Fifth (chord)

Dominant ninth chord in four-part writing[1]  Play . Note that the fifth is omitted in preference for the root, third, seventh, and ninth.
Fifth (G), in red, of a C major chord ( Play ).
Second inversion C major triad. The fifth is the bass.

In music, the fifth factor of a chord is the note or pitch five scale degrees above the root or tonal center. When the fifth is the bass note, or lowest note, of the expressed chord, the chord is in second inversion  Play .

Conventionally, the fifth is second in importance to the root, with second inversion being the strongest and the fifth perfect in all primary triads (I, IV, V and i, iv, v). In jazz chords and theory however, the fifth is often omitted, or assumed, in preference for the chord quality determining third and chord extensions and additions.

The fifth in a major and minor chord is perfect (G in C). When the fifth of a major chord is raised it is an augmented chord (G in C)  Play . When the fifth of a minor chord is lowered it is a diminished chord (G in C)  Play .

The open fifth and power chord consists of only the root, fifth and their octave doublings.

See also


  1. Benward & Saker (2009). Music in Theory and Practice: Volume II, p.179. Eighth Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-310188-0.
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