For the lowered seventh degree, see subtonic.
Seventh scale degree, or leading-tone, leading to the first scale degree, or tonic, in C major .
Tonic and leading tone chords in C  . C major and B diminished (b°) chords.
Dominant seventh and incomplete dominant seventh in C major: G7 and b° chords  .
Tritone resolution inward and outwards . Both notes resolve by half step.
Tritone substitution, ii-subV-I on C, creates an upper leading-note (D, which leads down to C)

In music theory, a leading-note (also subsemitone, and called the leading-tone in the US) is a note or pitch which resolves or "leads" to a note one semitone higher or lower, being a lower and upper leading-tone, respectively.

 Leading tone in V-I progression Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player. You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser. Leading tone repeats four times over dominant (V) chord which then moves to the tonic (I) as the leading tone resolves upwards to the tonic Problems playing this file? See media help.
Cadence featuring an upper leading tone from a well known 16th-century lamentation, the debate over which was documented in Rome c.1540 (Berger 1987, 148).

Seventh chord resolution from Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" (Benward & Saker 2003, 203)  . Note that the seventh resolves down by half step.

According to Ernst Kurth (1913) the major and minor thirds contain "latent" tendencies towards the perfect fourth and whole-tone, respectively, and thus establish tonality. However, Carl Dahlhaus (1990)[page needed] shows that this drive is in fact created through or with harmonic function, a root progression in another voice by a whole-tone or fifth, or melodically (monophonically) by the context of the scale. For example, the leading note of alternating C chord and F minor chords is either the note E leading to F, if F is tonic, or A leading to G, if C is tonic. In works from the 14th and 15th century Western tradition, the leading-note is created by the progression from imperfect to perfect dissonances, such as a major third to a perfect fifth or minor third to a unison. The same pitch outside of the imperfect consonance is not a leading note.

As a diatonic function the leading-note is the seventh scale degree of any diatonic scale when the distance between it and the tonic is a single semitone. In diatonic scales where there is a whole tone between the seventh scale degree and the tonic, such as the Mixolydian mode, the seventh degree is called instead, the subtonic.

Leading-tone seventh chord in C major: viiø7  .
Leading-tone seventh chord in C minor: viio7  .

The leading-tone seventh chords are viiø7 and viio7 (Benward and Saker 2003, 219), in major and in minor.

## Sources

• Benward, Bruce, and Marilyn Nadine Saker (2003). Music: In Theory and Practice, Vol. I, seventh edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-294262-0.
• Berger, Karol (1987). Musica Ficta: Theories of Accidental Inflections in Vocal Polyphony from Marchetto da Padova to Gioseffo Zarlino. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-32871-3 (cloth); ISBN 0-521-54338-X (pbk).
• Coker, Jerry (1991). Elements of the Jazz Language for the Developing Improvisor. Miami, Fla.: CCP/Belwin, Inc. ISBN 1-57623-875-X.
• Dahlhaus, Carl (1990). Studies in the Origin of Harmonic Tonality, trans. Robert O. Gjerdingen, pp.184-85. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09135-8.
• Kurth, Ernst (1913). Die Voraussetzungen der theoretischen Harmonik und der tonalen Darstellungssysteme, pp. 119ff. Bern: Akademische Buchhandlung M. Drechsel. Unaltered reprint edition, with an afterword by Carl DahlhausMunich: E. Katzbichler, 1973. ISBN 3-87397-014-7.
• Stainer, John, and William Alexander Barrett (eds.) (1876). A Dictionary of Musical Terms. London: Novello, Ewer and Co. New and revised edition, London: Novello & Co, 1898.