Dominant seventh vs Dominant function?



Asked by: Tina Washington

A standard dominant triad or dominant seventh chord fits into a diatonic scale—meaning the notes of the chord can all be sourced from the key in which you’re playing. For instance, in a C major scale, the dominant function chord is a G7 chord. Its notes, G-B-D-F, are all notes in the C major scale.

What is the difference between a dominant 7th and a 7th?





A major 7th chord is formed by playing the root (1st) + 3rd + 5th + 7th notes of a major scale. A dominant 7th is formed by simply lowering the 7th note a half step. As an example, Cmaj7 = C – E – G – B (7th note). Lower the 7th note a half step, from B to Bb, thus Dominant 7th = C – E – G – Bb.

Why is a dominant 7th called dominant?

The reason behind its name “dominant seventh chord” is because, in a C7 chord, the B flat is the 7th note of the C dominant scale (also known as the Mixolydian scale). This contrast with the regular major 7th found on a Cmaj7 (which is the note B natural).

Is dominant 7th the same as minor 7th?

While the dominant seventh chord is typically built on the fifth (or dominant) degree of a major scale, the minor seventh chord is built on the second, third, or sixth degree. A minor seventh chord contains the same notes as an added sixth chord.

Why is a dominant seventh chord so powerful?

This dominant seventh chord is useful to composers because it contains both a major triad and the interval of a tritone. The major triad confers a very “strong” sound. The tritone is created by the co-occurrence of the third degree and seventh degree (e.g., in the G7 chord, the interval between B and F is a tritone).

What is the difference between C7 and Cmaj7?





C7 is a dominant 7th, which is built using a major chord, adding a flat 7 (or minor 7). Cmaj7 is a major chord with a major 7. Cmin7 is a minor chord with a minor 7. These chords sound very different from each other because of the changes in key (major or minor), or the changes in 7th.

What is the difference between G7 and Gmaj7?

The difference is the kind of 7 you use. A “regular” G7 (also called a “dominant seventh” chord) is a G-major chord with the minor seventh added, so it’s G B D F. A “Gmaj7” or “GM7” is a G-major chord with the major seventh added, so it’s G B D F#.

What is a dominant 7th scale?

What are dominant seventh chords? In music, a dominant refers to the fifth note of any scale (ie. “sol” in “do-re-mi-fa-sol). A dominant seventh chord consists of the dominant triad (fifth note of the scale is the root of the dominant chord) and an added note a minor seventh above the root.

Why is it called a V7 chord?

Because they’re based on the fifth degree of a scale, dominant chords are indicated with the Roman numeral “V” or, in the case of a dominant seventh, with “V7.” For instance, in the key of G major, the dominant chord (or V chord) would be a D, which is a major chord built on the fifth scale degree of G.

How do you use dominant 7th chords?

To play a Dominant 7th, take a major chord and add a minor 7th. That’s 7 intervals, but the minor note, which is a semitone lower, flat note. For C Major this would be C – E – G – Bb. Dominant 7th chords are traditionally common in Blues music, and therefore Rock music too.



What does a dominant 7th chord sound like?

Like pretty much everything else especially chords on the piano. And scales. There's a formula. And once you know that formula you can basically play a dominant seventh chord anywhere on the keyboard.

Why is the 7th chord diminished?

The diminished 7th chord is used in a similar way in minor keys, typically to create more tension over the 5 chord. In the key of A minor for example, E7 would be our dominant chord, based on the harmonic minor scale.

What is the difference between a minor 7th and a diminished 7th?

The half diminished chord (m7b5) has a minor seventh (7) – it’s a m7 chord wth a flat five (b5). The diminished chord has a diminished seventh (dim7, °7). The minor 7th is again decreased by a semitone and hence is equivalent to a sixth (6) – only the theoretical approach is different.



How do you know if a 7th chord is major or minor?

They are comprised of the following intervals above their roots:

  1. major seventh: M3, P5, and M7 above the root (or major triad with a major seventh)
  2. dominant seventh: M3, P5, and m7 above the root (or major triad with a minor seventh)
  3. minor seventh: m3, P5, and m7 above the root (or minor triad with a minor seventh)

What is the dominant 7th chord in a major?

The A dominant 7th chord contains 4 notes: A, C#, E, G. The chord spelling / formula relative to the A major scale is: 1 3 5 b7. Note no.