I'm looking for a list of common 4-note chords.

So far, I have:

  • maj7
  • min7
  • 7
  • min7b5
  • dim7
  • minmaj7
  • maj7#5
  • 7b5
  • 7#5

And that's it. I know I'm missing many, like 6th chords, or probably other common 7th chords, or other families.

Which chords am I missing? Is there a list I can use as reference?

  • There is something inherently irritating about questions asking people to list things...perhaps this question is less productive than it could be? In my mind, this is no different than someone asking about song identification, which is discouraged. Oct 24, 2013 at 0:43
  • @jjmusicnotes How can I make this question more productive and less irritating? What is wrong with it? Oct 24, 2013 at 2:57
  • 3
    @JCPedroza: I think it is perceived of as irritating for two reasons: 1) because you could compute it yourself. 2) You're asking others to do something you could easily do. Now, as for your topic: Don't forget that leaving out the root and the fifth are pretty common, leaving room for 6th and 9th variants. Also missing: sus 2 and sus 4 variations. 3rds (and variants) and 7ths are the most important to keep IMO.
    – JimR
    Oct 24, 2013 at 8:21
  • Not to mention that "common" is highly variable (compare Bach to BTO and see what you get :-) ) Oct 24, 2013 at 11:52
  • @JimR How can I compute it myself? How can I easily do it by myself? I'm not asking for someone to compile this for me; pointing out to a source of information would be as useful. Oct 24, 2013 at 15:37

4 Answers 4


Here's the main ones:

     name   halfsteps_from_root   alternate_names

     4     {0,4,7,5 }, add
     2     {0,4,7,2 }, add2 add9 Maj(9) Madd9
     6     {0,4,7,9 }, maj6 M6
     m2    {0,3,7,2 }, min(9) m(9)
     m6    {0,3,7,9 }, min6
     7     {0,4,7,10}, dom7
     M7    {0,4,7,11}, Maj7
     m7    {0,3,7,10}, min7
     mM7   {0,3,7,11}, minMaj7
     dim7  {0,3,6, 9},
     m7b5  {0,3,6,10}, min7b5 hDim7 (slashes)
     7sus  {0,5,7,10}, 7sus4
     7b5   {0,4,6,10},
     7#5   {0,4,8,10}, 7aug
     M7#5  {0,4,8,11}, Maj7aug M7aug augM7

I found a very interesting paper, which lists "The 43 Four-Note Chord Qualities", with names and formulas. By filtering specific permutations, like repeated notes or inversions, it's concluded that there are 43 four-note qualities in total.

Here is the link.


Allen Forte's set theory comes to mind. Among a lot of things, he made a categorization in a similar vein as the first question. It's possible that the concept of interval vectors could interest you.

Bear in mind that Fortes theory doesn't concern harmonic chords in particular (but rather combinations in the most general sense within a twelve tone system), if that's what you are looking for.

Hopefully there are users here that could expand more on this than i can, but it could serve as a start.


I can't provide a full answer right now, but these similar questions might provide some of the answers you're looking for:

What determines a chord's name?

What is the full list of possible chord names? Are there chords that don't have a name in chord theory?

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