half–diminished seventh

variants: or

half–diminished seventh chord

Definition of half–diminished seventh

  1. :  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 illustration

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