In music, the dominant is the fifth degree of the scale. For example, in the C major scale (white keys on a piano), the dominant is the note G; and the dominant chord uses the notes G, B, and D. In music theory, the dominant chord in its root position is symbolized with the Roman numeral V if major and v if minor.
As defined by Joseph Fetis the dominante was a seventh chord over the first note of a descending perfect fifth in the basse fondamentale or root progression, the common practice period dominant seventh he named the dominante tonique.
"Dominant" also refers to a relationship of musical keys. For example, relative to the key of C major, the key of G major is the dominant. Music which modulates (changes key) often modulates into the dominant. Modulation into the dominant key often creates a sense of increased tension; as opposed to modulation into subdominant (fourth note of the scale), which creates a sense of musical relaxation.
Dominant seventh chord
Dahlhaus, Carl. Gjerdingen, Robert O. trans. (1990). Studies in the Origin of Harmonic Tonality, p.143. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691091358.
Categories: Music stubs | Diatonic functions | Scale degrees
Modulation into the dominant key often creates a sense of increased tension; as opposed to modulation into subdominant (fourth note of the scale), which creates a sense of musical relaxation (because the tonic key is the dominant of its subdominant key: in F major, the dominant is C).
The dominant may also be considered the result of a transformational operation applied to the tonic that most closely resembles the tonic by some clear-cut criteria such as common tones (Perle 1955 cited in Wilson 1992, p.37-38).
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