13

As others have mentioned, the word diatonic comes from ancient Greek music theory and literally means "through [whole] tones." Ancient Greek music tuned its scales using intervals of perfect fourths called tetrachords. A diatonic tetrachord was one that was tuned with two whole tones on the top, and the remainder left on the bottom (roughly a semitone), ...


9

Diatonic chords are chords that are built of all chord tones (notes) that are in the key. These chords are built in thirds starting from each of the notes in the key. If we take the key of C major for simplicity(notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, B) and talk about triads (not sevenths or extended chords, again for simplicity) we will have the following chords: C ...


7

The definition that I've seen most often (composition, harmony, analysis, counterpoint, and form books for the most part) relates to the Common Practice Period key structure. Some extension are made to earlier forms. (I don't remember seeing the term used much for post-romantic music.) In major keys, "diatonic" refers to melodies and harmonies using notes ...


7

According to my trusty 'bible' - aka 'Oxford Companion to Music' - Diatonic scales are the major and minor, made up of tones and semitones, (inc. +2 in the harmonic minor) as distinct from the chromatic scales, made entirely of semitones. Thus the modes are also diatonic. Diatonic passages, intervals, chords and harmonies, all constructed from the notes ...


6

..focus on the 6th and 5th strings [to locate roots] and use barre chords My guitar lessons where a long time ago, but my memory is this is what I was taught, even if it was explicitly explained. You don't even need to go up to the 12th fret. But, I feel like the result is my internal, mental map of the fret board is like this... ...there is a huge gap! ...


5

If you consider every chord made up of notes from a diminished scale to be "of the scale", then a diminished scale contains not just diminished triads. The diminished scale is highly symmetrical, so to find triads in a diminished scale you only have to consider a small number of candidates, which you can then transpose to get the full list. Let's look at ...


5

There are seven diatonic chords. One can be built off of each scale degree. I think the confusion is if you start on the tonic of a major scale and go up 5ths in a major scale, you will be missing the 4th since the interval from scale degree 7 to scale 4 is a diminished 5th not a perfect 5th. If you look at the Circle of 5ths in let's just say the key of C ...


4

Using the E(m) and A(m) shapes, the chords in a key come in two L-shapes. Two of the major chords will be an E and an A-shape on the same fret (one of which is the I-chord), and then the third major chord is the E-shape 2 frets lower or the A-shape two frets higher (depending on which was the I-chord). The three minor chords form a similar L-shape. In a ...


4

Think of the piece as being in C minor for a second, rather than C major. E flat major just fits right in as a diatonic chord, as do A flat major and B flat major. "But wait, it's clearly not in C minor!". Well, in general, once we become accustomed to 'blue' thirds and sevenths, some of the distinction between major and minor tonality arguably falls away. ...


4

In music, we usually reserve the term "dominant" for the chord built on the fifth of the key, but there are a few exceptions to that, tritone substitutions being one of them. However, I've never heard an example where I felt that modally mixed/chromatic mediant chords were functioning as dominants, except for secondary dominants, which obviously doesn't ...


4

Diatonic is each scale you can play equal to the scales with the white keys. So any other mode that can be fitted in a same pattern of 5 whole tone steps and 2 half tone steps arranged in the same way as the white keys of a keyboard is diatonic. This means: all scales like wwhwwwh, whwwwhw, hwwwhww, wwwhwwh, wwhwwhw, whwwhww, hwwhwww, will always have a ...


4

The general way that this is used is "using only notes which can be found in one of the major scales". I think most people would take issue with Brittanica about the pentatonic - the pentatonic scale is a subset of a major scale, and therefore is diatonic, at least in my reasoning. (Whole tone is not though.) A diatonic instrument is only capable of ...


3

I agree with the Encyclopedia Britannica in restricting the definition of diatonic and chromatic to within the Western heptatonic scales. The way the Wikipedia article opposes diatonic and chromatic in different applications also makes sense to me. This distinction evolved at the interface of when melody gave rise to harmony in the Western context, as key-...


3

Don't try to relate E♭ major to C major in a functional way. Just accept that a sudden shift of tonal centre to just about ANYWHERE is an acceptable and common device in today's music. And don't try to explain the return to C from Eb as a dominant-tonic. It's just a return to where we started. That naturally will be 'satisfing'. There is a world ...


3

Laurence's answer was already accepted, and it basically contains the relevant things about this question. But I'd like to try saying it with different words. I assume that by "working" you mean that the chord sequence feels sensible and likable, and not random or chaotic. And the "why does it work" question means, you'd like to know some kind of a musical ...


3

'In all cases'? Now, that's just asking for trouble, particularly on an Internet forum! As you say, definitions have changed over time. And we could argue that the major scale is 'diatonic', the parallel minor contains chromatic alterations. Or that the natural minor is 'diatonic', the other minor scales are chromatically altered. Is 12-tone music '...


2

Yes. The diminished scale is symmetrical: every third is the same distance as all the other thirds. Since all the thirds are minor thirds, all the chords that naturally occur in the scale will be m3+m3 = a diminished triad. The same will be true of the whole tone scale: every third is a major third, so every triad will be augmented.


2

Bar 2: Chord is G and A# resolves to B. A# is chromatic (or would it not be because this moves from G minor to G major?). A# is a chromatic approach, you're right. (g-minor would need a Bb) Bar 20: Chord is E. G#'s in this bar are part of E, so not chromatic. from bar 20 we are in A major and E is the dominant of A (secondary dominant of D) The G# ...


2

In addition to other more theoretical answers, my personal theory is that the chord is a reference to Duke Ellington's Take the A Train, a very well-known jazz standard that plays a C chord, then D7♯11, then Dm7, then the standard continues in C major. Since D7♯11 is the same as A♭7♯11, and honestly the two songs do sound similar in the beginning, it's ...


2

I might be out of the element here, but to me the easiest explanation would be that it's just a borrowed chord (bVI) from the parallel minor. However, usually borrowing a chord from other scales lasts just for a bar or two before the piece goes back to it's previous key or modulates. Here if I heard correctly it actually does modulate, so other ...


2

One reason the two-chord progression: C A♭ sounds nice is because you can do voice leading very smoothly from one chord to another. The root-form C major triad becomes the first inversion A♭ major triad, and the two voices that move change only by half a step: G → A♭ E → E♭ C → C When I say 'nice' I mean the progression doesn't jar. It's a ...


2

Consecutive chords of the same flavour - major triads, minor triads, 7♭5♯11 chords - 'work'. But not in a functional way. Not in a 'this is a tonic, a dominant, a subdominant' way. Not in a way that lets us predict the next chord and feel a resolution if the prediction is followed through, a pleasant surprise if it isn't. I think the real ...


2

If a chord - of any kind - lasts for a whole bar, it's more than a passing chord, and can have its own label for that bar - as you did in your example. Even if a chord is different for one beat in a bar, it's often shown in the chord chart as such. In simplified versions, though, this is the sort of detail that gets omitted, for fairly obvious reasons. One ...


1

@Tim's rule of thumb about duration is definitely solid. The rate of chord changes - called harmonic rhythm - is generally around two chords per bar for a fast harmonic rhythm to about one chord for two bars for a slow harmonic rhythm. But, I would apply two other guides: keep to the simplest harmonic description that shows the clear tonal functions and ...


1

As a general rule, you should provide some notes alongside your query when it comes to melody harmonising questions. Chords and cadences do not exist in a vacuum, it's impossible to tell why one works without seeing its surrounding harmony (and even then, the question is highly subjective). One of the ways this could be explained in is that the AΔ(add9) is ...


1

The diminished scale is often used with the 7b9 family of chords. C half-whole diminished is associated with the C7b9 chord: C E G Bb Db (the whole scale is C Db D# E F# G A Bb... notice that you have a major 3rd between C and E thanks to skipping over both Db and D#) Edim7 is the same chord as C7b9 without C in the bass, so they're often completely ...


1

The other answers provide a lot of information and go into a lot of technical detail. I could list all the nuts and bolts as well, but it seems like you are just discovering music and want a simpler algorithm to memorise, perhaps. There are 2 diminished scales, each has 8 notes per octave. You can think of those notes as being odd or even in number (for the ...


1

This question seems to hinge on how things are spelled - including enharmonic spellings - and the effect of spelling on interval names. If the diminished scales are spelled as two superimposed diminished seventh chords, we get... |C |Eb |Gb |Bbb | | D| F| Ab| Cb| ...or... |C |Eb |Gb |Bbb | | Db| Fb| Abb| Cbb| Let's use the second scale ...


1

I've never heard the concept of diatonic explained like that. I understand what your source is trying to say, but it's quite unintuitive when explained like that. Simply, a Diatonic scale can mean any scale which is a mode of the Major scale. A mode, in music, is when a scale starts at any degree other than the first. For example, if we stated the Major ...


1

I think you're talking about the 6 most used chords from a key. As in 3 majors (I, IV, V) and 3 minors (ii, iii, vi). That leaves the diminished chord, which doesn't feature in many songs, compared to the other 6. But it can be thought of as an extension of the V chord, making V7 - a very commonly used chord, diatonically.


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