I am writing a piece of music where the song is in d melodic minor and there is a place where I play a D Major chord on bass F# (D/F#) and I sing for a brief moment an F note and guitar also play f note for brief moments at the same time. is that ok? I have trouble understanding if it's possible to sing with this dissonance even though it sounds nice to me:).


Strictly speaking, the quality of a I chord in melodic minor is XmMaj so I'd say that the F came to you naturally to highlight the minor 3rd or #9 generally associated with that chord. Now playing a DMAJ in a melodic minor progression is fine as long as you like what it sounds like. Melody is also about building tension and all the tones do not have to be chordal tones or scale tones. In Take the A train there is a Db played over a G7 chord (the b5 of the chord, the blue note) and although it's not so easy to sing it sounds nice and can be traced back to Jelly Roll Morton. So if it's good for Jelly Roll, it's good for you! Your musical taste should be your guide here.

  • thanks a lot! great to know that. by the way what does XmMAJ means? i am not familiar with that name. – LoveIsHere Dec 11 '17 at 20:15
  • @Lovelshere, a minor-major chord: for example, in the key of C in melodic minor, it has a minor third which is E flat and a 7th, NOT a b7, B. It's achord quality, just like minor, major, diminished or whatever. X indicates that the tonic is not specified in my explanation. – user45784 Dec 11 '17 at 20:22
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    XmMaj more commonly known as XmMaj7. Spelled, in C - Cm(maj7) - C Eb G B. but not a huge lot to do with a m3/M3 being played/sung together. Happens all the time in blues. the actual chord you're looking at is C7#9 - aka the Hendrix chord, but used well before his time. The A Train chord does not contain a P5, it's b5 anyway. Not the best explanation... – Tim Dec 11 '17 at 20:38
  • Thanks to both of you... Tim i am actually not playing a 7th (c in my example) but actually a maj7 (c#) - DMAJ7. i understand i can choose to use either of them? – LoveIsHere Dec 11 '17 at 21:00
  • Your D will be classed as D7#9 - D F# A C E# (no, not F). There is no mention of a maj 7 (C#) in the question. – Tim Dec 11 '17 at 21:29

In classical harmony, what you're doing is called a "simultaneous cross relation": playing chromatically related notes (F-natural & F-sharp in your case) at the same time. An easily accessible example from early in the common hormonic practice is in Tallis' Spem in alium, where the choirs arrive at A major & the altos of choir 1 (or is it choir 2?) leave the chord via a C-natural while the tenors in one of the other choirs are still holding the C-sharp. Spem dates from C16, & Tallis is one of the great names in the English choral tradition, so you're in great company.


You have discovered the 'blue' note, or if you want to be more formal the D7(#9) chord (though we are required by the Theory Police to name it that way, we all know it's really a D7(b10)). It's fine. No long-winded justification required.

  • Ummmmmmmmmm... 7♭10? What? I realize you're baiting me into asking about the ♭10 nomenclature, but don't people who shortcut it usually think "♭3"? – user45266 Oct 21 '18 at 21:43
  • No, because the major 3rd is also in the chord, an octave below. – Laurence Payne Oct 21 '18 at 21:45
  • In my experience, no one goes to the trouble of naming it a 10th, they would just call it a 3rd, regardless of octave. Do you know some people that do that? – user45266 Oct 21 '18 at 21:47
  • When the major AND minor 3rds occur in the same chord no-one calls it C7(b3). They often call it C7(#9). I find C7(b10) more descriptive, even if it DOES buck the 'pile of thirds' chord naming system. (So does C6, but no-one fusses about that.) – Laurence Payne Oct 21 '18 at 21:52
  • Yes, they do use 7♯9. But I've never heard of anyone ever using 7♭10. – user45266 Oct 21 '18 at 23:30

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