Suomeksi | In English

Diminished four-note chord

One of the most versatile chords is the chord building on the VII degree of a minor key known as the diminished four-note chord. The term is used in classical music theory because, counting from the root, it includes as many as two diminished intervals: dim5 and dim7.

The most common absolute chord symbol is dim7 or °7. In principle, the abbreviation "dim" or the degree sign ° both denote a triad, but in practice, the chord often gets a third piled on top of the others.

The chord consists of the active notes of a key, which makes it a highly active and dominant chord. It can also be perceived as a dominant chord with a minor ninth but without a root note (bar 2).

The diminished four-note chord is common also in parallel majors (bar 3). It is also worth noting that chord tension is added by interposed tritones (bar 4).

A chord with a dominant character, the diminished four-note chord can also act as a secondary dominant. In the example below, chromatically altered notes progress to the following chord according to their signs. At least one of the two tritones resolves into a third or a sixth.