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Diminished Chords, What Are They?

Diminished chords and diminished seventh chords are incorporated in many compositions, especially in the nineteenth century.

Before we go on further, look at the example below and try and guess where the alterations are in the chord.:


diminished 7 chord

I just flipped my coin again… lets go with the left hand first. This chord has a root (the C), a third (the Eb), a fifth (the Gb) and a seventh (the Bbb… really, a fancy way of saying A). If the third is on the bottom, we call this chord a first inversion chord. If the fifth is on the bottom, we call this a second inversion chord. If the seventh is on the bottom, we call this a third inversion chord.


The distance between the bottom and the middle note is three semitones. The distance between the middle and the top note is three semitones. The distance between the middle and the top note is three semitones. Et Voila! The lottery numbers to remember for a diminished seventh chord are 3-3-3 (semitone distances).

Now just like the other examples, the major chords, minor chords, and dominant chords, let's listen the the right hand and then the left hand.

Sounds dramatic doesn't it?


Go back to the main piano chord page, or go back to the pianolessons101 main page.

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