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The Piano Augmented Chord

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In order to play chords on the piano we have to get familiar with four basic chord types: The major and minor chords , the augmented and the diminished chords. In this page we're going to talk about the augmented ones.

In the previous chapter we saw that if we take the major chords and we lower the middle note and the upper note in half a tone we get two intervals of small thirds. That chord is called "A Diminished Chord."

But what happens if we create a chord of two major 3rds?
Well, if we take C major, then we already have a major third between the root note (C) and the middle note (E). All we need to do is raise the upper note in half a note (From G to G#). This Chord is called "C Augmented."

The intervals of C augmented.

The augmented chords as opposed to the diminished chord has a wide sound. I guess you can call it "spacey". The two major thirds create a musical expression which is expressed in music differently then in the diminished chords.
That's probably because the augmented piano chord often derives from the Whole Tone Scale.

When you play piano by chords you'll find that the augmented chords have a few functions in music. We're not going to explain them here fully because I'd like us to get to playing piano instead of talking forever.

For now you should know that the augmented piano chords can function as passing chords that provide an extra tension in harmony progressions or to support the melody when it contains the raised fifth note (G# in C augmented).
If you don't get it don't worry we'll get to it later.

Here's a list of all twelve major chords

A chord list of all augmented chords.

Click here if you haven't signed to Piano Playground, our free E-zine yet make sure you do that in order to get the username and password codes for the Augmented Chords Piano Tab I provide here under.

And here's a printable version of the augmented piano chord chart.

It's interesting to realize that E augment C augmented and G# augmented contain the same notes. They are actually one chord in different positions. That's because the two major thirds create an inner symmetry whitin an octave.

To conclude one can say that we have only for augmented chords in music.

C augmented = E augmented = G# augmented

C# augmented = F augmented = A augmented

D augmented = F# augmented = A# augmented

D# augmented = G augmented = B augmented

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