List of Major Triads in Root Position

Major Triads (Root Position)


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  2. Before reading this post, please familiarize yourself with double sharps (♯♯ better known as 𝄪) and double flats (𝄫) [1]

For fun, I am taking Music Theory One (MUTH1603) at University or Arkansas in my free time. Unfortunately, I'm getting slammed. The other students in the class are much faster and more accurate than me. My professor gave us some tricks to follow for triad creation, but I still struggle to get things done correctly at the required speed.

Theoretically, my brain should be smart enough to quickly recreate major, minor, diminished and augmented triads using the techniques mentioned in the Fundamentals unit of Open Music Theory [2] or other similar texts. In reality, I'm too slow 🐢.

Because I'm so slow, I figure now would be a good time for me to start memorizing all root position major triads (including enharmonic spellings). I started with the well known A C E minor triad and changed it to major by adding a half step to the third. That got me A C♯ E. I then just went down the list:

A♭ MajorA♭CE♭
A MajorAC♯E
A♯ MajorA♯C𝄪E♯
B♭ MajorB♭DF
B MajorBD♯F♯
C♭ MajorC♭E♭G♭
B♯ MajorB♯D𝄪F𝄪
C MajorCEG
C♯ MajorC♯E♯G♯
D♭ MajorD♭FA♭
D MajorDF♯A
D♯ MajorD♯F𝄪A♯
E♭ MajorE♭GB♭
E MajorEG♯B
F♭ MajorF♭A♭C♭
E♯ MajorE♯G𝄪B♯
F MajorFAC
F♯ MajorF♯A♯C♯
G♭ MajorG♭B♭D♭
G MajorGBD
G♯ MajorG♯B♯D♯

This list of triads is common knowledge and you are bound to find it other places. In fact, I think I saw the list on Wikipedia at one time, but I'm not finding it when I search right now.

So what is the point of this? Well, it took me a little time to come up with that Major triad list. I would argue that struggling Freshman music majors should not only memorize all Major, Natural Minor, Melodic Minor and Harmonic Minor key signatures, but that they should also memorize all of the Major triad spellings shown above.

Even though exceptionally bright entering music students will be able to do all of the calculations in their head, that is not the case for me. For this reason, my plan is to memorize all of the above Major spellings and then use the tricks my professor taught me to convert the Major spellings into the needed augmented, diminished and minor triads as needed. For me, this will probably be a little faster and more accurate than other methods of triad construction that I've been using.

I Hope this thought helps me and someone else. Even if you are only in High School, you might want to memorize those spellings above presuming you can't already calculate them in your head with the speed and accuracy of an ABET certified engineer 😊.


[1] - Anonymous for Privacy Reasons
Double Sharps and Double Flats
Piano Music [Online].
[Last Accessed: January 25, 2023]

[2] - Gotham, Mark; Gullings, Kyle; Hamm, Chelsey; Huges, Bryn; Jarvis, Brian; Lavengood, Megan; Peterson, John
Open Music Theory (Version 2)
VIVA Open Publishing. [Online].
[Last Accessed: January 25, 2023]