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For example, what does the △ mean in C△7?

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Also have a look at this question and its answers. There the origin of the triangle (= triad!) is explained. –  Matt L. Feb 4 at 21:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 21 down vote accepted

It's a major 7th! C△7 would be C, E, G, and B♮.

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Does that mean that it is the same as CM7? –  Sam Jul 9 '12 at 13:54
Yes, it has the same meaning as a M or maj. –  American Luke Jul 9 '12 at 14:04
There is muddy-ness in practice when it comes to using the △ alone. I have seen scores (I mean fake-books) where C△ = CMajor7 (as played on the recording), and other times where they clearly wanted only CMajor (perhaps the 7th ends up clashing with the melody). Perhaps this can be attributed by errors in transcription. Perhaps the answer is that they intended only CMajor and sometimes the CMajor7 will also work. –  amalgamate Feb 4 at 20:21

Be careful with using CM for C major. In Inkpen, a popular font with users of the Sibelius score-publishing program, lower-case letters are merely small versions of upper-case ones, so CM could easily be confused with Cm. Use Cmaj7 or C^.

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