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  1. #51

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    If I hear it correctly this C9 is IV chord...
    I think it is important too becasue maj7 is very typical sound for IV and b7 that band plays is more like blues harmony sound..

    It is the progression where the coincindence of maj7 and b7 would sound probably least dissonant because

    and she phrases it also as typically 7th of the IV..
    she puts a stress on it though it is off beat...
    So the harmony essentially sounds like maj7chord (rather than dominant)

    Andotehr point the band anticipates the harmony change from the next bar and she is still on the root chord (G) making a melodic embelishment...

    Her note is short (though stressed), piano chords are fading away...

    I do not think this will sound well if you arrange it for strings or horns for four beats with root, b7 and maj 7 sounding all the time.. something must move somewhere to avoid this clash...

    Guitar also has this 'fade away' sound quality so it is not always representative...

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Just study triads and 4 note chords in open positions (as opposed to closed), all inversions, and you got your 10s 12s and 14s covered

  4. #53

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    Try to see the funny bits... but eventually questions like this (coming from some "master guitarists") make me so sad... where are we heading?

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    Try to see the funny bits... but eventually questions like this (coming from some "master guitarists") make me so sad... where are we heading?
    No offense, but your post is nonsensical. What are you talking about brother?

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    No offense, but your post is nonsensical. What are you talking about brother?
    Very sensical, and i said the same thing. Normal question for a beginner student, but from 'master guitarist' and especially teacher not so much.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt
    No offense, but your post is nonsensical. What are you talking about brother?
    Somebody is asking why the (basic) chord tones don' t reappear as extensions. Basically saying, if I repeat the root (of say C7) an octave higher shouldn't I call the chord an C78 chord...

    And marketing himself as music/guitar teacher.... ????

    First I thought it's a troll. But doesn't seem so regarding his follow ups. Still makes me sad. Also because I see it as a sign of the times... but I don't intend to kick off that kind of discussion in music/theory ..

    Cheers

  8. #57

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    I present you the mother of all chords, my C 8 10 12 15 17 19 ... and so on, too lazy to count on...
    Why no 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th chords?-cplus-jpg

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    I present you the mother of all chords, my C 8 10 12 15 17 19 ... and so on, too lazy to count on...
    Why no 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th chords?-cplus-jpg
    Oh yeah the Beatles used that one on Day in the Life?

  10. #59

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    One Name . . . Slonimsky
    In his Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns he covers these extensions and more

  11. #60

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    Sure

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Oh yeah the Beatles used that one on Day in the Life?
    Still no 14. Not even a 7.

  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat
    Still no 14. Not even a 7.

  14. #63

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    I'm here for the replies. Some are pure comedic gold.

    Btw, the OP was 8 years ago, is it possible their were not 'master guitarist' back then yet, and only self applied the title recently? How long does it take to become one?

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive
    I'm here for the replies. Some are pure comedic gold.

    Btw, the OP was 8 years ago...
    So right, what the hell am I doing here???? :-)

  16. #65

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    A few things to consider relating to chord name convention and interpretation:


    • 9th chords are built by adding a 9th from the root to a seventh chord. A 9th chord includes the 7th. Without the 7th, the chord is not an extended chord, but becomes an added tone chord, Cadd9. Alternatively for a C9 chord with no seventh, we could write C9 (no 7th)
    • The convention for extended chords is that using an odd number (7 or 9 or 11 or 13) implies that all the other lower odd numbers are also included. Thus C13 implies that 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 are also there. To resolve the clash between 3 and 11 (4) one of them may be deleted or separated by an octave and/or, distributed to different color /timbre instruments.
    • 13ths chords are theoretically 11th chords with the 13th (or 6th) note in the scale added. In other words, theoretically they are formed by all the seven notes of the scale at once. It is common to leave certain notes out. After the 5th, the most commonly omitted note is the 11th (4th). The 9th (2nd) can also be omitted. A very common voicing on guitar for a 13th chord is just the root, 3rd, 7th and 13th (or 6th).
    • Added tone chord notation is useful with 7th chords to indicate partial extended chords. For example: C7add13. This would indicate that the 13th is added to the 7th, but without the 9th and 11th.
    • Using an even number such as 6, implies that only that one extra note has been added to the base triad e.g. 1, 3, 5, 6.
    • Even numbers such as 8, 10 and 12 can be added. However, these double the main triad, and as such are fairly rare. 10 tends to be the most common; it can be used both in suspended chords and (with an accidental) in major or minor chords to produce a major–minor clash (e.g., C7b10).
    • The notation C/E bass indicates a C major chord, but with an E in the bass. Slash chords generally do not indicate a simple inversion (which is usually left to the chord player's discretion anyway), especially considering that the specified bass note may not be part of the chord to play on top.
    • A common Maj7 chord is usually played 1,7 and would not be voiced so that the 7 clashes with the 8. (restricted inversion).


    Now assume the chord C9add7:

    • It's an oxymoron, since add-chords are not supposed to contain the 7th note. At least not the minor7 (dominant 7).
    • Apparently it's not a CMaj9
    • We obviously wouldn't voice it -7,7,8. We have to voice it 1, -7, 14 (Which sounds very different compared to 1,7,-14)


    So how about C9add14 ?

    • It doesn't comply with the guideline that an even number such as 6, implies that only that one extra note has been added to the base triad.
    • But other than that it's OK. We don't have to use the notes 11 and 13 and it indicates that the dominant 7 is an octave below the 14th note (the major seven)


    Why not call it "Em7add11+/C " ?

    • The only advantage I see here is that slash cords restrict the use of inverted voicings (since this chord is not suitable for inversion). I have no desire to use a name like that just to comply with general guidelines that neither facilitate writing, nor interpretation.

  17. #66

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    Chord symbols are dumb

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat
    A few things to consider relating to chord name convention and interpretation:

    --- lots of stuff deleted ----

    ..... guidelines that neither facilitate writing, nor interpretation.
    As much as you might be right in all or most of what you write, that's way too complicated for my taste.

    When it comes to playing jazz (or improvisation in general) , I need a simple symbol that indicates the harmonic situation to me in the easiest to read and fastest to understand way.

    My rules are as simple as this:


    • C6 indicates major but the root is in the melody (be careful with the 7!)
    • C7 is a dominant, don't tell me to use a 9 or 13 until you've got a really good reason to do so (is a melody thing mostly).
    • C/B, C/Bb and so on indicate the desired bass line.
    • C7 b9 indicates an altered dominant. I never write +9 unless I really need that major-minor clash sound.
    • Trust me, I recognize #11 dominants, no need to write them down every time (unless it's really important)
    • Avoid telling me voicings with symbols, please. There's a staff, write them down if you insist on certain voicings.


    Maybe there are some more rules I'm forgetting now, but you get the picture.
    Last edited by DonEsteban; 01-24-2019 at 08:44 AM. Reason: typo

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    As much as you might be right in all or most of what you write, that's way too complicated for my taste.

    When it comes to playing jazz (or improvisation in general) , I need a simple symbol that indicates the harmonic situation to me in the easiest to read and fastest to understand way.

    My rules are as simple as this:


    • C6 indicates major but the root is in the melody (be careful with the 7!)
    • C7 is a dominant, don't tell me to use a 9 or 13 until you've got a really good reason to do so (is a melody thing mostly).
    • C/B, C/Bb and so on indicate the desired bass line.
    • C7 b9 indicates an altered dominant. I never write +9 unless I really need that major-minor clash sound.
    • Trust me, I recognize #11 dominants, no need to write them down every time (unless it's really important)
    • Avoid telling me voicings with symbols, please. There's a staff, write them down if you insist on certain voicings.


    Maybe there are some more rules I'm forgetting now, but you get the picture.
    No problem,
    I played in a Swing band, there were hieroglyphs all over the scores that I had to translate. Lots of different names for the same chord and symbols that I haven't figured out till this day. But when the man said C9, I played C9.

    Jazz is best spoken by playing but a common written language is a facilitator and could also inspire in new directions. Good ears beat theory, but once in a while a man may like to reflect. There's no harm in asking questions even though there may not always be answers.
    In a place like this there's always a huge variation in member experience and knowledge. Some just like to chit-chat, some are looking for inspiration, some are looking for answers. How bizarre a forum would be if no one was asking questions and no one was willing to share. After all this is the Theory page. Theory is kind of hard to avoid, there are many talented players that don't know theory and many pioneers and role models in popular music didn't have any formal music education. Most of them did pick up a few things under the career though.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonEsteban
    As much as you might be right in all or most of what you write, that's way too complicated for my taste.

    When it comes to playing jazz (or improvisation in general) , I need a simple symbol that indicates the harmonic situation to me in the easiest to read and fastest to understand way.

    My rules are as simple as this:


    • C6 indicates major but the root is in the melody (be careful with the 7!)
    • C7 is a dominant, don't tell me to use a 9 or 13 until you've got a really good reason to do so (is a melody thing mostly).
    • C/B, C/Bb and so on indicate the desired bass line.
    • C7 b9 indicates an altered dominant. I never write +9 unless I really need that major-minor clash sound.
    • Trust me, I recognize #11 dominants, no need to write them down every time (unless it's really important)
    • Avoid telling me voicings with symbols, please. There's a staff, write them down if you insist on certain voicings.


    Maybe there are some more rules I'm forgetting now, but you get the picture.
    Good guidelines...

    IMO #11 should only be written if the #11 is in the melody (e.g. Cherokee etc) and even then it may well be ignored in the blowing changes. Obviously as you say, you can spot the extensions of chords based on diatonic context. That said you'd be surprised at the number of musicians who can't do this.

    In conventional changes upper extension usually refers to the melody.

    Chord symbols exist only as a guide to the performer, not the Holy Writ. When you write an extension it's generally to stop the comper from clashing with the melody, or give them away to reinforce the melody without having to write the melody out in notation.

    In some straightahead big band charts, chord symbols give much of the horn part, for some reason or other. No-one can hear it anyway, so it's somewhat overzealous. It can be fun to read.

    If someone is writing modal or non functional music I will tend to be a lot more careful about the chord symbols, because that's how people write now. They melodicise harmony rather than harmonise melody.

    I feel sometimes that modern jazz theory is the idolatry of chord symbols. Which are imperfect representations of real harmony, melodic note choices and their relationships, at best.

  21. #70

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    I think it worth to mention it again, and again, that chord symbols do not, I mean really not designed to show you where to place the voicings, in what octave. Except for bass obviously. So yea, try to put 14ths on my chart and see what happens.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluewaterpig
    Simply put, because the 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th, are chord tones that are already present in the lower portion of the chord, not tensions that can be added like the 9th, 11th, and 13th.
    great answer. clear simple with no extra confusing theory BS. Thank you very much, its exactly what i was looking for

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by TreyProdigy
    great answer. clear simple with no extra confusing theory BS. Thank you very much, its exactly what i was looking for
    And it's wrong because the OP mentality does not treat octave duplication as 'a chord tone' but as a extension.

    His logics obviously is
    'If there is 2 and 9 or 4 and 11 why would not there be 3 and 10 or 5 and 12'..

    This is quite a chordscale approach and there is music where these things actually make difference...

    Unfortunately chord symbols are incosistent..

  24. #73

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    There are no chord tones above an octave. Chords come from scales. Scales fit an octave by definition.

    There are open voicings however. Chord symbols mix chords with voicings and do a bad job at that.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by TreyProdigy
    great answer. clear simple with no extra confusing theory BS. Thank you very much, its exactly what i was looking for
    This is the right place to find out all sorts of stuff!

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    There are no chord tones above an octave. Chords come from scales. Scales fit an octave by definition.

    There are open voicings however. Chord symbols mix chords with voicings and do a bad job at that.

    Not always, Tal...

    the thing with jazz for me is that it is quite open theoretically as it is now still some kind of living form of musical language (unless we strictly define jazz to some completely deteremined style of the past like 'bop' or 'swing')..

    That makes difficulties - because when people speak about theory they intuitively try to fit the scientific model of thinking, they try to be specific and exact, try to formulate a pattern and so on -- this is in general the problem with theories in Arts for me - actually in my opinion discussing music should be also some kind of artistic (not scientific) process.. there is too much of ambiguous nature in Arts to be able to be described in scientific terms.

    Anyway... though I absolutely understand your mode of thinking here I still think that it is possible to think of chord tones doubled above as of an extention...

    By the way it may be interesting that in baroque figuered bass there was a period of very dense figure writing and they had 14 and 10 there))) Exactly when they wanted to indicate a necessasity of this tone an octave above...

    But anyway I think it is an open issue.

    Theory should not put restirictions, it should help to somehow organize what we already hear as convinicing.
    Last edited by Jonah; 02-25-2021 at 07:10 AM.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    Not always, Tal...

    the thing with jazz for me is that it is quite open theoretically as it is now still some kind of living form of musical language (unless we strictly define jazz to some completely deteremined style of the past like 'bop' or 'swing')..

    That makes difficulties - because when people speak about theory they intuitively try to fit the scientific model of thinking, they try to be specific and exact, try to formulate a pattern and so on -- this is in general the problem with theories in Arts for me - actually in my opinion discussing music should be also some kind of artistic (not scientific) process.. there is too much of ambiguous nature in Arts to be able to be described in scientific terms.
    I agree with you so far. But this is a general philosophical point about theorizing art.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    Anyway... though I absolutely understand your mode of thinking here I still think that it is possible to think of chord tones doubled above as of an extention...

    By the way it may be interesting that in baroque figuered bass there was a period of very dense figure writing and they had 14 and 10 there))) Exactly when they wanted to indicate a necessasity of this tone an octave above...

    But anyway I think it is an open issue.

    Theory should not put restirictions, it should help to somehow organize what we already hear as convinicing.
    Of course you can play chord tones doubled (or not doubled) above an octave, but that's called a voicing. That is my point. I wasn't saying that such voicings shouldn't be played, I was saying that the chord symbols are a poor choice of notation for that purpose.

    Figured bass is only roughly analogous to chord symbols. As you say, when a certain notation is chosen in figured bass, that indicated the "necessity" of a certain voicing. Chord symbols are a lot more loose about that. A dominant 13 chord doesn't mean the bass player cannot emphasize the 6th in the bass line or the the accompanying instrument will have to play a certain voicing of the dominant. To most jazz musicians that just means "unaltered" dominant. That doesn't even mean they won't see fit to play altered dominant or a tritone if it's resolving.

    To many, chord symbols encode chord scales. Dom b913 would be half-whole diminished, Dom 9 #5 whole tone, Dom #4 Lydian dominant etc. Again this is still very different than the figured bass that the notation is not saying how you vertically order the notes in your voicings but what tension notes should (or can) be included in your voicings. You can put tension notes in the bass too.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 02-25-2021 at 08:08 AM.

  28. #77

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    The piano players in the tradition that Barry Harris represents, for example, do not think of extensions as doubled (or not doubled) notes above an octave. They think of them as borrowed notes from the related diminished chords. Borrowing happens horizontally, not vertically. Any inversion of the chords could be played. That means color notes can be in the bass, tenor, alto or soprano. Again, there is no implication that the color notes go to the octave above the other notes.

  29. #78

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    So for someone wanting to really explore the world of chords/voicings, is there a book/resource recommendation? I've heard an awful lot about "the Mickey Baker book" over the years....

    And not just a resource showing how to build them (this thread does that), but does at least some explanation on WHERE/HOW you might use them?

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    So for someone wanting to really explore the world of chords/voicings, is there a book/resource recommendation? I've heard an awful lot about "the Mickey Baker book" over the years....

    And not just a resource showing how to build them (this thread does that), but does at least some explanation on WHERE/HOW you might use them?
    check out the Ted Greene site..(TedGreene.com) if anyone has questions on chords..this man has the answer.and then some..

    the baker book #1 is a very basic intro into jazz..he starts with 26 chords IIRC..and uses them to introduce progressions and exercises...its not a explanation of " why is it called a 13 chord.." the Greene site will breakdown the notes in a chord and give you several ways to play it..including the chords inversions..and he does this in many keys and positions on the neck..check the "lessons" section

    he also has several books on chords (chord chemistry) and chord progressions ..and single note playing over all types of chords

  31. #80

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    The OP said "Back in the Genesis of music theory, why were upper extension chords limited to 9th, 11th, & 13th chords? Why are there not 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th chords?"

    (....... and setting aside the fact that this thread practically dates back to Genesis)


    Genesis of music theory? I don't think that there were 9th, 11th and 13th chords called out as such in Gregorian chant (but then what do I know about Gregorian chant?). I do recall seeing 13th chords in 19th century music, but that occurred long after the genesis of music theory. The point being, it took a while before 9th, 11th, 13th chords were called out as such.

    So, why are there not
    8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th chords? Because they're chord tones, not tensions (at leas the 8th, 10th, 12th). They have a consonant/expected sound, even when doubled or tripled.

    Another poster said "There are no chord tones above an octave". Well, it seems to me that's not true. Not even for the guitar. And also not for the piano, not for a full swing band, and certainly not for a full symphony orchestra. I mean, which octave are we talking about anyway? The octave inhabited by the bass, bassoon, tuba, or the piccolo? Anyway, it's all relative. Range is wide.


    Last edited by Donplaysguitar; 02-27-2021 at 09:52 AM.

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    So for someone wanting to really explore the world of chords/voicings, is there a book/resource recommendation? I've heard an awful lot about "the Mickey Baker book" over the years....

    And not just a resource showing how to build them (this thread does that), but does at least some explanation on WHERE/HOW you might use them?
    This is a great question and could/should be a thread all by itself. One short, direct answer is that there is a Trufire course from Fareed Haque that addresses that question, at least in terms of comping. Oh, and forget Mickey Baker. Way past time to get over his books, nice as they were and everything.

    Another way to think about it is:

    Lower string chords - a number of books out there on the Freddie Green/shell voicings thing. Mostly for comping, but not a hard and fast rule at all. Every Jazz Guitarist should learn these.
    Middle string chords - Brett Willmott's book. Good for comping and chord melody. Oh, and every Jazz Guitarist should learn these too.
    Upper string chords - a variety of sources for these. Drop 2 voicings, quartal voicings, voicings with tensions, etc., etc. Great for chord melody but also some comping. Wes transcription books, Bloom School books. And you guessed it... every Jazz Guitarist should learn these.


    Finally, yes Ted Greene covered everything under the sun chord wise, but that is a chosen path/rabbit hole.
    Last edited by Donplaysguitar; 02-27-2021 at 09:54 AM.

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwingSwangSwung
    Back in the Genesis of music theory, why were upper extension chords limited to 9th, 11th, & 13th chords? Why are there not 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th chords?

    Just curious what the story is behind this.

    thx
    The story is chord symbols were only ever practical shorthand... there was no Genesis of music theory... but Berklee tried to tidy up and standardise the system.

    You see something similar happening with figured bass. Early on (Monteverdi’s time) the compound intervals are specified and later they are all compressed within one octave (Bach’s era) except for the occasional 9th etc

    Chord symbols borrow a little from figured bass but in general went from simple major minor etc, and got more complicated over time. The non triad tones, 9ths, 13ths and so on, appear as compound intervals because these notes were generally found in the melody, so in a higher register than the chord.

    Furthermore it matched up with ideas about extended chord construction in thirds.

  34. #83

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    Does anyone know when were chord symbols first used?

    I've always assumed that it began with sheet music for simple folk songs (i.e. open chords like Em, Cmaj, Amin etc.) and was then expanded to accommodate the more complex chords of jazz progressions.

    Prior to that I would think that the exact notes were written out in a score, and that there was no need for the shorthand of chord symbols.

    But I don't actually know, which is why I'm asking!

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersoul
    Chord symbols borrow a little from figured bass but in general went from simple major minor etc, and got more complicated over time. The non triad tones, 9ths, 13ths and so on, appear as compound intervals because these notes were generally found in the melody, so in a higher register than the chord.

    Furthermore it matched up with ideas about extended chord construction in thirds.!
    I think in its essence figured bass is even more practical and specific.
    What's important that is always a bass. And it describes with certain apprixomation a voicing -which of course we interpreted in terms of general harmony, functions etc.
    But in direct sense it tells only the bass and voices above. So it is very practical.

    Chirds symbols are sort if tge opposite essebctially: they infom more first of all about harmonic sound of the chord... in their basic form they describe harmony in the static way... even bass in esi us indicates occasionally
    Although real practice developed some conventions that make interpretation of symbols very specific like Am11 will be probably interpreted very similar in voicing by different players in tradition.
    But still it does not contain that information exactly


    I think that figured bass appeared in tradition that cultivated sophistication and systenatization in some sense and theorizing too.
    Those who invented figured bass found pleasure in describing it in details in written form however practical that skill was and is.


    And modern chird symbols got on tge foeld of totally oral tradition and everyone used them the way they thought most convenient

  36. #85

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    There was also alfabeto for baroque guitar where letters referred to chord shapes...


    And it is interesting that it reminds me of a popular use of chord symbols today... for many amateur players who just comp songs D and G mean particular guitar shape... they sometimes even do not know that it is possible to play the other way

  37. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    There was also alfabeto for baroque guitar where letters referred to chord shapes...


    And it is interesting that it reminds me of a popular use of chord symbols today... for many amateur players who just comp songs D and G mean particular guitar shape... they sometimes even do not know that it is possible to play the other way
    There's a whole PhD thesis on Fernando Sor vs Giuliani and the Spanish alfabeto school versus the Italian figured bass school of classical guitar composition. It's quite interesting if you like that sort of thing. Sor was much more likely to use more diverse keys, for instance.

    Even now those who realise partimento on the guitar tend to go for friendly open keys like G and D. This is in the tradition of Guiliani apparently.


  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersoul
    Does anyone know when were chord symbols first used?

    I've always assumed that it began with sheet music for simple folk songs (i.e. open chords like Em, Cmaj, Amin etc.) and was then expanded to accommodate the more complex chords of jazz progressions.

    Prior to that I would think that the exact notes were written out in a score, and that there was no need for the shorthand of chord symbols.

    But I don't actually know, which is why I'm asking!
    Sheet music of the early 20th century usually had ukulele chords given above the piano score. Thats what I have heard as the origin of the chord symbol system but I'm sure there's more scholarship to be done... The Tunedex card system developed the lead sheet concept, by writing out just the melody with chord symbols above.

    This book might be interesting
    The Story of Fake Books: Bootlegging Songs to Musicians - 9780810857278

  39. #88

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    There's a whole PhD thesis on Fernando Sor vs Giuliani and the Spanish alfabeto school versus the Italian figured bass school of classical guitar composition. It's quite interesting if you like that sort of thing. Sor was much more likely to use more diverse keys, for instance.
    It is interesting... I guess more focus in alfabeto would result more chordal sound (more dense chords used) and more use of stopped stirngs fingereing in more focus in figured bass would lead to more coutepoint-like transparent texture with more open position used?

    I always felt that difference between Spanish and Italian school though I did not know about those origins of it...

    But on the pther hand I am sure Sor had not problems with couterpoint playing and playing from figured bass... (to be honest to me he is much higher as a composer than Giuliani)

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    It is interesting... I guess more focus in alfabeto would result more chordal sound (more dense chords used) and more use of stopped stirngs fingereing in more focus in figured bass would lead to more coutepoint-like transparent texture with more open position used?

    I always felt that difference between Spanish and Italian school though I did not know about those origins of it...

    But on the pther hand I am sure Sor had not problems with couterpoint playing and playing from figured bass... (to be honest to me he is much higher as a composer than Giuliani)
    Yeah I think he did that as well... Anyway, it's worth reading the phd.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersoul
    Does anyone know when were chord symbols first used?

    I've always assumed that it began with sheet music for simple folk songs (i.e. open chords like Em, Cmaj, Amin etc.) and was then expanded to accommodate the more complex chords of jazz progressions.

    Prior to that I would think that the exact notes were written out in a score, and that there was no need for the shorthand of chord symbols.

    But I don't actually know, which is why I'm asking!
    Looking at early banjo parts for big bands, they were originally written with just chord voicings and no chord symbols. Any of these charts floating around today usually have pencilled chord notation filled in.
    As far as I can tell, sometime around 1920 banjo charts began to incorporate chord symbols. I have seen people associate this with Paul Whiteman but I don’t know if this is true.
    I’ve always believed that the system of naming chords more complex than triads was something done piecemeal by musicians on bandstands. This explains the varied ways chord symbols are written and the haphazard naming system. Honestly though, I’ve never read a comprehensive account of it.

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by setemupjoe
    Looking at early banjo parts for big bands, they were originally written with just chord voicings and no chord symbols. Any of these charts floating around today usually have pencilled chord notation filled in.
    As far as I can tell, sometime around 1920 banjo charts began to incorporate chord symbols. I have seen people associate this with Paul Whiteman but I don’t know if this is true.
    I’ve always believed that the system of naming chords more complex than triads was something done piecemeal by musicians on bandstands. This explains the varied ways chord symbols are written and the haphazard naming system. Honestly though, I’ve never read a comprehensive account of it.
    I agree, that's probably how it developed, and the chord symbols followed as the music changed.

    The Nashville number system is another shorthand that is used to chart out chords. I've never used it, but the intriguing thing is that it has transposition built into it. You just say "key of... " and the numbers show you how it goes. It could save having to deal with charts for C, Bb and Eb instruments.

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersoul

    The Nashville number system is another shorthand that is used to chart out chords. I've never used it, but the intriguing thing is that it has transposition built into it. You just say "key of... " and the numbers show you how it goes. It could save having to deal with charts for C, Bb and Eb instruments.
    Essentially it is the same as classical system where the scale degrees are used...

    Actually in Russia where the classical foundation is very fundamental (there are separate mostly free state schools where kids can go together with regular schools from around 7 and then a college and a conservatory) it is also widely used in jazz colleges and education... because most guys that teach have basic classical education in theory, piano etc.
    I cannot say that this education is always god - often it is very formal as it happens with parents and kids when kids just go there for years and forget everything when they quit... but still it makes educational system very much systemized.
    I noticed when I began to travel and to talk with musicains friends in other countries that in Europe and Us it is very different.

    The first book on jazz I had was Moltkov's Method of jazz accompaniment published in USSR, those days there were no other printed resources.
    And later when the Internet and all came I realized that it was a mixture of Mickey Baker's stuff (some patterns just exactly the same) and Russian classical methods with standard notation, functions and those numerals with scale degrees.
    All the harmonic patterns/subs and all that were explained and studied through numerals. And after that given in standard chord symbols and fingering charts.
    Also there was lots about functions and functional relation in the way it is taught in musical schools here.

    Actually I think it was good for trad jazz because it really relates things important basic things of standards harmony of functions that in English editions it is more about chord scales and all...
    In my opinion it is easier to learn and implement scale ideas later when you already have basic functional harmony understanding and hearing than the opposite...

    Also Ted Green used that system slight modified and adjusted for his purposes and Tim Lerch who used to be his students and keeps developing his style - also advises this approach

  44. #93

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    It is possible to extend thirds out to include all 12-notes of the chromatic scale without breaking the overtone series. Unfortunately, the traditional tonal systems have no way of naming these structures, much less a method of using them musically. AFAIK, the Equal Interval System is the only one that tackles this issue at the outset, using its own consistent nomenclature at the very outset, and it remains consistent regardless of whatever vertical or horizonal intervals are used. That said, it is aimed more at composing than improvising.


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  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsaras
    It is possible to extend thirds out to include all 12-notes of the chromatic scale without breaking the overtone series. Unfortunately, the traditional tonal systems have no way of naming these structures, much less a method of using them musically. AFAIK, the Equal Interval System is the only one that tackles this issue at the outset, using its own consistent nomenclature at the very outset, and it remains consistent regardless of whatever vertical or horizonal intervals are used. That said, it is aimed more at composing than improvising.


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    i don’t know what that is but I like the sound of it

  46. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsaras
    It is possible to extend thirds out to include all 12-notes of the chromatic scale without breaking the overtone series. Unfortunately, the traditional tonal systems have no way of naming these structures, much less a method of using them musically. AFAIK, the Equal Interval System is the only one that tackles this issue at the outset, using its own consistent nomenclature at the very outset, and it remains consistent regardless of whatever vertical or horizonal intervals are used. That said, it is aimed more at composing than improvising.


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    You mean mean-tone with pure thirds? If so what sense would those extensions make?
    Or did I misunderstand you?

  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsaras
    It is possible to extend thirds out to include all 12-notes of the chromatic scale without breaking the overtone series. Unfortunately, the traditional tonal systems have no way of naming these structures, much less a method of using them musically. AFAIK, the Equal Interval System is the only one that tackles this issue at the outset, using its own consistent nomenclature at the very outset, and it remains consistent regardless of whatever vertical or horizonal intervals are used. That said, it is aimed more at composing than improvising.


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    what is the Equal Interval System? is it related to equal temperment vs just temperment/harmonic series/ratios?

  48. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    You mean mean-tone with pure thirds? If so what sense would those extensions make?
    Or did I misunderstand you?
    Not mean-tone tuning. The -9 interval (an octave plus a half step) is a dissonance that “breaks” the overtone series. It can be used if there’s a -7 in the vertical structure to soften the dissonance, but that’s just in the context of 7-note scales and the octatonic scale.

    If you want to extend a structure to include all 12 notes and have it sound good, you’ll have to arrange the intervals so as to avoid that -9 dissonance. I’ll clue you in on the easy ones; you can stack 4ths all the way out to all 12 notes without that rub, and you can stack 5ths all the way out to 12 notes. Both of those structures have no dissonance and they ring as clear as a bell. So, how would one name these structures? The basic universal unit of measuring the distance between notes is the half-step (let’s call it “1”, like it would appear on a ruler). So stacked fourths would be called 5+5. Stacked fifths would be called 7+7. A major triad would be called 4+3, a minor triad is called 3+4, a diminished chord would be 3+3

    There are ways to extend tertiary structures in a similar manner out to twelve notes. I’m not at liberty to divulge that info, but I’ll drop a clue: you have to make a small adjustment as you go into each succeeding octave so as to avoid the dreaded -9 dissonance. In the EIS system it’s referred to as the theory of total dissonance, but it could be just as accurately described as total consonance.


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  49. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsaras
    Not mean-tone tuning. The -9 interval (an octave plus a half step) is a dissonance that “breaks” the overtone series. It can be used if there’s a -7 in the vertical structure to soften the dissonance, but that’s just in the context of 7-note scales and the octatonic scale.

    If you want to extend a structure to include all 12 notes and have it sound good, you’ll have to arrange the intervals so as to avoid that -9 dissonance. I’ll clue you in on the easy ones; you can stack 4ths all the way out to all 12 notes without that rub, and you can stack 5ths all the way out to 12 notes. Both of those structures have no dissonance and they ring as clear as a bell. So, how would one name these structures? The basic universal unit of measuring the distance between notes is the half-step (let’s call it “1”, like it would appear on a ruler). So stacked fourths would be called 5+5. Stacked fifths would be called 7+7. A major triad would be called 4+3, a minor triad is called 3+4, a diminished chord would be 3+3

    There are ways to extend tertiary structures in a similar manner out to twelve notes. I’m not at liberty to divulge that info, but I’ll drop a clue: you have to make a small adjustment as you go into each succeeding octave so as to avoid the dreaded -9 dissonance. In the EIS system it’s referred to as the theory of total dissonance, but it could be just as accurately described as total consonance.


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    I see... interesting.
    I am not sure about -9... the notions of consonance and dissonance are cultural...

    And I guess that on modern aural area of equal temperament and very expanded hearing of consonance it is already in use in some sense.
    Lydian chord is the simplest example maybe and it can be traced back to your 12 stack 3rds row as a partial application of it

  50. #99

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    This just dropped

  51. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    I see... interesting.
    I am not sure about -9... the notions of consonance and dissonance are cultural...

    And I guess that on modern aural area of equal temperament and very expanded hearing of consonance it is already in use in some sense.
    Lydian chord is the simplest example maybe and it can be traced back to your 12 stack 3rds row as a partial application of it
    I think that tuning temperaments are cultural, but dissonance is an objective physical reality generated by the overtone series.

    The lydian chord only goes to the second octave. However, the raised 4th degree is there so as to not create a -9 interval with the major third in the vertical structure. However, the natural 4th (11th) can be used effectively to create a vertical structure if the major third is eliminated.


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