When I played a music meet a D+9 and a A7/5+. I have tried search in google, but didn't find it. Does anybody know that?

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    +1, as I've not seen either. D+9 could be D,F#,A,C,E#. Or D,F#,A#,C,E. A7/5+ could be A,C#,E#,G, maybe 'cos the slash is there, with the E# in the bass. Please post the section in question, there may be clues. – Tim Jan 30 '15 at 13:29

It has two different meanings in the context of chords . Traditionally, the '+' symbol is used to denote an augmented triad, however it is also used to represent a raised interval which is typically represented by a sharp (#).

The first one is most likely an augmented triad with a 9th. The second one just treat the '+' as a sharp where you would play an A7 with a #5.

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    A third, admittedly far less common, meaning is a microtonal accidental indicating to raise a pitch by a syntonic comma, or about 21.5 cents. Used by a number of extended just intonation composers like Ben Johnston. Obviously not what the OP was asking about, but it is an intriguing alternate meaning of the symbol. – Pat Muchmore Jan 29 '15 at 22:41
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    At the risk of getting obnoxious, the "+" symbol actually has many meanings in music, such as LH pizzicato and stopped horn. – jjmusicnotes Jan 30 '15 at 4:00
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    A futher meaning, especially encountered in baroque music, is an unspecific ornamentation (instead e.g. of a trill symbol). – guidot Jan 30 '15 at 7:59
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    @rcd - consensus doesn't have to come into it. The OP is asking about chords, not tab.I've only ever seen it PROPERLY used as aug.Please show examples, I love to be proved wrong! – Tim Feb 2 '15 at 23:02
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    @rcd Tim and Dom are both correct here, unfortunately you are incorrect. As it pertains to chords, "+" is for augmented triads / intervals / or in rarer cases, chord tones. In no way is it used in a scholar-accepted analytical system to represent "add" chords, which may be noted by saying "add" or "( )", as in "Em7(11)". An E9 chord is not a "power chord" unless you specifically omit the 3rd and 7th chord tones. Remember that TAB notation was developed by people and for people unable to read traditional music notation. – jjmusicnotes Feb 3 '15 at 1:34

It's an augmented triad, played by sharpening the fifth by a semitone.


+= sharpened. Sharpened whatever. The number that has + in front of it(or by it) is raised by one semitone so +5 is a sharpened 5th and +9 is a sharpened 9th. The sign means augmented,when used in chord names, and the usual note that's augmented (taken up by a semitone) is the 5th. Thus A = A,C#,E, whereas A+ = A,C#,E#(F). It's common in jazz to alter 5ths and 9ths, so there is also an augmented 9th. Sometimes labelled +9, or aug9.

Note that '+' is different from 'add', even if it has the same connotation in maths.

  • I was tempted to down vote, when I realized you were correct... Perhaps a rewording would help, as I was initially responding to the first two short sentences without reading on. – amalgamate Jan 30 '15 at 15:55
  • Thanks for that! I sometimes feel we have some fickle readers, so, yes, it would be prudent... Be interesting if the downvoters read the edit, too... – Tim Jan 30 '15 at 16:03

It means either forget about the fifth and make the fifth sharp instead when it's added after the base chord, or make the note a half step higher when it's added to the chord.


I think the answer is much simpler than all the things everyone is saying as far as popular music charts. What I have seen is that a D+9 chord is a D F# A and an E on top differing from a D9 chord which is a7th chord which is D F# A C E. An A7/5+ is something I have not seen. If they are saying play a 5th in the bass then they are saying add the E in the bass which is the fifth of an A chord. The+ plus may be simply to add the fifth. A + sign to me is just saying add one more note not add all the thirds up to that note.

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    This is completely wrong. The chord you describe as D F♯ A E is a Dadd9. Nobody who understands how to name chords ever writes this as D+9; it doesn't matter what kind of music you are talking about. + never means add a note in a chord name. It either indicates an augmented triad, or a sharped note. The answers and comments above make this clear. – David Bowling Apr 22 '18 at 12:42

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