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Doinant seventh chords #2763870 09/06/18 09:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 543
sara elizabeth Offline OP
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Posts: 543
What’s the deal with dominant 7ths? They don’t sound nice. Why are they important? Why must I learn these awful beasts?

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Re: Doinant seventh chords [Re: sara elizabeth] #2763875 09/06/18 10:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,630
keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
What’s the deal with dominant 7ths? They don’t sound nice. Why are they important? Why must I learn these awful beasts?

That's what's special about them. The "less nice sound" makes your ear want to hear a "nicer sound" (called resolving) and this is what makes music effective through a tension-release mechanism.

The Dominant 7 has several things going on.

Music typically has a Tonic or "home note", and usually you feel music is finished when it ends on the Tonic. The Dominant note is the 5th (in C major it's G; in Eb major it's Bb, etc.), the Dominant "wants to" go back to the Tonic. That's part of the motor pushing the music back home, and giving it motion and life, rather than being static.

G,B,D,F (G7 = V7) going to C,E,G (Tonic chord, in C major).

B is the "leading note" .... If you sing a scale and stop on B, everyone will be itching to hear C. So there is a pull to C.
B,F -- you get an interval called the "tritone" which is a semitone away from a perfect 5th, and also a semitone from a perfect 4th (as F,B). The tritone is an unstable sound that "wants to resolve". In fact, in part of the history of Western music, the tritone was banned from music. So again you will get this "resolving" from the edgy tritone, to its vanishing into the smooth intervals of a major or minor Tonic chord.

Btw, you may come to like this chord and its richer "edginess". It's very common in other music, such as jazz.

Re: Doinant seventh chords [Re: sara elizabeth] #2763884 09/07/18 12:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 418
Rob Mullins Offline
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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 418
Hi,
I think you meant to say "dominant 7th" chords.
Why are they important?
They are the Roman Numeral V chord resolving to the ! Major,
or I Minor, for hundreds of years.
The problem to be resolved that I hear about the most,
is why does the V7 have for notes when the resolution
chord (the I Major or I minor) is only three notes.
Feel free to reach out to me to resolve any piano issues
you may have about furthering your progress.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
Re: Doinant seventh chords [Re: Rob Mullins] #2764038 09/07/18 04:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,630
keystring Offline
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Originally Posted by Rob Mullins

They are the Roman Numeral V chord resolving to the ! Major,
or I Minor, for hundreds of years..


That sounds a bit like what I wrote. wink

Re: Doinant seventh chords [Re: keystring] #2764062 09/07/18 08:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 543
sara elizabeth Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 543
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
What’s the deal with dominant 7ths? They don’t sound nice. Why are they important? Why must I learn these awful beasts?

That's what's special about them. The "less nice sound" makes your ear want to hear a "nicer sound" (called resolving) and this is what makes music effective through a tension-release mechanism.

The Dominant 7 has several things going on.

Music typically has a Tonic or "home note", and usually you feel music is finished when it ends on the Tonic. The Dominant note is the 5th (in C major it's G; in Eb major it's Bb, etc.), the Dominant "wants to" go back to the Tonic. That's part of the motor pushing the music back home, and giving it motion and life, rather than being static.

G,B,D,F (G7 = V7) going to C,E,G (Tonic chord, in C major).

B is the "leading note" .... If you sing a scale and stop on B, everyone will be itching to hear C. So there is a pull to C.
B,F -- you get an interval called the "tritone" which is a semitone away from a perfect 5th, and also a semitone from a perfect 4th (as F,B). The tritone is an unstable sound that "wants to resolve". In fact, in part of the history of Western music, the tritone was banned from music. So again you will get this "resolving" from the edgy tritone, to its vanishing into the smooth intervals of a major or minor Tonic chord.

Btw, you may come to like this chord and its richer "edginess". It's very common in other music, such as jazz.


Thank you for the detailed explanation. That is exactly what I needed to know.

Re: Doinant seventh chords [Re: Rob Mullins] #2764063 09/07/18 08:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 543
sara elizabeth Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 543
Originally Posted by Rob Mullins
Hi,
I think you meant to say "dominant 7th" chords.
Why are they important?
They are the Roman Numeral V chord resolving to the ! Major,
or I Minor, for hundreds of years.
The problem to be resolved that I hear about the most,
is why does the V7 have for notes when the resolution
chord (the I Major or I minor) is only three notes.
Feel free to reach out to me to resolve any piano issues
you may have about furthering your progress.


Oh haha! Yes I was typing on my iPhone. I don’t think Siri likes these chords either. She won’t even spell them correctly for me.


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