How Chords Are Named


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How Chords Are Named

A chord is a combination of three or more tones sounded together. The construction of each chord is based on a tone called the root of the chord.

Chord symbols are frequently used to abbreviate chord names. The symbols consist of a letter (with or without a sharp or flat) identifying the root of the chord plus, in most cases, additional information identifying the other tones in the chord.

If the chord symbol consists only of the name of the root, the chord is a major triad (three note chord).

Examples of chord symbols represented in this site's Chord Charts are:

CC major chord (C major triad).
C6C major sixth chord.
C7C seventh chord (C major triad).
+Containing the interval of an augmented fifth.
susSuspended. The perfect fourth substitutes for the major third.
C9C ninth chord (C major triad).
maj7Containing the interval of a major seventh.
C+C augmented chord (C augmented triad).
dimDiminished seventh chord.
mContaining the interval of a minor third.
6Containing the interval of a major sixth.
7Containing the interval of a minor seventh.

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