A chord is said to be in its root position when its root is the lowest note. A three-note chord or triad may also stand in its first or second inversion. A chord stands in its first inversion when its third is the lowest note. It is in second inversion when its fifth is the lowest note. In the following example, the major triad of C stands in its root position and first and second inversion respectively:

Root position
first inversion
second inversion

The more notes a chord has, the more inversions it may have. In the following example, the dominant seventh chord of G is presented in its four positions:

Seventh chord root position
Seventh chord first inversion
Seventh chord second inversion
Seventh chord third inversion

See C > Chord for related entries.


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José Rodríguez Alvira.