Picardy third
(pih-KER-dee thurd)


A practice from the 16th century and the Baroque era of ending a composition with a major chord, when the rest of the composition is in a minor key, thus giving the composition a sense of finality. This is accomplished by raising the third of the final chord one half step or adding a sharp. In the key of A minor (A - C - E), the final chord would be (A - C-sharp - E).

See also [Fr.] tierce de Picardie.

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