2. Inversions of Triad

69

Bass and root do not mean the same thing. A bass means the lowest note of the chord, whereas a root is the lowest note of the triad when stacked in thirds.

We can place any of the triad’s three pitches (root, 3rd, 5th) on the bass, and this subtly changes the color of the chords, even though all have the same pitches. A triad can be arranged in three forms: root position (root on the bass), first inversion (3rd on the bass), and second inversion (5th on the bass).

The indication of an inverted triad in Roman numerals:

 

before   after