I'm practicing identifying chords from sight reading for the first time, here is what I have so far (feel free to correct any possible mistakes I might have made).

first attempt at notation

I'm struggling with that last chord as it seems to have two notes that are just one interval away from each other (F♭ and F♮ in this key). I can't make heads or tails of it and I can't seem to find this chord online either. How should this chord be analyzed?


Here's my second pass of the same excerpt:

second attempt at notation

(turns out the final "chord" isn't actually a chord at all not that I kept track of the natural sign; the only notes it contains are F and D.b)

  • from what music is this excerpt? Mar 13, 2019 at 15:42
  • It's the Ruins theme from Undertale.
    – Robert C.
    Mar 13, 2019 at 15:47
  • 1
    Your first chord cannot be A7sus2, as its root is A flat.
    – Dekkadeci
    Mar 13, 2019 at 15:51
  • 5
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but literally every chord symbol you've written in is incorrect. Pay close attention to the key signature, accidentals, and enharmonic spellings.
    – Peter
    Mar 13, 2019 at 15:52
  • 1
    I've listened to the Ruins theme from Undertale before; its key is A flat minor/G sharp minor (although it might be one of those Toby Fox themes where he time-stretches it out of tune of A440, a la his "Hopes and Dreams" and "Rude Buster").
    – Dekkadeci
    Mar 13, 2019 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


Remember that accidentals carry through the measure. Since the left hand in the second measure begins on an F♮, this means that beat 3 in the left hand is also an F♮.

As such, this is just a D♭/F dyad. Without seeing further context, this is most likely an incomplete D♭-major triad, but it could be an incomplete B♭-minor triad.

But most importantly, I'd recommend you pay attention to how the chords are spelled. The second chord, for instance—C♭, E♭, G♭—must be spelled as a C♭-major triad. It can't be a B-major triad, because there's no B in the chord!

When two notes that sound the same can be spelled a different way, we call it enharmonicism. For more on this, see What's the difference between a G♭ and an F#?

  • 2
    Well caught for the F still being natural! +1. Does this mean the question is now invalid?
    – Tim
    Mar 13, 2019 at 15:56
  • yeah, I missed it too as I contemplated key of Cb and all the other misspelled chords. Mar 13, 2019 at 15:58
  • Oh right, I did forget that accidentals carry through the measure, thanks!
    – Robert C.
    Mar 13, 2019 at 16:36

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