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DbmMaj7 Piano Chord

    Piano Diagram of DbmMaj7 in Root Position

    Db MMaj7 Chord Root Position Piano Diagram

    The DbmMaj7 chord is a minor chord rooted in the key of Db, consisting of the notes Db, Fb, Ab, and C. The main feature of this chord is the inclusion of a major 7th interval on a minor chord. Additionally, the presence of an augmented fifth between the minor 3rd and major 7th creates a sense of dissonance. In this article, we will delve into the music theory of the DbmMaj7 chord and its role within chord progressions.


    Structure of DbmMaj7


    Db, Fb, Ab, C


    R, m3, 5, 7


    Finger Position

    Left Hand

    5, 3, 2, 1

    5, 4, 2, 1

    Right Hand

    1, 2, 4, 5

    1, 2, 3, 4


    DbmMaj7 Chord Inversions


    The DbmMaj7 chord has a total of 3 inversions:

    Root Position: Db Fb Ab C
    1st Inversion: Fb Ab C Db
    2nd Inversion: Ab C Db Fb
    3rd Inversion: C Db Fb Ab

    Piano Keyboard Diagrams

    Music Theory and Harmony of DbmMaj7


    Building the DbmMaj7 Chord: Different Approaches

    Starting from the Db Major Scale

    A Db minor major 7th chord is formed by taking the root note Db, adding a minor 3rd interval (Fb), a perfect 5th interval (Ab), and finally a major 7th interval (C). Although these intervals are typically derived from a minor scale, for educational purposes, it is often more intuitive to explain their construction using a major scale.

    For example, to build a DbmMaj7 chord, you can start with the Db Major scale:


    Db Major Diatonic Scale

    Db Major Scale


    Db Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th - Keyless Notation

    Db Major scale – Keyless notation


    To create a DbmMaj7 chord, apply the formula R, m3, 5, 7 in the following manner:

    1. Begin with the Root note, which is Db.
    2. To obtain a minor 3rd interval from a major 3rd, you need to lower it by a half-step. In this case, the major 3rd is F so the corresponding minor 3rd would be E. However, to maintain the original interval structure of the chord, we refer to it as Fb instead of E.
    3. Include the 5th note, Ab.
    4. Finally, add the major 7th interval (C), which is the 7th note of the scale.

    By following this simple formula, you can create a minor major 7th chord from any major scale.


    by Combining Intervals

    Another way to form a minor major 7th chord is by combining specific intervals – a minor 3rd, a major 3rd, and another major 3rd.

    m3 + 3 + 3 = minor Major 7th chords

    If we observe the intervals between the notes, we can notice that:

    • Db-Fb creates a minor 3rd interval,
    • Fb-Ab forms a major 3rd interval,
    • and Ab-C is another major 3rd interval.

    By stacking these three intervals together, we can build the DbmMaj7 chord.


    How to Use DbmMaj7 in a Chord Progression


    The DbmMaj7 chord is characterized by the presence of a major 7th interval, which is not found in either the natural minor or major scales. It’s diatonic in other scales like the harmonic and melodic minor scale, which features a minor major seventh chord on their first degree.

    Typically, the DbmMaj7 chord is used as a passing chord, temporarily transitioning towards a more stable Dbm7. Additionally, it can serve as an ending chord in specific musical contexts. This is because the chord produces a mysterious and intriguing atmosphere, making it suitable for certain musical styles and compositions.

    Non-diatonic positions in Natural minor and Major Scales

    The major seventh interval of the DbmMaj7 chord, which is C, clashes with the B note present in both natural minor and major scales. For this reason, the DbmMaj7 chord is not commonly used as a standalone chord (except in endings).

    The DbmMaj7 chord is used:

    • on the first and fourth degree of minor scales or
    • on the second and on the sixth degree of major scales,
    • as part of a chromatic progression towards a minor 7th chord.
    • While less common, it can still be used on the fifth degree of both minor and major scales.

    Here are the tables of the major and natural minor scales that include the Db minor 7th, which can be complemented by a DbmMaj7 chord, however, since Dbm7 occurs frequently in theoretical keys, we often refer to its enharmonic equivalent keys.


    on Natural minor Scales

    Minor Scales i ii III iv v VI VII
    Db = C# C#m7 ⇒ C#mMaj7 = DbmMaj7
    D#m7b5 E Maj7 F# min7 G# min7 A Maj7 B7
    Ab Ab min7 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Dbm7 ⇒ DbmMaj7
    Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7
    Gb = F# F# min7 G#m7b5 A Maj7 B min7 C#m7 ⇒ C#mMaj7 = DbmMaj7 D Maj7 E7

    Non-diatonic passing chord to the:

    • Tonic chord in C# minor as C#mMaj7
    • Subdominant chord in Ab minor
    • Dominant chord in F# minor (less common) as C#mMaj7


    on Major Scales

    Major Scales I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Cb = B B Maj7 C#m7 ⇒ C#mMaj7 = DbmMaj7 D# min7 E Maj7 F#7 G# min7 A#m7b5
    Bbb = A A Maj7 B min7 C#m7 ⇒ C#mMaj7 = DbmMaj7 D Maj7 E7 F# min7 G#m7b5
    Fb = E E Maj7 F# min7 G# min7 A Maj7 B7 C#m7 ⇒ C#mMaj7 = DbmMaj7 D#m7b5

    Non-diatonic passing chord to the:

    • Supertonic chord in B Major as C#mMaj7
    • Mediant chord in A Major as C#mMaj7
    • Submediant chord in E Major as C#mMaj7


    DbmMaj7 Function in Major and minor Keys

    The chord DbmMaj7 does not serve a functional role in harmonic progressions within major and minor keys as it is not diatonic. Rather, it should be considered as a color to add in certain contexts where modulation to a Dbm7 chord is feasible or appropriate.


    DbmMaj7 as Passing Chord in Db minor

    Check C#mMaj7 in C# minor


    DbmMaj7 as Passing Chord in Ab minor

    The DbmMaj7 chord can be used as a passing chord in the Ab minor scale which has a Db min7 on the fourth degree.

    i ii III iv v VI VII
    Ab min7 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Db min7 Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7
    DbmMaj7 as Passing Chord on the iv degree

    The following chord progressions feature a DbmMaj7 chord in modulation to the iv degree in the key of Ab minor:


    iv III VI VII
    iv III VI VII
    Dbm9 | Dbm6 | DbmMaj7 | Dbm6 Cb Maj7 Fb Maj7 Gb7


    i iv VI v
    i iv VI v
    Ab min7 Dbm9 | Dbm6 | DbmMaj7 | Dbm6 Fb Maj7 Eb min7


    Circle Progression
    i iv VII III VI ii V7 i
    Ab min7 Dbm7 | DbmMaj7 Gb7 Cb Maj7 Fb Maj7 Bbm7b5 Eb7 Ab min7


    DbmMaj7 as Passing Chord in Gb minor

    Check C#mMaj7 in F# minor


    DbmMaj7 as Passing Chord in Cb Major

    Check C#mMaj7 in B Major


    DbmMaj7 as Passing Chord in Bbb Major

    Check C#mMaj7 A Major


    DbmMaj7 as Passing Chord in Fb Major

    Check C#mMaj7 in E Major


    Alternative Names for DbmMaj7

    • Db mΔ
    • Db mM
    • Db m7+
    • Db mΔ7
    • Db m(Δ)
    • Db mM7
    • Db minΔ
    • Db m(+7)
    • Db m(Δ7)
    • Db minΔ7
    • Db minorΔ
    • Db m(maj7)
    • Db m(Maj7)
    • Db minMaj7
    • Db min maj7
    • Db m(Maj7th)
    • Db minor major 7th
    • Db minor major seventh



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