Music theory > Lessons > Pitch of sounds > Intervals > Diminished seventh

Diminished seventh

Diminished seventh

In music theory, a diminished seventh is an interval that has nine half steps (semitones). Explanations and excerpts from famous works

In music theory, a diminished seventh is an interval that has nine half steps united states of america (semitones united kingdom).

The a diminished seventh requires that:

  • The interval must be an seventh interval (seven note names between the first and the last).
  • The interval must have nine half steps.

What does a diminished seventh look like?

Here is an example of a melodic a diminished seventh (two music notes in a melody) and a harmonic a diminished seventh (in a chord):

diminished seventh

How to recognize a a diminished seventh?

Rule of music theory: All intervals in a major scale starting with the tonic (degree I) are either major or perfect, and only unison, octave, fourth and fifth are perfect (the others are major).

Example with the interval B♭ / A♭♭:

Let's take the B flat major scale to have B♭ as the tonic:

B flat major scale

From the rule stated above, the interval B♭ / A is major seventh, so the interval B♭ / A♭ is minor seventh, and so the interval B♭ / A♭♭ is diminished seventh.

Inversion of the a diminished seventh

The inversion of the a diminished seventh is the augmented second.

Here is an example of a augmented second:

Augmented second

Musical examples of a diminished seventh

No examples yet, but feel free to send me some examples!

Interval identification game

You will find this interval in my Intervals identification game:

Find all my music theory games by clicking this link music theory games
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