In music, the Psalms chord is the opening chord of Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms. It is a "barking E minor triad" that is voiced "like no E-minor triad that was ever known before" – that is, in two highly separate groups, one in the top register and the other in the bottom register. The third of the E-minor triad, rather than the tonic, receives strong emphasis.
|Component intervals from root|
|Forte no. / |
|3-11 / |
William W. Austin describes the Psalms chord in the following way: "The opening staccato blast, which recurs throughout the first movement, detached from its surroundings by silence, seems to be a perverse spacing of the E minor triad, with the minor third doubled in four octaves while the root and fifth appear only twice, at high and low extremes."
- Tymoczko, Dmitri (2002). "Stravinsky and the Octatonic- A Reconsideration", p.93. Music Theory Spectrum, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Spring), pp. 68–102.
- van den Toorn, Pieter C. (1975). "Some Characteristics of Stravinsky's Diatonic Music", p.121. Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Autumn – Winter), pp. 104–138.
- Mellers, Wilfred (1971). "1930: Symphony of Psalms", Tempo, New Series, No. 97 ("Igor Stravinsky 17 June 1882-6 April 1971"), pp. 19–27. Cambridge University Press.
- Berger, Arthur (1963). "Problems of Pitch Organization in Stravinsky", p. 33. Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Autumn – Winter), pp. 11–42.
- Straus, Joseph N. (2005). Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory (third edition), p. 152. ISBN 0-13-189890-6.
- Austin, William W. (1966, p. 334) Music in the 20th Century. London, Dent. p. 334.