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Diatonic Chords

Every major / minor scale has seven diatonic chords. These diatonic chords are directly related to a particular key of a scale. They are the musical chords formed from using the notes of that particular scale.

Major Scale Diatonic Chords

Major Scale Diatonic Chords are formed from major scales, and minor scale diatonic chords are formed from minor scales.

The purpose of the diatonic chords is to create a harmonic sound for music in the same key.

How to form major scale diatonic chords?

Example: C Major Diatonic Chords

C – D – E – F – G – A –  B – C are the notes of the C major scale.

c major scale

Diatonic chords are formed by stacking two generic third notes above each scale note.

how to form c major diatonic chords gif

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C Major Diatonic Chords

These are the seven major scale diatonic chords that come from the C major scale:

c major diatonic chords

Each diatonic chord is labelled with a roman numeral number:

I,  ii,  iii,  IV,  V,  vi,  viiº

c major diatonic chords

I – The first chord: C E G (root, major third and perfect fifth) is a major chord (C major chord).

ii – The second chord: D F A (root, minor third, perfect fifth) is a minor chord (D minor chord).

iii – The third chord: E G B (root, minor third, perfect fifth) is a minor chord (E minor chord).

IV – The fourth chord: F A C (root, major third and perfect fifth) is a major chord (F major chord).

V – The fifth chord: G B D (root, major third and perfect fifth) is a major chord (G major chord).

vi – The sixth chord: A C E (root, minor third, perfect fifth) is a minor chord (A minor chord).

viiº– The seven chord: B D F (root, minor third, diminished fifth) is a diminished chord (B diminished chord).

We use uppercase roman numeral numbers to represent major chords, lowercase to represent minor chords, uppercase with a small plus sign to represent augmented chords, and lowercase with a small circle to represent diminished chords.

This pattern applies to all major keys:

I,  ii,  iii,  IV,  V,  vi,  viiº

First, fourth and fifth chords of a major scale will always be major chords.

Second, third and sixth chords of a major scale will always be minor chords.

Seventh chord of a major scale will always be diminished chords.

The seven diatonic chords in the key of C major.

c major diatonic chords

These are the chords that are diatonic to the C major scale. They are directly related to the C major key and make a harmonic sound for music in the same key.

Major Scale Diatonic Chords in All Major Keys

Major scale with no sharp or flat:
Diatonic Chords of C Major Scale
Major scales with sharps:
Diatonic Chords of G Major Scale
Diatonic Chords of D Major Scale
Diatonic Chords of A Major Scale
Diatonic Chords of E Major Scale
Enharmonic Major Scales:
Diatonic Chords of B Major Scale / C Flat Major Scale
Diatonic Chords of F Sharp Major Scale / G Flat Major Scale
Diatonic Chords of C Sharp Major Scale / D Flat Major Scale
Major scales with flats:
Diatonic Chords of A Flat Major Scale
Diatonic Chords of E Flat Major Scale
Diatonic Chords of B Flat Major Scale
Diatonic Chords of F Major Scale

Major Scale Diatonic Chordspiano-music-theoryMajor Scale Diatonic ChordsMusic ChordsMusic Theory Lessonsc major scale,diatonic chordsDiatonic Chords Every major / minor scale has seven diatonic chords. These diatonic chords are directly related to a particular key of a scale. They are the musical chords formed from using the notes of that particular scale. Major Scale Diatonic Chords Major Scale Diatonic Chords are formed from major scales, and...Piano Music Theory Lessons for Beginners