A chord is pretty much any combination of the notes that sound pleasing to the ear. If you are playing around with chords, just take the root, the third, or the 5th and substitute it with any other note in that scale and see what it sounds like. Ask yourself what does it feel like when you hear each one of those combinations. With enough ear training and practice, you should be able to play any combination of notes and make them sounds good. If you end up with a weird sounding chord, see if you can change a note or 2 and make it not weird again.
You can use combinations/permutations in statistic to analyze it but I would not spend too much time on it. I would not try to make any mathematical formula for them either. The key is to play around with different combinations as much as possible until you get the sound and the expression that you want.
Another user expressed disagreement with the first sentence, commenting that "a chord does not have to be pleasing to the ear." Accordingly, the user edited the first sentence to remove the contentious part:
A chord is pretty much any combination of
thenotes that sound pleasing to the ear.
It seems like the rest of the post reiterates the author's original idea that a chord must be pleasing:
- "see what it sounds like"
- "ask yourself what does it feel like"
- "you should be able to ... make them sound good"
- "change a note or 2 and make it not weird"
- "get the sound ... you want"
Bich seems to be proposing a definition wherein a chord must sound good. At least, this was the original phrasing, and the following statements seem to reiterate and support that idea.
I disagree with the content of Bich's answer, and because of that disagreement, I think the edit actually improves the post. But whether I agree with Bich's content shouldn't be the basis of an edit, as I understand it. My understanding is that edits shouldn't depart from the original intent and shouldn't make changes to the content of the answer. I don't think Bich's original statement was unclear--he seems to be saying something very specific (albeit wrong, in my opinion). Redacting it seems to change the meaning by deleting the controversial part.
On the other hand, the original user (Bich, in this case) always has the ability to roll back an edit. Moreover, the definition seems so blatantly wrong that a charitable reading might suggest Bich didn't truly mean what he actually wrote. Are these reasons to make edits to correct very obvious errors in content? Is the edit appropriate in this case? I can see that removing glaring errors might improve the site, and I understand the desire to give a charitable reading--it's an important part of academia. I have refrained from making such edits to correct glaring errors. But if the original user can always roll back the edit, maybe these corrections are okay if they are aligned with a charitable reading? Or is it wrong under any circumstances to change the content, even if the original author may not mean what they say?
On further thought, the statement "With enough ear training and practice, you should be able to play any combination of notes and make them sounds good" seems very important, and I overlooked this initially. In stating this, the user expresses the idea that any combination of notes will sound good to a trained ear. So when Bich defines a chord as "any combination of notes," the addendum "that sound good" is auxiliary because any combination of notes will sound good to a trained ear. Adding or removing "that sound good" doesn't change the meaning because it's implied throughout. Moreover, this isn't a fundamental distinction for Bich because any combination of notes should sound good with practice and training. The edit improves the post by removing a distraction which we can reasonably infer isn't fundamental to Bich's meaning.