One of the popular minor scales is the C minor. The C minor is based on the C Major and is wrought out of the notes C-Eb-G. It consists of C, D, E♭, F, G, A♭, and B♭ pitches. Compared to major notes, the C minor is a melancholic chord. And if you look at its key signature, you’ll notice that it is represented by three flats. E♭ major is its relative major.
Moreover, C major is its parallel major. However, during the heyday of Baroque music, the two-flat key signature used to represent C minor. Well, even in our contemporary time, some versions of Baroque repertoire still carry that C minor representation.
Many Baroque great works were written in C minor. The first piano sonata, No. 20, of Joseph Haydn, for example, was written in C minor. One of the two piano concertos (No. 24, K, 491) of Mozart was also written in minor C. Beethoven, on the other hand, also wrote in C minor key some of his most famous works. While Brahm’s first string quartet and first symphony were written in C minor likewise. Lastly, Anton Bruckner and Dmitri Shostakovich also wrote symphonies in C minor.
How To Play CM or C Minor on piano?
How to Identify C Minor Chord on Piano?
Playing the C minor chord on piano is not that difficult. Well, the C minor chord is a triad formed by the combination of three notes, namely: C, Eb, and G. The root notes are the flat third or minor third and the C major scale’s fifth. Thus, if you are cognizant of the C major chord, you simply need to lower by a semitone its middle note—E. Therefore, you play C Eb G instead of C E G.
In a Cm chord, a minor third and a major third are combined to form the C minor. A major third consists of 2 tones, while a minor third consists of 1 1/2 tones. This means the interval between C and EB is only 1 1/2 tones or, in other words, only 3 halftones. On the other hand, Eb and G are separated by 2 tones or 4 halftones.
As you take a closer look at your piano keyboard, you will readily understand that Eb is at least 3 keys from C, while G is at least 4 keys from Eb. The C minor is usually referred to as a minor triad that consists of C, E-flat, and G notes.
You can represent the C minor chord by the symbol Cm. But aside from Cm, you can also represent the C minor chord by the symbols C min and C-.
A sad sound characterizes the minor chords. Thus, unlike the major chords that express happier sound, the C minor chord sounds melancholic. The real reason why the C minor is melancholic is that it consists of a minor third and a major third. But it is the minor third that renders this chord a melancholic or sad impression.
You can play a C minor chord by positioning your first finger on C, which is the chord’s root. Afterward, you can skip the succeeding white key and proceed to Eb. Then, skip the next key again and place your fifth finger on G.
By pressing these three notes together, you will hear the lovely yet melancholic-sounding C minor chord. You’ll also notice that you are creating a minor third, along with a major third on top of the minor third.
You can also experiment on the Cm chord by inverting it into various possible chord inversions. In so doing, you would familiarize yourself with the different suitable chord inversions in your piano tutorials.
C Minor and Its Two Inversions
You have just learned how the C minor is formed in the root position. You’ve also learned that its notes are C, Eb, and G. Now, let’s look at the C minor chord and its two inversions. The first inversion, of course, has the order of Eb-G-C. In such a case, the C in the root position is an octave lower than the C in the inversion.
Meanwhile, the notes are arranged in order of G-C-Eb in the second inversion. Moreover, the Eb in the second inversion is an octave higher than the root position’s Eb. Plus, the C is also an octave higher. The G, however, remains as it is in root position and both chord inversions of C minor.