In TCL grade 6 theory, Roman numerals should not contain diminished or augmented symbols like iio, III+, etc. Then how to perceive "ii" in minor scale. Because in A minor, B diminished which is "ii" in natural minor/harmonic minor and B minor which is also "ii" in melodic minor with raised 6th in ascending.

So if asked ii in A minor in SATB chords, whether I have to write B minor or B diminished?

  • 3
    For those who had to look it up like me, TCL stands for Trinity College London (I normally see mentions of Trinity a lot more often here than mentions of TCL).
    – Dekkadeci
    Nov 2, 2021 at 12:39
  • @Dekkadeci I know; I went looking last time and concluded "not the Chinese electronics company..." Nov 2, 2021 at 13:22
  • I assume that if there are rules, they're stated somewhere. I also assume that, if they don't want symbols, then they either want the chord quality indicated in writing, whether fully spelled out ("diminished," "augmented") or abbreviated as "dim."/"aug." But I would also assume that a test would specify natural/melodic/harmonic minor and not leave you to wonder. Nov 2, 2021 at 13:27

2 Answers 2


Were I the candidate, I'd be writing both - in longhand. With an explanation about differing minors. Best people to ask would, of course, be TCL themselves.


You need to ask Trinity College about your assignments.

Aside from that you should be aware that:

  • Roman numeral analysis (RNA) exists in several systems and not all use marks like o or +, or upper/lower case to indicate chord quality. The most basic RNA is Roman numerals (usually upper case) that denote only the scale degree of the chord root.
  • Regardless of how you might label a chord, the diatonic chord on the second scale degree in minor keys is a diminished triad. Some RNA systems will label it II, other systems will label it iio.
  • The chord on the second degree could take another quality. For example if could be a major chord, like V/V, which would be a major chord.

So if asked ii in A minor in SATB chords, whether I have to write B minor or B diminished?

Check with your teacher. I would expect, without more context, the question meant which diatonic triad for ii? and they are using a key signature of no sharps/flats for A minor. In which case the chord is B diminished.

The important thing is that you can explain why you would answer one way or the other, or why the question - at least as you have worded it - it unclear.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.