How Music Works
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Playing with Chords

Playing with Chords

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(7.1)  Alternate Chord Symbols

The names of the chord types introduced earlier, and used throughout these tutorials, are a standard format which is widely used.  

However you should be aware that in sheet music, you may sometimes come across other names and symbols for these same chord types.

Some common examples of alternate chord symbols you may find are shown below, together with their equivalent chord types in our standard notation.

The non-alphabetic symbols are found mainly in jazz scores.  These symbols are convenient for handwritten notation, but generally do not transfer well to the limited character sets of computer keyboards.

The symbols listed above can appear in various chord types.  For example, the minus symbol (-) can be used to mean 'minor' in chords such as C- (= Cm), C-7 (= Cm7) and C-9 (= Cm9).

However, it can also be used in a different way to mean 'flat' in chords such as C7-9 (= C7b9).  You will need to work out each case separately, but you should soon get the idea.

ChordWizard products give you the flexibility to change the names of any of the standard chord types to suit your preferences.  By default, they are given the names that appear in these tutorials.

 

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