Why these three chords written on the top of the treble clef (Am7/G, D7/F# and G) don’t correspond to the notes on the partition ?

Is it chords that can be played with the left hand instead of notes on the bass clef ?

Ah mon beau château


In the first measure you have G, C, E and then A up above, which would be a Am7 and the G is in the bass so that is correct. The F# is a leading tone down to the next measure and is a non-chord tone.

In measure two you have F#, A, C and E, then the E moves to D. If you ignore the E for a second you have F#, A, C, and D which is a D7 with the F# in the bass. the E is just a passing tone/ Non-chord tone.

The G is a straight G triad as labeled (G, B, D, with G on top, which moves to D later in the measure).

  • PS: See this question about a Chopin-piece for example – Arsak Sep 12 '18 at 13:34
  • @b3ko Thanks for this great answer. Does it mean that this score gives me the choice to play the treble clef either with the note A or chord Am7 for the first measure, with the note E or chord D7 for the second measure and with the note G or chord G chord for the third measure ? – maxagaz Sep 12 '18 at 21:17
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    The chord names are outlining the harmony. The melody should be played with your right hand. The chords with the left if played as written. If you are improvising you can play any voicings of those chords with the melody. – b3ko Sep 13 '18 at 1:40

Those chords actually do correspond exactly to what is written. One thing to keep in mind is that the A in the melody in the first measure and the D in the melody in the second measure are part of the chords.


The top staff indicates notes played by the right hand, and the bottom staff indicates notes played by the left hand, regardless of where those notes are on the piano. If the left hand plays notes above middle C, then those notes are still written on the bottom staff, and have to be indicated with ledger lines, just like if it were a single bass clef staff that wasn't part of a grand staff. While I've seen some beginner piano music have melodies or chords cross into the other staff when they pass middle C, most piano music doesn't do that.

In the example, the top note on the first chord is the E above middle C. That note could be written as the bottom line of the treble clef staff, but since it's played by the left hand, it has to be on the bottom staff, which is in bass clef, so it has to be written with ledger lines.

While this isn't relevant for this example, it's also worth noting that the top staff doesn't have to be treble clef, and the bottom staff doesn't have to be bass clef. If both hands are playing mostly above middle C, then it's usually written with both staves in treble clef, and if both hands are playing mostly below middle C, it's usually written with both staves in bass clef.

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    This answer has nothing whatsoever to do with the question, which is about the notes and the indicated harmony, not about hands, staves, or clefs. – Beanluc Sep 12 '18 at 19:44
  • The question is worded confusingly (I'm guessing English isn't the asker's first language), so it's entirely possible I'm misinterpreting, but I'm basing my interpretation on the comments to the currently top-rated answer, which do talk about crossing staves. The second paragraph of the question does seem to be talking about some sort of confusion between "bass clef" and "left hand", and "partition" could refer to a partition between treble clef and bass clef notes. – chridd Sep 12 '18 at 20:24
  • @chridd The OP's language might be French, like the song. "Partition" is French for "score". – Rosie F Sep 12 '18 at 20:28
  • "Partition" is a false friend... thanks @RosieF – maxagaz Sep 12 '18 at 21:20

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