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?

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 2
    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, 2018 at 6:14
  • 1
    @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, 2018 at 10:53
  • 1
    @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. Sep 20, 2018 at 13:50

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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.