Chord Notation – Using Roman Numerals

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There are a number of alternative methods for notating chords that relate to any key. The most common is the use of Roman Numerals:


If we look at the Major Scale the chords will be notated as follows:


The Natural Minor chords would be:


As we have seen before, the Roman Numerals used refer to their position in relation to the Major Key, so if you haven’t learned the Major Scale yet, it may be helpful to refer back to latest week’s article.

This system of notation can help us to convey the chords that are used in a song or progression so it can be played in any key.

We discussed modes and their chords several months ago, the chords that relate to each mode would be as follows:


There are various other systems of notating chords, including the Nashville Numbering System, but this is the most commonly used one, and we will be using this system going forward in our music theory journey. Until next week….



-Duncan Richardson - MU Columnist


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