Ch. 5 – Chord Symbols

We need to learn chord symbols. They are a musicians acronym. They represent the multitude of harmonic colours we can add to our musical experience. The following two links handle spelling out chords very well

http://www.8notes.com/piano_chord_chart/

http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/piano/

My Own Topography of chords on the piano keyboard

http://musicdocz.com/wiki/index.php?title=Keyboard_Topography

BASIC CHORDS BUILT ON C
C… C E G      uses  1, 3, 5 notes of C  Major scale
CMaj7 ... C E G B     uses 1, 3, 5, 7 notes of C  Major scale (Also C with triangle)

Cm… C  EG     uses 1, 3, 5  notes  of  C minor scale.  (Also with “minus sign” C-)

C7 … C E G B♭     uses 1, 3, 5 note and flat7 of C Major scale

C aug … C E G#     uses 1, 3, and sharp 5 of C Major scale

Cm7♭5 … C E♭ G♭ B♭    uses 1, 3, flat 5 and flat 7 of C minor scale

C6 … C E G A    uses  1, 3, 5 and 6 of C Major scale

Cm6 . . . C E♭ G A uses 1, 3, 5 and raised 6th of C minor scale

C9 . . .  C E G B♭ D  uses  1, 3, 5, flat 7 and 9 of C Major scale

Cm9 . . .  C, Eb, G, B♭, D

C11 . . .  C, E, G, B♭, D, F sometimes written as  Bb/C

C7♭9  . . .  C, E, G, B♭, D♭

Common progressions in 5 easy keys

2 thoughts on “Ch. 5 – Chord Symbols

  1. I always thought C11 was without the E in it. The E and F clash and also confuse the type of chord it is: dominant, tonic or sub-dominant.

    What do you think?

  2. I agree most of the time. But the rules for finding valid notes and voicings are the same.
    You build on the 1-3-5-7-9-11-13
    The melody dictates what happens sometimes. This complexity of harmony is typically used by jazz pianists.
    I know it can be overused and some people never get used to it.
    Try C-G-E-Bb-D-F but resolve it with F-A-C-E or F-C-E-G the parallel movement treats the clash like it was meant to be.
    But maybe only half the population can reach a tenth so those kinds of voicings don’t get used much.