Music Theory

Exercises in broken chords

Other pages about piano broken chords:

We recognize two principal chords: the three-fold and the four-fold so called because the one contains but three, or other four tones. We shall first introduce exercises with three-fold chords; next, we will also represent the four-fold chord in its various broken forms.

The three-fold chord consists of the first, also called the tonic, the third and fifth as for instance C, E and G, or G, B and D, etc. This chord may appear in three positions. On the fifth; next, the octave; and then the third maj be the highest tone. The following illustrates this:
major triad inversions

No matter whether the tones belonging to this chord are taken simply or whether they are double, it remains the same chord by7 name. Thus, the following are triads, or common chords of C, as well as the ones containing but three tones.

piano chords with both hands

Rules about piano broken chords

The pupil should write chords and put them in different positions, unless he has done so already in connection with the study of harmony. When playing broken chords, observe the following rules:

  • The position of the hand must be more extended, for generally more than three tones occur in broken chords.
  • Move the hand smoothly from one group to another, connecting the notes closely.
  • The closest observance of the fingering is necessary, for without it the pupil will multiply difficulties, while through the use of correct fingering he lessens them.
  • Arpeggios occur frequently in music; they should, therefore, be studied diligently, not only in the keys here given, but in all keys.

piano broken chords

Broken chords : major triads arpeggios

Arpeggiate C, F, G and D major triads in their inversions.
piano exercises about broken chordsarpeggiating broken chords

Broken minor chords

As the major scale differs from the minor scale by having a minor or small third, so the major chord differs from the minor chord, by having a small or minor third. The following are major and minor chord:
minor chords

The following are exercises in broken minor chords. Play in the three positions.

  • A broken minor chords:

A broken minor chords

  • E minor broken chords

E minor broken chords

  • D broken minor chords

D broken minor chord arpeggios

The teacher must oblige the pupil to play the same kind of exercises after every new scale that is introduced.