2.7.1 Chord mode

Chord mode is used to enter chords using an indicator of the chord structure, rather than the chord pitches.


Chord mode overview

Chords can be entered as simultaneous music, as discussed in Note in un accordo.

Chords can also be entered in “chord mode”, which is an input mode that focuses on the structures of chords in traditional European music, rather than on specific pitches. This is convenient for those who are familiar with using chord names to describe chords. More information on different input modes can be found at Input modes.

\chordmode { c1 g a g c }

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Chords entered using chord mode are music elements, and can be transposed just like chords entered using simultaneous music. \chordmode is absolute, as \relative has no effect on chordmode blocks. However, in \chordmode the absolute pitches are one octave higher than in note mode.

Chord mode and note mode can be mixed in sequential music:

<c e g>2 <g b d>
\chordmode { c2 f }
<c e g>2 <g' b d>
\chordmode { f2 g }

[image of music]

Vedi anche

Music Glossary: chord.

Notation Reference: Note in un accordo, Input modes.

Snippets: Chords.

Problemi noti e avvertimenti

Predefined shorthands for articulations and ornaments cannot be used on notes in chord mode, see Articolazioni e abbellimenti.

When chord mode and note mode are mixed in sequential music, and chord mode comes first, the note mode will create a new Staff context:

\chordmode { c2 f }
<c e g>2 <g' b d>

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To avoid this behavior, explicitly create the Staff context:

\new Staff {
  \chordmode { c2 f }
  <c e g>2  <g' b d>
}

[image of music]


Common chords

Major triads are entered by including the root and an optional duration:

\chordmode { c2 f4 g }

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Minor, augmented, and diminished triads are entered by placing : and a quality modifier string after the duration:

\chordmode { c2:m f4:aug g:dim }

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Seventh chords can be created:

\chordmode { c1:7 c:m7 c:maj7 c:dim7 c:aug7 }

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The table below shows the actions of the quality modifiers on triads and seventh chords. The default seventh step added to chords is a minor or flatted seventh, which makes the dominant seventh the basic seventh chord. All alterations are relative to the dominant seventh. A more complete table of modifier usage is found at Common chord modifiers.

ModifierActionExample
NoneThe default action; produces a major triad.

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m, m7The minor chord. This modifier lowers the 3rd.

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dim, dim7The diminished chord. This modifier lowers the 3rd, 5th and (if present) the 7th step.

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augThe augmented chord. This modifier raises the 5th step.

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maj, maj7The major 7th chord. This modifier adds a raised 7th step. The 7 following maj is optional. Do NOT use this modifier to create a major triad.

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Vedi anche

Notation Reference: Common chord modifiers, Extended and altered chords.

Snippets: Chords.

Problemi noti e avvertimenti

Only one quality modifier should be used per chord, typically on the highest step present in the chord. Chords with more than quality modifier will be parsed without an error or warning, but the results are unpredictable. Chords that cannot be achieved with a single quality modifier should be altered by individual pitches, as described in Extended and altered chords.


Extended and altered chords

Chord structures of arbitrary complexity can be created in chord mode. The modifier string can be used to extend a chord, add or remove chord steps, raise or lower chord steps, and add a bass note or create an inversion.

The first number following the : is taken to be the extent of the chord. The chord is constructed by sequentially adding thirds to the root until the specified number has been reached. Note that the seventh step added as part of an extended chord will be the minor or flatted seventh, not the major seventh. If the extent is not a third (e.g., 6), thirds are added up to the highest third below the extent, and then the step of the extent is added. The largest possible value for the extent is 13. Any larger value is interpreted as 13.

\chordmode {
  c1:2 c:3 c:4 c:5
  c1:6 c:7 c:8 c:9
  c1:10 c:11 c:12 c:13
  c1:14
}

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Note that both c:5 and c produce a C major triad.

Since an unaltered 11 does not sound good when combined with an unaltered 13, the 11 is removed from a :13 chord (unless it is added explicitly).

\chordmode {
  c1:13 c:13.11 c:m13
}

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Individual steps can be added to a chord. Additions follow the extent and are prefixed by a dot (.). The basic seventh step added to a chord is the minor or flatted seventh, rather than the major seventh.

\chordmode {
  c1:5.6 c:3.7.8 c:3.6.13
}

[image of music]

Added steps can be as high as desired.

\chordmode {
  c4:5.15 c:5.20 c:5.25 c:5.30
}

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Added chord steps can be altered by suffixing a - or + sign to the number. To alter a step that is automatically included as part of the basic chord structure, add it as an altered step.

\chordmode {
  c1:7+ c:5+.3- c:3-.5-.7-
}

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Following any steps to be added, a series of steps to be removed is introduced in a modifier string with a prefix of ^. If more than one step is to be removed, the steps to be removed are separated by . following the initial ^.

\chordmode {
  c1^3 c:7^5 c:9^3 c:9^3.5 c:13.11^3.7
}

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The modifier sus can be added to the modifier string to create suspended chords. This removes the 3rd step from the chord. Append either 2 or 4 to add the 2nd or 4th step to the chord. sus is equivalent to ^3; sus4 is equivalent to .4^3.

\chordmode {
  c1:sus c:sus2 c:sus4 c:5.4^3
}

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Inversions (putting a pitch other than the root on the bottom of the chord) and added bass notes can be specified by appending /pitch to the chord.

\chordmode {
  c1 c/g c/f
}

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A bass note that is part of the chord can be added, instead of moved as part of an inversion, by using /+pitch.

\chordmode {
  c1 c/g c/+g
}

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Chord modifiers that can be used to produce a variety of standard chords are shown in Common chord modifiers.

Vedi anche

Notation Reference: Common chord modifiers.

Snippets: Chords.

Problemi noti e avvertimenti

Each step can only be present in a chord once. The following simply produces the augmented chord, since 5+ is interpreted last.

\chordmode { c1:5.5-.5+ }

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Only the second inversion can be created by adding a bass note. The first inversion requires changing the root of the chord.

\chordmode {
  c'1: c':/g e:6-3-^5 e:m6-^5
}

[image of music]


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