Lydian chord

Lydian chord on C  Play .

In jazz music, the lydian chord is the major 711 chord,[1] or 11 chord, the chord built on the first degree of the lydian mode, the sharp eleventh being a compound augmented fourth. It is described as "beautiful" and "modern sounding."[1] The 7#11 chord generally resolves down by half step while the enharmonically equivalent 7(5) generally resolves up a fourth to the tonic[2] being a dominant chord (11=4=5, see octave equivalency).

Major 7(11) may also refer to the Lydian augmented chord, an augmented seventh chord with augmented fourth appearing in the Lydian augmented scale  Play .[3]

In a chord chart the notation, "Lydian" indicates a major family chord with an added augmented eleventh, including maj711, add9(11), and 6(11).[1]

Harmonic function

Lydian chords may function as subdominants or substitutes for the tonic in major keys.[4]

Lydian chord: CMA13(sharp11)  Play .

Lydian (CΔ11):

r 3 5 7 (9) 11 (6))

Thirteenth chord: C13(sharp11)  Play .[5]

The dominant 7th 11 or Lydian dominant (C711) comprises the notes:

r 3 (5) 7 (9) 11 (13)

Basing this chord on the pitch C results in the pitches:


The same chord type may also be voiced:


This voicing omits the perfect fifth (G) and raises the major ninth (D) by an octave. The augmented eleventh (F) is also played twice in two different registers. This is known as "doubling".


  1. 1 2 3 Juergensen, Chris (2006). The Infinite Guitar, p.50. ISBN 1-4116-9007-9.
  2. Juergensen (2006), p.51.
  3. Munro, Doug (2002). Jazz Guitar: Bebop and Beyond, p.39. ISBN 978-0-7579-8281-1.
  4. Miller, Scott (2002). Mel Bay Getting Into Jazz Fusion Guitar, p.44. ISBN 0-7866-6248-4.
  5. Benward & Saker (2009). Music in Theory and Practice: Volume II, p.185. Eighth Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-310188-0.
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