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n. Music
The fourth tone of a diatonic scale, next below the dominant.
1. Zoology Less than dominant; ranking below one that is dominant: the subdominant male in a pride of lions.
2. Ecology Prevalent in a community but below the dominant in importance. Used of a species.


(sʌbˈdɒmɪnənt) music
1. (Music, other) the fourth degree of a major or minor scale
2. (Music, other) a key or chord based on this
(Music, other) of or relating to the subdominant


(sʌbˈdɒm ə nənt)

1. the fourth tone of an ascending diatonic scale.
2. less than or not quite dominant.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.subdominant - (music) the fourth note of the diatonic scale
musical note, note, tone - a notation representing the pitch and duration of a musical sound; "the singer held the note too long"
music - an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
References in periodicals archive ?
Combining a subdominant quarter-strut jake with a ready-to-breed hen is the ultimate way to raise the ire of all gobblers.
There can be conflict at the site, with dominant deer keeping subdominant animals at bay.
including a subdominant to median major ,chord change in bar 10, a common feature in a number of popular tunes of the period.
I prefer using a subdominant buck simply because it is less intimidating, and when conditions are right you can see quite the show.
This short discussion from the Observations--a discussion, it is worth noting, that has no exact parallel in Rameau's other writings--ends up being of capital importance for Verba's argument, for she finds in it a general principal of operatic composition: "when the emotions or actions in the text 'progress' to the darker and less benign realm or to the sadder and more resigned emotions, there is a harmonic tendency to favor the subdominant or flat direction.
And I always thought that some of the main characters of the opera would have to be the tonic, the dominant, and the subdominant harmonies.
On each sampling date and for each mesocosm, a species list of dominant and subdominant submerged macrophytes (not including filamentous algae) was produced.
It seems unlikely that one could form adaptive SIP patterns if one cannot purposely focus on or shift attention to what is important in one's social world (particularly others' needs and feelings); inhibit prepotent responses while activating alternative, subdominant responses; stave off frustration; and remain composed.
Further, while, on the one hand, the early 20th century found an increasing prominence of women from a courtesan background in the cinema and gramophone industries, David Lelyveld, in his essay, Upon the Subdominant, talks about the role All India Radio played in "integrating Indian Culture and raising 'standards'.
In light of this, we conclude that the [scene-agent] ratio holds a subdominant position over the ratios [scene-agency], [scene-act] and [scene-purpose].
In several other provinces, a transient subdominant multiannual cycle was observed, but these cycles are difficult to interpret epidemiologically.
In Example 1, the key signature suggests C major, however upon listening to the harmonies, nowhere do we hear the expected tonic, subdominant and dominant tonalities.