Diminution

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Diminution'

Diminution Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    diminution n
  1. change toward something smaller or lower [syn: decline]
  2. the statement of a theme in notes of lesser duration (usually half the length of the original) [ant: augmentation]
  3. the act of decreasing or reducing something [syn: decrease, reduction, step-down] [ant: increase]
Diminution Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Diminution \Dim`i*nu"tion\, n. [L. diminutio, or perh. rather deminutio: cf. F. diminution. See Diminish.]
  1. The act of diminishing, or of making or becoming less; state of being diminished; reduction in size, quantity, or degree; -- opposed to augmentation or increase.
  2. The act of lessening dignity or consideration, or the state of being deprived of dignity; a lowering in estimation; degradation; abasement. The world's opinion or diminution of me. --Eikon Basilike. Nor thinks it diminution to be ranked In military honor next. --Philips.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Diminution'


Diminution, from Medieval Latin diminutio (alteration of Latin deminutio, decrease), is a musical term used to mean different things in the context of intervals, scales, chords or note values.

An interval is diminished if a minor or perfect interval is narrowed by a chromatic semitone. Thus a diminished fifth interval, for example, is a chromatic semitone narrower than the perfect fifth. A diminished seventh interval is a chromatic semitone narrower than the minor seventh, and is enharmonic to a major sixth. Diminished intervals are often used is jazz, art and Heavy Metal music, but not as often in pop music.

The standard abbreviations for diminished intervals are dX, such that a diminished third = d3.

An example of a diminished scale would be the octatonic scale on A: A-B-C-D-D♯-F-F♯-G♯-A. Diminished scales are very easy to construct, you simply start at your required tonic note, and from there just move up a tone and then a semitone, continue this until you have your scale. This may be visualized:

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