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Chord Type:

added 9th - add9

Name: add9

As the label indicates, the add9 chord is a major chord with a 9th added. It is a four note chord, as opposed to the proper 9-chord, which is a five note chord. An add9 has the notes 1-3-5-9, while the 9-chord has 1-3-5-b7-9. A Cadd9 has C-E-G-D, while a C9 has C-E-G-Bb-D. The b7 note makes a huge difference, as it together with the 3 constitutes the important tritone in the 7th chord. The add9 is a sweet sounding chord, while the 9-chord is dissonant and drives the harmony towards a solution.

You do not need very advanced mathematical skills to see that 8+1=9, and that the D in a C-major scale could be labeled as a 2 rather than as a 9. For a proper 9-chord, the reason is that it is an extended 7th chord. But this is not the case for the add9, and I cannot give any good reasons for why this is the most common way of labeling the chord. And having said that, you might see the chord labeled as either a 2 chord, or add2 chord.

You will find one example of the application of the add9 in the lesson on the I-IV progression .

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Recordings with - add9 Chord

  • The Beatles - Ticket to ride -
  • The Police - Every Breath You Take -
  • Sting - Every Breath You Take -
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