On piano sheet music, I occasionally see the following notations:

In the bass clef, the letter "m", "M" or the number "7" is above a note.

What do they mean?

  • 5
    A picture would be very helpful to make sure you get the right answer. Nov 30, 2023 at 22:18
  • 1
    Please edit your question by providing more details (and a more descriptive/specific title: it's obvious that you're asking a question, and "certain symbols" is not a useful search query, a more appropriate title might be «What is the meaning of "m", "M" or "7" in this score?»). Notation is a highly extended subject, also depending on relatively minor aspects (such as text style) that may dramatically change the context and result. An image of the score (as asked above) and further source information (such as composer, edition, arranger, etc.) will be extremely helpful. Dec 1, 2023 at 2:29

1 Answer 1


That would be accordion music, actually. These are indications on which chord to use: m = minor, M = major, 7 = dominant 7th. There's also a diminished chord, but I don't remember the symbol for that one.

  • 1
    The symbol for a diminished chord is "d" (rather than using a degree mark.)
    – ttw
    Dec 1, 2023 at 1:07
  • 2
    The dominant seventh (in non-French accordions) usually drops the fifth. This allows for all chords to have the same weight. It's also the French Sixth for a key a major third above. (Other Augmented Sixths can be obtained similarly to dominant ninth chords by adding a note in the right hand. )
    – ttw
    Dec 1, 2023 at 4:53

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