I cannot find these chords in my piano chord manual and think they may have alternative notations. What is an Es or As chord?

  • 2
    Might be sus4 chords if I had to guess off the top of my head. Can you post the context?
    – Dom
    Oct 31, 2014 at 19:11
  • 1
    would be easier to guess if there was piano notation to go with it...
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 31, 2014 at 19:40
  • So, where DID you find them ?
    – Tim
    Oct 31, 2014 at 21:38
  • 4
    @MatthewRead: why did you delete my answer? It was posted before the other (equivalent) answer by dennisdeems.
    – Matt L.
    Nov 1, 2014 at 10:38
  • 1
    @MattL. I'm really sorry about that, I must have misread the timestamps. I've upvoted your answer, I agree with it.
    – user28
    Nov 2, 2014 at 0:45

4 Answers 4


I agree that it's probably a sus4 chord, but if it's hand-written, could the "s" possibly be a "5" and it's a power chord? Only other kind of far-out thought...

  • No, says "Es". Probably sus4 indeed.
    – h22
    Oct 31, 2014 at 20:08
  • 1
    Why is this chosen answer while other answers are clearly better? It's German naming for sure.
    – Wookie88
    Mar 28, 2018 at 8:12

Is this handwritten or printed? Is the notation of German origin? In German, the notes E flat and A flat are called Es and As.

  • 1
    While "-is" is the suffix used for sharp (i. e. C sharp is Cis in German), flat translates to either "-es" (Ces for C flat) or "-s" for other cases, like Es and As. Also, B is called H in German - while the German B corresponds to English B flat. Oct 31, 2014 at 22:00
  • 1
    @david.mihola - the flat in German for A and E is 's'. Strange that there are Ces, Des, and Ges only. C flat being B, but in German that's B. B flat is just B. Confusing, if you're not German... I need to know where on the stave the H line or space is !!
    – Tim
    Oct 31, 2014 at 22:20
  • 1
    It's not just Germany, but some other European countries too (see this answer). For us, the B/Bb system is the confusing one.
    – molnarm
    Nov 1, 2014 at 11:36
  • It is handwritten but looks much more like Es than like E5.
    – h22
    Nov 1, 2014 at 14:10
  • 4
    @AudriusMeškauskas: Then why is the the answer that suggests it means E5 the accepted one? Nov 2, 2014 at 9:50

Could it maybe be German (or Dutch)? Because in this case it would mean Eb and Ab (i.e. E flat and A flat). And in this case 'Es' would refer to an Eb major triad, and 'As' refers to an Ab major triad.

  • 1
    c.f. this list of key names in different languages library.yale.edu/cataloging/music/keylang.htm
    – Dave
    Nov 2, 2014 at 16:16
  • I think so. Indonesia seems to have picked it up from Dutch, and the examples you mentioned above are true for Indonesia as well.
    – mey
    Jan 26, 2015 at 2:46

After doing a little bit of digging, I found a source* that uses the s instead of the full sus symbol to notate a suspended chord. They always put the number next to it, but a sus alone indicates a sus4 so I would imagine that they would be equivalent. I would still like to see the context just to be sure but I think it is pretty likely.

* I don't really like or agree with a good chunk of the notation that this page uses, but shows the possibility of a sus being notated that way.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.