The Application Of The Major Seventh Sharp Five Chord: In The Formation Of Dominant Chords

If you want to learn how to form a dominant chord using the major seventh sharp five chord, then this lesson is for you.

Dominant chords are important in harmony for a variety of reasons – notably for its importance in the connection of chords in a chord progression.

Believe it or not, dominant chords are irreplaceable in harmony, and that’s why gospel musicians invest a lot of time into learning not only how they are applied, but how they are formed as well.

This lesson is designed to show you how to form dominant chords using the major seventh sharp five chord.

“What Is A Dominant Chord?”

There are so many ways that the major seventh sharp five chord can be applied. But today we’re focusing on it’s application in the formation of dominant chords.

But before we go ahead, “what are dominant chords?”

I want to assume that you have an idea of what a chord is. Therefore, we’ll focus on the definition of the term dominant.

The term dominant is used by music scholars to describe the fifth key component. In every key (whether major or minor) there are basically eight components.

Check Them Out…

Tonic is the first degree

Supertonic is the second degree

Mediant is the third degree

Sub-dominant is the fourth degree

Dominant is the fifth degree

Sub-mediant is the sixth degree

Sub-tonic is the seventh degree

Octave is the eight degree

Our emphasis is on the fifth degree which is the dominant. So, the fifth degree in any key (be it a major or minor key) is the dominant.

In the key of C major:

…where the fifth tone is G:

…all diatonic or scale degree chords founded on the fifth degree which is G are described as dominant chords.

There are basically three classes of dominant chords:

  • Dominant triads
  • Dominant seventh chords
  • Extended dominant chords

Today, we’ll be learning how to form extended dominant chords using the major seventh sharp five chord. But before we do so, let’s take a look at the importance of dominant chords.

A Short Note On The Importance Of Dominant Chords

Dominant chords are important in music for a variety of reasons which include their affinity for tonic chords. In other words, the dominant chord is the chord that has the greatest affinity for tonic chords which is the chord of the first degree.

This explains why the ending of songs (95 percent of the time) necessitates a chord movement from the fifth degree to the first degree (aka – “the 5-1 chord progression”.) So, the 5-1 progression is the most popular ending of songs in classical and popular music styles as well.

So, we’re focusing on the formation of dominant chords using the major seventh sharp five chords in this lesson.

Application #1 – The Formation Of The Dom7 [#9#5] Chord

The C dom7 [#9,#5] chord can be formed on any note on the keyboard by playing a major seventh sharp five chord a major third (or tenth) above the given root.

Attention: The interval of a major third (or major tenth) is produced by the relationship between the first and third tones of the major scale.

For example, to form the C dom7#9#5 chord, the root is C:

…therefore, playing an E maj7#5 chord:

…over the given root which is C:

…on the bass produces the C dom7 [#9,#5] chord (aka – “altered chord”):

This can be formed also in any other note. For example, over Gb:

…a major third from Gb:

…is Bb:

Therefore, the Bb maj7#5:

…played over Gb:

…produces the Gb dom7 [#9,#5] chord:

…which is an altered chord.

I really hope you got that! Let’s also check out the second formation of an extended dominant chord using the major seventh sharp five chord.

Application #2 – The Formation Of The Dom13 [#11] Chord

Alternatively, the major seventh sharp five chord can be used to form the dominant thirteenth sharp eleven chord.

This chord can be formed over a given root note by going down a whole step to play the major seventh sharp five chord.

So, given C:

…as a root note, going down a whole step to Bb:

…to play the Bb maj7#5 chord:

…produces the C dom13#11 chord:

This can be formed in any other key. So, to form the Ddom13 [#11] chord, going down a whole step from D:

…to C:

…to form the C maj7#5 chord:

…produces the D dom13#11 chord:

Final Words

There are several other dominant chords that can be formed using the major seventh sharp five chord, but we’re restricting it to these two.

So, memorize the chords formed in all twelve keys, and I’ll see you in the next lesson where we’ll be focusing on the application of the dominant chords we’ve formed in this lesson, which are the dom7#9#5 and the dom13#11 chords respectively.

For your reference, here’s the dom7#9#5 chord in all twelve keys…

C dom7#9#5 chord:

Db dom7#9#5 chord:

D dom7#9#5 chord:

Eb dom7#9#5 chord:

E dom7#9#5 chord:

F dom7#9#5 chord:

Gb dom7#9#5 chord:

G dom7#9#5 chord:

Ab dom7#9#5 chord:

A dom7#9#5 chord:

Bb dom7#9#5 chord:

B dom7#9#5 chord:

For your reference, here’s also the dom13 [#11] chord in all twelve keys…

C dom13#11 chord:

Db dom13#11 chord:

D dom13#11 chord:

Eb dom13#11 chord:

E dom13#11 chord:

F dom7#9#5 chord:

Gb dom13#11 chord:

G dom13#11 chord:

Ab dom13#11 chord:

A dom13#11 chord:

Bb dom13#11 chord:

B dom13#11 chord:

The following two tabs change content below.

Chuku Onyemachi

Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. I started teaching musicians in my neighbourhood in April 2005. Today, I'm humbled to work as a music consultant with HearandPlay Music Group for musicians in Africa and beyond.

Leave a Comment: