Why is the IV chord subdominant it has the root in it so shouldn't it be tonic?
- MamiankaLv 710 months ago
To reinforce the already excellent responses - you must have heard of *circle of fifths*. This is based on acoustics - the first overtone of a string or wind instrument, that is NOT the fundamental tone, is a fifth higher. Acoustically, it wants to fall back to the root. FROM the root, you extend that cycle (considering it as that overtone of *something else*) that you fall to the subdominant. Far easier to play aloud for you, than explain only in words. So now you have two other primary chords, each a fifth away from the tonic. You have symmetry and balance.
- Me2Lv 710 months ago
That a chord simply contains the scale's tonic doesn't make it a tonic chord. Chords are built on thirds. Subdominant to submediant is a third, but tonic to subdominant isn't a third, therefore it cannot be a tonic chord.
Consider that C major, F major, and A♭ major all contain C♮, but only one is a C chord.
- yet-knish!Lv 710 months ago
Each triad (I through VII) has a different name. The tonic chord is the triad built on the tonic note. That is the only chord called the tonic chord. The subdominant chord is called that because, I suppose, it's the one immediately below the dominant.