What is diminution?

  • (noun): The act of decreasing or reducing something.
    Synonyms: decrease, reduction, step-down
    See also — Additional definitions below

Diminution

In Western music and music theory, diminution (from Medieval Latin diminutio, alteration of Latin deminutio, decrease) has four distinct meanings. Diminution may be a form of embellishment in which a long note is divided into a series of shorter, usually melodic, values (also called "coloration"). Diminution may also be the compositional device where a melody, theme or motif is presented in shorter note-values than were previously used. Diminution is also the term for the proportional shortening of the value of individual note-shapes in mensural notation, either by coloration or by a sign of proportion. A minor or perfect interval that is narrowed by a chromatic semitone is a diminished interval, and the process may be referred to as diminution (this, too, was sometimes referred to as "coloration").

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More definitions of "diminution":

  • (noun): Change toward something smaller or lower.
    Synonyms: decline
  • (noun): The statement of a theme in notes of lesser duration (usually half the length of the original).

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