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    Chord notation

    I have some handwritten music with chord notation that I’ve not seen before (do I need to get out more?) and which I don’t understand. It’s in the key of D. I can’t reproduce it here because I can’t find a ‘natural’ symbol. So let’s use ‘H’. The opening chord is DH7 (D natural 7), going to GH7, DH7, D, G/B, A7sus, A7, DH7. It’s the naturals I don’t follow. I assume it’s an alternative (obscure?) way of writing something else, but what? Any guidance would be appreciated.

    Sorry if this is in the wrong forum but General Chat doesn’t seem to be frequented by those I would expect to jump in with an answer, such as andyg 😊
    Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
    Current: Yamaha AR-100

    #2
    Roger,

    I've never seen this notation either. However, my guess is that it is referring to a major 7 chord. Try it and see if it sounds right with major 7 chords.

    I hope this helps.

    Allen
    Currently own: Roland Atelier AT-90, Yamaha 115D, Roland DP-90SE, Yamaha PSR-S910

    YouTube Channel

    Comment


      #3
      Could this be a German abbreviation for haupt/major in the same way as moll/minor?

      Comment


        #4
        It's just an unusual (some would say wrong) way of denoting a major 7th. As Allen said, try it with major 7ths - that chord sequence sounds just fine when you do - just tried it.
        It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

        New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

        Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
        Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
        Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.

        Comment


        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          Major-major 7th, or is it a major-minor 7th? Personally, I think it is indicating the C# should be natural (major-minor 7th). Go with your ear.

          Michael

          P.S. If people are confused by my indications above, the first major refers to the root triad, and the 2nd refers to the interval of the 7th above the root chord.

        #5
        Thanks for the replies. I’m working on it and will get back.
        Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
        Current: Yamaha AR-100

        Comment


          #6
          The chord in question is D F# A C# - commonly notated as Dmaj7. It's sometimes called the 'natural 7th' (the one that naturally occurs in the major scale) as the 'flattened' or 'flatted' 7th is the note that's added to the basic chord to get what we simply call a 7th. So the D major chord with the minor 7th (AKA flattened 7th) of C would be just D7, of course. It's flattened as the chord is the dominant of the 4th above (G in this case) and there is no C# in the scale of G.

          The D minor chord with a major 7th would be the lovely sounding D F A C#, commonly notated as Dm maj7.

          There are other accepted ways of notating some chords such as a little triangle after the chord letter, meaning major 7th. All of the abbreviations were very handy for copyists, as it saved them a lot of time! These days, it's arguable that software means that the copyists' time savers are no longer necessary and that chords etc should be written in full so that everyone knows exactly what's what.

          It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

          New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

          Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
          Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
          Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.

          Comment


          • myorgan
            myorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Great summation, Andy.

            I agree that software largely negates the need for shortcuts. I wouldn't mind if a few died out–including fonts made to look like handwritten scores. What's the point?!!! Maybe I'm a prima donna, but I detest handwritten scores. Obviously, they still exist for music written before the computer age, but if I have a performance coming up, I'll re-write them on the computer. It also helps me learn the chordal structure of a piece as I transcribe it to computer.

            Michael

          #7
          Certainly food for thought there and I have taken the opportunity of revising my theoretical knowledge of scales and chord formation as a result. All your helpful and explanatory replies are much appreciated. So major 7th it is - chord sequences sound OK and seem to fit well with the melody, which has to be a good thing!

          The music in question was written out by a guy who would do so after listening to recordings I sent him - a very useful contact with whom I have now lost touch. I had a number of tunes for which I couldn’t find the sheet music transcribed, and several of these I have yet to get to grips with.

          I did once get some score-writing software but the process was so slow that I never really used it. Perhaps things have improved now. I also had software that would create a score from the music played but I never got round to using that either.
          Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
          Current: Yamaha AR-100

          Comment


          • afuller5
            afuller5 commented
            Editing a comment
            Roger,

            In addition to Michael's suggestion, I would look at NoteWorthy Composer. It is shareware. To register, it costs about $40US. It is what I use.

            Allen

          • andyg
            andyg commented
            Editing a comment
            I've been a Sibelius user since version 2, having moved over from the rather too fiddly Finale. But things have gone downhill since Avid took over so they're not getting any more of my money! I'm on v7 and staying with it.

            Their free version, confusing called Sibelius First (not to be confused with the old Sibelius First, which is now just Sibelius) is so cut down it's less powerful than Musescore. As many of the keyboard shortcuts are common to both, or very similar, I get my students onto Musescore and if they're really serious and need pro standard notation, they go to Sibelius.

            I think the latest version of Musescore is great. I've not played with Noteworthy Composer for more than a few minutes, so can't offer an opinion.

          • myorgan
            myorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Andy,

            I think the OP was asking about chord notation. So far, I haven't found where one can get the guitar chord diagrams in MuseScore. It may exist, but I haven't found it yet.

            Michael

            P.S. I'm stuck on Sibelius (v4 or v5) as well.

          #8
          Thanks for the recommendations. I’m not really in need of software right now but a free version of Musecore would do no harm. I’ll have a look at it.

          Michael, I think we’ve moved on a bit since my original post which was, as you say, about chord notation. I’m not worried about guitar symbols but would need the chord names displayed. Does Musecore do that? Thanks.

          I previously had (still have the CD) Score Writer by Cakewalk which was designed for Windows 95/98. Don’t suppose it will work with Windows 10 😐
          Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
          Current: Yamaha AR-100

          Comment


          • myorgan
            myorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes it does. It allows you to enter whatever text you need as chord symbols. I'm not sure about superscript or subscript, though.

            Michael

          • afuller5
            afuller5 commented
            Editing a comment
            Roger,

            Noteworthy will allow you to enter any kind of text. I use that to enter the chords. It does not have super- or subscript. You can also enter lyrics. There is a free trial version if you would like to try it. If you would like to see an example of what its output looks like, private message me with your e-mail address, and I'll e-mail you a pdf.

            Later,
            Allen

          • RogerM
            RogerM commented
            Editing a comment
            Allen,

            That’s very kind of you. PM sent.

            Roger

          #9
          Coincidentally someone sent me this to illustrate a point. How do you think the score-writers mentioned would cope? 🤯

          https://images.app.goo.gl/7PKP86VBMNin39eb9
          Last edited by RogerM; 12-01-2019, 12:54 PM.
          Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
          Current: Yamaha AR-100

          Comment


          • myorgan
            myorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Some better than others! I'd hedge my bets on one of the professional programs, though.

            Michael

          • andyg
            andyg commented
            Editing a comment
            After talking to the, er, composer (in whichever establishment he's being held for crimes against musicality) to establish exactly what he meant (and to share some of whatever it was he'd been taking at the time), you could go home and do this with Finale or Sibelius - but there would be a heck of a lot of fakery required - you couldn't just type it in!

          • samibe
            samibe commented
            Editing a comment
            My wife told me to put it into musescore so she can hear how it's supposed to sound. That would take so many hours just to try to write out and it's only a page. Part of me thinks it might be easier to code directly into a midi editor.
            Last edited by samibe; Yesterday, 12:36 AM.
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