In modern Western tonal music theory a diminished second is the interval between notes on two adjacent staff positions, or having adjacent note letters, whose alterations cause them, in ordinary equal temperament, to have no pitch difference, such as B and C♭ or B♯ and C. The two notes may more often be described as Enharmonic equivalents.
More specifically, in other tunings and repertoires from Western culture, a diminished second is the minute (smaller than a semitone) pitch interval produced by narrowing a minor second, or diatonic semitone, by a chromatic semitone. It is therefore the difference between the diatonic and chromatic semitones. For instance, the interval from B to C is a diatonic semitone, the interval from B to B♯ is a chromatic semitone, and their difference, the interval from B♯ to C is a diminished second. Being diminished, it is considered a dissonant interval.
The diminished second can be also viewed as a comma, the minute interval between two enharmonically equivalent notes tuned in a slightly different way. This makes it a highly variable quantity between tuning systems. Hence for example C♯ is narrower (or sometimes wider) than D♭ by a diminished second interval, however large or small that may happen to be (see image below).
Read more about Diminished Second: Size in Different Tuning Systems
Other articles related to "diminished second":
... In 12-tone equal temperament, the diminished second is identical to the unison ( play), because both semitones have the same size ... Such is also the case in twelfth-comma meantone, although that diminished second is only about a twelfth of the Pythagorean one (−1.95 cents, the opposite of a schisma) ... The table below summarizes the definitions of the diminished second in the main tuning systems ...
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