1. #1

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    Hello folks, can you help me analyze these chords? This is for a big band piece I'm writing; it's at the end of the solo chorus, a prolongation of the E7 dominant, about to repeat for the next solo. Key is A minor.
    I'm a bit stumped about the chords in the measures with question marks. Otherwise, do you agree with my analysis?
    Note: the written voicings approximate the saxophone and trombone parts (upper and lower staff respectively), and the bass notes are chosen except where I wasn't sure of the chord.
    Thanks for your help!

    Help with chord analysis-321654-jpg

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    the chords on different staffs overlap in a great deal - I do not know what for.. (even if they are supposed for different instruments I do not dig the unison doubling of the voices here)... anyway it would be easier to put them down without doubling as if it is piano score.
    In some cases there is just one different note ...

    You say it is E7dom pronolgation in the key of A minor.... at the same time the chord symbols you use in many places are totally irrelative to functional logics...

    How do you relate G7(#11) to the notated chord below? Does this chord as G7 functionally even in the most remote way?

    I do not think it really makes sense to try to figure out how they can be written in symbols... because it is just irrelative.

  4. #3

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    Too many notes. You really can't just put all the instruments of a big band on one piano-type stave! And, as Jonah said, too many of the notes are doubled up.

    Simplify it. Obviously the notes of the bass line aren't an indicator of the chord, so what is? Your Am6, for example, has natural F's in it (2 of them) and no F#'s, so it's not an Am6.

    Otoh, if this really IS the effect and sound you want then, again, I agree with Jonah, there's no point in trying to reduce it to neat guitar-type chord symbols; it's too complex for that.

  5. #4

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    What the listener hears is what counts. Can you post an audio sample?

    You mentioned that this is a reduction of sax and horn parts - I am going to assume that all of these notes are concert, not transposed.

    That second chord .... if it really is Ema7 ... would be best analyzed with the bass note and the color tones included: Ema9/D# with both the #5 and #11 in the parens. Do not mix sharps and flats in the same chord unless there is a reason for doing it. For example if you have an altered dom with b9 and #9 then you would have both sharps and flats in the same chord. But I don't see a reason to call the D# an Eb here, unless the instrument (bass?) playing that note is reading key sig C (no flats) or F (one flat, not Eb) and it is therefore easier to read (and sensible) for the descending note to be written as a flat. For example, if you were writing this individual bass chart in Emaj there is no reason not to write a descending bass line as E D# C# etc.

    Analyzing a chord is NOT the same as writing a chord chart. If you were writing a chord chart you could just call this second chord Ema7#5 (as you have), leaving it up to the player to decide whether to include the 9, #11, etc (and likely to omit the root) - or even to sub a completely different chord there, lay out, play a partial harmony, etc. But, as an analysis, I would include all the extensions because extensions of a ma7 do not imply the lower extensions. i.e. if this were E13 you might assume the presence of 9 and 11... but not necessarily altered 9 or 11... so, when in doubt, spell it out.

    As rags pointed out your "Am6" has an F in it so it's Fma7/E. It's a bit unusual to put the 7th in the bass.

    Since accidentals don't carry across the barline, there is no need to write natural signs before the Gs in bar 3.

    As for the bass note choice in bar 3, either C or F could be theoretically correct. C of course will produce tension against the #11 with F probably being a bit easier on the ear. It will also provide "sensible" voice leading to resolve the preceding E to F. I would let your ear be your guide here. If I had a piano handy I might make a stronger suggestion... but you are the composer, so make your best artistic choice :-)

    Notes on the page for first chord of bar 4 are F+ma7#11... I kind of hate analyzing this without hearing it. If you do put a G in the bass, yes, it's G7#11.

    I call the chord of bar 4 as Gb+ma7#11. If you put this over Ab bass you get Ab13#11.

    Again no need for all the naturals at the beginning of bar 5.

    First chord is a polychord: C/E triad over a G/D triad. I'd really like to hear this in context instead of trying to name it based on reading the page... Gsus13 if it had an F or without the F if it functions strongly as a dominant.

    The second chord contains both G# and G natural. If this is not a mistake, then the G# is the third and the G natural is the sharp nine (and should be written as F##). Assuming the latter, we have Ema7#5#9. That chord does not exist... So I would omit the #9 from analysis and call it a tension tone... which makes the chord a perfectly acceptable Ema7#5 with G natural as a color tone or tension tone. Or... if all the Gs are sharp, then its just Ema7#5.

    In the final bar, the C makes the chord is E7b9b13.

    I hope I didn't just help you cheat on your theory class ;-) If so, you'll probably flunk this one :-)

    I did NOT analyze voice leading. I am sure there are parallel 5ths etc all over the place (which is not such a sin in jazz as it might be in other styles). As others have noted, the overlap between bass and treble clef makes this reduction a lot harder to read than it should be. Eliminate the duplicated notes, fix the accidentals, and then analyze the voice leading.

    Wow I'm rusty at reading bass clef. And I am now REALLY interested in hearing that audio sample :-)

    parting shot: The seventh is almost never a good choice for a bass note, unless your voice leading takes that into account and resolves appropriately. Not necessarily "textbook appropriately" just in a way that sounds good. Moving sevenths in an unusual way is an interesting arranging technique but a challenging one, not to be overdone.

    HTH

    SJ

    PS - my original post used Aebersold triangle notation for ma7 but the web site swapped all those triangles for question marks :-( so I did a quick pass to replace them with "ma" but did not proof super-carefully. If errors have resulted, let me know. Thanks.
    Last edited by starjasmine; 09-18-2021 at 01:43 PM.

  6. #5

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    Yes, the site won't take the triangle for M7. But I did find one it will take:

    Ø

    Voila!

  7. #6

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    ... looks like caravan in Amin. with camouflage, (on the dark side) What BB are you composing for?

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ll00l0l
    Hello folks, can you help me analyze these chords? This is for a big band piece I'm writing; it's at the end of the solo chorus, a prolongation of the E7 dominant, about to repeat for the next solo. Key is A minor.
    I'm a bit stumped about the chords in the measures with question marks. Otherwise, do you agree with my analysis?
    Note: the written voicings approximate the saxophone and trombone parts (upper and lower staff respectively), and the bass notes are chosen except where I wasn't sure of the chord.
    Thanks for your help!

    Help with chord analysis-321654-jpg
    You mean, provide names for the chords?

    Second chord has a #11 which isn't accounted for in the chord name. Might be okay for jazz, but maybe not for "analysis", whatever that is in this context.

    Third chord has a F, which again isn't in the chord symbol, suggesting E7b9/D. The Fm(etc) looks like Cmaj7(add b6). Your Ab#11 has a 9th and a 13th. Why not call it Ab13#11?

    Overall, and with all due respect, you need to review the individual notes you've written out and then compare them, one by one, with the chord names you've chosen. Edit out the errors, and repost, with an explanation of what kind of analysis you need.

    The choice of bass note is a composer's decision made by sound, not theory.

  9. #8

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    I think we should stop pussy-footing around and simply tell the OP, bless him, that he hasn't the slightest idea what he's doing and ought to get advice. It really would save a lot of wasted time and effort. Composing/arranging and scoring for a big band is a specialised task.