I was always taught that it should, but the Wikipedia article doesn't use the accent at all. I'm British — is it an American thing to ignore the accent? I am preparing some content for an American music site and I'd like to be accurate for as much of the world as possible.

  • 2
    This is more of a linguistic than a musical question... IMHO if a word has an accent then you should write it
    – Clemens
    Apr 25, 2013 at 7:37
  • Well it obviously comes from the French so either, the é is to be kept as in "cliché" or maybe the word evolved differently in your countries, which happens all the time. Either way, I'm French so I guess I'm not on the most suited to answer this question. Apr 25, 2013 at 7:45
  • There is an acute accent over the e, which eludes me on my keyboard ! But, I don't think it would be used if written 'barred'. I'm off to find an AZERTY board, like the French use.
    – Tim
    Apr 25, 2013 at 15:32
  • 1
    If you're using a Mac, it's Alt+E, then the e again. Alt+130 on the numpad for PC.
    – Luke
    Apr 25, 2013 at 15:59
  • @lukech sunovabic! I've been using octal this whole time without knowing it! The way I've always typed this on a PC is Alt+0233. é. 130 is way shorter. May 2, 2013 at 2:43

1 Answer 1


The New Oxford American Dictionary says:

bar•ré |bäˈrā| noun Music

a method of playing a chord on the guitar or similar instrument with a finger laid across the strings at a particular fret, raising their pitch.

ORIGIN late 19th cent.: French, literally ‘barred,’ past participle of barrer.

I never realized that the "é" is supposed to have an accent and is supposed to be stressed. I've always pronounced it like the English "bar", which I now realize was not the original pronunciation.


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