Contrast chord

Contrast chord example  Play : C major and E minor contrast through their respective notes C and B (in red and orange), each a half step apart or leading tones. The chords share two notes (in blue) however.

In music, a contrast chord is an auxiliary chord formed from one of the three primary triads and sharing its diatonic function. Leittonwechselklänge (German: "leading-tone contrast chords"), abbreviated Tl in major and tL in minor.

If chords may be formed by raising (major) or lowering (minor) the fifth a whole step [ parallel or relative chords], they may also be formed by lowering (major) or raising (minor) the root a half-step to wechsel, the leading tone or leitton. These chords are Leittonwechselklänge (literally: "leading-tone changing sounds"), sometimes called gegenklang or "contrast chord". [1]

Mode Key Position
Major E minor Tl
A minor Sl
B minor Dl
Minor Ab major tL
Db major sL
Eb major dL

Major Leittonwechselklänge, formed by lowering the root a half step.

Minor Leittonwechselklänge, formed by raising the root (US)/fifth (German) a half step.

See also


  1. Gjerdingen, Robert O. (1990). "A Guide to the Terminology of German Harmony", Studies in the Origin of Harmonic Tonality by Dahlhaus, Carl, trans. Gjerdingen (1990). Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09135-8.

External links

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