Eleventh

Eleventh

In music or music theory an eleventh Audio|Perfect eleventh on C.mid|play is the note eleven scale degrees from the root of a chord and also the interval between the root and the eleventh.

Since there are only seven degrees in a diatonic scale the eleventh degree is the same as the subdominant and the interval of an eleventh is a compound fourth.

An eleventh chord is a chord which contains the tertian extension of the eleventh. Typically found in jazz, an eleventh chord will also usually include the seventh and ninth along with elements of the basic triad structure. However, since the major diatonic eleventh (for example the F on the C11 chord shown at right) would create a dissonant minor ninth interval with the third of the chord (the E), it is not used in functional contexts. The dominant eleventh (C, E, G, B♭, D, F), for example, usually omits the fifth and third Audio|Dominant eleventh chord on C.mid|play. The dominant 7#11 chord usually omits the fifth since the sharpened eleventh equals the lowered fifth (b5) Audio|Db7sharp11 chord.mid|Play.

In the dominant eleventh, because this minor ninth interval between the third and the eleventh is more problematic to the ear and to voice leading than a major ninth would be, alterations to the third or eleventh scale degrees are a common solution. When the third is lowered, a minor eleventh chord is formed with a major ninth interval between the two notes in question (e.g. C, E♭, G, B♭, D, F) Audio|Minor eleventh chord on C.mid|play. Similarly, the eleventh may be raised chromatically over a major triad (e.g. to F♯ in a C major chord) to imply the lydian dominant mode. A less common solution to the issue is to simply omit the third in the presence of the eleventh, resulting in a chord enharmonic to the suspended chord (sus4). This type of chord should be notated as such.

The eleventh chord, with the third omitted and the seventh flattened, is particularly useful in diatonic music when a composer or accompanist wishes to allow the tonic note of a key to be heard while also sounding the dominant of that key in the bass, but while not playing the second inversion of the triad on the tonic. Therefore, something similar to a perfect cadence may be attempted under a melody which does not leave the tonic note (e.g. a perfect cadence in F might require that the melody moves by step from E to F, or from G to F; whereas, if the first of the two notes is harmonized by an eleventh chord, the melody may remain on F, while the bass still plays the typical pattern of a perfect cadence i.e. dominant-tonic). The eleventh chord also expands the versatility of the dominant pedal compositional technique.

ee also

*Elektra chord, analyzible as an E11
*Jazz chord


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  • Eleventh — E*lev enth, a. [Cf. AS. endlyfta. See {Eleven}.] 1. Next after the tenth; as, the eleventh chapter. [1913 Webster] 2. Constituting one of eleven parts into which a thing is divided; as, the eleventh part of a thing. [1913 Webster] 3. (Mus.) Of or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • eleventh — ► ORDINAL NUMBER ▪ constituting number eleven in a sequence; 11th. ● the eleventh hour Cf. ↑the eleventh hour …   English terms dictionary

  • eleventh — [ē lev′ənth, ilev′ənth] adj. [ME elleventhe < OE endlyfta: see ELEVEN & TH2] 1. preceded by ten others in a series; 11th 2. designating any of the eleven equal parts of something n. 1. the one following the tenth …   English World dictionary

  • Eleventh — E*lev enth, n. 1. The quotient of a unit divided by eleven; one of eleven equal parts. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mus.) The interval consisting of ten conjunct degrees; the interval made up of an octave and a fourth. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • eleventh — late 14c., eleventhe, superseding earlier ellefte (c.1300), enlefte (early 13c.), from O.E. endleofta; see ELEVEN (Cf. eleven) + TH (Cf. th) …   Etymology dictionary

  • eleventh — e|lev|enth1 [ıˈlevənθ] adj 1.) coming after ten other things in a series ▪ in the eleventh century ▪ her eleventh birthday 2.) the eleventh hour the last moment before something important happens ▪ At the eleventh hour the government decided that …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • eleventh — e|lev|enth [ ı levnθ ] number 1. ) in the place or position counted as number 11: my eleventh birthday 2. ) one of 11 equal parts of something the eleventh hour the last possible moment that you can do something, especially prevent something bad… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • eleventh — /i lev euhnth/, adj. 1. next after the tenth; being the ordinal number for 11. 2. being one of 11 equal parts. n. 3. an eleventh part, esp. of one (1/11). 4. the eleventh member of a series. [bef. 1000; ME enleventh, enlefte, OE endlyfta (akin to …   Universalium

  • eleventh — [[t]ɪle̱v(ə)nθ[/t]] ♦♦ ORD The eleventh item in a series is the one that you count as number eleven. We were working on the eleventh floor …   English dictionary

  • eleventh — noun (C) 1 one of eleven equal parts of something 2 the eleventh hour the last moment before something important happens: War was averted at the eleventh hour …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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