Is it correct in this sheet that "A MI 7" means minor 7th (m7), "C MA 7" means major 7th (maj7) and just "C 7" means the dominant 7th?

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3 Answers 3


You interpretation is correct:

  • A MI7 is a minor chord with a minor seventh
  • C MA7 is a major chord with a major seventh
  • C 7 is a major chord with a minor seventh (dominant 7th chord)

It is as you say. A "MI7" is a minor seventh and a "MA7" is a major seventh.

There are several different labels in general use, so I'm putting them in this answer:

m7, -7, mi7, MI7, MIN7, min7 are all minor seventh names.

M7, MA7, MAJ7, maj7 and a small triangle are all major seventh names.

7 and dom7 are dominant seventh names.

  • The worst is when they use that "jazz font" where the little m looks just like a big M, causing no end of confusion...
    – Max
    Dec 3, 2020 at 12:40
  • @Max - that's bad, but try deciphering hand-written stuff. And why would anyone use big M anyway? By itself, it's superfluous.
    – Tim
    Dec 3, 2020 at 12:54
  • Thanks Tim! And I agree, my eyesight is poor already and "jazz fonts" make me strain way too hard!
    – Anna
    Dec 3, 2020 at 15:50
  • Let’s not forget the 7 with the horizontal slash in the middle indicating major 7th! Unfortunately there is no standard so you’re bound to see any or all of these at some point. Years ago at Berklee and also in the original Real Book they used -7 and maj7. No confusion, they couldn’t be more different. The key is to make sure that whatever you use there is an easy distinction between the two. I love the New Real Book series but I dislike the difference between minor and major being one very small letter, mi7, ma7. Dec 3, 2020 at 20:19
  • @JohnBelzaguy - that slashed 7 doesn't seem appropriate in Europe - where everyone writes 7 with a slash.
    – Tim
    Dec 3, 2020 at 20:38

MI is minor and MA is major.

It is kind of funny compared to solfege where MI is the mediant the major scale and MA is the mediant in minor! I doubt that would really confuse anyone, but after getting solfege into my head, I can't help notice the opposites.

Keep in mind that the MI/MA immediately after the root letter refers to the third of the basic triad. Interval numbers 5, 6, 7, 9 by default are perfect fifth, major sixth, minor seventh, major ninth. So...

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For CMI(MA7) the CMI means C minor triad with (MA7) meaning add a major seventh for C E♭ G B♮.

For CMI6 the CMI means C minor triad - not MI6 for a minor sixth - the sixth by default is a major sixth. C E♭ G A♮.

When the interval numbers are modified they often go into parenthesis for readability, like `7(♭5)

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