Ran into this symbol on some sheet music today, and no matter what I used in my search query I can't find the meaning or name. It's the twisty I / )( shown above the note / below the Cm chord.

Special symbol that looks like a closing and open parenthesis that overlap

This is from this CCLI song: https://songselect.ccli.com/songs/90112/joy-unspeakable/viewvocalsheet

It's near the end of the sheet music.

Edit, while I don't think I can show CCLI's version of it on here, other versions of this song (which is public domain) doesn't have that extra symbol.

It does seem deliberate though. On CCLI, it shows up on both the Lead sheet music and the Vocal sheet music.

  • 1
    Please edit to tell more about what this example is from. It might well be just a mistake. Mar 6 at 21:16
  • @AndyBonner Added a link to the sheet music on CCLI. Not sure if it's one of the free songs though (the song is public domain) as I have a premium account.
    – B.O.B.
    Mar 6 at 23:00
  • 3
    The link is not viewable without a subscription
    – PiedPiper
    Mar 6 at 23:00
  • What I'm getting at is: Is this something that has been created by a sizable publishing company, or by a non-professional individual? The odds that it's an error go up in the latter case. Mar 7 at 0:19
  • 1
    CCLI is a licensing service; they just take care of paying the authors. SongSelect houses sheet music, but as far as I know the actual content is uploaded by authors. I don't know of anything that this symbol might mean, and my guess is there was supposed to be more chord information in parentheses and it got deleted. Mar 7 at 2:12

3 Answers 3


It's not a standard musical symbol. I strongly suspect it's just an error.

  • Thanks for letting me know. I added a link to the song on CCLI.
    – B.O.B.
    Mar 6 at 23:00

Wanted to answer this in-case anyone else comes here from CCLI:

Ran into another song on CCLI and it had '(Optional chords in parentheses)' and then a whole bunch of )( underneath various chords. Clearly a formatting error on their website.


I suppose it might be something like a parenthesized empty symbol or something. Probably the software has an option to parenthesize things, and it kerns the parentheses for close spacing. And thus if there is nothing in between the parentheses will overlap. These kinds of errors are quite common in WYSIWYG-editors, because you do not really know what is going on, you only see the results.

  • I ended up looking at the source code of the webpage and it was indeed to an opening and closing parenthesis.
    – B.O.B.
    Mar 13 at 4:28

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