Diesis (scale theory)

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The diesis (precisely the mosdiesis) of a mos scale is the interval that is the difference between two enharmonic notes, i.e. the diminished mosstep or inverse diminished mosstep, whichever is positive. In soft (L:s < 2:1) scales, it is the diminished mosstep. In hard (L:s > 2:1) scales, it is the inverse diminished mosstep, since the diminished mosstep itself is negative. In basic (L:s = 2:1) scales, it vanishes.

The diesis or enharmonic diesis in the diatonic scale is the diminished second or inverse diminished second, whichever is positive. For example, the interval of C♯ – D♭. If the fifth represents the just interval 3/2, the diesis or inverse diesis represents the Pythagorean comma. In meantone, it approximates a class of commas separated by the syntonic comma, among which 128/125, the augmented comma, is notable for being tuned pure in quarter-comma meantone. Therefore diesis traditionally refers to the augmented comma by default. Other dieses are

See also