augmented fourth

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

augmented fourth (plural augmented fourths)

  1. (music) A type of tritone in musical composition comprising of six semitones. It spans four diatonic scale degrees like a perfect fourth but with an extension of a semitone. The number of diatonic degrees it spans is what distinguishes it from a diminished fifth.
    e.g. C - F is a perfect fourth, C - F# is an augmented fourth, and C - F♭ is a diminished fourth.

Usage notes[edit]

Aurally it is impossible to distinguish between an augmented fourth and a diminished fifth. For this reason one would call it a "tritone" in a context such as ear training, but distinguish between an augmented fourth and a diminished fifth when, for example, analysing a score.

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