In the sheet music below, there is an A7sus42 notation above the 2nd half of the measure. However, the left and right hands only play A, D, G which I thought should just be an A7sus4 chord. Is my understanding correct? If so, why did the arranger bother including the the 2?

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  • Is the score an arrangement from a different instrument or ensamble? Perhaps there was A7sus4/2 → A7 in the original. It's a very typical progression on a dominant chord in classical music. Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 0:33
  • The piece is Canon I'm D, which I think was originally composed for a 4 voice ensemble (violin 1,2,3 and a Bass voice). Maybe in this part of the piece, the B is covered by one of the voices.
    – jet457
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


First consider the larger question of why the arranger included chord symbols at all. They're there, of course, for a performer who prefers to play from them rather than from the "dots". So the "real" chord is as given in the chord symbols, but for the purposes of the piano arrangement, the B (and, less significantly, the E -- the chordal fifth, which is often omitted) was dropped. At a guess, there just wasn't a good place to include it. The voicing is so close that the B would just muddy the sound. An alternative would have been to drop the left-hand A an octave, and have the right-hand play B-D-G-A, with the B-D moving to the C#.

  • Time and again, I'm finding the chord symbols and the associated dots differ. Mostly it seems to be sloppy writing. I have to refer to full scores sometimes, to determine which is most appropriate, or listen to everyone play and decide by ear (and instinct!). I'd have thought here that the dots were more accurate, partially as A7sus2,4 isn't a common chord - it's either or.
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 12:55

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