Flat 9 chord

Flat 9 chord DEFAULT

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The Morris Minor, the best car for 7b9 chords enthusiastsIn this lesson you’ll learn the fundamentals of how and where to use 7b9 chords.

Say you’re playing a tune in a minor key. The dominant 7th chord usually looks like this: G7b9 or G7b13.

Here I’ll show you why that is, and later, I’ll show you how you can also use these 7b9 chords in major keys.


From whence do you hail?


Here’s the C Harmonic Minor scale: C D Eb F G Ab B C

The Dominant chord is built on the 5th degree of that scale. Start on the C and count up 5: CDEF – G.

Arranging the notes from G in 3rds [from G, count up 3 notes to B, then again 3 notes up to D, etc.] gives you this:

G B D F Ab C Eb

The first 4 notes – GBDF – make a G7 chord. This is our dominant 7th. Chord V.

The other three notes are Ab, C, and Eb. The Ab is the b9, The C is the 11th, The Eb is the b13.

If you have a 3rd already in the chord you normally don’t add the 4th/11th. So forget about the 11th.

On a G7, if you add extensions b9 and/or b13, that will give you the classic sound of the V chord in a minor key.

Here are some voicings:


  • 3 X 3 4 3 4 [use your thumb for the low G]
  • X 10 9 10 9 10 [this one is like the B7 shape you first triumphed over but with the extra magic note added]

OK, now I want to show you how to use 7b9 chords in major key harmony.


From Minor to Major


First you have to know about Secondary Dominants.

Here are the chords in C major:

  • C∆
  • Dm7
  • Em7
  • F∆
  • G7
  • Am7
  • Bm7b5

See the G7? That’s called the Primary Dominant. Chord V of the key we’re in. G7 to C. You’ve played this a billion times.

Now, Secondary Dominants are dominant 7th chords that go to all the other chords in the key of C.

So the second chord, Dm7, has its dominant chord which is A7.

The Em7’s dominant is B7

The F∆’s dominant is C7

The G7’s dominant is D7

The Am7’s dominant is E7

You wouldn’t in your right mind modulate TO a m7b5 chord. You might do that kind of thing if you were in a metal band and had no friends and were a bit stoned, but it’s not the kind of thing a Dragons’ Den watcher would do.

Chordal Charity

I'm Ok - You're Ok. Especially if you can nail these 7b9 chordsNow these secondary dominants are charitable chords.

They, by their authoritative dominance, offer a temporary home and some self worth to these errant diatonic children.

When you use a secondary dominant, it’s like you are bestowing more worth onto the target chord. It’s like an OBE, or a BAFTA. An affirmation of, ‘y’know, Am7, you’re OK. I like you’.

NOW then, the target chords can be split into two types: Major and Minor.

We have F∆ and G7 in the ‘major type’ chord camp; and Dm7, Em7, and Am7 in the ‘minor type’ camp.

When a dominant chord is going to one of the minor type chords, it takes on the characteristics of a classic minor key dominant, i.e., it’ll be the kind of dominant that has a b9 or a b13, or both.

THIS is the classic place where you can use 7b9 chords.

Ok, hope that gives you an idea of how to use 7b9 chords. There are other ways these chords can be used, and you can change the rules and do whatever you like, but I think it’s good to know the usual way of doing this, then you can notice the places where this ‘rule’ is broken.

Good luck!


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7b9 Guitar Chords - Diagrams and Voicings

The dominant 7b9 chord functions as a dominant (V7) implying in its upper structure the tones of a symmetrical diminished chord. By taking a dominant 7 (Example with G7 : G, B,D and F) and adding the flattened ninth (Ab for G7), you built a 7b9 chord. Dominant 7b9 contains the same notes as a diminished 7th chord built on any of the chord tones including the flat 9 but without the root. So G7b9 (except the root) has the same notes as Abº, Bº, Dº or Fº. 

B dim7 BDFAb
Formula 1b3b5b7


By now, you have understood that a 7b9 chord can be replaced by a diminished 7th chord (chord substitution technique) starting on the major  third (3), the fifth (5), the minor seventh (b7) or the flat ninth (b9) of this 7b9.

Example in a C major II-V-I progression where the V7 is extended with a b9 giving a V7b9. This Dm7 | G7(b9) | CM7 becomes Dm7 | Bdim7 | CM7  |  and because of the symmetry of the diminished 7th chord there can be three other possibilities :

  • Dm7 | Ddim7 | CM7 
  • Dm7 | Fdim7 | CM7 
  • Dm7 | Abdim7 | CM7

In this minor II-V-I chord melody sequence the Vb9 (G7) is replaced by Fdim7 :

Sours: https://www.jazz-guitar-licks.com/pages/chords/dominant-seventh-flat-ninth-chords-7b9-guitar-diagrams-and-voicings.html
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The Power Of The Dominant Seventh [Flat Ninth] Chord

In this lesson, we’ll be exposing the power of the dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord and how you can take advantage of it.

Although there are so many dominant chord varieties, the dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord has its unique place in jazz and gospel harmony and I’ll be telling you why this is so in this lesson.

Right before we go into all that, let’s breakdown the dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord.

A Quick Breakdown Of The Dominant Seventh [Flat Ninth] Chord

According to Jermaine Griggs, “a chord is a collection of three or more related notes (agreeable or not) that may be played or heard together.”

Due to the fact that the dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord is basically a dominant seventh chord, let’s start this breakdown by observing the dominant seventh chord closely.

A Short Note On The Dominant Seventh Chord

The term dominant is used to describe the fifth tone of the scale. Therefore, all dominant chords are basically chords of the fifth tone of the scale.

The dominant seventh chord is a chord of the fifth tone of the scale, encompassing seven scale tones.

For example, in the key of C major:

…the dominant seventh chord can be formed on the fifth tone of the scale (which is G):

Starting from G:

…it extends to B:


…and F:

…encompassing a seventh interval (G to F):

…to form the G dominant seventh chord:

Suggested reading:Dominant Seventh Chords

The Dominant Seventh [Flat Ninth] Chord — Explained

There are two aspects of the dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

The dominant seventh

The flat ninth

Now that we’ve covered one aspect of the dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord — the dominant seventh — let’s go ahead and consider the flat ninth.

Beyond the dominant seventh chord is the ninth. For example, beyond the G dominant seventh chord:

…is the ninth (which is A):

Lowering the ninth by a half step produces the flat ninth. Which entails lowering the A:

…by a half step (to Ab):

…to produce the G dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

The G dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord is one of the several dominant seventh [flat ninth] chords on the keyboard.

“Check Out The Rest Of Them…”

C dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

Db dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

D dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

Eb dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

E dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

F dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

F# dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

Ab dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

A dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

Bb dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

B dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

The Power Of The Dominant Seventh [Flat Ninth] Chord

There are basically two dominant chord types: dominant chords that resolve to major chords and dominant chords that resolve to minor chords.

For example, the C dominant thirteenth [suspended fourth] chord:

…resolves to the F major ninth chord:

…while the C dominant seventh [sharp nine, sharp five] chord:

…resolves to the F minor ninth chord:

Although in certain situations, advanced players can use dominant chords that are designated to major chords to resolve to minor chords or vice-versa, in standard practice, every dominant chord is designed either to resolve to a major chord or a minor chord.

The Power Of The Dominant Seventh [Flat Ninth] Chord

The dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord is one of the rare dominant chord types that resolve to major and minor chords. For example, the G dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

…can resolve to the C major seventh chord:

…and the C minor seventh chord:

…as well.

It’s also worthy to note that the dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord consists of two mutual tritones. In the C dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord:

E to Bb:

…is a tritone (diminished fifth interval), and so is G to Db:

Unlike other dominant chord types with just a tritone, the dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord consists of two tritones that are a minor third apart from each other.

“In A Nutshell…”

The dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord is one of the important dominant chord types due to its degree of activity and tendency to resolve. Additionally,the dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord can resolve to major or minor chords.

Final Words

If you’re already familiar with the sound of the dominant triad and the dominant seventh chord, and you’re interested in learning other interesting and sophisticated dominant chord types, then you need to learn and master the dominant seventh [flat ninth]  chord.

See you in the next lesson!

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Ninth chord

"Cmaj9" redirects here. For the album by Cute, see °Cmaj9.

In music theory, a ninth chord is a chord that encompasses the interval of a ninth when arranged in close position with the root in the bass.[1]

The ninth chord and its inversions exist today, or at least they can exist. The pupil will easily find examples in the literature [such as Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht and Strauss's opera Salome]. It is not necessary to set up special laws for its treatment. If one wants to be careful, one will be able to use the laws that pertain to the seventh chords: that is, dissonances resolve by step downward, the root leaps a fourth upward.

— Arnold Schoenberg (1948)[2]

Heinrich Schenker, though he allowed the substitution of the dominant seventh, leading-tone, and leading tone half-diminished seventh chords, rejected the concept of a ninth chord on the basis that only that on the fifth scale degree (V9) was admitted and that inversion was not allowed of the ninth chord.[3]

Resolutions given as examples by Schoenberg: V9 chords in
resolving to I chords, followed by a I9
♯7 chord[2]

Dominant ninth[edit]

Voice leading for dominant ninth chords in the common practice period.[4]
Ninth (C9) vs added-ninth chord (Cadd9), distinguished, in academic textbooks and jazz & rock sheet music, by the presence or absence of a seventh.[5]

There is a difference between a major ninth chord and a dominant ninth chord. A dominant ninth is the combination of a dominant chord (with a minor seventh) and a major ninth. A major ninth chord (e.g., Cmaj9), as an extended chord, adds the major seventh along with the ninth to the major triad. Thus, a Cmaj9 consists of C E G B and D. When the symbol "9" is not preceded by the word "major" or "maj" (e.g., C9), the chord is a dominant ninth. That is, the implied seventh chord is a dominant seventh, i.e. a major triad plus the minor seventh, to which the ninth is added: e.g., a C9 consists of C, E, G, B♭ and D. C dominant ninth (C9) would usually be expected to resolve to an F major chord (the implied key, C being the dominant of F). The ninth is commonly chromatically altered by half-step either up or down to create more tension and dissonance. Fétis tuned the chord 4:5:6:7:9.[7]

In the common practice period, "the root, 3rd, 7th, and 9th are the most common factors present in the V9 chord," with the 5th, "typically omitted".[4] The ninth and seventh usually resolve downward to the fifth and third of I.[4]

Example of tonic dominant ninth chords include Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe" and Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music".James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)" features a striking dominant 9th arpeggio played staccato at the end of the opening 12-bar sequence. The opening phrase of Chopin's well-known "Minute Waltz" climaxes on a dominant 9th chord:

Chopin Waltz in D♭, Op. 64, No. 1
Chopin Waltz in D♭, Op. 64, No. 1

César Franck's Violin Sonata in A Major opens with a dominant ninth chord (E9) in the piano part. When the violin enters in the fifth bar, its melody articulates an arpeggio of this chord.

Cesar Franck Violin Sonata in A major, opening bars
Cesar Franck Violin Sonata in A major, opening bars

Debussy's "Hommage a Rameau", the second of his first Book of Images for piano solo climaxes powerfully on a dominant 9th, expressed both as a chord and as a wide-ranging arpeggio:

Debussy, from Hommage a Rameau
Debussy, from Hommage a Rameau

The starting point of Karlheinz Stockhausen's piece for vocal sextet, Stimmung (1968)[9] is a chord consisting of the notes B♭, F, B♭, D, A♭ and C.[10] According to Nicholas Cook,[11]Stimmung could, in terms of conventional tonal harmony, be viewed as "simply a dominant ninth chord that is subject to timbral variation. The notes the performers sing are harmonics 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 of the implied but absent fundamental—the B flat below the bass clef."

Dominant minor ninth[edit]

(Dominant minor ninth chord on C)

A dominant minor ninth chord consists of a dominant seventh chord and a minor ninth. In C: C E G B♭ D♭. Fétis tuned the chord 8:10:12:14:17.[7] In notation for jazz and popular music, this chord is often denoted, e.g., C7♭9. In Schubert's Erlkönig, a terrified child calls out to his father when he sees an apparition of the sinister Elf King. The dissonant voicing of the dominant minor ninth chord used here (C7♭9) is particularly effective in heightening the drama and sense of threat.

The chord of the ninth...is merely an additional note added to the chord of the flat seventh, which in the..minor mode a semitone above the eighth. In the latter case it is called the flat ninth, and is used in the minor keys almost as frequently as the flat seventh is in the major keys; but as its effect on the ear, when the fundamental tone or root is used, is rather harsh, its inversions alone are generally used. This latter chord, when occasionally changed enharmonically for the purpose of making sudden transitions or modulations into distant keys, gratifies the ear more than any other chord.

— John Smith (1853)[12]

(Excerpt from Schubert's Erlkönig – Link to passage)

Writing about this passage, Taruskin (2010, p. 149) remarks on the "unprecedented... level of dissonance at the boy's outcries ... The voice has the ninth, pitched above, and the left hand has the seventh, pitched below. The result is a virtual 'tone cluster' ... the harmonic logic of these progressions, within the rules of composition Schubert was taught, can certainly be demonstrated. That logic, however, is not what appeals so strongly to the listener's imagination; rather it is the calculated impression (or illusion) of wild abandon."[13]

Minor ninth[edit]

(C minor ninth chord)

The minor ninth chord consists of a minor seventh chord and a major ninth. The formula is 1, ♭3, 5, ♭7, 9. This chord is written as Cm9. This chord has a more "bluesy" sound and fits very well with the dominant ninth.

Major ninth[edit]

Notable examples[edit]

The major ninth chord consists of a major seventh chord and a major ninth. The formula is 1, 3, 5, 7, 9. This chord is written as Cmaj9.

6/9 chord[edit]

The 6/9 chord is a pentad with a major triad extended by a sixth and ninth above the root, but no seventh, thus: C6/9 is C,E,G,A,D. It is not a tense chord requiring resolution, and is considered a substitute for the tonic in jazz. The minor 6/9 chord is a minor triad with an added 6th of the Dorian mode and an added 9th, and is also suitable as a minor tonic in jazz.[16]


See also: Added tone chord

Added ninth chord on C in third inversion

The second factor of a chord is the note or pitch two scale degrees above the root or tonal center. When the second is the bass note, or lowest note, of the expressed chord, the chord is in third inversion. However, this is equivalent to a gapped eleventh chord.

Conventionally, the second is third in importance to the root, fifth, and third, being an added tone. It is generally not allowed as the bass note since that inversion resembles an eleventh chord on the second rather than an added tone chord on the original note. In jazz chords and jazz theory, the second is required due to its being an added tone.

The quality of the second may be determined by the scale, or may be indicated. For example, in both a major and minor scale a diatonic second added to the tonic chord is major (C–D–E–G or C–D–E♭–G) while one added to the dominant chord is major or minor (G–A–B–D or G–A♭–B♭–D), respectively.

The second is octave equivalent to the ninth. If one could cut out the note in between the fifth and the ninth and then drop the ninth down an octave to a second, one would have a second chord (C–E–G–B♭D′ minus B♭ = C–D–E–G). The difference between sus2 and add9 is conventionally the absence or presence, respectively, of the third.

Added ninth[edit]

An added ninth chord is a major triad with an added ninth. Thus, Cadd9 consists of C, E, G and D. (The D, which might be called an added second, is two fifths up from the root.) Added ninth chords differ from other ninth chords because the seventh is never included.

See also[edit]


  1. ^Sadie, Stanley, ed. (1980). "Ninth chord", p. 252, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 13. ISBN 1-56159-174-2.
  2. ^ abSchoenberg, Arnold (1910). Theory of Harmony, pp. 346–347. University of California Press. First published in German as Harmonielehre in 1910. ISBN 9780520049444. Roman numeral analysis and arrows not included in the original.
  3. ^Schenker, Heinrich (1980). Harmony, p. 190. ISBN 978-0-226-73734-8.
  4. ^ abcBenward, Bruce; Saker, Marilyn (2009). Music in Theory and Practice. II (eighth ed.). pp. 183–184. ISBN .
  5. ^Stephenson, Ken (2002). What to Listen for in Rock: A Stylistic Analysis. p. 85. ISBN .
  6. ^ abFétis, François-Joseph and Arlin, Mary I. (1994). Esquisse de l'histoire de l'harmonie, p. 139n9. ISBN 978-0-945193-51-7.
  7. ^Stockhausen, Stimmung on YouTube
  8. ^Stimmung, British Library
  9. ^Cook, Nicholas (1987). A Guide to Musical Analysis. London: J. M. Dent. p. 370.
  10. ^Smith, John (1853). A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Music, p. 27. J. McGlashan. [ISBN unspecified].
  11. ^Taruskin, R. (2010) The Oxford History of Western Music, Volume 4, Music in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press.
  12. ^Walter Everett (Autumn, 2004). "A Royal Scam: The Abstruse and Ironic Bop-Rock Harmony of Steely Dan", pp. 208–209, Music Theory Spectrum, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 201–235.
  13. ^Berg, Shelly (2005). Alfred's Essentials of Jazz Theory, Book 3, p. 90. ISBN 978-0-7390-3089-9.
  14. ^Jazz Lessons
  15. ^Hawkins, Stan. "Prince – Harmonic Analysis of 'Anna Stesia'", pp. 329 and 334n7, Popular Music, vol. 11, no. 3 (October 1992), pp. 325–335.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninth_chord

Chord flat 9

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[Music Theory #22] 11 types of 9th chord and how to use them

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