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If I am in the key of D major and I use a passing diminished 7th chord between D major and E minor, the resulting chord is an Ebdim7 or D#dim7? When I spell the chord using sharps it makes more sense: D#, F# A, B#? Would this be right?

3 Answers 3

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The chord should be notated as D#o7, because it is functioning as the leading-tone chord moving to E minor. It is spelled D#-F#-A-C.

Ebo7 (Eb-Gb-Bbb-Dbb) is the leading-tone chord for Fb major and minor.

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  • Ok thanks. Is there such a key as Fb major or minor? Also, shouldn't it be Dbb not Db?
    – user35708
    Sep 8, 2020 at 8:22
  • @armani And, yes, theoretically there is such a thing as Fb major/minor. It could show up as the bII key of Eb, but in practice would likely be rewritten as E for each of reading.
    – Aaron
    Sep 8, 2020 at 8:34
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    Acceptance after an hour and with only two answers so far wouldn't be too prudent. Always best to wait until there is a better choice.
    – Tim
    Sep 8, 2020 at 9:28
  • @Tim I was actually wondering if "asking for acceptance" is alright… It is sure annoying when OP do not care about the future of its question but at the same time it puts some kind of disturbing pressure… Might be a good question for Meta!
    – Tom
    Sep 8, 2020 at 9:46
  • @Tom - there have been questions that I've posed, and no-one - yet - has been given an acceptance for an answer. Sometimes it's that all answers are excellent, sometimes it's that none is exactly what I'm looking for, or doesn't give me information I'm not aware of. It would be annoying if I was requested to accept, though.
    – Tim
    Sep 8, 2020 at 9:55
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To keep things simple it's best to stick with whatever is prevailing. Key D has sharps, so D♯ is a better root note than E♭.

Could even be construed as B7♭9 - which is a favourite to move to Em from.

Can't always be so, although often a chord is 'spelled wrongly' to make it easier to read and understand, even though it may be technically the wrong name.

But E♭ wouldn't be technically correct anyway - that belongs to a flat key.

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  • What if you re-harmonize the chord by adding notes from the D half-whole diminished scale - then there's a D and ... an Eb or D#? With eight notes at the same time, the seven-note letter naming system doesn't feel like a good fit. AFAIK some jazz people think about dim7 chords as being a part of a fuller diminished sound where you can play all notes from the diminished scale. Maybe in different octaves but still. Sep 8, 2020 at 10:14
  • @piiperiReinstateMonica - why would one use all of those notes from that scale in a chord - that's pretty pointless. One may use them to solo with, but as a chord..?
    – Tim
    Sep 8, 2020 at 12:23
  • It's a nice chord IMO, if you spread the voices into different octaves youtube.com/watch?v=nO_xkm9s3rU&t=66s Sep 8, 2020 at 13:34
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The first response is correct, but you can write it a number of ways. I've written the two most common ways you will see the chords below, with their corresponding notes:

D𝄰𝇈7 D𝄰 F𝄰 A C

E𝄬𝇈7 E𝄬 G𝄬 B𝄫 (or A) D𝄫 (or C)

Of course, I've seen everything from D#dim7 to D7/Eb. Take your pick.

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