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Encyclopedia of Microtonal Music Theory

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major-7th / major seventh / maj7 / M7

[Joe Monzo]

The larger of the two diatonic intervals which encompass 7 degrees of the of the diatonic scale. The major-7th is composed of 5 tones (i.e., whole-tones) and 1 diatonic semitone, and is one chromatic semitone larger than the minor-7th.

 ________ major-7th ________
|                           |
C    D    E  F    G    A    B  C
  t    t   s   t    t    t
 M2   M2  m2  M2   M2   M2

major-7th   =   5t    + s   =   5(t-s) + 6s
            =   5(M2) + m2  =   5(+1)  + 6(m2)

Thus, the major-7th contains 5 chromatic semitones and 6 diatonic semitones (or equivalently, 5 augmented-primes and 6 minor-2nds). In 12-edo, the major-7th encompasses 11 equal semitones.

Widening the "major-7th" by one more chromatic semitone results in the "augmented-7th", an interval rarely found in the standard repertoire.

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