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How does one spell C-9b5?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Peter McFerrin, Oct 31, 2002.


  1. C - Eb - Gb - Bb - D
     
  2. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Yeah, I agree.
    It's a minor 9th chord w/ a b5
    (1-b3-b5-b7-9)
     
  3. OK, thought so. But what would a Cdim9 be? C-Eb-Gb-Bbb-Db?
     
  4. Aaron

    Aaron

    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    wouldn't it be C (half-diminished sign goes here) 9 ?
     
  5. I've always been taught to use -9b5 becase it should be treated as an "altered" minor seventh chord.
     
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    Usually, you'll have an (add 9) or (add b9) to make sure the chord is correct.
     
  7. C half diminished 9 and the chord Peter was asking about are one in the same.
     
  8. I was taught when I was taking music theory classes way back when that the term 'altered' was always associated with chords that had a 'dominant' functionality. Hence the term, altered dominant. As far as I'm aware of, there is no time that a minor seventh chord would have functionality such as this. Just my 2 cents...
     
  9. My understanding is, that an 'add 9' is written when there is no 7th in the chord, whether it be a major or a minor 7th. The Cdim9 chord does in fact have a 7th, all be it a diminished 7th, so it would be called a Cdim9. Am I correct in this thinking?
     
  10. Well, I usually see -7b5s used in the following two contexts:

    -as passing chords between a Imaj7 and ii-7 ("Have You Met Miss Jones," "Till There Was You," etc.)
    -as the ii in a ii°-V7-i progression.

    In the latter case, the "altered" is the way I think of it--since the resolution is a little bit cleaner, IMO, if one plays the lydian dominant scale over the V7 instead of the altered dominant, one has to be more interesting with the ii°, right? ;)
     
  11. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I've never seen Cdim9 written. I suppose it's gotta have C Eb Gb Bbb as the basis - but if it means a diminished 9th on top of that, it'd be Dbb - which is pointless!
     
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I haven't seen a Dim9 written, which is why I wrote about the (add 9 ) as is CDim7(add b9).
     
  13. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Well - in the case of degrees of the scale other than 4th 5th or root/octave, diminished is lowered a semitone from the minor interval. The 9th is D, the minor 9th, or flattened 9th is Db, and the diminished 9th is Dbb. That's just from a technical point of view - in C, the diminished 9th is Dbb. But I'm sure that's not what they mean. I presume that CDim7(add 9) or CDim7(add b9) is what is meant - but Cdim9 is bad way of writing it, because in either case the chords don't have a diminished 9th in.
     
  14. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    You are, of course, correct. I shouldn't post at 5 AM.

    But this brings up the real point of this discussion - IMO, anything past the 7th degree in a Dim chord should be clearly notated. (Probably why we've never seen Dim9 as a chord symbol :) )
     
  15. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Indeed, you're right, it should be notated clearly CdimX where X is anything above 7 is just confusing. But of course, we're working with a flawed system here anyway. If you look at it logically, it doesn't make sense that 7s are always assumed to be flattened, but everything else is assumed to be major. E.g. with C6 you add a major 6th, and with C7 you add a minor 7th. And to add a major 7th you have to say Cmaj7! It would be far more consistent if C7 meant add a major 7th and C(b7) or something meant add a minor 7th. for example. But, I guess it's what we're all used to, so why change...
     
  16. Yeah, I see what you mean. By altered dominant, I wasn't referring to a scale though, I was referring to a generic term applied to chords with a 'dominant' functionality which have different combinations of 9, 11, 13 tacked on to the 7th. IMO, a ii chord never has this functionality because the 3rd never leads up to the tonic (or whatever the chord is a V of). Although, in the key of C for example, the Ab of the d-7b5 does sound like it 'resolves' or leads down to the dominant, being G, but the chord is not dominant in functionality. the ii chords that you mentioned are simply precursors to the dominants. BTW, if you want to check out a tune that uses these half-diminshed chords in an interesting way, check out the standard 'Night and Day'. I love that tune...
     
  17. I think the point of the discussion was half-diminished with a 9th, not full diminished with a 9th, in which case, one could say -9b5
     
  18. I disagree. As is, would be Cdim7(add 9). Not flat 9. The fact that there is a '9' in the chord explicitly implies that there would be a 7th as well. Otherwise, you would have to say Cdim (add 9), which means no 7th.
     
  19. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I was using the (add x) as a "for example" deal, not the one of which we were speaking.

    To the second part of your post, incorrect. Anytime you write XDim, you are implying the full 4 note chord (please see where we discussed this in another thread). I've been a professional, reading musician for 15+ years, and don't recall ever seeing a Dim9 chord, for exactly the reasons moley and I have discussed - you're not really sure which 9 you'd add. So, again, my advice would be to write either CDim7 (add 9) or CDim7 (addb9) - thereby eliminating any possible confusion.