What does it mean to be diminished? Does it mean that I’m less than desirable? Does it mean that I don’t belong? Does it mean that it’s bad? These are all questions that people ask all the time, both in life and in music. The answers are actually very similar. I’ll tell you what I mean.
To be diminished in life sometimes mean that you may be in a place that seems to offer no hope. But as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, “There’s Hope For Everyone“, there’s always a way out of your situation. You just have to look hard enough, and the answers will be there. In other words, your situation is TEMPORARY or is just a passing phase. Similarly in music the diminished chord is more often than not a PASSING chord! Most musical pieces do NOT end on a diminished chord, but rather on a Major or Minor Chord. I will elaborate on that later.
The diminished chord is a chord that has equidistant spacing between the notes. Each note is a minor 3rd away from the other. For example, the C Diminished 7th chord is made up of the notes C, E flat, G flat and A. Each one of these can be used as a passing chord at least 4 different ways. So the diminished chord becomes the conduit to four different solutions in music.
Similarly I believe that many of the ‘diminished’ situations we face have more than one solution. We just have to look for the way out so we could continue to Play It By Ear.