Music theory can be a overwhelming subject for many, but it’s an essential part of understanding the language of music. One of the concepts that can be a bit confusing is dyad. In this article, we’ll break down what dyads are in music theory and how they are used.

What is a Dyad?

A dyad is a musical interval consisting of two notes played simultaneously. It’s important to note that a dyad is not a chord because chords consist of three or more notes played together. Dyads are often used in music to create tension, harmony, dissonance, and other musical effects.

Types of Dyads

There are two main types of dyads – consonant and dissonant. Consonant dyads are intervals that sound pleasant and harmonious when played together. Some examples include perfect fifths, major thirds, minor thirds, and octaves.

Dissonant dyads on the other hand are intervals that create tension or instability when played together. Examples include major seconds, minor seconds, tritones or augmented fourths.

Uses of Dyads

Dyads can be used in various ways in music composition. They can be used to create melodies, harmonies, counterpoint lines and more. The use of dyads also plays a significant role in building chord progressions.

Dyads can also be used as an alternative to chords when composing for certain instruments like guitar and bass where it may not always be practical or possible to play full chords.

Dyadic Chords

Dyadic chords are chords made up entirely of dyadic intervals without any additional notes added to them. These types of chords can add an interesting dynamic to a song by providing unique harmonic options.


Dyads are an important concept in music theory and understanding how they work can help you as a musician to create more interesting and dynamic music. Whether you’re composing for guitar, piano, or any other instrument, dyads offer a unique way to add tension, harmony, and other musical effects to your compositions.