/ / Tertia - it's not easy!

Tertia - it's not easy!

For those who have ever encountered such amusic science, like solfeggio, the notion of intervals is basic, and therefore quite understandable. However, even simple intervals conceal secrets about which a young musician can not guess. And are you interested in knowing the secrets that keep the intervals? Then go ahead! This article is about the secrets that are contained in the thirds.

Special Interval

Tertia is an interval of three steps in a scale or a third stage of a tonality. The small third contains one and a half tones, the larger one - two. Everything, in general, is simple. But do not jump to conclusions.


In fact, it is the thirds that largely determinecharacter and mood of the whole musical work. It is necessary to change a large interval to a small one - and now in a light work shades of sadness appear. The secret, which is stored in a third, is called harmony. The large third serves as the basis for the major triad, small, accordingly, forms a minor. Often, instead of triads, these parts are used, which do not give doubts about the fidelity of the works.

Non-standard thirds

In addition to large and small intervals, there are enlarged and reduced thirds. They are formed in connection with the increase or decrease of the fret steps and require mandatory resolution in clean intervals.

Increased third is the interval thatis built on the 2-nd lower step of the fret (major or minor). In this case, the 4th stage is necessarily increased. Vv.3 is resolved into a pure tonic fifth. The interval itself sounds like a clean quarter, the difference will be visible only in the music notation.

second third

The reduced third is built around stable steps of the fret. Acoustically, the interval sounds the same as a large second. Tertia in a reduced version should be necessarily resolved into a clean prima.

  • The reduced interval of the 7th stage is constructed in natural major and harmonic minor with a lowering of the 2nd stage. This interval is always resolved into the tonic.
  • Um.3 of the second stage is built on the 2nd higher stage of the major and on the 2nd (clean) minor (with the lowering of the 4th stage) is allowed in the third stage.
  • Um.3 increased 4-th stage is built in harmonic major and natural harmonic minor, is resolved in the 5th stage.

In fact, an enlarged or reduced third is an extremely rare phenomenon in music. And yet you need to know about them even for beginning musicians.

Major in minor

This feature, like the appearance of a large third inthe final cadence of a minor work, became very popular among composers of the 16th-18th centuries. and entered the history of world music under the name "Picardian third". This unusual sound, first of all, gained its popularity because it was considered a symbol of the victory of good over evil, and therefore the use of the Picardian thirds breathed hope into a depressing minor sound.

Picardian thirds

The most famous classical examplethe use of Picardian thirds was the "Well Tempered Clavier" by JS Bach, a collection of preludes and fugues written in all existing keys. Most of the minor fugues in this collection ends with an optimistic big third.

How to build thirds and triads

At first glance, everything seems simple and clear:The third is an interval of three steps. But a beginner musician can be confused by halftones, or easier - black keys. What is the starting point: the number of keys or the names of steps?

All doubts are dispelled when it comesunderstanding that it is the steps of the scale that serve as the basis for constructing intervals, that is, building a large third from the note "before", should be considered as follows: "do-re-mi" - three steps. In the same way intervals are built down. It remains only to count the number of tones and halftones, and it will immediately become clear with which of the threets it is necessary to deal with.

large third

Tonic triads are built according to the following principle:

  • The major triad consists of a large third at the bottom and a small top. As mentioned earlier, in order to understand the mood of a work, it is sufficient to have the lower large third.
  • The minor triad is constructed directly opposite to the major triad: in its base there is a small third, over which there is always a large third.

In addition to the classical tonic triad oftenthere are increased and decreased. It is not difficult to guess that when they are constructed, two large or, alternatively, two small thirds, which form the corresponding dissonant chord, are used simultaneously.

Music contains a lot of unsolved mysteries and mysteries. And if it seems to you that the theory is boring, try to look a little deeper, and you will understand what an amazing and mysterious world it is!


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