Definition of subdominant in English:



  • The fourth note of the diatonic scale of any key.

    • ‘That Schubert is fond of modulating to the subdominant is well-known.’
    • ‘His discovery may lead him to improvise B sections in the subdominant.’
    • ‘The Mother's theme begins in the key of D minor, but shifts abruptly, in measure 5, to a tonicization of the key of the subdominant, G minor.’
    • ‘One of the most delightful touches in Facy's Ave Maris Stella is the use of Bis in the penultimate bar, suggesting, in modern terms, G minor: the subdominant of D minor.’
    • ‘In some pieces it is the last accidental one hears, such as the second ‘Brandenburg’ Concerto, though this is more to be expected: the farewell wave to the subdominant, so to speak.’