A-flat melodic minor 7th chords

The Solution below shows the A-flat melodic minor scale 7th chords, (i7, ii7, III+7, IV7, V7, viø7, viiø7) on a piano, with mp3 and midi audio.

The Lesson steps then explain the 7th chord construction from this scale, and how to name the quality of each chord based on note intervals.

For a quick summary of this topic, and to see the chord quality chart for this scale, have a look at Scale chord.

Keys in this scale
KeyCC#DbDD#EbEE#FbFF#GbGG#[Ab]AA#BbBB#Cb

Solution - 7 parts

1. A-flat melodic minor chord i7

This step shows the tonic 7th chord of the A-flat melodic minor scale.

The A-flat melodic minor chord i7 is the Ab min-maj 7 chord, and contains the notes Ab, Cb, Eb, and G.

This tonic 7th chords root / starting note is the 1st note (or scale degree) of the Ab melodic minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 1 is 'i', and is used to indicate this is the 1st chord in the scale. Just like a minor chord, the minor-major 7th chord is constructed using a minor third interval, so the roman numeral is shown in lower case.

A-flat melodic minor 7th chord 1 is A-flat minor-major 7th

Chord names for A-flat melodic minor chord 1
Chord positionLinka/b/c/d notationFigured bass notation
Root positionAb minor-major 7th chord in root positioniai7
1st inversionAb minor-major 7th chord in 1st inversionibi65
2nd inversionAb minor-major 7th chord in 2nd inversionici43
3rd inversionAb minor-major 7th chord in 3rd inversionidi2
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2. A-flat melodic minor chord ii7

This step shows the supertonic 7th chord of the A-flat melodic minor scale.

The A-flat melodic minor chord ii7 is the Bb min 7 chord, and contains the notes Bb, Db, F, and Ab.

This supertonic 7th chords root / starting note is the 2nd note (or scale degree) of the Ab melodic minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 2 is 'ii', and is used to indicate this is the 2nd chord in the scale. It is in lower case to denote that the chord is a minor chord.

A-flat melodic minor 7th chord 2 is B-flat minor 7th

Chord names for A-flat melodic minor chord 2
Chord positionLinka/b/c/d notationFigured bass notation
Root positionBb minor 7th chord in root positioniiaii7
1st inversionBb minor 7th chord in 1st inversioniibii65
2nd inversionBb minor 7th chord in 2nd inversioniicii43
3rd inversionBb minor 7th chord in 3rd inversioniidii2
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3. A-flat melodic minor chord III+7

This step shows the mediant 7th chord of the A-flat melodic minor scale.

The A-flat melodic minor chord III+7 is the Cb aug-maj 7 chord, and contains the notes Cb, Eb, G, and Bb.

This mediant 7th chords root / starting note is the 3rd note (or scale degree) of the Ab melodic minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 3 is 'III', and is used to indicate this is the 3rd chord in the scale. Just like a major chord, the augmented-major 7th chord is constructed using a major third interval, so the roman numeral is shown in upper case.

A-flat melodic minor 7th chord 3 is C-flat augmented-major 7th

Chord names for A-flat melodic minor chord 3
Chord positionLinka/b/c/d notationFigured bass notation
Root positionCb augmented-major 7th chord in root positionIII+aIII+7
1st inversionCb augmented-major 7th chord in 1st inversionIII+bIII+65
2nd inversionCb augmented-major 7th chord in 2nd inversionIII+cIII+43
3rd inversionCb augmented-major 7th chord in 3rd inversionIII+dIII+2
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4. A-flat melodic minor chord IV7

This step shows the subdominant 7th chord of the A-flat melodic minor scale.

The A-flat melodic minor chord IV7 is the Db dom 7 chord, and contains the notes Db, F, Ab, and Cb.

This subdominant 7th chords root / starting note is the 4th note (or scale degree) of the Ab melodic minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 4 is 'IV', and is used to indicate this is the 4th chord in the scale. Just like a major chord, the dominant 7th chord is constructed using a major third interval,so the roman numeral is shown in upper case.

A-flat melodic minor 7th chord 4 is D-flat dominant 7th

Chord names for A-flat melodic minor chord 4
Chord positionLinka/b/c/d notationFigured bass notation
Root positionDb dominant 7th chord in root positionIVaIV7
1st inversionDb dominant 7th chord in 1st inversionIVbIV65
2nd inversionDb dominant 7th chord in 2nd inversionIVcIV43
3rd inversionDb dominant 7th chord in 3rd inversionIVdIV2
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5. A-flat melodic minor chord V7

This step shows the dominant 7th chord of the A-flat melodic minor scale.

The A-flat melodic minor chord V7 is the Eb dom 7 chord, and contains the notes Eb, G, Bb, and Db.

This dominant 7th chords root / starting note is the 5th note (or scale degree) of the Ab melodic minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 5 is 'V', and is used to indicate this is the 5th chord in the scale. Just like a major chord, the dominant 7th chord is constructed using a major third interval,so the roman numeral is shown in upper case.

A-flat melodic minor 7th chord 5 is E-flat dominant 7th

Chord names for A-flat melodic minor chord 5
Chord positionLinka/b/c/d notationFigured bass notation
Root positionEb dominant 7th chord in root positionVaV7
1st inversionEb dominant 7th chord in 1st inversionVbV65
2nd inversionEb dominant 7th chord in 2nd inversionVcV43
3rd inversionEb dominant 7th chord in 3rd inversionVdV2
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6. A-flat melodic minor chord viø7

This step shows the submediant 7th chord of the A-flat melodic minor scale.

The A-flat melodic minor chord viø7 is the F half-dim7 chord, and contains the notes F, Ab, Cb, and Eb.

This submediant 7th chords root / starting note is the 6th note (or scale degree) of the Ab melodic minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 6 is 'vi', and is used to indicate this is the 6th chord in the scale. Just like a minor chord, the half-diminished 7th chord is constructed using a minor third interval, so the roman numeral is shown in lower case.

The half-diminished symbol 'ø' is placed after the roman numerals to indicate this is a half-diminished 7th chord.

A-flat melodic minor 7th chord 6 is F half-diminished 7th

Chord names for A-flat melodic minor chord 6
Chord positionLinka/b/c/d notationFigured bass notation
Root positionF half-diminished 7th chord in root positionviøaviø7
1st inversionF half-diminished 7th chord in 1st inversionviøbviø65
2nd inversionF half-diminished 7th chord in 2nd inversionviøcviø43
3rd inversionF half-diminished 7th chord in 3rd inversionviødviø2
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7. A-flat melodic minor chord viiø7

This step shows the subtonic 7th chord of the A-flat melodic minor scale.

The A-flat melodic minor chord viiø7 is the G half-dim7 chord, and contains the notes G, Bb, Db, and F.

This subtonic 7th chords root / starting note is the 7th note (or scale degree) of the Ab melodic minor scale.

The roman numeral for number 7 is 'vii', and is used to indicate this is the 7th chord in the scale. Just like a minor chord, the half-diminished 7th chord is constructed using a minor third interval, so the roman numeral is shown in lower case.

The half-diminished symbol 'ø' is placed after the roman numerals to indicate this is a half-diminished 7th chord.

A-flat melodic minor 7th chord 7 is G half-diminished 7th

Chord names for A-flat melodic minor chord 7
Chord positionLinka/b/c/d notationFigured bass notation
Root positionG half-diminished 7th chord in root positionviiøaviiø7
1st inversionG half-diminished 7th chord in 1st inversionviiøbviiø65
2nd inversionG half-diminished 7th chord in 2nd inversionviiøcviiø43
3rd inversionG half-diminished 7th chord in 3rd inversionviiødviiø2
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Lesson steps

1. Piano key note names

This step shows the white and black note names on a piano keyboard so that the note names are familiar for later steps, and to show that the note names start repeating themselves after 12 notes.

The white keys are named using the alphabetic letters A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, which is a pattern that repeats up the piano keyboard.

Every white or black key could have a flat(b) or sharp(#) accidental name, depending on how that note is used. In a later step, if sharp or flat notes are used, the exact accidental names will be chosen.

Sharp and flat note names

The audio files below play every note shown on the piano above, so middle C (marked with an orange line at the bottom) is the 2nd note heard.

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2. A-flat melodic minor scale notes

This step shows the scale note names that will be used to construct all 7th chords that harmonize with those scale notes.

The piano keyboard below contains the notes of the Ab melodic minor scale.

Starting from the 1st scale note, each lesson step below will take each note in turn and construct a 7th chord using that note as the root / starting note of that chord.

The 7th chord will be built using only the notes of the scale we are interested in.

Identifying the 4 notes in the chord

7th chords are built using the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes of a scale, so the first 7th chord below will constructed a chord using notes Ab, Cb, Eb and G.

A-flat melodic minor scale
No.12345678
NoteAbBbCbDbEbFGAb

The second 7th chord below will repeat this, but this time starting on the 2nd note, so its notes will be Bb, Db, F and Ab - ie. the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th positions relative to that 2nd root note.

This pattern is repeated for all 7 notes in the scale, resulting in 7 seventh chords.

A-flat melodic minor scale

Identifying the chord quality

Although the above method identifies each 7th chord notes from the scale used, it does not identify the complete chord name including its quality.

Should each 7th chord that we build be called diminished, half-diminished, minorminor-major, dominant, major, augmented, or augmented-major ?

Every 7th chord must have one of these quality names.

To decide the name the chord quality, each step below will use note intervals to calculate how many half-tones / semitones / piano keys between the root and the 3rd, 5th and 7th notes.).

Taken together, the combination of the 3rd, 5th and 7th note intervals will define the complete 7th chord quality name.

The steps below will show how this works for each 7th chord in turn, but in practice it might just be easier to memorize the triad quality table in the Scale chord summary for each scale type.

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3. 1st 7th chord in A-flat melodic minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a 7th chord whose root note is the 1st scale degree of the Ab melodic minor scale.

Identifying the 4 notes in the chord

The table below shows the Ab melodic minor scale, ordered to show the 1st note as the first column in the table.

To identify the 7th chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th columns / scale degrees, which are notes Ab, Cb, Eb, and G.

A-flat melodic minor scale from note #1
No.1234567
NoteAbBbCbDbEbFG

Identifying the chord quality

To identify the 7th chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between Ab and Cb is 3 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore minor, also called m3 for short. More details of this interval are at Ab-min-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between Ab and Eb is 7 half-tones, and the note interval name is perfect (P5). More details of this interval are at Ab-perf-5th.

Again the 7th note / scale degree, the distance between Ab and G is 11 half-tones, and the note interval name is major (M7). More details of this interval are at Ab-maj-7th.

Finally, we have the name of the three note intervals of this 7th chord, and can now lookup the name of the 7th chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Seventh chord table, the name of the 7th chord quality having minor(m3), perfect(P5) and major(M7) note intervals is minor-major 7th.

And so the complete 7th chord Name prefixes the root note, Ab, onto this quality, giving us the Ab min-maj 7 chord.

A-flat minor-major 7th chord

Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol i could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is Ab minor-major 7th chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A-flat melodic minor scale chord ia.

Instead, i could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is Ab minor-major 7th chord in 1st inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord ib.

Letter c could be used to indicate that it is Ab minor-major 7th chord in 2nd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord ic.

Finally, letter d could be used to indicate that it is Ab minor-major 7th chord in 3rd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord id.

Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the a-d symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate chord positions after i:

So in this key, i7 refers to the Ab minor-major 7th chord in root position.

For 7th chord inversions, i65 refers to the Ab minor-major 7th chord in 1st inversion, i43 refers to the Ab minor-major 7th chord in 2nd inversion, and i2 refers to the Ab minor-major 7th chord in 3rd inversion.

The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the 7th chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, Ab, will be moved to the final column of the table.

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4. 2nd 7th chord in A-flat melodic minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a 7th chord whose root note is the 2nd scale degree of the Ab melodic minor scale.

Identifying the 4 notes in the chord

The table below shows the Ab melodic minor scale, ordered to show the 2nd note as the first column in the table.

To identify the 7th chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th columns / scale degrees, which are notes Bb, Db, F, and Ab.

A-flat melodic minor scale from note #2
No.1234567
NoteBbCbDbEbFGAb

Identifying the chord quality

To identify the 7th chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between Bb and Db is 3 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore minor, also called m3 for short. More details of this interval are at Bb-min-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between Bb and F is 7 half-tones, and the note interval name is perfect (P5). More details of this interval are at Bb-perf-5th.

Again the 7th note / scale degree, the distance between Bb and Ab is 10 half-tones, and the note interval name is minor (m7). More details of this interval are at Bb-min-7th.

Finally, we have the name of the three note intervals of this 7th chord, and can now lookup the name of the 7th chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Seventh chord table, the name of the 7th chord quality having minor(m3), perfect(P5) and minor(m7) note intervals is minor 7th.

And so the complete 7th chord Name prefixes the root note, Bb, onto this quality, giving us the Bb min 7 chord.

B-flat minor 7th chord

Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol ii could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is Bb minor 7th chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A-flat melodic minor scale chord iia.

Instead, ii could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is Bb minor 7th chord in 1st inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord iib.

Letter c could be used to indicate that it is Bb minor 7th chord in 2nd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord iic.

Finally, letter d could be used to indicate that it is Bb minor 7th chord in 3rd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord iid.

Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the a-d symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate chord positions after ii:

So in this key, ii7 refers to the Bb minor 7th chord in root position.

For 7th chord inversions, ii65 refers to the Bb minor 7th chord in 1st inversion, ii43 refers to the Bb minor 7th chord in 2nd inversion, and ii2 refers to the Bb minor 7th chord in 3rd inversion.

The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the 7th chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, Bb, will be moved to the final column of the table.

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5. 3rd 7th chord in A-flat melodic minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a 7th chord whose root note is the 3rd scale degree of the Ab melodic minor scale.

Identifying the 4 notes in the chord

The table below shows the Ab melodic minor scale, ordered to show the 3rd note as the first column in the table.

To identify the 7th chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th columns / scale degrees, which are notes Cb, Eb, G, and Bb.

A-flat melodic minor scale from note #3
No.1234567
NoteCbDbEbFGAbBb

Identifying the chord quality

To identify the 7th chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between Cb and Eb is 4 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore major, also called M3 for short. More details of this interval are at Cb-maj-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between Cb and G is 8 half-tones, and the note interval name is augmented (A5). More details of this interval are at Cb-aug-5th.

Again the 7th note / scale degree, the distance between Cb and Bb is 11 half-tones, and the note interval name is major (M7). More details of this interval are at Cb-maj-7th.

Finally, we have the name of the three note intervals of this 7th chord, and can now lookup the name of the 7th chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Seventh chord table, the name of the 7th chord quality having major(M3), augmented(A5) and major(M7) note intervals is augmented-major 7th.

And so the complete 7th chord Name prefixes the root note, Cb, onto this quality, giving us the Cb aug-maj 7 chord.

C-flat augmented-major 7th chord

Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol III+ could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is Cb augmented-major 7th chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A-flat melodic minor scale chord III+a.

Instead, III+ could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is Cb augmented-major 7th chord in 1st inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord III+b.

Letter c could be used to indicate that it is Cb augmented-major 7th chord in 2nd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord III+c.

Finally, letter d could be used to indicate that it is Cb augmented-major 7th chord in 3rd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord III+d.

Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the a-d symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate chord positions after III+:

So in this key, III+7 refers to the Cb augmented-major 7th chord in root position.

For 7th chord inversions, III+65 refers to the Cb augmented-major 7th chord in 1st inversion, III+43 refers to the Cb augmented-major 7th chord in 2nd inversion, and III+2 refers to the Cb augmented-major 7th chord in 3rd inversion.

The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the 7th chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, Cb, will be moved to the final column of the table.

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6. 4th 7th chord in A-flat melodic minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a 7th chord whose root note is the 4th scale degree of the Ab melodic minor scale.

Identifying the 4 notes in the chord

The table below shows the Ab melodic minor scale, ordered to show the 4th note as the first column in the table.

To identify the 7th chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th columns / scale degrees, which are notes Db, F, Ab, and Cb.

A-flat melodic minor scale from note #4
No.1234567
NoteDbEbFGAbBbCb

Identifying the chord quality

To identify the 7th chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between Db and F is 4 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore major, also called M3 for short. More details of this interval are at Db-maj-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between Db and Ab is 7 half-tones, and the note interval name is perfect (P5). More details of this interval are at Db-perf-5th.

Again the 7th note / scale degree, the distance between Db and Cb is 10 half-tones, and the note interval name is minor (m7). More details of this interval are at Db-min-7th.

Finally, we have the name of the three note intervals of this 7th chord, and can now lookup the name of the 7th chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Seventh chord table, the name of the 7th chord quality having major(M3), perfect(P5) and minor(m7) note intervals is dominant 7th.

And so the complete 7th chord Name prefixes the root note, Db, onto this quality, giving us the Db dom 7 chord.

D-flat dominant 7th chord

Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol IV could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is Db dominant 7th chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A-flat melodic minor scale chord IVa.

Instead, IV could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is Db dominant 7th chord in 1st inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord IVb.

Letter c could be used to indicate that it is Db dominant 7th chord in 2nd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord IVc.

Finally, letter d could be used to indicate that it is Db dominant 7th chord in 3rd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord IVd.

Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the a-d symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate chord positions after IV:

So in this key, IV7 refers to the Db dominant 7th chord in root position.

For 7th chord inversions, IV65 refers to the Db dominant 7th chord in 1st inversion, IV43 refers to the Db dominant 7th chord in 2nd inversion, and IV2 refers to the Db dominant 7th chord in 3rd inversion.

The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the 7th chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, Db, will be moved to the final column of the table.

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7. 5th 7th chord in A-flat melodic minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a 7th chord whose root note is the 5th scale degree of the Ab melodic minor scale.

Identifying the 4 notes in the chord

The table below shows the Ab melodic minor scale, ordered to show the 5th note as the first column in the table.

To identify the 7th chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th columns / scale degrees, which are notes Eb, G, Bb, and Db.

A-flat melodic minor scale from note #5
No.1234567
NoteEbFGAbBbCbDb

Identifying the chord quality

To identify the 7th chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between Eb and G is 4 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore major, also called M3 for short. More details of this interval are at Eb-maj-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between Eb and Bb is 7 half-tones, and the note interval name is perfect (P5). More details of this interval are at Eb-perf-5th.

Again the 7th note / scale degree, the distance between Eb and Db is 10 half-tones, and the note interval name is minor (m7). More details of this interval are at Eb-min-7th.

Finally, we have the name of the three note intervals of this 7th chord, and can now lookup the name of the 7th chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Seventh chord table, the name of the 7th chord quality having major(M3), perfect(P5) and minor(m7) note intervals is dominant 7th.

And so the complete 7th chord Name prefixes the root note, Eb, onto this quality, giving us the Eb dom 7 chord.

E-flat dominant 7th chord

Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol V could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is Eb dominant 7th chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A-flat melodic minor scale chord Va.

Instead, V could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is Eb dominant 7th chord in 1st inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord Vb.

Letter c could be used to indicate that it is Eb dominant 7th chord in 2nd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord Vc.

Finally, letter d could be used to indicate that it is Eb dominant 7th chord in 3rd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord Vd.

Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the a-d symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate chord positions after V:

So in this key, V7 refers to the Eb dominant 7th chord in root position.

For 7th chord inversions, V65 refers to the Eb dominant 7th chord in 1st inversion, V43 refers to the Eb dominant 7th chord in 2nd inversion, and V2 refers to the Eb dominant 7th chord in 3rd inversion.

The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the 7th chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, Eb, will be moved to the final column of the table.

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8. 6th 7th chord in A-flat melodic minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a 7th chord whose root note is the 6th scale degree of the Ab melodic minor scale.

Identifying the 4 notes in the chord

The table below shows the Ab melodic minor scale, ordered to show the 6th note as the first column in the table.

To identify the 7th chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th columns / scale degrees, which are notes F, Ab, Cb, and Eb.

A-flat melodic minor scale from note #6
No.1234567
NoteFGAbBbCbDbEb

Identifying the chord quality

To identify the 7th chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between F and Ab is 3 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore minor, also called m3 for short. More details of this interval are at F-min-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between F and Cb is 6 half-tones, and the note interval name is diminished (d5). More details of this interval are at F-dim-5th.

Again the 7th note / scale degree, the distance between F and Eb is 10 half-tones, and the note interval name is minor (m7). More details of this interval are at F-min-7th.

Finally, we have the name of the three note intervals of this 7th chord, and can now lookup the name of the 7th chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Seventh chord table, the name of the 7th chord quality having minor(m3), diminished(d5) and minor(m7) note intervals is half-diminished 7th.

And so the complete 7th chord Name prefixes the root note, F, onto this quality, giving us the F half-dim7 chord.

F half-diminished 7th chord

Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol viø could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is F half-diminished 7th chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A-flat melodic minor scale chord viøa.

Instead, viø could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is F half-diminished 7th chord in 1st inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord viøb.

Letter c could be used to indicate that it is F half-diminished 7th chord in 2nd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord viøc.

Finally, letter d could be used to indicate that it is F half-diminished 7th chord in 3rd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord viød.

Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the a-d symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate chord positions after viø:

So in this key, viø7 refers to the F half-diminished 7th chord in root position.

For 7th chord inversions, viø65 refers to the F half-diminished 7th chord in 1st inversion, viø43 refers to the F half-diminished 7th chord in 2nd inversion, and viø2 refers to the F half-diminished 7th chord in 3rd inversion.

The next scale chord

The next step will need to calculate the 7th chord whose root / starting note is next scale note.

To do this, the first column we used in this step, F, will be moved to the final column of the table.

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9. 7th 7th chord in A-flat melodic minor scale

This step shows how to identify the notes and the name of a 7th chord whose root note is the 7th scale degree of the Ab melodic minor scale.

Identifying the 4 notes in the chord

The table below shows the Ab melodic minor scale, ordered to show the 7th note as the first column in the table.

To identify the 7th chord note names, use the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th columns / scale degrees, which are notes G, Bb, Db, and F.

A-flat melodic minor scale from note #7
No.1234567
NoteGAbBbCbDbEbF

Identifying the chord quality

To identify the 7th chord quality that has these notes, begin by counting the number of half-tones / semitones between the root and each of the notes.

For the 3rd interval (note 2 on the diagram) the distance between G and Bb is 3 half-tones.

Now look at the complete Note interval table, and identify the note interval that has a distance of 3 half-tones (first column), and with an interval no. of 3 (last column).

The note interval name for the 3rd note / scale degree is therefore minor, also called m3 for short. More details of this interval are at G-min-3rd.

Repeating this for the 5th note / scale degree, the distance between G and Db is 6 half-tones, and the note interval name is diminished (d5). More details of this interval are at G-dim-5th.

Again the 7th note / scale degree, the distance between G and F is 10 half-tones, and the note interval name is minor (m7). More details of this interval are at G-min-7th.

Finally, we have the name of the three note intervals of this 7th chord, and can now lookup the name of the 7th chord quality having these intervals.

Looking at the Seventh chord table, the name of the 7th chord quality having minor(m3), diminished(d5) and minor(m7) note intervals is half-diminished 7th.

And so the complete 7th chord Name prefixes the root note, G, onto this quality, giving us the G half-dim7 chord.

G half-diminished 7th chord

Scale chord names using a,b and c notation

The chord symbol viiø could be followed by the letter a to indicate that it is G half-diminished 7th chord in root position (ie not inverted) - A-flat melodic minor scale chord viiøa.

Instead, viiø could be followed by the letter b to indicate that it is G half-diminished 7th chord in 1st inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord viiøb.

Letter c could be used to indicate that it is G half-diminished 7th chord in 2nd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord viiøc.

Finally, letter d could be used to indicate that it is G half-diminished 7th chord in 3rd inversion - A-flat melodic minor scale chord viiød.

Scale chord names using figured bass notation

In place of the a-d symbols above, figured bass symbols could be used to indicate chord positions after viiø:

So in this key, viiø7 refers to the G half-diminished 7th chord in root position.

For 7th chord inversions, viiø65 refers to the G half-diminished 7th chord in 1st inversion, viiø43 refers to the G half-diminished 7th chord in 2nd inversion, and viiø2 refers to the G half-diminished 7th chord in 3rd inversion.

This completes the set of all 7th chords that harmonize with the Ab melodic minor scale.

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