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diminished and half diminished chord use

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Ok, here's one for the composer types out there.


Can anyone give examples of diminished or half diminished chords used in popular music? I'm guessing they are more prevalent in jazz, so I'd be more interested in their use outside of jazz.


Beyond that, anyone want to take a stab at explaining how these chords are typically used in a composition? (Come on Keyboard Corner crowd, this is right up your alley! ;) )

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Diminished chords are really popular in bluesy-type things. A cliched blues/gospel ending would be:


G-G/B-C-C#dim-G/D D7-G.


Or, the chord on "beers," "ears" and "peers" in Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years." Usually they're passing, dominant-functioning chords.


Half-diminished is harder to find, though as a general rule they're found in minor ii-Vs (like the part of "Autumn Leaves" that goes to minor). The only pop tune I can think of with half-diminished chords is Stevie Wonder's "Visions," in the bridge. He uses them in a non-standard way, hanging out on a half-diminished chord for 2 bars and then moving to another half-diminished chord:


C#m C#m/B

I know just what I say


Today's not yesterday---

Ebm7b5 Ab7 C#m7 F#7

-----And all things have an end--ing



My Site

Nord Electro 5D, Novation Launchkey 61, Logic Pro X, Mainstage 3, lots of plugins, fingers, pencil, paper.

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The fundamental electric guitar blues tonic chord is a half-diminished structure, 1, b5, b7, b3, that functions as the upper structure (3, b7, 9, 5) of a dominant 9th chord. I like to call it the "blues 9th." It is ubiquitous.
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