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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 ?
Over the next few lessons enormous progress is made as we add flatted (minor) sevenths to the two other chords in the progression; an A[flat] note in the B[flat] tonic chord, a D[flat] note in the E[flat] subdominant chord.
uses tonics not in the sense of being established by contrast with dominant and subdominant chords, but in the sense of being established by pedal point or drone.
Wood uses the strong tonic, dominant, and subdominant chords in the false key of [C.