Quartal and Quintal Chords

Most chords are constructed from major or minor thirds. Quartal chords are chords that are constructed from fourths. Quintal chords are constructed from fifths.

Quartal Chords:

Quintal Chords:

Quartal and Quintal chords have a suspended un-anchored sound to them that differs form regular chords. This quality makes Quartal and Quintal chords very useful in a composer's chord vocabulary.

The French composer Claude Debussy was one of the first composers to use Quartal and Quintal chords regularly. Quartal and Quintal chords are now common in jazz, rock music and TV and film music. Quartal chords are also easy to play on the guitar due to the fact that the standard guitar tuning is mostly fourths.

Quartal chord on Guitar:

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