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Thread: Augmented and diminished

  1. #16
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    "Not necessarily. The V7 chord in C minor doesn't have the tonic in it (V7 = G7 = G B D F) - and yet the relationship between the 3rd of the G7 (B) and the tonic of C minor (C) is very significant (B is the major 7th of C)."


    Because B is the leading note to C?

    But why even bring up terms like "augmented" or "diminished", "major" or "minor" when refering to intervals within a chord? Why not just say we "raised" or "lowered" the note.

    It seems like the only time the terms aug, dim, maj, min, and perfect are important is when we are actually looking at the scale itself. And even then, isn't the so-called diatonic relationship more important than the qualities of the intervals?

    Yes, fun!

  2. #17
    bitter old fool Jed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJM View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    "Not necessarily. The V7 chord in C minor doesn't have the tonic in it (V7 = G7 = G B D F) - and yet the relationship between the 3rd of the G7 (B) and the tonic of C minor (C) is very significant (B is the major 7th of C)."
    Because B is the leading note to C?
    Yup.

    Quote Originally Posted by TJM View Post
    But why even bring up terms like "augmented" or "diminished", "major" or "minor" when refering to intervals within a chord? Why not just say we "raised" or "lowered" the note.
    Those terms are used and useful for lots of things - just not what you thought they were used for. For example these terms are used to describe chord types & qualities. They are also used to describe intervals - just not the ones or the way you were thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by TJM View Post
    It seems like the only time the terms aug, dim, maj, min, and perfect are important is when we are actually looking at the scale itself. And even then, isn't the so-called diatonic relationship more important than the qualities of the intervals?
    Once you get deep enough into chords and such you will find other uses for these terms. The "diatonic relationship" by which I assume you mean the relationship to the key / tonic - is critically important in a melodic sense. These terms are often used to describe the chords, chord tones and chord scales that are used to support / defend the harmony beneath / behind the melody. The size of the melodic interval is much less important. So the use of these terms to describe melodic intervals, while not inappropriate, is not nearly as significant as a note's "function" in the key (which also uses major, minor or perfect intervals - but not often diminished or augmented modifiers). The diminished and augmented modifiers see most of their use describing chords (either as part of a chord quality, chord tone or chord scale description).

    As Jon said - terms like Major, Minor, Perfect, Augmented & Diminished - are adjectives, not verbs. One does not "diminish a 7th". One lowers a minor 7th by a half-step to get a "diminished 7th".
    Last edited by Jed; 03-15-2011 at 02:00 AM.

  3. #18
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Just to add to Jed's replies - and hopefully not contradict them...
    Quote Originally Posted by TJM View Post
    Okay, let me know if I'm getting closer.

    1) If I write a melody made up of single notes, and I am using the C minor scale C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C; then for some reason I decide to use a B instead of a Bb, I don't really refer to it by its quality anyway, neither major 7th nor augmented 2nd.
    The B note will form intervals of various kinds with other notes. You can refer to any or all of them if you want.
    Eg:
    1. It's the leading tone of the key
    2. It's a major 7th interval above the tonic (or a minor 2nd below)
    3. It's an augmented 2nd above Ab.
    4. Its the major 3rd of the V chord (G or G7)

    The first and the last are likely to be the most useful ways of looking at it. There could be more (see below).
    Quote Originally Posted by TJM View Post
    But if I am changing to a B because I am modulating from the current scale (key), I just need to know where the B fits into the key I'm modulating to--for resolution purposes for example.
    You're not necessariy modulating, in fact you probably aren't. B natural is a normal part of the C minor key (see #1 and #4 in the above list).
    Quote Originally Posted by TJM View Post
    2) If I am using chords built from the notes of the C minor scale, and then I raise the Bb in one of those chords to a B, the chord itself might not have the scale's tonic note in it; so to think of the new interval in terms of the distance from the tonic would not apply.
    True.
    The main situation in which referring to it as a "maj7" would be appropriate would be if it appeared in a Cm chord.
    C-Eb-G-B = Cm(maj7).

    Other likely occurrences of B in key of C minor:

    G7 chord. B = major 3rd
    Bdim7. B = root
    Ebaug, or Ebmaj7#5. B = augmented 5th.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    I'm not sure I see the problem.
    I wouldn't use the word "major" as a verb, to start with. You've "raised" the 7th, not "majored" it.
    The only thing that's been "augmented" is the interval from the 6th.
    You can measure a note in a scale from any other note you like - there are all kinds of potential intervals involved - but in defining it it's measured from the tonic.

    So the B in C harmonic minor is the major 7th (or "leading tone").
    It happens to also be an augmented 2nd from Ab, a major 3rd from G, an augmented 4th from F.... etc

    EDIT: sorry, I see walter has basically said all this!
    1) If I write a melody made up of single notes, and I am using the C minor scale C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C; then for some reason I decide to use a B instead of a Bb, I don't really refer to it by its quality anyway, neither major 7th nor augmented 2nd.

    But if I am changing to a B because I am modulating from the current scale (key), I just need to know where the B fits into the key I'm modulating to--for resolution purposes for example.

    2) If I am using chords built from the notes of the C minor scale, and then I raise the Bb in one of those chords to a B, the chord itself might not have the scale's tonic note in it; so to think of the new interval in terms of the distance from the tonic would not apply.
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  5. #20
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victory12 View Post
    1) If I write a melody made up of single notes, and I am using the C minor scale C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C; then for some reason I decide to use a B instead of a Bb, I don't really refer to it by its quality anyway, neither major 7th nor augmented 2nd.

    But if I am changing to a B because I am modulating from the current scale (key), I just need to know where the B fits into the key I'm modulating to--for resolution purposes for example.

    2) If I am using chords built from the notes of the C minor scale, and then I raise the Bb in one of those chords to a B, the chord itself might not have the scale's tonic note in it; so to think of the new interval in terms of the distance from the tonic would not apply.
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  6. #21
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    All about dominant chords

    I look at diminished and augmented chords as subs for dominant chords. Way too much thinking going on past that. I would rather spend the time playing and training my ear as to WHEN to use them rather than anything else now that I understand HOW to use them..

    Other than that, what is the point of an augmented or diminished chord, it replaces dominant 7th chords.

    I think to learn jazz, a solid understanding of theory is probably necessary but the most important way to learn jazz is to record the changes and slow them down, and practice playing simple melodies that your ears can comprehend.

    The jazz players that play rapid successions of notes get there from a slow process of breaking down the changes. The changes must be internalized, then it is much easier to understand what is being done.

    This process does not require a heck of a lot of theory, except for maybe knowing the scale patterns but again, it is more about following the changes. This is a better way then trying to use a caged system.

    Let your ears tell you what fits and what doesn't.

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