For example, what does the △ mean in C△7?

  • 1
    Be careful with using CM for C major. In Inkpen, a popular font with users of the Sibelius score-publishing program, lower-case letters are merely small versions of upper-case ones, so CM could easily be confused with Cm. Use Cmaj7 or C^.
    – Laurence
    Feb 4, 2015 at 20:11
  • Also have a look at this question and its answers. There the origin of the triangle (= triad!) is explained.
    – Matt L.
    Feb 4, 2015 at 21:33

2 Answers 2


It's a major 7th chord! C△7 would be C, E, G, and B♮.

  • 1
    Does that mean that it is the same as CM7?
    – Sam
    Jul 9, 2012 at 13:54
  • 5
    Yes, it has the same meaning as a M or maj.
    – Luke_0
    Jul 9, 2012 at 14:04
  • There is muddy-ness in practice when it comes to using the △ alone. I have seen scores (I mean fake-books) where C△ = CMajor7 (as played on the recording), and other times where they clearly wanted only CMajor (perhaps the 7th ends up clashing with the melody). Perhaps this can be attributed by errors in transcription. Perhaps the answer is that they intended only CMajor and sometimes the CMajor7 will also work.
    – amalgamate
    Feb 4, 2015 at 20:21
  • can i find a list of these somewhere? I've seen chord notations that have a circle with a line through and others variations. I was thinking they probably relate to maj7, min7, dom7 and majMin7 but no idea what they are Sep 2, 2016 at 12:31
  • 1
    @FinbarMaginn There are definitely googlable resources for that. The Jamey Abersold website has some good resources available for free, but they are usually about the scale matching the symbol, not the chord name. Ø7 is half-diminished 7th (contrasts with o = diminished).
    – NReilingh
    Sep 2, 2016 at 12:51

The triangle also shows up in a common notation for minor major seventh chords. For example, CmM7 can be written as CΔ̲. The underlined triangle seems to be a combination of the C‒ notation for Cm and the notation for CM7.

This seems especially common, along with C∅ instead of Cm7♭5 for half-diminished chords, in hand-written charts. Less to write, and less information to process for improvisers reading the through the changes.

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