Chord question

I was experimenting with augmented chords yesterday, and came across something interesting. Am I missing something or does D augmented = G minor?

Put in a more formal way, does the augmented form of a chord equal the minor form of the chord a fourth above it?


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8 Letters to the Editor

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  1. D+ = D F# A#

    Gm = G Bb D

    If Gm were augmented (i.e. raising the fifth scale degree) it would be G Bb D#, which would be an first inversion Eb major chord.

  2. Bob and Amy have you headed on the right track.

    There are actually four augmented triads. All other variations are altered spellings of those four.

    An augmented triad divides the scale evenly into three parts by taking every fourth note from a the available twelve tones:
    C-E-G#/Ab
    C#-E#/F-A,
    D-F#-A#/Bb
    D#/Eb-G-B

    As Bob’s example explains, if you attempt to augment a minor triad by raising the fifth, you actually get a different triad entirely. In my opinion, that would actually be misspelling of the other chord, not a genuine augmented chord. There would be no point in calling it augmented when a simpler definition (first inversion major triad) is available and it certainly doesn’t sound augmented.

    College level music theory books would agree, but out in the wild you might see anything.

    Amy is probably thinking about the fully diminished seventh chord when she says there’s only three. It’s a diminished triad plus a diminished seventh. This chord equally divides the twelve tones by four, taking every third note.

    C-Eb-Gb-Bbb/A
    C#-E-G-Bb
    D-F-Ab-Cb/B

  3. OK – so in an augmented, you only move the fifth up a half-step, not the third?

  4. Yeah, but they still equal other chords. I noticed this when I was working on Henry Slaughter’s piano course. D+ = D F# A#, as he said, which equals Gb/F#+ — F# A# C##.

    There are only three different augmented chords on the piano. The above chord also equals Bb+ (try it, if not I’ve been wrong for years), and the other chords are Eb+/G+/B+ and E+/G#+/C+.

    I’ve never seen that acknowledged anywhere.

  5. Good answers…no need to muddy the water with what I was thinking. 🙂

  6. Oh, and BTW I don’t want my comment to sound like it’s impossible that I’ve been wrong for years … It’s happened before! 🙂

  7. It would not be G minor. In an augmented only the 5th is raised.

  8. Thanks … I should have gone to the piano, or at least thought a little farther. I had forgotten about the diminished ones, too.