Close and open harmony

A chord is in close harmony (also called close position or close structure[1]) if its notes are arranged within a narrow range, usually with no more than an octave between the top and bottom notes. In contrast, a chord is in open harmony (also called open position or open structure[1]) if there is more than an octave between the top and bottom notes. The more general term spacing describes how far apart the notes in a chord are voiced. A triad in close harmony has compact spacing, while one in open harmony has wider spacing.

C-major triad in close and open harmony

Close harmony or voicing can refer to both instrumental and vocal arrangements. It can follow the standard voice-leading rules of classical harmony, as in string quartets or Bach chorales, or proceed in parallel motion with the melody in thirds or sixths.