Augmentation (music)

augmentationaugmentedwideningaugmented/diminishedaugmented 2ndaugmented intervalsaugmentingaugmented intervalaugmentations
In Western music and music theory, augmentation (from Late Latin augmentare, to increase) is the lengthening of a note or interval.wikipedia
98 Related Articles

Interval (music)

intervalintervalsmusical interval
In Western music and music theory, augmentation (from Late Latin augmentare, to increase) is the lengthening of a note or interval.
The name of any interval is further qualified using the terms perfect (P), major (M), minor (m), augmented (A), and diminished (d). This is called its interval quality.

Augmented fifth

Thus an augmented fifth, for example, is a chromatic semitone wider than the perfect fifth.
In classical music from Western culture, an augmented fifth is an interval produced by widening a perfect fifth by a chromatic semitone.


A melody or series of notes is augmented if the lengths of the notes are prolonged; augmentation is thus the opposite of diminution, where note values are shortened.
A melody or series of notes is diminished if the lengths of the notes are shortened; diminution is thus the opposite of augmentation, where the notes are lengthened.


contrapuntalcontrapuntallyspecies counterpoint
This technique is often used in contrapuntal music, as in the "canon by augmentation" ("per augmentationem"), in which the notes in the following voice or voices are longer than those in the leading voice, usually twice the original length.
Augmentation: When in one of the parts in imitative counterpoint the note values are extended in duration compared to the rate at which they were sounded when introduced.

Augmented unison

chromatic semitonesmaller
An interval is augmented if it is widened by a chromatic semitone.
Other sources reject the possibility or utility of the diminished unison on the grounds that any alteration to the unison increases its size, thus augmenting rather than diminishing it. Sources for augmented unison

Devil in popular culture

SatanDevilconcept of Satan
The musical interval of an augmented fourth (also called a diminished fifth or a tritone) was called the Devil's Chord (Latin: Diabolus in musica – the Devil in music) and was banned by the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.

Subminor and supermajor

12/7supermajor sixthsubminor sixth
A supermajor interval is a musical interval that is noticeably wider than a major interval but noticeably narrower than an augmented interval.

The Art of Fugue

Die Kunst der FugeArt of FugueFugues
Contrapunctus VII, a 4 per Augmentationem et Diminutionem: Uses augmented (doubling all note lengths) and diminished versions of the main subject and its inversion.


diminished fifthaugmented fourtheleventh harmonic
The augmented fourth (A4) and diminished fifth (d5) are defined as the intervals produced by widening the perfect fourth and narrowing the perfect fifth by one chromatic semitone.

Hexatonic scale

hexatonicaugmented scalesix
Famous examples include the whole tone scale, C D E F G A C; the augmented scale, C D E G A B C; the Prometheus scale, C D E F A B C; and the blues scale, C E F G G B C. A hexatonic scale can also be formed by stacking perfect fifths.

Augmented sixth

augmented7/4Superfluous Sixth
In classical music from Western culture, an augmented sixth is an interval produced by widening a major sixth by a chromatic semitone.

Augmented seventh

augmentedSuperfluous Seventh
In classical music from Western culture, an augmented seventh is an interval produced by widening a major seventh by a chromatic semitone.

Thematic transformation

thematic developmenttransformation of themestransformed
Thematic transformation (also known as thematic metamorphosis or thematic development) is a musical technique in which a leitmotif, or theme, is developed by changing the theme by using permutation (transposition or modulation, inversion, and retrograde), augmentation, diminution, and fragmentation.

Dotted note

dotteddotted rhythmdot
The use of a dot for augmentation of a note dates back at least to the 10th century, although the exact amount of augmentation is disputed; see Neume.


In any of the entries within a fugue, the subject may be altered, by inversion, retrograde (a less common form where the entire subject is heard back-to-front) and diminution (the reduction of the subject's rhythmic values by a certain factor), augmentation (the increase of the subject's rhythmic values by a certain factor) or any combination of them.

Prolation canon

mensuration canonmensuration canonsmensural
If voices extend the rhythmic values of the leader (for example, by doubling all note values), a procedure known as augmentation, the resulting canon can be called an augmentation canon or canon by augmentation (canon per augmentationem) or sloth canon (recalling the slow movement of the sloth).

Steve Reich

ReichStephen Reich
He investigated other musical processes such as augmentation (the temporal lengthening of phrases and melodic fragments).

Erich Walter Sternberg

Examples of this can be seen in his salient use of the augmented 2nd and cantilation motifs in the piano cycle Visions from the East, a programmatic work concerning the Jews of Eastern Europe, and in his String Quartet no.1, where he quotes both a Yiddish song, Bei a teich (‘The River’), and the formula for the prayer Shema Yisrael.

Four Organs

The process of increased augmentation is accomplished first by causing notes to sustain after the chord, and then notes start anticipating the chord.

Dominant seventh sharp ninth chord

Seventh sharp ninth
Rather than fully allow the inclusion of diminished and augmented thirds into the theory, a typical solution in jazz is to define chords as stacks of chordal degrees, where each degree has some range of selection from which to take its note or notes.

Clavier-Übung III

The widest range in pitch between upper and lower parts occurs exactly halfway through at bar 27. At the end of each line the cantus firmus is taken up in the left (lower) pedal, which, without break, then plays the countersubject while above the right (upper) pedal concludes the section by playing the cantus firmus in the tenor register in augmentation (i.e., with doubled note lengths).

The Musical Offering

Musical OfferingMusikalisches OpferThe Musical Offering'', BWV 1079
One of these riddle canons, "in augmentationem" (i.e. augmentation, the length of the notes gets longer), is inscribed "Notulis crescentibus crescat Fortuna Regis" (may the fortunes of the king increase like the length of the notes), while a modulating canon which ends a tone higher than it starts is inscribed "Ascendenteque Modulatione ascendat Gloria Regis" (as the modulation rises, so may the King's glory).

Irregular resolution

Consecutive fifths and octaves, augmented intervals, and false relations should still be avoided.

Augmented second

augmentedaugmented ninthD
In classical music from Western culture, an augmented second is an interval that, in equal temperament, is sonically equivalent to a minor third, spanning three semitones, and is created by widening a major second by a chromatic semitone.