A triad is a three-note chord based on the interval of a third, from lowest pitched tone to highest are called the root, the third, and the fifth. Triads can be major, minor, augmented, or diminished.

Major Triad (notated as Maj or M)
The major triad consists of the interval of a major third between the root and the third and the interval of a minor third between the third and the fifth.

Minor Triad (notated as min or m)
The minor triad consists of the interval of a minor third between the root and the third and the interval of a major third between the third and the fifth.

Augmented Triad (notated as aug or +)
The augmented triad consists of the interval of a major third between the root and the third and the interval of a major third between the third and the fifth.

Diminished Triad (notated as dim or º)
Finally, the diminished triad consists of the interval of a minor third between the root and the third and the interval of a minor third between the third and the fifth.


Triads are often notated with the pitch name of the root of the chord followed by the type of triad. In examples on the right, the first triad is a C major chord (also notated as CM, or CMaj). The second triad is a C minor chord (also notated as Cm, or Cmin). The third triad is a C augmented chord (also notated as Caug, or C+). The last triad is a C diminished chord (also notated as Cdim or Cº).