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A lead sheet is a way of representing a song using (simplified) melody line (notes), and chord symbols representing the accompanying harmonization. Often, the lyrics of the first verse are written below the notes.

Oh Suzanna lead sheet

In the lead-sheet example above, showing the well known song Oh Suzanna by Stephen Foster, you see chord symbols marked blue, while rehearsal markers are displayed in red. Using colors in a lead sheet may enhance readability.

Lead sheets are frequently used in Jazz music.

 

So called "fake books" are large collections of lead sheets.

Lead sheet
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