I attach a picture with an A7 chord in piano splitted as shown un the picture. Now I know the regular A7 chord is A,C#,E,G. Why was splitted like that in picture (using in treble cleff B,C# and F and in bass cleff A,G)?

Here is the picture:


Thank you

  • Because someone is clueless? – Tim Sep 29 '18 at 19:07
  • The key sig. is so important in questions such as this. It could be anything, # or b. – Tim Sep 30 '18 at 4:47

Yes, if you've told us the right notes (clefs and key signatures help a lot!) it's actually A9(b13).

I wonder which came first, the chord symbol or the notes? It's quite likely that seeing 'A7' I'd feel justified in playing that. In some musical contexts, anyway!

Alternatively, it's not unusual for a simplified set of chords to be printed to music that might be played by either a piano or an elementary guitar strummer, who might be scared off by 'A9(b13)'. Let's just hope they don't both try to play it at once, reading their notation literally!


Perhaps the person who chose the chord symbols didn't trouble to choose, for each moment, a symbol that would account for every note sounding at that moment. (Perhaps they might think that doing that would be over-analysing the music.) The little snippet of sheet music fails to show the all-important clefs and key signature. If we suppose that the upper chord is in the treble clef and the key signature has F#, then we have a dominant chord of D major (thus A), with added notes G, B and F#. "A7" accounts for the G. You could go further and say A9 to account for the B or A13 to account for the F#, but A7 is OK at indicating the chord's function as dominant of D major. Alternatively, if the key signature is blank, then the above applies, except that the chord has F, which is the minor 13th, suggesting the dominant of D minor. A7 is still OK as far as it goes.

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