Does The Diminished viiº Chord Even Exist?

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This is a deep lesson, not for the faint of heart. To sweeten the burden of all this knowledge I’ve made a silly intro that I hope you enjoy. If I get demonetized, so be it, I think its worth it cause its still cracking me up and I’ve watched in a hundred times already.


 Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors.  However, I do hope you find it helpful.   

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Mainstream Academia has long held that the diatonic seventh chord is diminished.

But what if the seven chord is hiding a deeper truth the ancient astronaut theory proposes that the seven chord as we know it may not actually even exists modern theoretical ins are beginning to believe that the 7 chord is not what we thought and in fact it may not even exist at all. How can that be your why is that why have music teachers hit in this sacred? Acrid knowledge for Generations challenged all their predispositions and their power structure. Can we really believe that the seven chord actually exist will eventually Discover it and prove that it exists and what might happen if this controversial Theory turns out to be true people. Will Panic markets will collapse or religion will collapse join us today as we explore the secrets of the seven chord.

If you're familiar with these seven Roman numerals and if you're anything like I was you might have a little confusion about what's going on there in that seven chord. It's just a diminished Triad yet. We almost never see a lone diminished Triad hanging out there in music. And there's really not much we can do with that seven chord people. Don't talk about it a lot even myself. I'm pretty guilty with this when I teach the seven chords of a key. I often just ignore the seven chord. So in this video, I'd really like to open up that can of worms and talk about what's going on there. What can we do with it? And what are some other ways to interpret? It because in my perspective the seven chord really isn't a thing. So here's what I'd like to do. Let's keep it easy in the key of C major in the key of C major my Tonica C major and the 7 chord is just a be diminished Triad. That's the note B D and F.

And even if you don't know much about the seven chord, you might know that it takes us to the one chord the seven Triad resolves to the one Triad pretty well as a matter of fact and when something resolves to the one that means it has dominant function, that's what that word means dominant function. Means it just takes us back home to the one chord and you might know there's another cord out there that has dominant function. It's the five chord g major more specifically if you make the five chord a dominant seventh chord, so like a G7 this has dominant function to take us back to see as well.

Now. Let's take a look at our be diminished Triad again. It was the notes BD and a half right? And if I just tack a g underneath that I have the notes of a G7 chord, I have the notes of My dominant chord that takes me back to see so realistically, I mean these three notes are so useless on their own and we nearly never see them. I can't find any examples off the top of my head of just a lone diminished Triad without some reference to the 5th note of the scale which is implying a dominant chord. So really when I see those three notes, I'm parsing it as the five chord just the route has been missing. We have concealed the root of my five chord and we're left with is just this Cluster of notes now. Why would I want to not call it the seven chord and instead call it the five chord. Well, like I said, I don't know much to do with the seven core. I don't know what to do with it. All I know is seven leads to one. That's really like the only thing I know so when I think a five chords though, I've got all sorts of different ideas. I know how to get to a five chord. I know how to go away from a five chord. For example, it's pretty common to do something like a 1 to a 5 to a 6.

So now that I'm thinking of this as really a Let's kind of sub that in there. Let's do a one to a 7 to a 6.

That's a progression. I really would have never thought of before right and now that I'm thinking of it as a five board. It's kind of given me more options.

Also what if I wanted to get to it? What if I wanted to land on this?

Well, if I'm thinking of it as as the five chord, I could think about playing a D7 first that would be the 5 of 5. So, let's say I'm in C major I could play a D7 and then I could Play this be diminished back to see and once again, that's a progression. I wouldn't really be thinking of much if I was only parsing it as a 7 because I really don't have any rules or theories or traditions of where do you throw the seven in but there's plenty of rules and traditions of what do you do with a five chord or more specifically? What do you do with a five seven now? You might be thinking. Okay, that's fine. You're just dealing with a diminished Triad, but what if you're playing like an extended chord what if you take that diminished Triad and you add in the a note? Well now you get a B minor 7 A 5 or a B half diminished and yes this could once again the A7 chord, but once again if we just tack a g underneath it we still get G7 but now we get G7 with an added nine. So it's just called a G9 chord. Once again, it serves dominant function takes us back to C major and really cloud things up this chord B minor 7 flat 5 or B half diminished. These are the exact same notes as my 2 chord played as a minor 6 chord. So if I play a D Minor 6.

Those are the same. Notes as beam B half diminished.

So when I see a half diminished chord, I'm always trying to keep in mind that if I go up a flat third a minor third then I'll find a minor sixth chord because minor six chords are much easier to work with for me personally. I have more tricks. I have more tools. I have C minor chords more often than I C half diminished chords.

So when I see a half diminished, it's helpful for me to think about its counterpart there the minor sixth chord as well. And once again, this helps me put it to use now that I'm thinking of this as a A version of the G chord, I think how do I get to a G chord? Well, once again I could do like a secondary dominant could play a D7 which would take me to G7 but I'm playing it as a b half diminished and then back to C major 7. So we're really hearing here. We're hearing the five of five.

We're hearing the dominant chord with no root and then we're hearing the tonic or two ways to parse the exact same set of chords. You can think of this as the seven to the one where you could think of it as the five. 4 to the 1 and since they sound the same since they feel the same they're doing the exact same thing. I think it's very very helpful to really be thinking of them in the exact same light. It's just one little element as missing there. And that's just the base note. That's an important note. But I mean, they're almost identical in what they do. Now. What if we took that seven chord B, and we made it a full diminished chord instead of diminished 7th chord. Well now we've introduced this note a flat and a flat snot in the C scale, but we can still play it. A full diminish chord and we can still resolve it to C Major seven to one in this context.

I think is like the only opportunity where 7 is a real cord in my opinion like this feels like a unique thing. I don't just think of this as an extension of my five, but we could think of it as an extension of my five chord if I just tack a g underneath this be full diminished then what I get is I get a G7 with a flat 9 that would be an altered dominant chord. So it's still a dominant chord. Been altered a little bit and it's still resolves us back to see but I think this is like the only instance where me personally identify a seven diminished chord as like it's independent entity. But like I said, it's out of the key of C major and oddly enough, even though I think of it as a unique thing. There's nothing unique about it because be full diminished is the exact same notes as default diminish. Same notes as F full diminished, right? It's a symmetrical chord, so I kind of think a 7 1 when we're dealing with a All diminished. It's like the same thing as a 2 to 1 right same feeling same function, but I am not just thinking of it as a five chord. However, this is just a helpful similarity to keep in mind. If you take a full diminished chord and you find any note a half step below any of those tones.

Then you will be creating a seven flat nine chord.

Similarly. If you're playing a seven flat nine chord, the major third starting off that major third will create a full diminished 7th chord now the seven to one. And I think is very very very helpful. If you're in a minor key if I was in c minor or see harmonic minor then this 7 chord this full diminished 7 is diatonic to see harmonic minor. All of these notes are in C harmonic minor. And once again, I try to think of that as its own independent thing. I really try to think of it as a 7 chord or a to court. I know it's you know, you can think of it either way, but I try to think of it not just as an extension of the five chord and that way I can start playing with diminished as its own independent entity and it's not like I'm anti diminished I've done Plenty of videos about the diminished chord on this channel and I love it. I'm specifically talking about, you know, discrediting it in the seventh position when we're in major keys and when it's just a Triad there. I don't think that's a practical interpretation of that chord, but yeah diminished is awesome and there's all sorts of very useful ways to employ it and I think harmonic minor is a great example a seven to a 1 in harmonic minor is one of my favorite little to cord jams ever sounds really really good also see harmonic major. It's a little Less common of atonality but it does have a major tonic and a full diminished 7th for two or four or Flat 6. That's in the key, you know, it's diatomic to the scale pretty exotic tonality.

But in that case I would think of it as its Independent Court, I would think of it as its own thing and not try to associate it with some other extension. So this is pretty weird stuff. But I'd like to kind of really hone in on two concepts here before we close things out the first one this is This is all about context and not just in music but pretty much everything in life is about context, you know, we can call Things by two different names and sometimes that's helpful because it gives us two different perspectives and you know, sometimes it's not so helpful because you know, they're literally so similar that it's takes up too much brain power to try to separate them and I try to find the middle ground there.

I think in the case here, we're really trying to look at the the, you know, the connections between these chords and try to expand our labeling of them. So we're not just just thinking of them in one context, you know thinking about that seven chord is just a seven Triad that has to be there kind of Misses out on the usability of those three notes bdnf and you kind of always want to be cognizant of how notes can serve totally different functions just by what is on the base or what is happening around it that takes me to my next point about diminished specifically, you know, I really think there's a lot to learn about just the fact that diminished chord exists and it works. I mean, I mean if I played you this even as an experienced musician this on its own is horrifying.

It's really ugly. It's not good. I will just flat out say that is not a good sound yet. It is given so much meaning by what a surrounded with right if I follow this up with a nice C major now that taste is gone the bad taste like you can now recognize this as a beautiful thing. You can recognize that beautiful tension in there. R because you're aware of what that tension leads to you're aware of the the conclusion so I feel like there's a Zen lesson in there that this doesn't have much meaning on its own. This is actually quite ugly and quite ambiguous and completely hard to pin down in isolation.

It's the things that surrounded that give it meaning and I think that's another contextual lesson here that we can learn, you know from music that actually applies way past just music, you know, if you try to apply that lesson that things don't have meaning on their own they have meaning by what surrounds them. You know how they interact with the things around them. I think it's a really important little insight that we can find here just in this simple little you know these musical patterns. So I hope you enjoyed this lesson and I hope you learned something if you did, please thank my awesome patreon supporters for sponsoring this Channel and making these videos possible. If you'd like to join them you can I've made a pretty little PDF for them about all the stuff that I taught here in this lesson, and I've posted at their if you'd like to access that the link is below in the description, but if you can't do that, that's fine. I'll like a subscription and a comment really does help me out. So thanks for watching. Watching and I will plan on seeing you next time.


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