- "Tertial" redirects here. For the feathers in a birds wing, see tertials.
or music theory
is the quality of a chord
constructed from thirds
, and other things constructed from thirds such as counterpoint
. A third
may be either minor (3 semitones) or major (4 semitones). Example: the interval A-C is a minor third, because it encompasses 3 semitones (A-Bb, Bb-B, B-C), and C-E is a major third, because it encompasses 4 semitones (C-Db, Db-D, D-Eb, Eb-E).
Chords which may be considered as built from sixths are actually tertian because of inversion. Example: the interval C-A is a major sixth. The inversion is that the interval A-C defines a minor third.
Note that the root progression between tertian chords is most often not by third but by perfect fifth (or its inversion perfect fourth).
- Tertian is a term used at some universities to describe students in the third year of their studies, or the normal standard reached by a student after this time. This description is also the definition for Junior.
- Recurring at approximately 48-hour intervals —used of malaria.
- Definition of tertian in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
- Definition of tertian at dictionary.com