An introduction to music theory
An introduction to music theory

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An introduction to music theory

Group 4: identifying triads in major keys

Note that you will need to work out which major key is being used first.

Activity 1

Match Tonic triad in E flat major, Subdominant triad in A major, Tonic triad in D major to the triads below.

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. Tonic triad in D major

  2. Tonic triad in E flat major

  3. Subdominant triad in A major

  • a.

  • b.

  • c.

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = a
  • 2 = c
  • 3 = b

Answer

Tonic triad in D major. The key signature of two sharps signifies the major key of D major. The notes of the triad, the root, third and fifth, are D F A, which means that this is the tonic triad in D major.

Tonic triad in E flat major. The key signature of three flats signifies the major key of E flat major. Bearing in mind that this is the bass stave, the notes of the triad, the root, third and fifth, are E G B, which means that this is the tonic triad in E flat major.

Subdominant triad in A major. The key signature of three sharps signifies the major key of A major. The notes of the triad, the root, third and fifth, are D F A. Since the root, the D, is the fourth above the tonic, A, it is the subdominant note, and therefore the triad is the subdominant triad in A major.

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