Nondominant seventh chord

Dominant seventh (V7) and incomplete dominant seventh (viio) in C major: G7 and bo chords  Play .
III+ chord in C harmonic or ascending melodic minor[1]  Play .
Major seventh chord on F  Play . IV7 in C major.[2]
Minor major seventh chord on C.
i in C melodic or ascending melodic minor.[1]
Minor-minor (i7) seventh chord on C[1]  Play .
Nondominant seventh chord resolution along a circle progression, the seventh resolves down by step to the third of the next chord: I7-IV[3]  Play . B resolves to A.

In music theory, a nondominant seventh chord is both a diatonic chord and a seventh chord, but it does not possess dominant function,[2] and thus it is not a dominant seventh chord.

Since the V and viio chords are the dominant function chords,[2] the "major minor seventh" V7 and "half-diminished seventh" viiø7 are the dominant seventh chords. Since the nondominant function chords are I, i, ii, iio, iii, III, IV, iv, vi, and VI,[2] the nondominant seventh chord qualities include the augmented major seventh chord, major seventh chord, minor major seventh chord, minor seventh chord, and major minor seventh chords that do not possess dominant function, such as, in melodic minor, IV.

To analyze seventh chords indicate the quality of the triad; major: I, minor: ii, half-diminished: viiø, or augmented: III+; and the quality of the seventh; same: 7, or different: or .[2] In macro analysis indicate the root and chord quality, and add 7, thus a seventh chord on ii in C major (minor minor seventh) would be d7.[1]

As with dominant seventh chords, nondominant seventh chords usually progress according to the circle progression, thus III+ resolves to vi or VI,[4] for example.

Nondominant seventh chords are, "found in large number," in popular music and jazz ("a legacy from the romantic period"), such as in this example from "Try To Remember" (The Fantasticks) by Harvey Schmidt (lyrics: Tom Jones)[4]  Play . Note the circle progression derived root motion by fourths/fifths.

When possible, as in circle progressions, resolve the seventh of nondominant seventh chords down by step to the third of the following chord.[3]

ii7-V7-I turnaround in C  Play .

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Benward & Saker (2003). Music: In Theory and Practice, Vol. I, p.230. Seventh Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-294262-0.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Benward & Saker (2003), p.229.
  3. 1 2 Benward & Saker (2003), p.233-34.
  4. 1 2 Benward & Saker (2003), p.232.
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