Chord (music)
This article describes pitch simultaneity and harmony in music. For other meanings of the word, see Chord.

A chord in music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 is any harmonic
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...

 set of two–three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously
Simultaneity (music)
In music, a simultaneity is more than one complete musical texture occurring at the same time, rather than in succession. This first appeared in the music of Charles Ives, and is common in the music of Conlon Nancarrow and others....

. These need not actually be played together: arpeggio
An arpeggio is a musical technique where notes in a chord are played or sung in sequence, one after the other, rather than ringing out simultaneously...

s and broken chords may for many practical and theoretical purposes be understood as chords. Chords and sequences of chords
Chord progression
A chord progression is a series of musical chords, or chord changes that "aims for a definite goal" of establishing a tonality founded on a key, root or tonic chord. In other words, the succession of root relationships...

 are frequently used in modern western, west African and Oceanian music, whereas they are absent from the music of many other parts of the world.

The most frequently encountered chords are triads
Triad (music)
In music and music theory, a triad is a three-note chord that can be stacked in thirds. Its members, when actually stacked in thirds, from lowest pitched tone to highest, are called:* the Root...

, so called because they consist of three distinct notes: further notes may be added to give seventh chord
Seventh chord
A seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chord's root. When not otherwise specified, a "seventh chord" usually means a major triad with an added minor seventh...

s, extended chord
Extended chord
In music, extended chords are tertian chords or triads with notes extended, or added, beyond the seventh. Ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth chords are extended chords...

s, or added tone chords.

"A chord is by no means an agglomeration of intervals. It is a new unit which, although dependent on the formative power of the single interval, is felt as being self-existent and as giving to the constituent intervals meanings and functions which they otherwise would not have."

Paul Hindemith (1952: 72). A Composer's World. Cambridge, Mass. Category:Music