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?

  • 2
    +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, 2015 at 13:29

5 Answers 5


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.

  • 4
    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. Jan 29, 2015 at 22:41
  • 5
    At the risk of getting obnoxious, the "+" symbol actually has many meanings in music, such as LH pizzicato and stopped horn. Jan 30, 2015 at 4:00
  • 2
    A futher meaning, especially encountered in baroque music, is an unspecific ornamentation (instead e.g. of a trill symbol).
    – guidot
    Jan 30, 2015 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, 2015 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. Feb 3, 2015 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.

  • 1
    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, 2015 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, 2015 at 16:03
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    I've never seen the + used in the context of #9. For example I see A#9(b5) but never A+9(b5) though in this context there would be no confusion. I have thus far in my life only seen the + refer to augmenting the 5th. Can you cite an example of your use?
    – user50691
    Apr 6, 2020 at 16:38
  • @ggcg - no, but I use it all the time, and have done for 20 odd yrs.Let's face it - what else could it be?
    – Tim
    Apr 6, 2020 at 18:00
  • Love to find out dv reason! Probably 'I don't understand this'.
    – Tim
    Sep 28, 2021 at 9:05

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've never seen + interpreted as forget about the 5th. Can you cite a reference, a theory book?
    – user50691
    Apr 6, 2020 at 16:36

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.

  • 2
    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.
    – user39614
    Apr 22, 2018 at 12:42
  • It's an augmented chord. I think you may want to delete your answer.
    – user50691
    Apr 6, 2020 at 16:35

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