Subdominant(redirected from subdominants)
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in music, one of the three harmonic functions; also, the chord situated a fifth below the tonic and indicated by S. The basis of the subdominant chord is the fourth degree of a scale, which is itself called the subdominant. Chords based on the second and sixth degrees also have subdominant functions. The subdominant gravitates more to the tonic than does the dominant because it contains the tonic’s basic tone. The alternation of subdominants and dominants most clearly defines a scale’s gravitation. The tonality of a tonic’s subdominant is called the subdominant key.