I am wondering why Dorico won’t let me input chord symbol Dm7/G. I understand that an F/G or Dm/G will sound pretty much the same, but I would prefer Dm7/G.

Any ideas?

Typing into the popup, I can enter Dm7/G, or any of the alternatives you mentioned, or indeed any chord over a /G. I can’t find anything in Engraving Options that would limit that.
Are you using some other method of chord input?

Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated.
I think I know what’s happening. The bar in question has a D7 then a D7/G, but show a D7 then just /G.
Is there a preference to only show the root note change when the chord is the same?

Screen Shot 2022-07-21 at 1.15.47 pm

I think I’ve found the problem.
Engraving Option/Chord Symbols

That’s it.
Glad you solved the problem.

I’m really curious to know what you mean by the chord Dm7/G. The pitch G is not a member of the Dm7 chord, which is D,F,A, and C. So wouldn’t the chord have to be Dm47 before having a G bass note would make any sense? Not trying to nit-pick, just truly curious.

Dm7/G is quite common. It sounds like a G7sus4 chord. :slight_smile:

I must say I’ve never seen Dm47 (which would not even work in this case because G has to be the bass).

And in modern jazz harmony there are a lot of chords built with a bass and an upper structure with different notes.


Is it similar to a Dm11 chord (in C-major) with the 11th in the bass and omitting the ninth?

I feel like in certain songs it’s easier to read Dm7/G eg if you’re arriving from a ii7, but in others G7sus4 feels better… eg if it resolves after?

I’m a big fan of using split-bass chords to show the half-diminished 7th. Bm/G#, for example.

Interesting! I personally don’t use that nomenclature, but that’s how Dizzy Gillespie always thought of them. One of the most famous jazz tunes with a bunch of half-diminished chords is Dizzy’s Woody ‘n’ You. Everyone always plays Gm7(b5) for the first chord, but Dizzy thought of it Bbm6/G (and then Abm6/F, F#m6/D# for the next 2 II-Vs). Composers like Debussy and Ravel use that sound a lot too.

That sort of nomenclature can pose some interesting enharmonic spelling quandaries too. Here’s a phrase from a Sonny Rollins solo on Woody ‘n’ You off of a Max Roach recording.

Should I spell it as Ebm7(b5) or as F#m6? Does it matter that he is literally quoting a tune called Honeysuckle Rose in F#m-B7? Back when I did this transcription I remember deciding that Sonny is clearly thinking in F#m so I spelled it that way to reflect his thinking (one of the whole points of transcription is to get inside the head of the player you are transcribing), but it still looks funny to spell a G# on the Ab7 chord.


If it resolves, then yes, ‘sus’ makes sense. I haven’t ever really seen anything called Dm47 either, but I couldn’t think of anything else to call it if it didn’t resolve. (And of course since there’s no context, there’s no way of knowing.)

OK, maybe I’ve misunderstood something very basic that seems to be going on here. Let me explain further my original question, then perhaps it will make more sense.

I was always taught that a Slash/Letter was simply another way of indicating a chord inversion. For example, Dm by itself meant root position, Dm/F meant first inversion, Dm/A meant second inversion, etc. It would follow, then, that Dm7/C would be third inversion of the dominant 7 chord of Dm. In that context, and if I was taught correctly, then Dm7/G is meaningless, because there is no G in a Dm7 chord. That’s what is throwing me. It if’s ‘common’ nomenclature, then I’m fuddled, because it violates every principle of what I though chord nomenclature meant.

So maybe I was taught wrong. Or maybe I’ve misunderstood what I was taught. Or maybe something else is going on here, like Slash/Letter doesn’t mean what I thought it did. Quite possibly, as I was trained in a strictly classical mode, and never even SAW a chord symbol till I’d been a musician for many years.

So maybe some kind (or at least courteous) soul could explain to me where I’ve gone astray? How can the bass note of a chord be a note that isn’t part of that chord?!? Or, to put it another way, what ‘inversion’ of Dm7 has G for the bass note!!!

It’s simply what it says: Take those 4 notes of Dm7 and put them over a G, aka G9sus.
(It’s better without the D, which is often written F/G.)

Chord symbols are a notoriously un-academic practice. Trying to wedge their myriad ways into a completely rule-based software like Dorico was a Herculean task. (Bravo.)

I think it comes down to that it’s easy to read. I think that the chord still serves its harmonic function but it’s just easier to read in many cases.

No, any chord can be over any root. Here’s a snippet from Bud Powell’s Glass Enclosure:

Many tunes use chords over a pedal as a harmonic device as well. Wayne Shorter’s Children of the Night for example has F#m7/B moving to Gmaj7/B on the vamp. Jimmy Heath’s Bruh Slim opens with Gm9/C - Bbm9/C. … and so on …


Check out Walter Piston’s book “Harmony” (5th edition), Chapter 24: “Ninth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Chords”.

I had to learn that chord notation was very different in jazz and a more traditional academic setting, but in recent decades there has been much more mixing of the notation shortcuts just as jazz and traditional concert music have more frequently combined.

Picking up slash notation was easy enough, but making sure I knew whether an F6 was a first inversion of F-A-C as in traditional harmony books or an added sixth, F-A-C-D, made me sensitive to context when looking at the chord.


I think of chords with slash bass notes as showing which notes should be included and which omitted. So Dm7/G represents a G11 chord with 7th 9th and 11th included, but 3rd omitted. F/G would be a G11 chord with 7th 9th and 11th included, but 3rd and 5th omitted.

Playing in a rhythm section the keyboard and especially the guitar will play the chord above the slash, and leave the bass note to the bassist.

I see a Dm7/G simply as a Dm7 chord over a G in the bass. :grinning:
(I try not to complicate things any more than necessary.)