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Secondary Dominants

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by qfbass, Apr 13, 2014.


  1. qfbass

    qfbass

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    At the risk of sounding very noobish -
    Would someone be able to elaborate on the theory behind secondary DIMINISHED (NOT DOMINANT)? I get the applications like moving between two diatonic chords a tone appart but how does that work? :help:
     
  2. qfbass

    qfbass

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    derp I meant secondary diminished, thanks haha
     
  3. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    it's the same concept as an applied dominant. in fact, a lot of texts will still refer to an "applied diminished" chord as just another type of secondary dominant, even though it's literal chord quality is not dominant.

    if you understand applied dominants, applied diminished chords are easy. so first review-

    applied dominants- creating that V-I relationship to a chord other than I. so in C, a common choice would be V/V, so a V in the key of G, or in other words, D major (or D Dominant) --> G major, likely to then turn to G7 and resolve back to C.

    so now the same thing applies with diminished chords being applied other than where they appear diatonically. so if we're in C, and want to strengthen the arrival to V, but don't want to use a D7 chord, another choice would be a diminished chord- like the chord built naturally on a leading tone in any key. in this case, the applied diminished chord to G would be F# diminished, often fully diminished (F# A C Eb) to make the effect even stronger.

    weather it's an applied dominant or applied diminished/leading tone chord, the idea is the same- as long as you're okay with chord spelling, it's really easy.
     
    mtto likes this.
  4. qfbass

    qfbass

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Okay yep I get all that, but maybe I'm not using the right term then? From what I can gather you can use a secondary diminished (if that's the right term?) to lead from one chord to the next if they're a tone apart. For example you could go (in C major) Cmaj7, C#dim (this is the secondary diminished chord I thought) and then Dm7 if you were going so I - biio7 - ii instead of something like I - V7 - ii. It's similar to a tritone sub I guess? I'm not sure how it comes about though. Thanks for the help too!
     
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  6. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Isn't that what groooooove just said?

    | C C#º | Dm |

    or: | I #iº | ii |

    I'd suggest using #iº instead of biiº. Especially since the motion is "upward".

    You could also use the label: viiº/ii - I suppose. This would indicate the "secondary" part of the function.

    Kind of the same as: V7(b9)/ii
     
  7. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

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    Sep 20, 2000
    Location:
    Nashville,TN
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Accuracy, Carvin, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    In the idea of the progression C C#dim Dm if you think of the C#dim as a substitute for an A7 (the secondary dominant) you have these chord tones in common C#-E-G. If you add the Bb on the top you could make the case that it functions like an A7b9 (A-C#-E-G-Bb).
     
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  8. iona bass

    iona bass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles/Burbank, CA
    Another way to treat the progression:
    Cmaj7 - C#dim7 - Dmin7: is to hear/think of the C#dim7 as the first inversion of the A7b9 ( or A7b9 with a C# in the bass).
    The C#dim7 is sometimes referred to a "Passing Diminished" chord, passing between 2 chords whose roots are a step apart.
    As Stick mentioned - Imaj7 - VI7b9 ( with the C# in the bass) moving to - ii min7.

    It's not related to a Tritone substitution.
    Thanks.
     
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  9. iona bass

    iona bass Supporting Member

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    Dec 30, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles/Burbank, CA
    Roy types faster than me!
    Thanks, Roy.
     
  10. qfbass

    qfbass

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Thanks guys! Got it now! Something was just not clicking haha
     
  11. davidhilton

    davidhilton Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Passing chords...
     

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