What is a minor major 7th chord?


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Minor Major 7th Chord

Ah, the Minor Major 7th chord. Although it has an unusual name, the Minor Major 7th chord is simply a minor chord with the 7th note raised a half-step. To clarify, the 7th is raised from how it appears in the natural minor scale to how it would appear in the major scale of that root.

Minor major 7th chord

For instance, the Am7 chord on the left uses notes in the A natural minor scale. When we raise the 7th (G) to a G♯, the distance between the root (A) and G♯ is now a major 7th interval (and G♯ is the 7th note of an A Major scale). Thus, we get the “A Minor Major 7th” chord, often abbreviated as AmM7.

Minor major 7th chord 2
minor Major 7th Chord Examples

Tips) Minor Major 7th chord (because of its augmented fifth interval between the 3rd and 7th of the chord) has a somewhat daunting, mysterious, ‘James Bond-esque’ tone that can often be heard in many crime/spy/noir films. Famous usage of this chord can be found in many of Bernard Herrmann’s scores. Possibly the most well-known example is the beginning part of the “Psycho Suite” in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho (1960) and the notoriously famous string arpeggios in the beginning of the “Vertigo Suite” from the movie Vertigo (1958).


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