Common chords

Major triads are entered by including the root and an optional duration:

\chordmode { c2 f4 g }

[image of music]

Minor, augmented, and diminished triads are entered by placing : and a quality modifier string after the duration:

\chordmode { c2:m f4:aug g:dim }

[image of music]

Seventh chords can be created:

\chordmode { c1:7 c:m7 c:maj7 c:dim7 c:aug7 }

[image of music]

The table below shows the actions of the quality modifiers on triads and seventh chords. The default seventh step added to chords is a minor or flatted seventh, which makes the dominant seventh the basic seventh chord. All alterations are relative to the dominant seventh. A more complete table of modifier usage is found at Common chord modifiers.

ModifierActionExample
NoneThe default action; produces a major triad. [image of music]
m, m7The minor chord. This modifier lowers the 3rd. [image of music]
dim, dim7The diminished chord. This modifier lowers the 3rd, 5th and (if present) the 7th step. [image of music]
augThe augmented chord. This modifier raises the 5th step. [image of music]
maj, maj7The major 7th chord. This modifier adds a raised 7th step. The 7 following maj is optional. Do NOT use this modifier to create a major triad. [image of music]

See also

Notation Reference: Common chord modifiers, Extended and altered chords.

Snippets: Chords.

Known issues and warnings

Only one quality modifier should be used per chord, typically on the highest step present in the chord. Chords with more than quality modifier will be parsed without an error or warning, but the results are unpredictable. Chords that cannot be achieved with a single quality modifier should be altered by individual pitches, as described in Extended and altered chords.


LilyPond Notation Reference v2.25.14 (development-branch).