Example question: Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? (as opposed to containing C and D♭ notes)

I don't know how much trouble the author went through to get those symbols, but he has got ♭, ♮ and ♯.

Questions written like this do look a little better, and I would not be surprised if there were other musical symbols in the character set that would fit nicely.

Lets at least place a sentence in the Ask Question and Edit Question pages so that a user can simply select and drag or copy/paste one of these symbols into view.

A small line of text anywhere on the page

You may select and drag any of these symbols into your question: (♭ ♮ ♯ ♪ ♫ ♩)

Possibly in the right hand sidebar, but make sure you update Edit as well as Ask. Perhaps just a line under the textarea.

If you want to save space, you could just place an undocumented ♭ ♮ ♯ ♪ ♫ ♩ anywhere on the page.

To take it a step further, they could be editor buttons, but that is not necessary.

  • Yeah, this would be nice, though it's too bad that dragging is probably not possible without requiring selection first. Aug 23, 2011 at 5:03
  • 2
    This makes a fair amount of sense. ♪ Unlike language sites, you don't really get a convenient IME for musical notation.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Aug 26, 2011 at 15:55
  • @Grace, Thanks. Edited Aug 27, 2011 at 14:15
  • 1
    Instead of going halfway with a copy-and-paste approach why can't we turn this into a request to support a music notation, particularly an open-source one such as LilyPond?
    – kojiro
    Dec 13, 2011 at 13:39
  • 2
    @kojiro I agree that a a general support for music notation (such as LilyPond) will be useful (it already exists a feature request for this here ). But this is more about simple notation within a text like just referring to C♯, E♭ etc. as chord names and such. This will just be too cumbersome to have to encode as LilyPond notation. I don't see much usefulness in having notes symbols (♪ ♫ ♩) included in this, though.
    – awe
    Mar 1, 2012 at 10:40

3 Answers 3


It looks like the symbols are all available as Unicode characters:

Perhaps all we need is a brief tutorial in the FAQ.


From the links in the comments to "What notes are optional in jazz chords?", specifically, "Sharps and flats in HTML", You can type these as HTML entities.

  • ♭
    or ♭
    or ♭
  • ♮
    or ♮
    or ♮
  • ♯
    or ♯
    or ♯

On windows, you can type these directly by holding alt while pressing the sequence 9837 9838 or 9839. I also found a bunch of other fun symbols around there and around 989: ♭♮♯♩♪♫♬♭♰♱♲♳♴♵♶♨⚅♦ ♷♸♹♥♣♢♞♝♜♚♔♒♓♔♑♐♏♎♍♌♋♊♉ϔϖϘϜϝϞϢϣϦ These are all in the Miscellaneous Symbols block of the Unicode Basic Multilingual Plane; except the last few where I fell out of that range into something else.

  • 3
    Yes, but who is going around and remember the unicode character codes for these symbols? In order for this to be usable, we need to have it pickable in the GUI. By the way - this is only working in a question/answer - not in comments : ♭
    – awe
    Mar 1, 2012 at 10:30
  • 1
    Yeah. I like the combo-box idea best. But I was curious how the existing examples were created; and it seemed appropriate to share the info. Too bad you can't use entities in comments. As for remembering: post-it-notes? Tattooing?! Mar 1, 2012 at 21:20
  • 9
    Perhaps some site-specific short-cut, like ♯, $flat;, and $natural;. These could easily be translated to the proper unicode entities upon posting, and could even be used by the toolbar buttons.
    – Hannele
    Aug 2, 2012 at 18:42
  • 2
    Comments support these characters if you copy in the character from a place where it is already rendered correctly, and not by entering as code: ♭♮♯ This also works inside code block: ♭♮♯ which is good, because then you can have code block entries like this: C♯ D♭. It is still unicode characters, but they are not written by HTML code, it is the unicode characters copied in directly.
    – awe
    Aug 28, 2012 at 7:55

In my opinion, toolbar buttons would be best (or a dropdown box with "symbols"). This would be a site-specific section in the toolbar area at the right of the standard buttons. There are probably other sites within StackExchange as well that have similar requests for special symbols (for example Mathematics).

  • 3
    Mathematics has some limited support for LaTeX, so I don't see why we couldn't have some limited notation support too.
    – Hannele
    Aug 2, 2012 at 18:45
  • It would also be useful to have this available in comments. Perhaps a small button row just below the "Add Comment" button.
    – awe
    Jan 12, 2016 at 9:39

While I absolutely think ♭ ♮ ♯ should be easily accessible in the editor, I don't personally see a lot of use for these particular characters: ♪ ♫ ♩. They're cute, but they don't really serve much of a purpose for asking questions, and I think they will just end up making this exchange look less professional. They could conceivably be used for notating rhythms, but that seems a little far-fetched to me.

What I think would be much more useful is a macro for formatting chord inversions, like this:

iii65, V7, etc.

  • How does using ♪ and ♩to notate rhythm seem far-fetched?
    – cjm
    Jan 9, 2016 at 23:25
  • 4
    @cjm: Because it is too limited. You don't have whole, half, sixteenth etc. Not to mention more advanced stuff like triplets, rests etc. If you have a specific question about rythm patterns, it is most likely that the available note symbols does not cover the needs...
    – awe
    Jan 12, 2016 at 9:45

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