Mystic Chord

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<music> \meterOff \cadenzaOn <c fis bes e a d>1 </music>

The Mystic chord
in open voicing.

The Mystic chord or Prometheus chord is a complex, six-note quartal chord, scale, or pitch collection which served loosely as the harmonic and melodic basis of some of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin's later pieces (as he rarely ever used the chord directly). The chord is made up of the pitches C, F♯, B♭, E, A, D and is generally interpreted as being made up of an augmented fourth, diminished fourth, augmented fourth, and two perfect fourths. The chord is featured most prominently in Scriabin's orchestral tone poem Prometheus: The Poem of Fire.

The term "Mystic chord" was first used by Arthur Eaglefied Hull in 1916 but Scriabin himself called it the akkord plemory or "chord of the plemora", which "was designed to afford instant apprehension of — that is, to reveal — what was in essence beyond the mind of man to conceptualize. Its preternatural stillness was a gnostic intimation of a hidden otherness."

While the chord is famous and almost synonymous with Scriabin's name, it actually rarely appears in Scriabin's music; early or late. Many of Scriabin's late pieces were actually derived from the octatonic scale rather than the mystic chord.