V7

Not all dissonances come with an – albeit slight, in some cases – whiff of diabolic sulphur; some have been fully integrated into polite society. Here’s a case in point: the dominant seventh (known as V7 for short). It can be encountered anywhere from staid Lutheran gatherings in Leipzig’s Thomaskirche through to rather louche evenings in Belle Époque Paris (did I write polite society? Ah, well…)

Why V7? The dominant is the fifth note of any scale, hence the ‘V’ and the dissonance is seven notes away from the dominant – V7.

V7

One of the most famous series of dominant sevenths is this…

… the unsettling, key-shifting beginning of Beethoven’s First Symphony.

 

Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as “fair use”, for the purpose of study, and critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s).

Advertisements