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picardy third

pih-KER-dee thurd


A practice from the 16th century and the Baroque era of ending a composition with a major chord, when the rest of the composition is in a minor key, thus giving the composition a sense of finality. This is accomplished by raising the third of the final chord one half step or adding a sharp. In the key of A minor (ACE), the final chord would be (AC sharpE).

See Also

[French] tierce de picardie (f)
[German] picardische Terz (f)
[Italian] terza picarda (f)


Last Updated: 2013-02-14 19:24:23