Is it true that when music calls for a diminished chord, it really means a diminished 7th?
Ahh… the diminished chord. It does cause confusion.
Because one needs to be really precise with nomenclature, it generates questions like this one from a Quora poster. Diminished chords come your way in a variety of styles of music. The most important feature of a diminished chord is that the fifth is diminished. Because of that they sound darker. There is a variety of them and context is key.
So, I understand where the question is coming from and I provide the answer in Quora below. Since the seventh in a diminished four-note chord could be minor or diminished, I thought I better lay out all options. And then there is the fact that this could also just refer to a triad…
So, I lay out all the various possibilities with examples that clearly highlight the differences. It’s critical that you understand the notes in play when faced with a diminished chord!
For fun, let’s play the match game. Match the chord types on the left with the correct chord notes on the right:
- 1) Adim7
- 2) Amin7b5
- 3) Adim or Ao
match with Chord Notes
- a) A – C – Eb – G
- b) A – C – Eb – Gb
- c) A – C – Eb
(To check your answers, click over to the Quora post!)
Related Blog Posts: