half-diminished seventh

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 World, 1999 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 DeVoto, Debussy and the Veil of Tonality, 2004 … the half-diminished seventh chord is in many respects the star of the seventh chord harmonic cast.— Allen Forte, Listening to Classic American Popular Songs, 2001 — see seventh chord

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First Known Use of half-diminished seventh

1958, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of half-diminished seventh was in 1958

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Cite this Entry

“Half-diminished seventh.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/half-diminished%20seventh. Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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