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  1. #1

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    I am interested in getting some interesting chord synonyms, just some of your favourites which you find help you to add colour to your playing or an interesting way of looking at certain progressions. Any thoughts?

    Thanks

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Apologies for an indirect overkill answer but perhaps this approach
    may be useful to you or somebody.

    Ex. Cma7 ........... for clarity sake I'll limit possible extensions to D F# A
    mixed and matched together with prime chord tones C E G B

    Here's how the game works:

    Replace one primary 7th chord tone with an extension

    C D E G ..... C E F# G ..... C E G A

    C D E B ..... C E F# B ..... C E A B

    C D G B ..... C F# G B ..... C G A B

    Replace two primary 7th chord tones with extensions

    C D E F# ..... C D E A ..... C E F# A

    C D F# G ..... C D G A ..... C F# G A

    D E F# G .....D E G A ..... E F# G A

    C D F# B ..... C D A B ..... C F# A B

    D E F# B ..... D E A B ..... D F# A B

    D F# G B ..... D G A B ..... F# G A B

    Replace three primary 7th chord tones with extensions

    D F# A B

    D F# G A

    D E F# A

    C D F# A

    These are note collections, not voicing suggestions, although on a piano they are accessible.
    The fewer prime chord tones the more it necessary to play them in middle to higher range
    so that the non-primary notes are heard as extensions. Playing too low can confuse
    the intended meaning of the notes.

    Chord synonyms are a convenient shorthand but to be comprehensive would require
    memorizing so many relationships. Of course ...... you only asked us for our favorites.
    I was never much good at favoritisms but anyway, here's one I like:

    Bbma7+ for C13(#11)

  4. #3

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    Yea... cool bako.

    I tend to just hear and think of those as voicings. And when you use #11 as extension, your implying Gmaj. right. Unless your using modal guidelines.... which is great with me.

    I tend to heard and use chords functionally.... meaning all extensions are implied whether played or not.

    So if the starting Target reference is Cma7#11... Lydian. the basic Functional Synonyms would be... down a diatonic 3rd and up a diatonic 3rd.... So Amin7 or Amin9th and Emin9.... Basic Functional Harmony... and if I get Modal I can use the characteristic note of Lydian, the #11 as the organization for creating Modal Functional Synonym chords.... or any diatonic chord from Cma7#11 and extensions that contains that #11. Gets more complicated because our ears are so use to Maj/Min functional Harmony.... But works and is also great for soloing...

    This approach is very simple and repeats... easy to become good at using when performing. You can add other relationships to the new Synonym chords by basically thinking of the new synonym chord as a Temporary Target

    Yea,Sorry... I'm one of those guys that hears and thinks of melodic and Harmonic as the same thing, just depends on what's being played etc... I'm even worse... it's all harmonic.

  5. #4

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    I'm even worse... it's all harmonic.
    Reg,

    In the context of destructive human belief systems, this one doesn't even register.
    I tend strongly in this direction as well but have some catching up to you to do
    for real time recognition of all the relationships at play.

  6. #5

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    Can you give examples of what you mean by synonym? Sorry not sure what you mean by that... I can think of a few possible meanings.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Can you give examples of what you mean by synonym? Sorry not sure what you mean by that... I can think of a few possible meanings.
    I think he means some 'nickname' that is associated with charachter and colour... to be honest I do not know really - chords are very contextual...

    My sick imagination evoke many different images and descriptions while playing music (I remember as a kid I showed some episodes in the piece to my mom and said that this chord seems 'an old man' to me... she asked me not to tell to anyone)... but I can't remember any fixed quality... excepte maybe dominant within functional toanlity...

    But I always had associations with key - but it is probably deeper rooted.. some cultural thing...

    But chord synonims could be helpful... for example ii7-v7-Imaj in Cmajor

    ii7 is Professor Higgins (don't ask me why)
    V7 is definitely Hulk here
    and Cmajor7 is something between Peppa Pig and Selena Gomez (in character of course, not in appearance).. so I will call it Peppa Gomez...
    and C6 is just Peppa Pig
    and C69 is just Selena Gomez

    So if you say something like : hey what's that Professor Higgins doing here man? We are already with Hulk in second inversion heading to Peppa Gomez

    Or: hey man! Let's decide right now... if we are with Selena Gomez or Peppa Pig here? they do not work both at time!

    that brings lots of colour into it...

  8. #7

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    Please don't bring up Peppa Pig in my safe space.

    Yeah, I mean intervallic structures can be used in all sorts of contexts, which translates to fretboard shapes.

    Alternatively some chords have alternative names.

    Others have no good name, for instance

    6 x 5 6 7 x

  9. #8

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    Synonym - a chord used in place of another chord. Em7 = Cma9, Em9 = Cma9#11, etc.
    This is also at times referred to as super-impostion, basically using this to cover that.


    6 x 5 6 7 x .......... Bb x G Db F# x


    I look at two aspects in naming chords.

    1. context, how is it being used
    2. simplest name for the notes G Bb Db F# ---- GoMa7

    GoMa7 is often a synonym for Eb7#9 or A13b9
    Also a variant of the 4 diminished enharmonics Go, Bbo, Dbo, Eo

  10. #9

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    Please don't bring up Peppa Pig in my safe space.
    you can ingnore it if you wish but every one has his Peppa Pig...

  11. #10

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    Synonym - a chord used in place of another chord. Em7 = Cma9, Em9 = Cma9#11, etc.
    This is also at times referred to as super-impostion, basically using this to cover that.
    I once discussed with a guy (not quite student but I explained things for his and taught some) and I developed some kind of a formula or equation

    ANY CHORD = ANY chord

    where

    'CHORD' is some kind of function within musical language (not necessarly traditional classiccla functionality), we define functions ouselves if we understand how music works.
    Examples: dom7 (yes it is a chord but we can also use it here as some kind of function, in that sense we can interprete some chords like functions too, for example ii7), or just D (dominant), or Peppa Pig... it depends on how we specify functions in the context of language

    and
    'chord' is specific chord, i.e a set of four notes(I prefer to use 4-note chords here but it can be used with triads too). It can be extended to specific voiceing (or even in application to guitar associated with shape or grip).


    So some example

    D (dominant functional) = dom7, or iim7, or VIIdim, or IIb7, or VIIb7? or VIb7 (these things can be personal and arguable) etc.

    iim7 (not as chord but as function) = IVmaj7, vim7, V7 (why not depends on how you hear functioning), even VIIdom7,


    etc.

    Extended version is with specific version (or even grips)
    (I'll make it in G major)

    dom7 (as function) = x5456x (common one)
    dom7 (as function) = xx1233
    dom7 (as function) = 7888xx (sounds nice going to I/V)

    etc. it can be very simple and basic like common relative chords or subs... and it can very sidtand and audible only in strong horizontal voice-leading and context...
    But I like the idea that it is not just 'anything can be anything' but that one part becomes a function and another its particular realization (even though sometimes they can be the same or switch places - this what makes jazz context so free and unique)

  12. #11

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    yea, Jonah... nice post. Generally there is some type of organization, musical organization... for that freedom when playing in a jazz style.
    I use function as my main use of chord and chord pattern organization. And melodically also. Chords are like melodic licks... that's generally how i use them. The melodic lick on top has harmonic reference. Different styles of music have common practice sounds, common chord patterns and melodic licks.... When you play one of those... they create or remind one, or the audience, the listener of that sound. Which becomes a harmonic or melodic reference.... I use Functional organization as being The "Context".

    So context... has organization, musical organization.... I can use harmony, melody, rhythm... articulations etc... as performance tools to expand... that context and still have it be there. Sometimes I trash it... but generally the results are COOL... musician or the band has fun and the audience can at least feel something. (besides me starring at my guitar with strange face movements)

    So generally... I'm playing Chord Patterns that imply the original chord and it's function... the function being the context. I'm pretty simple player... but I have chord patterns with melodic lick.... for almost any sound with function... I don't play basic chords. Unless I'm just sight reading a part... and that's what's wanted. This isn't anything new... most jazz musicians just naturally play this way.

    Yea bako... love using diminished chords for access to Harmonic Maj. .....13b9 chords. It's the latest... well last 20 years to expanding Altered sound. It cool how common root motion can handle altered sounds and still have Functional options... not just Dominant.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    Apologies for an indirect overkill answer but perhaps this approach
    may be useful to you or somebody.

    Ex. Cma7 ........... for clarity sake I'll limit possible extensions to D F# A
    mixed and matched together with prime chord tones C E G B

    Here's how the game works:

    Replace one primary 7th chord tone with an extension

    C D E G ..... C E F# G ..... C E G A

    C D E B ..... C E F# B ..... C E A B

    C D G B ..... C F# G B ..... C G A B

    Replace two primary 7th chord tones with extensions

    C D E F# ..... C D E A ..... C E F# A

    C D F# G ..... C D G A ..... C F# G A

    D E F# G .....D E G A ..... E F# G A

    C D F# B ..... C D A B ..... C F# A B

    D E F# B ..... D E A B ..... D F# A B

    D F# G B ..... D G A B ..... F# G A B

    Replace three primary 7th chord tones with extensions

    D F# A B

    D F# G A

    D E F# A

    C D F# A

    These are note collections, not voicing suggestions, although on a piano they are accessible.
    The fewer prime chord tones the more it necessary to play them in middle to higher range
    so that the non-primary notes are heard as extensions. Playing too low can confuse
    the intended meaning of the notes.

    Chord synonyms are a convenient shorthand but to be comprehensive would require
    memorizing so many relationships. Of course ...... you only asked us for our favorites.
    I was never much good at favoritisms but anyway, here's one I like:

    Bbma7+ for C13(#11)
    Great stuff thanks very much!

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Can you give examples of what you mean by synonym? Sorry not sure what you mean by that... I can think of a few possible meanings.
    I just mean chords that are similar but have different names and can be swapped in different contexts. For example a I could look at a m7b5 as a rootless 9th chord.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    Synonym - a chord used in place of another chord. Em7 = Cma9, Em9 = Cma9#11, etc.
    This is also at times referred to as super-impostion, basically using this to cover that.


    6 x 5 6 7 x .......... Bb x G Db F# x


    I look at two aspects in naming chords.

    1. context, how is it being used
    2. simplest name for the notes G Bb Db F# ---- GoMa7


    GoMa7 is often a synonym for Eb7#9 or A13b9
    Also a variant of the 4 diminished enharmonics Go, Bbo, Dbo, Eo

    Yes this is what I mean!

  16. #15

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    Yeah, some days I think there’s basically only two diatonic chords, one with a tritone and one without.

    Well maybe three.

    Melodic minor chords have more than one tritone , as do diminished.

  17. #16

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    So what I mean by that (if anyone gives a stuff) is:

    There are two types of chords in diatonic scales, dominant and major/sus. The first is 'activated' by a specific interval, the tritone. So it's the difference between this:

    x x 3 5 5 x 'Soft'
    And this
    x x 3 4 5 x 'Hard'

    The first can be used as any 'static' chord - meaning major7, 7sus4 or m7. All the same thing. So

    Dm7 = Fmaj7 = G7sus4 on some level?

    The second is a dissonant chord, right? Suits G7 (CST would have, avoid note is the 13 or B on Dm7, so gives away the sound of the dominant chord. On the G7, the other note C is the avoid note, right?*)

    Thing is, in jazz, minors were often 'hard' sounds, m6's. (The above chord shape gives us a m6/9 chord.) So the dark pre-1960s minor tonic sound is actually of the second type.

    Dm6 = G9 = Bm7b5 on some level.

    Now, that doesn't clear everything up, because - Lydian!

    Basically these two things:
    1 2 2 2 x x 'Hard'
    And
    1 x 3 2 0 x Not so hard at all
    Are not the same thing at all. Taking the B up an octave and putting a fifth above the major seventh completely changes its colour. In the same way, if we take:

    x x 3 4 5 x
    And make it

    x x 3 x 5 7
    The quality is changed. So context counts for something.

    From a CST POV, these chords might be seen as the same, but we can hear that the position of the B changes it's quality dramatically. Lennie Tristano understood this.

    So that's three diatonic chords. Same things for these common grips

    x x 3 5 5 5
    x x 3 4 5 5

    x x 10 10 10 10
    x x 9 10 10 10

    x 5 7 5 6 x
    x 5 7 4 6 x

    (Melodic minor is more straight forward, because as the theory books say all mel minor intervallic groupings can be interchanged. Like diminished and whole tone sounds, mel minor is 'hard+' - but melodic minor sounds can be softened too, like diatonic.)

    You could improvise on everything with two pentatonics, the D minor pent and D minor with a 6 instead of b7. Also generate voicings that way.

    So this theory is - TOO SIMPLE - on its own, because we presumably want to be more specific about our colours. Also funny notes in the bass. But then, we can choose what ever bass lines we want. And it does allow you to see a wide variety of structures as unified on some level.

    - Firstly, not everything with a B in also has a tritone. What about Em, for instance? Still stands apart from the 'soft' sound though.

    - The other thing is I haven't talked about C major at all. The thing about C major is there can't be an F, right? So make a third type of chord - or move everything to C lydian.

    - Here's another thing - pretty early on (like Prez) jazzers realised 'hard' chords sound a bit obvious - dare I say it Teutonic - when over used. So very often, the softer sounds could be used in dominant functions.

    - Wes likes it soft, too.

    - Here's another thing - Gospel style harmonisations avoid the leading note. B, in this case.

    - Here's another thing. It is actually rather common in the playing of modern players in altered dominant voicings and lines to avoid the obvious B-F tritone in the altered scale. Usually by dropping the F. From a tritone sub perspective, the 3rd of Db7. They use soft sounds. The commonly used Bbm pentatonic on G7 is a case in point.

    - Here's another thing. We avoid the tritone in quartal harmony. Quartal harmony is soft.

    - Here's yet another thing. The two basic 6-dim scales in Barry Harris are the maj6 (which also covers m7 and 7sus4) and the m6-dim (which sounds great on dom7, m7b5 and m6.) There are more, but those are the basics.

    (*In practice it REALLY doesn't matter for dominants. Even the books kind of admit as much. The quality of a C on a G7 is much less dissonant than a C on a GMaj7.)

    So that's a lot of info, don't expect anyone to get it necessarily.
    Last edited by christianm77; 09-09-2019 at 03:33 PM.

  18. #17

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    my study of chords with Ted Greene gave me so much information after two years I had to take a break from lessons with him...

    in the basic approach..the triad..alone..not belonging to any key..can be used in many harmonic and melodic ways..folk and rock music use it this way alot..

    then the classical approach a key based triad and its diatonic extensions-that is the major scale harmonized in basic triads (and their inversions)..and then the Bach approach to multi voice leading (3 & 4 part harmony-breaking the chords apart and moving the notes in different directions) now Greene and others-(Howard Roberts Diorio etc) pointed out that as some moving voices may cross each other to form a chord "Shape" it is not necessary to name it as a chord..for the function may only be a passing voice collection and has no relation to name it (the notes F A C ) may be only part of a moving voice line that has no relation to F major at all..or any set tonal center..

    adding the critical fourth note(maj7th) to the basic triad..gives birth to "jazz and beyond" and it is still expanding the music universe..with the aid of technology new sounds may be born..

    so here is where context is important..and once recognized the approach to the "chord" or shape becomes "liquid" not solid .. in my view anyway..you can go "way out" in harmonic relativity to use almost any melodic line against established or implied chord movement..and still have harmonic valid sounds ..and its not just hit and miss.. but yes experimentation is as valid as set scale studies in this matter--the "if it sounds good" school rules
    play well ...
    wolf

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    ...chords are very contextual...imagination evokes many different images and descriptions while playing music...this chord seems 'an old man' to me...that brings lots of colour into it...
    This reminds me of the Impressionist composers who began using 13ths, 9ths and 11ths in the late 1800's. Obviously, classically trained, contemporary New Orleans jazz musicians borrowed the idea and extended their dominant sevenths. Mix upper structure harmony with ragtime rhythms and blue notes and you have some serious jazz.

    My jazz playing ends where fusion and scalar-mania take over, because I'm melodically driven, so when I'm extending and altering chords I can hear the Impressionists, so I enjoy giving a listen to Debussy and Ravel to hear "jazz" harmony in a quieter Classical setting. I too, like to characterise harmonic movements with metaphor and onomatopoeia. Certain voice leading and voicings are rich in imagery, and as you've explained, tell a sort of "story" as they unfold; which is the essence of Impressionism. I have to always remember that extended/altered chords sound best when surrounded and contrasted by lowly triads and sevenths, or the ear becomes tired to the novelty.

    For any guitarist searching for chord synonyms and substitutions, inversions and upper structures, a search on the internet will turn up many books that cover them with fine examples, including a CD. I like Johnny Rector's Chord Progressions. Roger Edison's Jazz Guitar is probably out of print. But there are many others.


    JMJ John 8:12 Jesus said, "I am the Light of the World."
    A cube has 6 sides. To see all sides change your point of view.
    Play like a boss...

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by StringNavigator View Post
    This reminds me of the Impressionist composers who began using 13ths, 9ths and 11ths in the late 1800's. Obviously, classically trained, contemporary New Orleans jazz musicians borrowed the idea and extended their dominant sevenths. Mix upper structure harmony with ragtime rhythms and blue notes and you have some serious jazz.
    The crossover between jazz and impressionist music comes VERY early... You probably know the famous example of Bix Beiderbecke's In A Mist.

    But I feel like jazz did it's own thing too... To me, jazz has always been a music of layers. So you don't get extended chords or even major seventh per se in the left hand of the piano or the banjo, but you do get notes you can view as extensions and so on played in the right hand... So that's a different conception of harmony from Ravel etc... That's more like Bill Evans to my mind, maybe Ahmad Jamal, both hands together. But the early influence definitely in there...

    Whole tone scales and stuff coming in its own way, not necessarily straight from Debussy...

    Early jazz, even bop guys like Bud Powell, was left hand accompanies, right hand solos.

    I don't really like Debussy though haha (love Ravel)

    But yeah, reading about Dennis Sandole, went straight from playing chonk chonk for Jimmy Dorsey to teaching synthetic scales, ragas and Webern and Schoenberg to young blades like John Coltrane in the 1940s (!) so it's easy to seeing earlier jazz as purely popular or folk music, but its more complex...

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    The crossover between jazz and impressionist music comes VERY early... You probably know the famous example of Bix Beiderbecke's In A Mist.

    But I feel like jazz did it's own thing too... To me, jazz has always been a music of layers. So you don't get extended chords or even major seventh per se in the left hand of the piano or the banjo, but you do get notes you can view as extensions and so on played in the right hand... So that's a different conception of harmony from Ravel etc... That's more like Bill Evans to my mind, maybe Ahmad Jamal, both hands together. But the early influence definitely in there...

    Whole tone scales and stuff coming in its own way, not necessarily straight from Debussy...

    Early jazz, even bop guys like Bud Powell, was left hand accompanies, right hand solos.

    I don't really like Debussy though haha (love Ravel)

    But yeah, reading about Dennis Sandole, went straight from playing chonk chonk for Jimmy Dorsey to teaching synthetic scales, ragas and Webern and Schoenberg to young blades like John Coltrane in the 1940s (!) so it's easy to seeing earlier jazz as purely popular or folk music, but its more complex...
    It is very true... I thought that American culture adapted Impressionists so easily becasue - paradoxally maybe - it was something in impressionists music that fit well pop-cultural context...

    it is interesting that in my teens I was not much into Impressionists - I believe that it was connected with my very harmonic 'functional' hearing... I just did not appreciate 'colouristic' harmony, did not hear it as meaningful system. The same concerned jazz at the beginning... I was all about melody and function. Only much later I begin to hear and appreciate colouristic effects of harmony as a function of a different kind (but I should say even now it is secondary tool for me --- it often sounds to me as non-obligatory choice.. you could do that extentions or you could do this extention the contextual meaning of the harmony would have been the same for me... so why would I need it? It is very rough comparison but it is a bit similar tovisual arts: as drawing and architectural composition (space, perspectives etc.) like Florentine Old Masters for example and colourism like Venitian Old Masters -- of course both used both but there was definite prevalence --- and here again it took me time to appreciate Venetian school...
    (I deliberately do not take impressionist artists becasue it is too obvious).

    Very interesting how different musical tradition mix...

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by StringNavigator View Post
    This reminds me of the Impressionist composers who began using 13ths, 9ths and 11ths in the late 1800's. Obviously, classically trained, contemporary New Orleans jazz musicians borrowed the idea and extended their dominant sevenths. Mix upper structure harmony with ragtime rhythms and blue notes and you have some serious jazz.

    My jazz playing ends where fusion and scalar-mania take over, because I'm melodically driven, so when I'm extending and altering chords I can hear the Impressionists, so I enjoy giving a listen to Debussy and Ravel to hear "jazz" harmony in a quieter Classical setting. I too, like to characterise harmonic movements with metaphor and onomatopoeia. Certain voice leading and voicings are rich in imagery, and as you've explained, tell a sort of "story" as they unfold; which is the essence of Impressionism. I have to always remember that extended/altered chords sound best when surrounded and contrasted by lowly triads and sevenths, or the ear becomes tired to the novelty.

    For any guitarist searching for chord synonyms and substitutions, inversions and upper structures, a search on the internet will turn up many books that cover them with fine examples, including a CD. I like Johnny Rector's Chord Progressions. Roger Edison's Jazz Guitar is probably out of print. But there are many others.


    I appreciate your post but just to be honest - it is not quite what I meant... or I'd rather say my post was connected with contents of music - and mostly I did not even think of impressionists (my remark of colours in teh post were mor e of ironic kind)... I meant earlier functional music.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    It is very true... I thought that American culture adapted Impressionists so easily becasue - paradoxally maybe - it was something in impressionists music that fit well pop-cultural context...

    it is interesting that in my teens I was not much into Impressionists - I believe that it was connected with my very harmonic 'functional' hearing... I just did not appreciate 'colouristic' harmony, did not hear it as meaningful system. The same concerned jazz at the beginning... I was all about melody and function. Only much later I begin to hear and appreciate colouristic effects of harmony as a function of a different kind (but I should say even now it is secondary tool for me --- it often sounds to me as non-obligatory choice.. you could do that extentions or you could do this extention the contextual meaning of the harmony would have been the same for me... so why would I need it? It is very rough comparison but it is a bit similar tovisual arts: as drawing and architectural composition (space, perspectives etc.) like Florentine Old Masters for example and colourism like Venitian Old Masters -- of course both used both but there was definite prevalence --- and here again it took me time to appreciate Venetian school...
    (I deliberately do not take impressionist artists becasue it is too obvious).

    Very interesting how different musical tradition mix...
    So how would you characterise the difference between Ravel and Debussy then? For me Ravel has more conventional musical narrative and I think I’m addicted to that.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    So how would you characterise the difference between Ravel and Debussy then? For me Ravel has more conventional musical narrative and I think I’m addicted to that.
    Absolutely. Ravel is more functional. I used to like Ravel too as a kid. I think Ravel has outstanding works really.
    But also - sometime ago I listened to more of Debussy... Debussy of course is a genius... which I cannot but admire... he is stunning, scaringly inventive. Musically his music is just revelation (I mean in direct sence, it has not background in musical culture (though if we really wish we could connect it with Wagner maybe in some aspects).
    There are composers who composed to some (different) extent 'by ear'... Wagner, Debussy, Musiorgsky..

    But I feel also that his phsychology is much about observation, even though sometimes his music can seem to be very expressive and emotional... it is an expression of an observer he does not take it all very personally. As one of friends said: Debussy seems to sit on the balcony and watching one of the French revolition: "aha .. what colourful banners .. so sweet.. oh what a cannonade.. how expressive!''

    Ravel is much more personally involved.. though sometimes his invention seems a bit too artificial to me. THough some pieces are really charming (Ma Mere L'Oye), some chamber works... I am not a big fan of Bolero or famous Pavane or 'Couperin' suite (though his stulistic invention and melodies are charming of course).