Leading-tone meaning

lēdĭng
The seventh tone or degree of a scale that is a half tone below the tonic; a subtonic.
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(music) The seventh tone of a scale, a half tone below the tonic.
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(music) Scale degree seven when the first scale degree is one half step higher than the seventh scale degree.
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Origin of leading-tone

  • From its tendency to lead into or rise to the tonic

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition