half-diminished seventh

noun

variants or half-diminished seventh chord
: 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

Word History

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined above

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

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Dictionary Entries Near half-diminished seventh

Cite this Entry

“Half-diminished seventh.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/half-diminished%20seventh. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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