In music, a subminor interval is an interval that is noticeably wider than a diminished interval but noticeably narrower than a minor interval. It is found in between a minor and diminished interval, thus making it below, or subminor to, the minor interval.
Thus, a subminor second is intermediate between a minor second and a diminished second (enharmonic to unison). An example of such an interval is the ratio 26:25, or 67.90 cents. Another example is the ratio 28:27, or 62.96 cents.
A subminor third is in between a minor third and a diminished third. An example of such an interval is the ratio 7:6 Play (help·info), or 266.87 cents, the septimal minor third, the inverse of the supermajor sixth. Another example is the ratio 13:11, or 289.21 cents.
Composer Lou Harrison was fascinated with the 7:6 subminor third and 8:7 supermajor second, using them in pieces such as Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan, Cinna for tack-piano, and Strict Songs (for voices and orchestra). Together the two produce the 4:3 perfect fourth (a supermajor second above a subminor third is the perfect fourth).
- Leta E. Miller, ed. (1988). Lou Harrison: Selected keyboard and chamber music, 1937-1994, p.xliii. ISBN 978-0-89579-414-7.
- Von Helmholtz, Hermann L. F (2007). On the Sensations of Tone, p.195&212. ISBN 978-1-60206-639-7.
- Miller (1988), p.xlii.
- Leta E. Miller, Fredric Lieberman (2006). Lou Harrison: American Composers, p.72. ISBN 978-0-252-03120-5.
- Miller & Lieberman (2006), p.74. "The subminor third and supermajor second combine to create a pure fourth (8⁄7 x 7⁄6 = 4⁄3)."
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