Ok so I was learning a bit of theory in guitar class at school today. I understand why a m7b5 chord is called a m7b5 chord but I don't understand why most classical players would call it a half diminished. The only thing I can think of is that it is "almost diminished". I'm pretty sure there is theory behind the name, can anyone explain it to me? My guitar teacher couldn't.
Because 1 b3 b5 bb7 is fully diminished, the seventh is only flatted "halfway", if that makes any sense. I'd assume that's where the name comes from.
a truly diminished chord has a minor third between each note so you get this repeating pattern but this usually sounds horrible and plus doesnt fit in regular scales so you have a half diminished with the regular b7
Well a minor seventh would be 1 b3 5 b7. A diminished would be 1 b3 b5 bb7. A half diminished only flattens the fifth, half the degrees that the diminished does. That's the gist of it.
Quote by grampastumpy
Well a minor seventh would be 1 b3 5 b7. A diminished would be 1 b3 b5 bb7. A half diminished only flattens the fifth, half the degrees that the diminished does. That's the gist of it.

TS: Go with this explanation over mine, I'd say.

Although a half-diminished seventh chord is 1 b3 b5 b7, not 1 b3 5 b7. He was talking about m7b5, not m7.
Alright that's what I thought but I didn't know it was that simple.
Quote by :-D
TS: Go with this explanation over mine, I'd say.

Although a half-diminished seventh chord is 1 b3 b5 b7, not 1 b3 5 b7. He was talking about m7b5, not m7.
I know, I was putting the m7b5 between those two. I said the minor seventh was 1 b3 5 b7.
I know, I was just making sure you didn't misread the question.
It's just nomenclature. There is no scientific explanation. Accept it and use the chord.