Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Posts 1 to 25 of 103
  1. #1
    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

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    First, don't confuse the name of a chord with its voicing. A C major chord can be voiced in many ways.

    Then note:
    8th - octave
    10th - a third raised an octave
    12th - a fifth raised an octave
    14th - a seventh raise an octave

    So those notes are already present in a triad (or a seventh chord, wrt the "14th").

    The reason we have 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th chords is that they are formed by stacking notes in thirds:

    D minor triad = D F A
    Dmin7 = D F A C
    Dmin9 = D F A C E
    Dmin11 = D F A C E G
    Dmin13 = D F A C E G B

    And why do we stack notes in thirds? Good question! Probably has something to do with the overtone series.

    Now how do 6th and 9/6 chords fit in?

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I love it.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Mostly an issue of marketing. "G12" and other even numbers sounded too much like a new sneaker, so they stuck to odd numbers, and people wound up liking the sounds, so that distinction has stuck around.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    Mostly an issue of marketing. "G12" and other even numbers sounded too much like a new sneaker, so they stuck to odd numbers, and people wound up liking the sounds, so that distinction has stuck around.
    Dang, just when I thought I was getting a handle on this stuff you tell me I am completely mistaken.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    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.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    First, don't confuse the name of a chord with its voicing. A C major chord can be voiced in many ways.

    Then note:
    8th - octave
    10th - a third raised an octave
    12th - a fifth raised an octave
    14th - a seventh raise an octave

    So those notes are already present in a triad (or a seventh chord, wrt the "14th").

    The reason we have 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th chords is that they are formed by stacking notes in thirds:

    D minor triad = D F A
    Dmin7 = D F A C
    Dmin9 = D F A C E
    Dmin11 = D F A C E G
    Dmin13 = D F A C E G B

    And why do we stack notes in thirds? Good question! Probably has something to do with the overtone series.

    Now how do 6th and 9/6 chords fit in?
    Excellent response, detailed, insightful.

    But, very strangely, not a trace of any humor. No implied joke. What the hell has happened to you???

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    Mostly an issue of marketing. "G12" and other even numbers sounded too much like a new sneaker, so they stuck to odd numbers, and people wound up liking the sounds, so that distinction has stuck around.
    I really think that's the correct answer.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    I really think that's the correct answer.
    Also it would have gotten too confusing reading a lead sheet, for example "Shit, is this the next chord in the tune or a vitamin I should be taking more of?"

  11. #10
    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.
    I totally follow what you & BigDaddyLoveHandles are saying. But I'm just thinking this through. What if you had a chord in which the 1, 3, or 5 was not present, but the higher extension (8, 12, 14) was? For instance D10sus4?

    D G A C F#
    1 4 5 7 10



    Or an A12(b5)?

    A C# Eb G B E
    1 3 b5 7 9 12


    Maybe I should dress like Sun Ra and use 8th, 10th, 12th, & 14th chords just to be different.
    Last edited by SwingSwangSwung; 11-16-2011 at 01:03 AM.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    You would never see 10 or 12 in a chord symbol because of the reason stated above.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by bluewaterpig
    You would never see 10 or 12 in a chord symbol because of the reason stated above.
    Yah man, I'm with you. I'm just thinking out loud - you know, questioning "the system".

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    That's like saying "I want to build a skyscraper without the first 10 floors and only have floors ten through twenty." Western harmony builds chords from the ground floor up. Root, 3rd and 5th give us our basic triad. Without that we have nothing to build larger chord structures from. If you take away the root, you have lost the actual name of the chord. There's no C chord without a C note at least implied. Lose the 3rd and you lose the basic concept of major or minor. You have in effect neutered your chord.
    On this basic triad you can build upward to the 7th, 9th,11th and 13th. Each note adding color taken from the parent scale from which it's derived.
    As others have already pointed out, to say your chord has an 8th but no 1st is nonsense. How will that sound any different? My chord doesn't have a C note it has a C note! Ummmm, ok.

  15. #14
    The octave you choose to voice the tones in has absolutely no bearing on the name of the chord. If you have a C Major chord and you play the lowest C and G you can, but voice the E at the 24th fret on the high e string it is still the 3rd of the chord. Doesn't make an difference where you put it. Likewise, it doesn't matter how many Cs you have in that chord or where you voice them. They will remain the 1.

    An open E 'cowboy' chord has 3 roots(each in different octaves), 2 5ths(in different octaves), and 1 3rd. This is just a 1 3 5 triad though. We would never look at this and think(voiced from low E string up): 1 5 8 10 12 15. We would look and see: 1 5 1 3 5 1.

    When we keep stacking in thirds we get 7ths, 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths. We would never have a chord that has a 4 and an 11th in it. We would never call a C E G B chord a CMaj14th. The B is the 7th no matter which voice we place it in, in whatever register.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by SwingSwangSwung
    Yah man, I'm with you. I'm just thinking out loud - you know, questioning "the system".
    But - with respect - you're not questioning it, you're just misunderstanding it (or not thinking it through).
    Chords do have "8ths, 10ths, 12ths and 14ths". They're just called roots 3rds, 5ths and 7ths.
    The only reason 9s 11s and 13s are so-called (rather than 2, 4 and 6) is that there is already a 7th in the chord, and we're just stacking on top of that. (When we go up a scale in alternate steps, we cover two octaves before we get repeats, because there's an odd number of notes. 1-3-5-7-9-11-13 are all different notes. 8, 10, 12, and 14 = 1, 3, 5 and 7)
    With no 7th in the chord, a 13th is a 6th - regardless of what octave it's in.

    I have, btw, seen a chord labelled "7b10" before (many years ago). It's a rare symbol now, having been replaced with "7#9". But "7b10" does kind of reflect its nature as a blues tonic (if that's how it's used) quite well - containing both kinds of 3rd: the major 3rd low in the chord, and the minor 3rd (b10) high in the chord. Stricter conventions now state that one shouldn't have two versions of the same note together, so the upper one has to be called a #9.
    (In jazz, a 7#9 is mostly used as an altered V chord in a minor key - where the "#9" is still arguably the wrong enharmonic. Eg, in key of C minor, a "G7#9" chord should strictly have an A#. But we'd all call that note Bb, normally - the natural 7 of the C minor scale. The chord also has a B, of course, the leading tone of C harmonic minor. Bb and B can both exist in the C minor key, even if not normally simultaneously. A# doesn't really exist in C minor. Only chord symbol convention - and possibly notation convention - says it has to.)

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by SwingSwangSwung
    I totally follow what you & BigDaddyLoveHandles are saying. But I'm just thinking this through. What if you had a chord in which the 1, 3, or 5 was not present, but the higher extension (8, 12, 14) was? For instance D10sus4?

    D G A C F#
    1 4 5 7 10


    Or an A12(b5)?

    A C# Eb G B E
    1 3 b5 7 9 12

    Maybe I should dress like Sun Ra and use 8th, 10th, 12th, & 14th chords just to be different.
    ed byrne actually has labelled that "tension 10"--the 3rd included in a sus4 chord...berklee thing, i think (or NEC)...

  18. #17
    This is what I was getting at...

    10th as an upper extension of a sus4 chord

    And here's an example of "10th chords" being used in stride piano playing...

    Fat's Waller: Performances in transcription, 1927-1943 (see the 2nd paragraph from the bottom which begins with "Waller's injunction to...")

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by SwingSwangSwung
    This is what I was getting at...

    10th as an upper extension of a sus4 chord
    Right. I've seen that referred to by Mark Levine too (Jazz Theory Book, p.46). But he doesn't go as far as labelling it a 10th. He just says the major 3rd can be voiced above the 4th in a "sus" chord. ("Sus" being shorthand for "7sus4", with optional 9th and 13th as well - and maybe 10th .)
    I suppose if you had to indicate that an upper 3rd was required in the sus4 voicing, you could label it 7sus4(10), or something like that. I haven't seen such a symbol myself. (Precise voicings like that would usually be notated in full, with the chord still labelled merely "sus".)

    Quote Originally Posted by SwingSwangSwung

    And here's an example of "10th chords" being used in stride piano playing...

    Fat's Waller: Performances in transcription, 1927-1943 (see the 2nd paragraph from the bottom which begins with "Waller's injunction to...")
    AFAIK, that's referring to something quite different: 10th intervals, not 10th chords. "A series of descending parallel 10th chords" suggests to me chords whose outside intervals form a 10th (such as C-G-E, or B-F-D). Ie, I think the word "chords" (or "10th") has been used ambiguously.
    I don't know that recording, so I haven't checked how it sounds.

    Seeing as this is a guitar site - - you could get much more informed opinions on piano technique (including probably Fats Waller's), and what that phrase might actually mean, on http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/forumdisplay.php?f=34.

  20. #19
    Thanks everyone for the great replies.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Can't use G14... I think that is an upcoming Economic Summit.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by randalljazz
    ed byrne actually has labelled that "tension 10"--the 3rd included in a sus4 chord...berklee thing, i think (or NEC)...

    I once saw a D(-10) on the printed music for "Maybe I'm Amazed". It was in the chorus and was voiced F# A D F. I scratched my head. I can see Ed's point though.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    To refer to the 8th, 10th, 12th and 14th in a chord would be repetitively redundant.

    The 10th chords played by stride pianists referenced in the Fats Waller article were actually the interval of a tenth rather than chord. This evolved from the ragtime piano LH accompaniment practice of playing octave-chord-octave-chord into the tenth-chord-tenth-chord played in the stride style.

    The interval of a tenth is also the basis of what are called shell voicings on guitar, maj6, maj7, min6 and min7.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    You can do whatever you want in terms of the voicing for the chord...but the voicing of the chord doesn't change its name. If you're playing a C9b13 chord, you could voice it in this order (highest note to lowest note):

    Bb
    E
    D
    Ab

    In this voicing, the two extensions (9 and b13) are on the bottom of the chord, and the 3rd and 7th are on the top. However, it's still called a C9b13 chord, as opposed to a C2(b6)(10)(14) chord.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW400
    I once saw a D(-10) on the printed music for "Maybe I'm Amazed". It was in the chorus and was voiced F# A D F. I scratched my head. I can see Ed's point though.
    That's not the same thing as ed byrne was talking about though.

    "D(-10)" is actually quite clear, IMO (er, assuming one knows that "-" means "b" I guess): a D major triad, with a flat 3rd in an upper octave - which describes the F# A D F voicing quite well.
    Normally such a chord would have a 7th too, and would be conventionally called D7#9. With no 7th, I don't know if "D(#9)" is a whole lot better than "D(b10)". Except, of course, it would cause a modern reader less confusion .
    (McCartney plays a D bass on the chord, but the upper part does seem to be voiced like that, with no C - just as a bluesy/funky D major chord.)

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by max_power
    If you're playing a C9b13 chord, you could voice it in this order (highest note to lowest note):

    Bb
    E
    D
    Ab

    In this voicing, the two extensions (9 and b13) are on the bottom of the chord, and the 3rd and 7th are on the top. However, it's still called a C9b13 chord, as opposed to a C2(b6)(10)(14) chord.
    Unless it's called E7b5, of course. Or Bb7b5.