The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #101

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    Sometimes I think that most of jazz education materials out there are this thing when one person does all the hard work you should be doing and then you buy the book they wrote after they’ve done all that work hoping that it will have the same effect.
    Indeed. At least that's better than the warning/description I once received - "going from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the student, without passing through the brains of either". Pretty much my entire Physics degree right there.

    I won't mention How to Improvise by Hal Crook as it would have taken SO LONG to complete at a lesson a week, that I gave up. I've had the book since 1999.

    Nice jazz by the way grahambop.

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  3. #102

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    By who, Freud?

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Sometimes I think that most of jazz education materials out there are this thing when one person does all the hard work you should be doing and then you buy the book they wrote after they’ve done all that work hoping that it will have the same effect.
    I think you're saying the purchaser don't realize (or hopes that they do not have to) do all that hard work. Which to me is sort of how CST is used by many students. A shortcut to mastery. An "if I play this magic scale over this chord I'll be OK " Rather than listening to the old masters and duplicating their thinking, (hard work).

    I tend to think CST is just an after-the-fact explanation of what people were playing. An academic approach - to catagorize and systematize. Nothing wrong with that but, you / me / students of jazz, STILL have to actually DO the hard work... and that is not popular, lol. People like short-cuts.



    ....that's my 2 pesos.

  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChazFromCali
    Isn’t all that stuff already set out in one of the older masters or doctoral theses on CP?

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Gainly
    Nice jazz by the way grahambop.
    Thanks Hugo!

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    Isn’t all that stuff already set out in one of the older masters or doctoral theses on CP?
    I don't know. Probably.
    Do you mean Thomas Owens' thesis on Parker? Charlie Parker Dissertation Volume I - Thomas Owens 1974 [vlr0qpomdvlz]

    That's an excellent book, but I appreciate the cleaner graphics in this new book.

  8. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    Isn’t all that stuff already set out in one of the older masters or doctoral theses on CP?
    yes but Owens doesn't "dumb it down" the way it looks like this book does. And yes, I agree that making it too easy will mean you don't "own" the learning as much as you would if you did the hard yards yourself, of course, but for those looking for the cheat sheet ... ?

  9. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChazFromCali
    I think you're saying the purchaser don't realize (or hopes that they do not have to) do all that hard work. Which to me is sort of how CST is used by many students. A shortcut to mastery. An "if I play this magic scale over this chord I'll be OK " Rather than listening to the old masters and duplicating their thinking, (hard work).
    Knowing basic CST doesn't get you playing jazz. You have to know basic CST, deeper level application of theory, and musicianship - work with the music as you say.

    From the jazz piano thread. Theory is extremely helpful if it's applied correctly. Going beyond step 1. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. You're also free to do all the 'hard work' you want in addition to knowing applied theory. I think this guy sounds like he knows what he's doing.


  10. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChazFromCali
    I tend to think CST is just an after-the-fact explanation of what people were playing. An academic approach - to catagorize and systematize. Nothing wrong with that but, you / me / students of jazz, STILL have to actually DO the hard work... and that is not popular, lol. People like short-cuts.
    Theory wasn't post hoc from the golden age any more than theory was post hoc from classical. Theory has been around in classical for centuries. They didn't just hear everything up without any internalized structure. Guess what the 1st chord progression is in this tune?


  11. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Theory wasn't post hoc from the golden age any more than theory was post hoc from classical. Theory has been around in classical for centuries. They didn't just hear everything up without any internalized structure. Guess what the 1st chord progression is in this tune?

    The theory that is used today for classical is not the theory that Bach knew. Functional harmony for instance is a development of the 19th century. You know the Roman numerals and so on we all take for granted.

    Not saying it’s not useful for working out what’s going on in Bach’s music. But he didn’t use it.

    for instance did you know he didn’t accept that the 6 3 chord was an inversion of 5 3?

    The guy who developed the idea of chord roots, JP Rameau did so within Bach’s lifetime, but Bach is on record saying that he regarded it as nothing more than a theoretical abstraction.

    Modern classical theory is largely post-hoc

  12. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChazFromCali
    I think you're saying the purchaser don't realize (or hopes that they do not have to) do all that hard work. Which to me is sort of how CST is used by many students. A shortcut to mastery. An "if I play this magic scale over this chord I'll be OK " Rather than listening to the old masters and duplicating their thinking, (hard work).

    I tend to think CST is just an after-the-fact explanation of what people were playing. An academic approach - to catagorize and systematize. Nothing wrong with that but, you / me / students of jazz, STILL have to actually DO the hard work... and that is not popular, lol. People like short-cuts.



    ....that's my 2 pesos.
    Well this is why music theory and appreciation exists at least according to prof Robert O Gjerdingen. Tbh i would think he overstates the case a bit, but it’s still an interesting perspective which is to say middle class people like music theory because they can learn it relatively quickly at uni and it makes them feel clever and that they know something about music (because they can label a cadence), while actually being a composer takes years and years of practical study and hard work, preferably from early childhood

    re: jazz books. The Omnibook is really what I had in mind when I wrote that, but it could apply to cst type books as well.

  13. #112

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    I'd say theory by definition is hindsight, therefore post-hoc. I mean, how are theorists today going to write about music that hasn't been written or otherwise created yet? So obviously learning theory is important - no artist wants to create in a vacuum, ignorant of what has gone before - but at the same time an artist shouldn't feel beholden to rules or observations about music created invariably some time ago (unless they wish to pastiche it).

  14. #113

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    ^ That's circular reasoning. Why is theory 'by definition' post hoc when the music of the time all follows it? And where are the musicians in modern times who 'hear up' everything. It seems to only be the 'geniuses' from back in the day who heard up everything where you can conveniently revise history to suit your narrative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Modern classical theory is largely post-hoc
    So he just thought up a bunch of arpeggios that make a chord progression and start out 1, 2, 5, 1 without knowing what he was doing. Sure.

    The truth is going to prevail here. Just so you know.

  15. #114

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    My library order came today: “Herb Ellis Jazz Guitar Style” from 1963. Three pages on improvisation. Not a single trace of CST. Will scan later and upload.

  16. #115

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    So he just thought up a bunch of arpeggios that make a chord progression and start out 1, 2, 5, 1. Sure.
    In modern chord symbols I would actually write it
    G C/G D7/G G

    So I'd quibble that it's not a ii V I even in modern chord symbols. It's a IV V I which is functionally similar, but this is an idea that came much later in the history of music theory. It makes sense to us, but that doesn't mean it would make sense to Bach.

    A better example is the C major prelude for clavier (you know the one, Ave Maria)

    C Dm/C G7/B C
    In the same piece there's a very clear
    Am7 D7 G

    Now, I know this might be hard to get your head around, it was for me, but these two progessions are not the same and have different structural roles. The first is used by Bach as an 'opening' gambit while the root position progression establishes the new key (G) later in the piece.

    While from the point of view of root movement they are both ii V I's, Bach would not use them for the same function. So anyone who wants to improvise in the style of Bach, say, has to realise these are two different things. From that point of view, I can understand why Bach thought the whole root movement thing was a theoretical abstraction.

    Anyway, this is how the first four bars of the Cello prelude look like in a reduced figured bass format (written out long hand, which you wouldn't see so much in real Baroque sources) - the numbers indicate the diatonic intervals above the bass. This is how Bach wrote chords out.

    Charlie Parker fully analyzed-screenshot-2022-10-06-10-51-58-png

    Actually that last figure should be 8 3 strictly speaking, sorry. 5 3 just means, root position triad. Here is a contrapuntal breakdown of what's going on in the voices such as Bach may have seen it. Bach said all of music is about mi and fa, and this is a nice example:

    Charlie Parker fully analyzed-screenshot-2022-10-06-10-52-06-png

    The progression is a version of the common Quiecenza schema which Bach used a lot for openings and endings of pieces like preludes. Although again that's something of a post hoc understanding/categorisation (Robert Gjerdingen invented the term IIRC), but one I think is closer to the way this progression is used. It's a lovely progression:

    Charlie Parker fully analyzed-screenshot-2022-10-06-10-55-43-png
    More info here
    2. Quiescenza
    And here
    Quiescenza – Counterpoint Resources

    The dominant chord over the tonic pedal is typical for this type of progression. (Again using language that would be alien to Bach)

    In the jazz world, Peter Bernstein is always keen to point out that we should treat inversions differently. For example, he picked up on me for playing Am7 Am6 Gm6 in autumn leaves when I had a lesson with him - he wanted a proper cadence there, Am7 D7 Gm6 or Am7 Ab7 Gm6. So I think it's still somewhat true today. Counterpoint...

  17. #116

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    Pretty sure that's theory and he knew what he was doing.

  18. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Pretty sure that's theory and he knew what he was doing.
    Well, for the argument that it is not, I refer you to Prof Gjerdingen's writings on the matter. He's been influential on me.

    Gjerdingen draws a distinction between the kind of practical know how that jazz musicians and baroque composers had, honed from hours of constructing music, and the sort of theory that is practice in university theory courses which is more about analysing features of preexisting music. (I tend to adopt his practice of only calling the latter 'theory', although many people do not use the term that way.)

    The two serve different aims.

    I see CST as (not always but quite often) edging a bit more into the latter - 'oh here Bird plays a #5 and that makes it bebop because altered scale' or something.

    In fact as I have argued elsewwhere, CST seeks to have some explanative power about music 'oh we play #9 and b9 because altered scale' rather than the practical approach of chord subs, 'do this because it sounds good'. You have to do chord subs anyway, it's just now we 'explain' them using CST.

    My contention is that when jazz was more about performance and less about education, the explanation was considered superfluous. You just get on with it and 'if it sounds good, it is good.' We just have it now because it fits into the liberal arts college mindset, and that's what modern music schools have to adopt to acquire accreditation. Again, 1970, Berklee.

    Going back to Bach 'oh I'll write this progression because it's a great way to open a piece'; us jazzers today 'oh it's a I IV V I, and that's why it sounds good.' (Well why doesn't it sound like Denis Denis then????)

    Full marks on your theory exam. Now you can write or improvise a prelude, right?

    Well no, not necessarily.

    You also tend to argue as if theory is just one thing, take it or leave it. Quite obviously, it's not. You don't need to know figured bass to play jazz for instance.

    Looking at the timeline, Bach obviously did not need to know about functional harmony to write and improvise preludes, just as Bird did not need to know CST to play killing solos. It's perfectly simple. It doesn't mean that neither knew any 'theory' (as you define it.)
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-06-2022 at 06:34 AM.

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    ^ That's circular reasoning. Why is theory 'by definition' post hoc when the music of the time all follows it?
    You say 'the music' follows theory. My point is only if one is writing a pastiche. It is true that some aspects of say, nineteenth century music (although that's a massive sweeping statement, since there is great variety of music in that century!) will apply to twenty-first century music, but still be different - different enough for theoretical approaches to analysis and thinking about music like Schenker will not apply (and in fact even that only applies to a certain music of a certain time and place and style).



    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    And where are the musicians in modern times who 'hear up' everything. It seems to only be the 'geniuses' from back in the day who heard up everything where you can conveniently revise history to suit your narrative.
    What do you mean by 'hear up' everything? If you mean what I think you mean, there are many composers and improvisors who hear up what they write or play.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    So he just thought up a bunch of arpeggios that make a chord progression and start out 1, 2, 5, 1 without knowing what he was doing. Sure.

    The truth is going to prevail here. Just so you know.
    Like I said, composers and improvisors don't do what they do in a vacuum and they will be curious about the music of the past and its theories, which they may or may not draw upon. But most of the best-known composers and improvisors will go beyond that, leaving theory to catch up with them.

  20. #119

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    "Remember Barry Harris worked out and analysed Bird's music himself in his own way. He wouldn't have felt the need to do it if there had been a clear and widely available pedagogical pathway to playing that music." C. Miller,

    Hi, C,
    I think, perhaps, you are a sadist and have a penchant for dead horses since you continue to repeat this scared mantra. Here's a quote from Britannica:
    "
    Harris began piano lessons at age four, under his mother’s tutelage. He studied classical music throughout his youth until coming under the influence of Parker, whom he first heard in Detroit in the late 1940s. Harris’s family home became a salon for jazz musicians, his mother encouraging his newfound interest. "

    Then from the NY Times:
    "His mother was the pianist at their Baptist church, and when he was 4, she began teaching him to play. ]As an adolescent, he set himself up at the elbow of some of the more experienced pianists around town. Almost immediately upon learning the fundamentals of bebop . . . "

    And, NPR:
    "Barry Doyle Harris was born in Detroit on Dec. 15, 1929. He was the fourth of five children born to Melvin and Bessie Harris. His mother, a church pianist, started giving him piano lessons at age 4. One of his later teachers, Gladys Wade Dillard, also taught Tommy Flanagan.

    Well, I think you get the idea so, why does it seem every time you talk about Barry Harris, you imply that he was self-taught ear musician when he had all the traditional fundamentals needed to pursue his music available in his time and place and, apparently, through self-study became a world-class theoretician? I watched one of his videos in the "Harris Blog" recently where he was working with a College Jazz Band and within 5 minutes of watching the video, a viewer would realize a "prospect" could never participate in that class unless they had a solid foundation in Music Theory as he started calling out chords, scales, triplets, accented beats, and "ands" throughout the seminar. And, every musician in that room was reading from charts, initially, when he asked them to play one thing or another aside from his directions that deviated from the score. Many of the Jazzers in my generation and certainly those from Barry's age didn't necessarily study at a university but they did study formal musical training with a qualified teacher and learned the fundamentals that enabled them to play with other trained musicians. Then, most went to big bands for the steady gig and had to read music and understand its fundamentals where they honed their craft before heading out on their own.
    So, since you've had your pleasure flagellating the noble Equus, I want mine and will say that except for ***Savants***, an ear musician WILL NEVER PLAY AT A HIGH LEVEL without extensive theory, practical knowledge, and the ability to read music fluently. Period. And, he will never be able to play with other schooled musicians who don't have the time to learn a piece by ear but rather must read from written music on the spot. This mantra is one I only hear from "former?" Rock, C@W, and Blues guitarists who want to spend the entirety of their lives believing that their unschooled approach to playing Jazz will reap great rewards in the future as they continue to assault the windows, curtains, and bedsheets of their Bedroom Art and buy more and more expensive guitars that they believe will make them a better player. The pathway to knowledge/Art is really quite simple. Learn the fundamentals and "Do It." There is no substitute for live performance since you will learn more in a night of playing than years spent with your King size mattress and Grandma's patchwork quilt.
    Marinero

    P.S. There is one caveat that must be realized: namely, paid musical gigs are few and far between for the average musician and many of the top venues are inundated with Rap, C@W, Rock, Pops Classical, Metal, Hip Hop . . . whew . . . this is getting to me . . .
    The ability to play solo will open up your possibilities for paid performance.
    M






  21. #120

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    Hey Jimmy... skip the BH stuff and stay with David...Hazeltine..... much more usable approach to actually playing.

  22. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    an ear musician WILL NEVER PLAY AT A HIGH LEVEL without extensive theory, practical knowledge, and the ability to read music fluently. Period.
    With respect, this is not what's being argued by Christian M and others. The point is that Bach and Charlie Parker didn't think about their music with the theoretical apparatus that we have now - they took what theoretical knowledge that was available at the time and went somewhere else, using their ears to guide them, leaving others to explain what they did after they'd done it.

  23. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    "Remember Barry Harris worked out and analysed Bird's music himself in his own way. He wouldn't have felt the need to do it if there had been a clear and widely available pedagogical pathway to playing that music." C. Miller,

    Hi, C,
    I think, perhaps, you are a sadist and have a penchant for dead horses since you continue to repeat this scared mantra. Here's a quote from Britannica:
    "
    Harris began piano lessons at age four, under his mother’s tutelage. He studied classical music throughout his youth until coming under the influence of Parker, whom he first heard in Detroit in the late 1940s. Harris’s family home became a salon for jazz musicians, his mother encouraging his newfound interest. "

    Then from the NY Times:
    "His mother was the pianist at their Baptist church, and when he was 4, she began teaching him to play. ]As an adolescent, he set himself up at the elbow of some of the more experienced pianists around town. Almost immediately upon learning the fundamentals of bebop . . . "

    And, NPR:
    "Barry Doyle Harris was born in Detroit on Dec. 15, 1929. He was the fourth of five children born to Melvin and Bessie Harris. His mother, a church pianist, started giving him piano lessons at age 4. One of his later teachers, Gladys Wade Dillard, also taught Tommy Flanagan.

    Well, I think you get the idea so, why does it seem every time you talk about Barry Harris, you imply that he was self-taught ear musician when he had all the traditional fundamentals needed to pursue his music available in his time and place and, apparently, through self-study became a world-class theoretician? I watched one of his videos in the "Harris Blog" recently where he was working with a College Jazz Band and within 5 minutes of watching the video, a viewer would realize a "prospect" could never participate in that class unless they had a solid foundation in Music Theory as he started calling out chords, scales, triplets, accented beats, and "ands" throughout the seminar. And, every musician in that room was reading from charts, initially, when he asked them to play one thing or another aside from his directions that deviated from the score. Many of the Jazzers in my generation and certainly those from Barry's age didn't necessarily study at a university but they did study formal musical training with a qualified teacher and learned the fundamentals that enabled them to play with other trained musicians. Then, most went to big bands for the steady gig and had to read music and understand its fundamentals where they honed their craft before heading out on their own.
    So, since you've had your pleasure flagellating the noble Equus, I want mine and will say that except for ***Savants***, an ear musician WILL NEVER PLAY AT A HIGH LEVEL without extensive theory, practical knowledge, and the ability to read music fluently. Period. And, he will never be able to play with other schooled musicians who don't have the time to learn a piece by ear but rather must read from written music on the spot. This mantra is one I only hear from "former?" Rock, C@W, and Blues guitarists who want to spend the entirety of their lives believing that their unschooled approach to playing Jazz will reap great rewards in the future as they continue to assault the windows, curtains, and bedsheets of their Bedroom Art and buy more and more expensive guitars that they believe will make them a better player. The pathway to knowledge/Art is really quite simple. Learn the fundamentals and "Do It." There is no substitute for live performance since you will learn more in a night of playing than years spent with your King size mattress and Grandma's patchwork quilt.
    Marinero

    P.S. There is one caveat that must be realized: namely, paid musical gigs are few and far between for the average musician and many of the top venues are inundated with Rap, C@W, Rock, Pops Classical, Metal, Hip Hop . . . whew . . . this is getting to me . . .
    The ability to play solo will open up your possibilities for paid performance.
    M

    Firstly, this thread is not the theory vs ears thread. I am discussing something different on this thread.

    Nothing in your post contradicts what I have said, and is all information I already knew.

    My point stands. Please read it carefully.
    "Remember Barry Harris worked out and analysed Bird's music himself in his own way. He wouldn't have felt the need to do it if there had been a clear and widely available pedagogical pathway to playing that music."

    Musicians studied classical music. Instrumental training was not at all uncommon, even training as a composer. Coleman Hawkins for instance was a trained cellist and composer. Miles obviously went to Julliard. (As to how much classical training helps with learning jazz? That's a separate conversation. It would certainly help with instrumental technique.)

    They did not study *jazz* in the same way because the pedagogy did not exist at that time beyond maybe Tristano and a couple of others. Read up on how Barry actually learned *jazz* himself and you'll see this quite clearly.

    Barry himself developed a pedagogy and theory for *jazz* in lieu of this. He started teaching his peers while still in high school.

    Not sure what's so hard to understand.

    - Maybe I'm super clever or something that I can understand the distinction between classical and jazz pedagogy and learning.
    - Or more likely people just want to respond to an argument that's easier to disprove rather than the one I'm actually making.

    Either way, it's exhausting to deal with. Ah well, that's the internet.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-06-2022 at 11:38 AM.

  24. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by James W
    With respect, this is not what's being argued by Christian M and others. The point is that Bach and Charlie Parker didn't think about their music with the theoretical apparatus that we have now - they took what theoretical knowledge that was available at the time and went somewhere else, using their ears to guide them, leaving others to explain what they did after they'd done it.
    It's a fairly banal point really. Bach did not learn post-Rameau harmony, Bird did not learn CST, because those fields of music theory/pedagogy did not exist at those times.

    In the same way, we might say, Galileo did not use calculus because it did not exist at that time as a branch of maths. It's a fact. It is not saying Galileo did not know maths.

    Furthermore, Bird is unlikely to have used any 'how to improvise jazz' books in his learning, because they also did not (AFAIK) exist at that time.

    These are fairly straightforward and indeed verifiable statements of fact, and yet it ends up generating the sort of belligerent talking past each other that I usually associate with partisan political debates. My post might get read to mean 'Bird didn't know theory' or 'Bird didn't use any books'.

    The weird thing here is I can't see any reason why people's positions get so entrenched. perhaps that's a more interesting topic of discussion. What kind of music theory Bird used to learn music isn't exactly a hot button topic is it?

    OTOH if you want to maintain that Bird learned to play jazz out of a book or something, it's probably not that harmful a belief to have in the grand scheme of things.
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-06-2022 at 12:12 PM.

  25. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller

    The weird thing here is I can't see any reason why people's positions get so entrenched. perhaps that's a more interesting topic of discussion.
    Sturgeon's law - Wikipedia

  26. #125

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Not sure what's so hard to understand.
    Not sure what's so hard for you to understand. We aren't clairvoyant. We only have the ability to understand what you write. And you continually cling to the falsehood that the musicians in the period in question didn't use theory to make their music because the pedagogy was developed later:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Pretty sure that's theory and he knew what he was doing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Well, for the argument that it is not.

    Looking at the timeline, Bach obviously did not need to know about functional harmony to write and improvise preludes, just as Bird did not need to know CST to play killing solos. It's perfectly simple. It doesn't mean that neither knew any 'theory' (as you define it.)
    I'm going to call you out right now and say you are flat out lying if you continue with this without qualifying that as (for example) university functional harmony pedagogy or abersold cst pedagogy. We're aware the PEDAGOGY wasn't developed until later. They still had the functional knowledge of harmony and association of chords and scales like Marinero explains. You can't look at the music and say they didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Many of the Jazzers in my generation and certainly those from Barry's age didn't necessarily study at a university but they did study formal musical training with a qualified teacher and learned the fundamentals that enabled them to play with other trained musicians. Then, most went to big bands for the steady gig and had to read music and understand its fundamentals where they honed their craft before heading out on their own. An ear musician WILL NEVER PLAY AT A HIGH LEVEL without extensive theory, practical knowledge, and the ability to read music fluently. Period.