Minor seventh

Minor seventh

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

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

The minor seventh requires that:

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

What does a minor seventh look like?

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

minor seventh

How to recognize a minor 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 C / B♭:

Let's take the C major scale to have C as the tonic:

C major scale

From the rule stated above, the interval C / B♮ is a major seventh, so C / B♭ is a minor seventh.

Inversion of the minor seventh

The inversion of the minor seventh is the major second.

Here is an example of a major second:

Major second

Musical examples of minor seventh

Somewhere (West Side Story) by Bernstein

The Somewhere theme from Bernstein's West Side Story begins with a minor seventh:

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
music theory games


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