Diminished is a term that you might hear in music theory, but what does it actually mean? In this article, we’ll explore the meaning of diminished and how it applies to different aspects of music.
What is Diminished?
In music theory, the term “diminished” usually refers to two different concepts: diminished intervals and diminished chords.
A diminished interval is a type of interval that is one half-step smaller than a minor interval. For example, a diminished fifth would be one half-step smaller than a minor fifth.
Here are some examples of diminished intervals:
- Diminished second: C to Db♭
- Diminished third: E to G♭
- Diminished fourth: F# to B
- Diminished fifth: G to Db
- Diminished sixth: Bb to G♭
- Diminished seventh: C# to Bb
It’s worth noting that diminished intervals aren’t commonly used in Western music, but they do appear in some specific contexts like certain types of jazz and classical music.
A diminished chord, on the other hand, is a type of chord that consists of a root note, a minor third (three half-steps above the root), and a diminished fifth (six half-steps above the root).
The formula for constructing a diminished chord:
Root note + Minor Third + Diminished Fifth
Here are some examples of common diminished chords:
- Cdim (C dimished): C – E♭ – G♭♭
- D#dim (D# diminished): D# – F# – A
- Fdim (F diminished): F – Ab – B
- G#dim (G# diminished): G# – B – D
Diminished chords can be used to create tension and dissonance in music, and they’re often used as a passing chord between two other chords.
How to Identify Diminished Intervals and Chords
Identifying diminished intervals and chords can be tricky, but there are a few things to look out for.
Diminished intervals: A diminished interval will always be one half-step smaller than a minor interval. For example, a diminished fifth is one half-step smaller than a minor fifth.
Diminished chords: A diminished chord will always consist of a root note, a minor third, and a diminished fifth. You can also identify a diminished chord by its symbol (dim or ♭♭), which will appear after the root note.
In music theory, “diminished” refers to both diminished intervals and chords. Diminished intervals are one half-step smaller than minor intervals, while diminished chords consist of a root note, minor third, and dimished fifth.
While not commonly used in Western music, these concepts play an important role in certain contexts like jazz and classical music. By understanding what “diminished” means in music theory, you’ll have a better understanding of how different musical elements work together to create the sounds we hear.