Chords and modes

The more serious relative of the regular 7 chord

Here are ways you will see this notated as symbols:

  • Xm7
  • X-7

Xm7 is most common most clear.

Take a regular 7 chord, then change 3 to b3. There is close to zero problem with spelling, and frankly I don’t know why. There are variant spellings of the regular 7 chord, but generally not for this one. It may be that the spelling is more stable because it is not normally used as a modulating chord.

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Minor 7 Chord and Modes


2 thoughts on “Chords and modes

    1. Michael, modes are scales, and any chord that can be made from notes in that scale can be considered “part of the mode”. But based only on the chord we can’t say what mode it belongs to. For instance, a C maj7 chord is the first chord in Ionian and also the 4th chord in Lydian. But because each of the modes as used today has the same notes, just in a different order, there are always to maj7 chords in every mode. They just move around. For instance, a maj7 is the 3rd and 7th chords in Dorian.

      There are also chords that are part of no mode. For instance, a dim7 chord does not exist in a mode.


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