1

C-E♭-G-B-D

How should this chord be named?


This chord has a root of C. It is used similarly to Cm(maj7) in G major (think Great Pumpkin Waltz by Vince Guaraldi's B section: G Cm(maj7) G [this chord])

Should it be Cm(maj9)? Cm(maj7/9)? Something else?

5

The most concise way would be Cm(maj9) since the maj9 suggests both a major 9th and a major 7th in addition to the base triad of Cm.

What's most important, in my opinion, is labeling it with C as a root. I can certainly imagine some people viewing this as an E♭ augmented chord with major seventh and an add6 in the bass, but this would destroy its obvious function as (in this case) some type of IV in the Guaraldi example.

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    I completely agree with Cm(maj9). I do not understand why (and actually doubt that) Cm(maj7/add9) is clearer. 'add9' is used to indicate that there's no 7 in the chord; otherwise 9 (or maj9) implies a 7, as is the case here. – Matt L. Sep 20 '18 at 6:14
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    @MattL. Maybe I've just played with too many people that don't know what a maj9 is... But thanks, I'm glad to hear that others don't find this confusing! – Richard Sep 20 '18 at 10:53
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    @MattL agreed, add2, add9 should mean those tones added to a plain triad not a seventh chord. Same with sus4 or sus2. IMO that should mean the third is not present or else the 'sus' doesn't make much sense. – Michael Curtis Sep 20 '18 at 13:50
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Cm(maj7) is a chord used often enough to be included in the list of 'seventh' chords. So, Cm(maj9) should be sufficient to mean C Eb G (B D).

Were it Cmaj 7, it would comprise C E G B; Cmaj9 would be C E G B D. So, for me, there is no confusion involved calling it Cm(maj9), as the '9' part usually automatically includes a 7. If it's dominant 9, that'll be b7 and ordinary 9, if it's maj9, it'll be ordinary 7 and ordinary 9. If it's #9, it will have to say '#9'. Same goes for b9.

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C-Eb-G-B-D

If we count the intervals from the bass note:

C-Eb is m3 - C(1) D(2) Eb(3)

C-G is P5 - C(1) D(2) Eb(3) F(4) G(5)

C-B is M7 - C(1) D(2) Eb(3) F(4) G(5) A(6) B(7)

C-D is M9 - C(1) D(2) Eb(3) F(4) G(5) A(6) B(7) C(8) D(9)

m3 + P5 + M7 + M9 = m(maj9) -- Root note is C -- Cm(maj9)

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