Appearance of "add2" chords

I want “C2” rather than “C(add2)” but I can’t seem to find this option in the amazing multitude of chord symbol engraving options. Is this possible?

Engraving options: Chord symbols: Appearance of suspended second

You still have to write Csus2 rather than C2 into the popover. I hope this will change in the future.

Yes but this is an add2 (C-D-E-G) chord not sus2. I could certainly use the sus2 chords this way, though, thanks.

I’m not sure of any practical difference between sus2 and add2. Firstly, it’s unclear whether you’re sustaining against the root or the third (I’ve seen it mean both). If you expect no third a safer ploy is Gsus4/C. Secondly, the D doesn’t require a missing C in the same way that Csus4 requires the E to be absent. I think the ‘sus’ is meaningless, hence I use C2 to mean CDEG, with a definite absence of any kind of seventh.

There are plenty of differences, both in practice and in functional harmony. See this answer on stackexchange: and and also Kostka & Payne (1995) and Marquis, G. Welton (1964).

That article actually says that only a 4th can be suspended, for the reason I wrote above. When I said ‘I’m not sure’, I meant ‘there is no difference’. C9 implies dominant harmony, but C2 has only a D added to the triad. C(add2) has only a D added to the triad. Csus2 (which is meaningless as nothing is suspended against) has only a D added to the triad.

In practice what else would you add or miss out?

My point was that there is a fundamental difference between sus and add, and reading your text makes it hard to understand if you see this. If i’ve misread you, i’m sorry. For the sake of explanation: Sus chords does not have a third, it is no longer major or minor. Csus2 thusly makes sense as C, D, G. Cadd2 becomes C, D, E, G. Ergo there is a difference, and an important one. Which leads me to the OP. Using C2 as a term is problematic. It is too ambiguous. When working with my masters degree in musicology I got to see the many attempts made by various academics on how to write chord symbols in a way that leaves little to interpretation. Most of them fail miserably. I’m not saying that there is “one true way” of doing notations, but i do know this: There are many, many notation conventions out in the world but no matter tradition, clear cut communications is the way to go. C2 tells nothing of the state of the triad, sus or add does this clearer.

As I said in my first post, if you want C, D and G it is very dangerous to write Csus2. Nine players out of ten will put an E in it. And nine arrangers will have meant an E to be in it. Hence my suggestion to write Gsus4/C which is unambiguous.
‘C2’ is perfectly clear by convention.

If so people should learn how chord symbols are working: a suspension and its resolution are never meant to be played at once.

As I understand it, “sus” always refers to the 3rd that is to be replaced by the interval that follows, hence sus2 I - II - V or I - V - IX and sus4 I - IV - V.
I don’t know of sus chords other than sus2 and sus4.
Put differently: A sus2 chord is an add9 without the 3rd.
Because in practice the 2nd is rather a 9th, at least for guitar players.

If I was writing nineteenth century harmony then I’d agree about suspensions and resolutions. That is not how a sus2 chord is used in 99% of everything I’ve ever seen. The reason it is not a ninth is that a ninth conventionally implies a seventh: C9 = C E G Bb D and Cmaj9 implies C E G B D.
C2 does not imply a seventh.

I really don’t get the problem with C2, unless you also have a problem with C7 rather than Cadd7 or C6 rather than Cadd6.
It’s all shorthand.

Maybe it’s different in different Countries? Here in Sweden I doubt nine out of ten players would add the third to a sus2 chord. Especially since a Csus2 could exist in the key of C minor as well.

Nor would one hereabouts.
I thought C2, C4 and so on is old school German spelling vs. the (American?) current practice of putting add/sus to differentiate.
Buschmann’s links seem to confirm this.
At least we all agree that omitting add/sus implies the use of all extensions: C9 c e g bb d.

Daniel, any update on the chord symbols behavior whereby we could type what will actually be appearing (such as simply “/A” if that’s what will display, and “C2” if that’s how we’ve chosen to display sus2 chords)?

I know this could get rather out of hand with all the possible combinations, but in particular I’d like to be able to type bass slashes without re-typing the root.

I know it’s been discussed before. Not intending to bump, but for the life of me I can’t find it in a forum search.

No, it’s not something that we anticipate changing in the near future.

Dan (Kreider), I don’t know what your work setup is, but I find that by far the quickest way to type chords in is by tapping them on my MIDI keyboard. Dorico knows what I mean, about 99% of the time…

I’m afraid I’m fairly mobile these days, pecking away at my laptop!

Regardless of the debates in this thread about what notes a chord named “C2” indicates, I’d join my voice to those who’d say I find it counter-intuitive to have to type something other than exactly what I intend to appear. I work for several publishers who use the ‘2’ suffix by itself to mean a complete C chord with an added 2nd. They ALSO may use Csus2 (or C2(no3) ) to indicate the same chord with no 3rd. Since they make this distinction between these chords, they may ask for both C2 and Csus2 in the same piece– To my understanding, there is not currently a way to accomplish both chord suffixes given the current set of preferences. I’d like to request the option of having a preferences setting for added tension chords such as ‘add2’ chords - which might display as C2 or Cadd2 or C(add2) or C(add2) with raised baseline for the portion in parenthesis.
Otherwise, it would seem the Chord Display Preferences will not allow me to indicate both a C2 (meaning Cadd2) and a Csus2 in the same piece. And I can find NO combination of preferences that will allow me to display the other indication my publishers commonly ask me for: C2(no3).

Another related chord which gives me fits in trying to accomplish the appearance they desire is a Cm7(4). (I can get Cm7(add4)– I just can’t eliminate the word ‘add’). I’m not concerned, as some may be, whether this is the correct naming for such a chord; the bottom line is this is a standard naming convention that the publishers I work for want me to use.

Although it’s obviously not a lot of fun, you can accommodate both C2 and Csus2 in the same project by choosing via Engraving Options whichever one is used most commonly as the default, then you can edit the remainder in Engrave mode by double-clicking them and e.g. eliminating the “sus” or adding it as needed from each chord symbol.

You should also be able to remove the “add” in Cm7(add4) in a similar way, i.e. by editing it in Engrave mode.

While we’re struggling with the difference between pedantically correct definitions and common ones, I think we should recognize the fact that suspended intervals MUST resolve downwards. (Pedantically speaking, that is.). That’s why they’re called suspensions! (If it could resolve upward, it would have to be called a depression or something silly like that.)

Hence a sus4 chord is one in which there is no third, and the added fourth resolves DOWNward to the third, whether major or minor. And in a sus2 chord, the suspension would have to resolve DOWNward to the root. Therefore there should be a 3rd in the sus chord as well, as the 2nd cannot resolve upward to the third.

Any interval can be suspended, so long as it’s bigger than a unison to begin with. However, to follow the rules of both 16th century and 18th century counterpoint (16th century counterpoint INVENTED the term suspension) the resolution must be a consonance. So, for example, you could only have a suspended 10th if you consider a 9th to be a consonance. (It can be in jazz.)

I guess part of what I am trying to say here is that while in common practice there may be no difference between a add2 chord and a sus2 chord, there should be a lot of difference between the two when looking at the chord following.

End of pedantry session.