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Musical Chords Authors

Musical Chords


For each set of three musical notes forming a triad, print the name of the chord they form, consisting of the root note and the type of triad.

Each note is represented as an uppercase letter, optionally followed by a single accidental, either sharp ( U+266F) or flat ( U+266D).


There are twelve pitch classes in twelve-tone equal temperament, some of which have multiple names due to and raising and lowering the pitch, respectively. They are, in ascending order:

#Name 1Name 2

A triad consists of a root note on the bottom followed by two thirds stacked on top of it. Thirds describe the distance between the preceding and following note. A third can be either of two types:

Minor third3A C (note 0 to note 3)
Major third4C E (note 3 to note 7)

Being that there are 2 thirds in a triad and each third can be of 2 different types, there are 4 total “types” of triads. They are:

Triad NameThirds (Bottom to Top)Example
Diminished TriadMinor, MinorB D F
Minor TriadMinor, MajorE G B
Major TriadMajor, MinorC E G
Augmented TriadMajor, MajorD F♯ A♯


  • Triads of notes will always be written out so that the letters in the name used ascend by 2 between each third (wrapping back to A after G). Therefore, a triad consisting of notes 3, 6, and 9 may be written as B♯ D♯ F♯ or C E♭ G♭, but not, for example, as C D♯ F♯.
  • The notes may appear in any order, e.g., C E G and E C G both may appear.


  • Chords are named by the root note followed by nothing for major, m for minor, ° U+00B0 for diminished, and + for augmented.
  • The spelling of the root note in the output must match the input, e.g. the expected output for C E♭ G♭ is , not B♯°.

Note: to find the root, look only at the letters. E G♯ C and E G♯ B♯ cannot be told apart by a method that only considers note distances. The root is the note whose letter comes 2 and 4 letters before the other two letters in the chord. The expected outputs are C+ and E+ respectively.

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