 3 – 5 – 1 or 3 – 1 – 5.

How do you determine the quality of an inverted triad?


Position for triads you basically have root position in any of two inversions. The first inversion is called first inversion in the second inversion is called second inversion.

How do you write first and second inversion chords?

And if I had a tonic in root position I would have two roots to these like like so all right so this chord is spelled B D F sharp. And in the example I've got two B's I've doubled the root.



What is major second inversion?

The second inversion of a chord is the voicing of a triad, seventh chord, or ninth chord in which the fifth of the chord is the bass note. In this inversion, the bass note and the root of the chord are a fourth apart which traditionally qualifies as a dissonance.

When can you use second inversion?

chords are triads in second inversion. They should be used in four-part writing and in music in general with extreme caution because they are unstable chords since they contain the interval of the fourth above the bass (a dissonance). is doubled. chord acts as a passing note in the bass (see examples below).

What does a second inversion look like?

The second inversion of a chord is the inversion in which the fifth of the chord is in the base.

What are the notes and order of a 2nd inversion C major triad?

C major 2nd inversion



The C major 2nd inversion contains 3 notes: G, C, E. The figured bass symbols for this chord inversion are 6/4, so the chord is said to be in six-four position.



What is the lowest note of AC major triad in first inversion?

Build a first inversion C major triad: The C major triad in first inversion contains the first, third, and fifth notes of the C major scale, but with the third as the lowest note. Inversions are sometimes written using slashes. For example, you can call the C major triad in first inversion C/E (“C over E”).

What is the lowest note of AB minor triad in second inversion?

If the root of the B minor chord – B – is the bass note (i.e., the bottom note), then the chord is in root position: If the third of the chord – D – is the bottom note, then the chord is in first inversion: If the fifth of the chord – F-sharp – is the bass note, then the chord is in second inversion.