Dominant seventh chord

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The dominant seventh chord , also dominant seventh chord , dominant ninth chord or dominant ninth chord , is a ninth chord on the dominant . It can also be interpreted as a dominant seventh chord with a ninth added .

Major and minor non chord, each with g as the root note (g3 = major third, k3 = minor third, g9 = major non, k9 = minor non)

The dominant seventh chord is a five-note chord created by layering thirds . Its keynote is on the fifth level ( dominant ) of the respective key. The major third and the perfect fifth , the minor seventh (see dominant seventh chord ) and the major or minor ninth sound above this keynote . If it is the major ninth, it is referred to briefly as a “major ninth chord”, if it is the minor ninth, it is referred to as a “small ninth chord”.

In C major, for example, g is the fifth degree and thus the root of the dominant seventh chord. The triad ghd is a dominant chord, the four-tone ghdf is a dominant seventh chord, the five-tone ghdfa or ghdf-as is a dominant seventh chord.

Since the ninth chord is a five-part chord, a note must be left out in the four-part set . This is generally the fifth; in the example the d . (The seventh and of course the ninth must be included, the third determines the tone gender. Without a root, the shortened dominant seventh chord described below is obtained.)

The dissolution of the dominant seventh chord

In the resolution of the major dominant seventh chord, the ninth is brought down a major second, in the case of the minor dominant seventh chord a minor second; The target tone in both cases is the fifth of the tonic.

The other rules of resolution correspond to those of the seventh chord: The root of the dominant jumps a perfect fourth up or a perfect fifth down to the root of the tonic; the third of the dominant moves a minor second up to the root of the tonic; the fifth of the dominant takes a whole step down to the root of the tonic; the seventh slides a minor second down to the third of the major tonic or a major second down to the third of the minor tonic.

Example: ghdfa or ghdf-as → cceg or cc-es-g

The shortened dominant seventh chord

If the root note of a dominant seventh chord is “missing”, one speaks of a shortened dominant seventh chord. In functional theory , a crossed out D is written with a superscript 7 and 9. A shortened “major non-chord” corresponds to a so-called half - diminished , a shortened “small non- chord” corresponds to a diminished one .

Example: hdfa or hdf-as (the g "missing")

Use of the dominant seventh chord

Several non-chords in a row - excerpt from Claude Debussy's Nuages

The dominant seventh chord is a stylistic characteristic especially of the romantic song and instrumental movements. Like many chords that were originally in a specific functional context, the non chord has become harmoniously independent and sometimes appears unresolved and arranged in rows (see the note example on the right).

In popular music, the dominant seventh chord is often called “seven-nines”. Usually this seven-nine is a dominant seventh chord with a major ninth.


The NDR used in the 1970s, the broken Dominantseptnonakkord with root A as a pause character .