Welcome!
Just a few a ground rules first...

Promotion, advertising and link building is not permitted.

If you are keen to learn, get to grips with something with the willing help of one of the net's original musician forums
or possess a genuine willingness to contribute knowledge - you've come to the right place!

Register >

- Close -
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Thread: What is an A2 Chord?

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Zakk on Prozac pennywise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Belfast, UK
    Posts
    56

    Question What is an A2 Chord?

    Hi I was looking at a piece of music earlier and I seen it contained a chord A2.

    Is it the same as an A9, or is it shorthand for an Asus2?, I assume the difference between the two is the inclusion of a b7th in the former?

    S.

  2. #2
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    At the bottom of another Bottle of Brown Ale.
    Posts
    1,598
    Quote Originally Posted by pennywise
    Hi I was looking at a piece of music earlier and I seen it contained a chord A2.

    Is it the same as an A9, or is it shorthand for an Asus2?, I assume the difference between the two is the inclusion of a b7th in the former?

    S.
    A2 (sus 2) spelling = A B(2nd) C# E.
    A9 spelling = A C# (E) G B.

    In the Ninth the B is obviously an octave above the second!! Same B notes just an octave apart.
    Last edited by mattblack850; 01-30-2006 at 10:16 AM.

  3. #3
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Norway - South West coast
    Posts
    1,321
    Quote Originally Posted by mattblack850
    A9 spelling = A C# D G
    A2 (sus 2) = A E A B
    Details, details... A small correction:

    A9 = A C# E G B
    A add9 = A C# E B
    A sus2 = A H E

    In the suspended chord you take out the 3rd and use the 2nd instead (or the forth for the sus4 chords). At least that is what Zatz told me ... ad I hope I remeber it correctly.

    Ok, Matt?

  4. #4
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    At the bottom of another Bottle of Brown Ale.
    Posts
    1,598
    Quote Originally Posted by gersdal
    Details, details... A small correction:

    A9 = A C# E G B
    A add9 = A C# E B
    A sus2 = A H E

    In the suspended chord you take out the 3rd and use the 2nd instead (or the forth for the sus4 chords). At least that is what Zatz told me ... ad I hope I remeber it correctly.

    Ok, Matt?
    Quite correct G!!! I stand corrected and ashamed for my blunder!!!!

  5. #5
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    6,039
    Right, but here, B and H are mixed up. Keep in mind that in Germany, Austria and Switzerland ( I think ), they still refer to B as H, so the chromatic scale would go ...A-B-H-C... while the rest of the world goes ...A-Bb ( or A# )-B-C

    If you take the key of A, A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#-A, the chords would be:

    Aadd9: A-C#-E-B
    Asus2: A-B-E

    ( Gersdal, I know you know about the B and H thing and donīt need my smart-allicking, but it might confuse people if suddenly, an "H" starts popping up in those posts =) )

    Sus2 and sus4 are triads, and "sus" stands for "suspended 3rd", so just like Gersdal said, you get a triad with A-B-E ( or, for anyone used to the german method: A-H-E )
    Example:

    Amaj Aadd9 Asus2
    e -0- -0- -0-
    b -2- -2- -0-
    g -2- -4- -2-
    D -2- -2- -2-
    A -0- -0- -0-
    E -0- -0- -0-

    Sorry for the smart-allicking, just wanted to add a few things to make sure thereīs no confusion =)
    Eric

  6. #6
    Registered User Madaxeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    543
    Actually I am glad you clarified the whole "H" thing. I saw it used in another thread and thought it was something advanced I needn't worry about yet!
    This time, I was thoroughly confused!
    Thanks Eric.

  7. #7
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Norway - South West coast
    Posts
    1,321
    Quote Originally Posted by EricV
    Right, but here, B and H are mixed up. Keep in mind that in Germany, Austria and Switzerland ( I think ), they still refer to B as H, so the chromatic scale would go ...A-B-H-C... while the rest of the world goes ...A-Bb ( or A# )-B-C
    Thanks Eric,
    You can add Norway to your list. It results in high probability of errors from my side in this respect (around 33% ?). So, appologies, in the standard language for IBM it should have been:

    A9 = A C# E G B
    A add9 = A C# E B
    A sus2 = A B E

  8. #8
    Zakk on Prozac pennywise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Belfast, UK
    Posts
    56
    Wow and there we me thinking it was a simple question!!!

    Thanks all for explanations - Just read the posts tonight and i too was wondering as I read down them - whats this H thinggy? So thanks for the explanation on that as well.

    S.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Romania, Bucharest
    Posts
    22
    As you guys say it, there is no difference between Aadd9 and A2. I think A2 should imply suspended, as with A5 (which is the same as Asus, but the former might mean "it's a power chord, so no seventh at all, jazzman!")

    H is natural B in German notation. B is Bb, weird huh?

  10. #10
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    6,039
    I didnīt mean to say that thereīs no difference between A2 and Aadd9. I do think that simply naming a chord "A2" is rather incorrect.
    A 2 or 4 is added to the name if there is no third involved, in which case, IMO, a sus should be added to the name. If Add9 or simply 9 is meant, I think they should be called that, so IMO, "A2" is incorrect, or at least confusing.
    Throughout the years, there have been many different ways of naming certain chords, and a lot of confusion caused by that. For example, I have seen TABs with something like "Csus". And everytime I think "sus WHAT ?", as it can be sus2 or sus4.
    It usually means sus2, but omitting the 2 or 4 IMO is confusing.
    Or I see a chord like this:
    -0-
    -3-
    -0-
    -2-
    -3-
    -0-

    With "C9" above it. Which is incorrect, as there is no 7th in there, so basically, this is a Cadd9

    Yes, the "B" germans usually refer to is the "international" Bb, while "H" means B. These days, people are adjusting to it, some music teachers even teaching it the "Bb-B" way, or at least explaining that those notes are called different names internationally.

    Random bit of trivia: Franz Liszt composed a prelude and fugue based on the name "Bach" ( of course referring to Johann Sebastian Bach ), so the theme involved the notes B-A-C-H ( Bb-A-C-B ).
    Eric

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Romania, Bucharest
    Posts
    22
    It's not the 7th or the 9th that's suspended, but the 3rd, so it's okay to say Csus. What if you want to express the name of the "chord" C Gb? You won't say C5- or C5b, because that wouldn't mean the same thing as C5 with diminished 5th, but you'll say Csus5b. And I haven't heard of suspended fifth before. I think "sus" means the same thing as "omit3".

  12. #12
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    6,039
    Wrong. There are two types of "sus", sus2 and sus4. When you say "Csus", which one do you mean ? Csus2 ( C-D-G ) or Csus4 ( CFG )
    I didnīt say that the 7th or 9th are suspended, and I have written about sus-chords before, so I am kinda familiar with them and know itīs the third thatīs suspended. I was referring to "As you guys say it, there is no difference between Aadd9 and A2"
    Aadd9 has A-C#-E-B. The 2 is referred to as the 9.
    So what is A2 ? The 2 would imply thereīs no third in there, otherwise it would have to be called a 9. Yet, the name doesnīt mention a sus. So it should be Aadd9 ( which I guess is referred to by some people as "A2", which is confusing and technically, incorrect IMO ), according to the 2 being referred to as a 9 as long as the third is in the chord.
    I didnīt make those rules, yet I do believe that it would be easier if more people would stick to them.

    Also, the "chord" C-Gb is not a chord. Technically, itīs a diad or doublestop, or indeed a "powerchord"
    People tend to go by "2 notes: Interval, doublestop, diad, Chord: 3 different notes and more"... a chord has 3 or more notes.
    If I would want to put a name onto the notes C and G played in harmony, Iīd either say itīs a fifth interval, or, especially on the bass strings, a powerchord.
    Sus means "suspended 3rd", leaving out the third. However, you need to define whether a 2 or 4 is added instead of the third. Otherwise, you get something that technically is a diad or doublestop, not exactly a chord.
    Eric
    Last edited by EricV; 02-04-2006 at 12:29 AM.

  13. #13
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    1,056
    I think a lot of this 'sus' confusion stems from that fact that a lot of people forget where the 'suspension' even came from or why it's called that.

    The word 'suspension' means to hold up, to retain temporarily. The 'sus4' chord developed out of the practice of holding notes over in the change of a IV chord to a V chord. In the key of C, a IV V progression is F major to G major. When the chord changes, the note 'C' from the F major chord was 'suspended' temporarily, and then resolved down to a 'B' on the G major chord, creating a delayed resolution of the G chord. The first common method of notating harmony was figured bass, which merely indicated the intervals to be played above the given bass note. In the case of a suspension, the abbreviation 'sus' was added after the roman numeral of the bass note, followed by the interval above which the suspended note was to be. There were actually other kinds of suspensions other than the 4; there were suspended 6ths and suspended 2nds, both resolving downward to the 5th or the root, respectively.

    When music began to be labelled in a chord-oriented format, the 'sus4' label was retained to designate this practice. Eventually, over time people began to use the 'sus4' chord as a seperate entity, and not necessarily resolving it.

    But what if on that IV V progression an A was held and then resolved up to a B? In this case, it has traditionally been labelled as a retardation, but the label 'ret2' or something to that effect never came about. "Sus2" is result of borrowing an already existing label to name something similar, even though technically a sus2 isn't a suspension. What is commonly today referred to as a 'sus2' chord would have to omit the Root of the chord, as that is the note a 'sus2' resolves downward to. Since these chords include the root but not the third, they are actually retardations, but again, through common practice, they are no longer required to be resolved.

    As a result a sort of dichotomy evolved in the music world. Amongst guitar players in the rock/pop music realm, 'sus2' became the standard for notating a chord composed of Root, 2nd, and 5th. In the realm of music involving non-guitarists, such as jazz, the label "C2" became accepted for the same chord.

    There really is no point in disputing the authenticity or widespread use of either term, as they are firmly implanted into the vocabulary of both realms of music and pedagogy. So in the end, we should probably just accept both labels as acceptable terms for the same chord, much in the same way that the notes "C Eb Gb Bb" can be called either "Cm7b5" or "CØ7" with equal legitimacy.
    Last edited by Poparad; 02-04-2006 at 06:31 AM.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1

    Some sites are using A2 to refer to Aadd9

    Poparad,

    Your explanation is wonderful. It appears there is still some confusion out there on this naming convention. At this site, http://www.hobby-hour.com/guitar/chords.php?chord=asus2 they are showing the fingering for the chord I see on lead sheets as A2, but they spell it out as Asus2. The different chord they call an A2 chord is actually an Aadd9 and as a rock/pop guitarist I almost never play that chord. The chord I play is fingered like an A major chord, but with an open B string. That would be an Asus2, normally written as A2 due to the reasons you noted above, except on this site (which ranked at the top of my Google search for "A2 chord") where they call an Aadd9 A2. So confusing.

    By the way, what would an A2(no.3) chord be? Is this Asus2 played on the 7th fret?

  15. #15
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Twickenham, UK
    Posts
    4,959
    Quote Originally Posted by iWonder
    By the way, what would an A2(no.3) chord be? Is this Asus2 played on the 7th fret?
    "A2(no 3)" is pretty clearly Asus2, wherever it's played. Adding the "no 3" is (I guess) confirmation they don't want an Aadd9, in case of the confusion expressed above (rightly) about "A2".

    In practice, Asus2 sounds very like Aadd9, so there wouldn't often be an issue. Where it would matter would be where the A2 was standing for an Am chord (in a place where you would expect a diatonic Am). If someone played an Add9 instead, it would certainly sound wrong.

    This thread is of course 3 years old now... ... but I would add some other thoughts:

    In my experience, "sus" in jazz is an abbreviation of "sus4" (and often assuming "7sus4", or even "9sus4"). I've never seen a "sus2" or "2" chord in any jazz chart. (I can't even remember seeing an "add9", although that would be less unlikely.)
    In jazz, they would regard a sus2 as an inverted sus4. Eg, the notes C-D-G would be seen as a kind of Gsus4, not Csus2.
    Jazz chord players are extremely reluctant to lose the 3rd of a chord unless they have to. In a sus4 there is a clear clash with a lower major 3rd. In a sus2, there is no such clash. A C-D-G chord (with C root) could easily have an E added in there; there's no good reason to leave it out.
    Mark Levine's "Jazz Theory Book" has - in its 400+ pages - no mention of sus2 chords at all, nor add9s. He mentions only "sus" (which could be 7sus4, 9sus4 or even 13sus4, and are usually considered as mixolydian chords) and "susb9" (7sus4b9 in full, a phrygian chord). The message is that jazz has no use for a sus2. And little, apparently, for an add9.

    Rock, of course, is a different matter! Sus2s are popular as a kind of consonant extension of power chords.

    As for the idea that a sus2 should (in theory) omit the root, because a suspension resolves downward, that's an interesting idea, but is not how I see it. A suspended 2nd (or 9th) can easily - and often does - resolve upwards. At least, that would be the logic in calling a 1-2-5 chord "sus2", omitting the 3rd in expectation of the 2 resolving up to it.
    In fact the 2nd (or 9th) in an "add9" chord can also end up resolving up or down (to 3 or 1). The 3 doesn't need to be omitted from the initial voicing.

    Of course, in modern music (as pointed out above) sus2s and sus4s alike often don't resolve anywhere. We just don't have an alternative term for a suspension that is merely a modal colour and not a functional dissonance.

    A "sus2" is hardly a dissonance anyway. A lot of the time in rock it's played as two stacked 5ths (one of Hendrix's favourite sounds), about the most consonant triad imaginable.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 81
    Last Post: 02-13-2008, 09:57 PM
  2. Double Leading Tone
    By brent in forum Music Theory
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 08-29-2005, 02:24 PM
  3. Optimal chord vamps/Emphasizing mode moods
    By Apple-Joe in forum Music Theory
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-17-2005, 05:07 PM
  4. melodic minor and its modes
    By lycanthrope in forum Music Theory
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 04-30-2004, 04:50 PM
  5. Chord flavor library
    By Zatz in forum Music Theory
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-11-2002, 12:41 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •