half-diminished seventh

noun
variants: or half-diminished seventh chord

Definition of half-diminished seventh

:a seventh chord consisting of a diminished triad with a minor seventh above the root
  • Schoenberg exploited precisely such intervallic relationships in his twelve-tone works such as the Piano Piece, Op. 33a (1929), the opening chords of which feature a similar transformation of a dominant seventh to a half-diminished seventh.
  • —Joseph H. Auner, in Schoenberg and His World1999
  • The half-diminished seventh chord became a widely-employed source in nineteenth-century harmony because of its flexible communication between relative major and minor modes …
  • —Mark DeVotoDebussy and the Veil of Tonality2004
  • … the half-diminished seventh chord is in many respects the star of the seventh chord harmonic cast.
  • —Allen ForteListening to Classic American Popular Songs2001
— see seventh chord

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First Known Use of half-diminished seventh

1958


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