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  1. #26

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    Curious though if you all find predominant (rather than subdominant) - meaning something that sets up and resolves to the dominant (ii, V/V, A6 or whatever) - a useful concept in improv?

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  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    Yesterday I was listening to some Coltrane solos/1960 in Paris/ .. wondering what these chord functions are for?
    There was so much expression in the saxophone and its sound.Extreme playing.
    What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall backstage while those mofos were hanging out discussing functional harmony.

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall backstage while those mofos were hanging out discussing functional harmony.
    +1
    Great observation...but I'm not sure if they even talked about it.

  5. #29

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    I think "home" and "everything else" with various flavors.
    For me, it seems a dominant is either a function or just an easy label for a chord.

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    There are only two types of function*, moving or stable. In G7 - C, the G7 is moving and resolves to the C which is stable.
    Isn't this what mr beaumont is saying I ( stable ) V ( moving ) ?


    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    So the word 'function' is always relative to the chord's function/purpose within a form. It's never inherent within the chord itself. How to tell? By the sound. If you can't tell, you're stuffed.
    Ok, how would you characterize the D9 in ' Take the A Train ' in C ...tonic ( stable ) or dominant ( moving ) ?....and I'm using your method...listening.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    The wikipedia article is interesting:

    Function (music) - Wikipedia

    So harmonic function did not become an explicit concept until very late in the 19th century - so all that classical music got written without composers thinking much about Roman numerals and dominants. All that stuff was there of course, but it was all baked into part writing rules.
    ...or the C major 7 harmonic scale either !...but they left us with it !

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by WILSON 1
    Isn't this what mr beaumont is saying I ( stable ) V ( moving ) ?
    Probably, I didn't look. Too late at night.

    Checks mr. beaumont...

    Yes, he is.

    Ok, how would you characterize the D9 in ' Take the A Train ' in C ...tonic ( stable ) or dominant ( moving ) ?....and I'm using your method...listening.
    It's usually a D7b5, as implied in the melody.

    Moving. It's a train.

    just my little joke

  9. #33

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    I forgot to mention there can also be dual function. Take

    Em - A7 - Dm - G7 - C

    The Em sets up the A7, both moving, and resolves to the Dm, stable.

    BUT the Dm is also setting up the G7, resolving to the C. So the Dm can be moving and stable at the same time. Both are true in their own worlds. Simultaneously.

    Asimov, eat your heart out :-)

  10. #34

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    It's so simple...:-)


  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    Curious though if you all find predominant (rather than subdominant) - meaning something that sets up and resolves to the dominant (ii, V/V, A6 or whatever) - a useful concept in improv?
    Three act structure; beginning, middle, end

    Or
    exposition
    rising conflict
    resolution

    as with story telling you don’t want too much exposition or resolution.

  12. #36

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  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    The wikipedia article is interesting:

    Function (music) - Wikipedia

    So harmonic function did not become an explicit concept until very late in the 19th century - so all that classical music got written without composers thinking much about Roman numerals and dominants. All that stuff was there of course, but it was all baked into part writing rules.
    Quite honestly and can see how function is a spurious idea in 18th century music, but I do find it useful for jazz. I just kind of view it as a way of condensing key tendencies (7-1 4-3 etc) into common chords and understanding their movements as a gestalt.

    I read that IV/ii V I style progressions became much more common after the advent of functional harmony, so from that POV jazz standards etc were born from that concept (will have to track down the ref). So it’s not an unreasonable way to look at them. But theorists really lagged the composers or so it seems to me. Except maybe Schoenberg

    OTOH I like counterpoint.

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1


    It's usually a D7b5, as implied in the melody.

    Moving. It's a train.

    just my little joke
    I'm not so sure. Seems stable for 4 beats...like in a place of its own.

    Also, I'd call it Ab7+ the tri-tone of D7.

  15. #39

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    The second chord of A train is definitely a place of rest. Just a crunchy one

  16. #40

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    But where's it going? It can't just hang there, it's illogical.

    Possibly the only time a dominant is stable is in a blues as the I chord. What say you to that?

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    The second chord of A train is definitely a place of rest. Just a crunchy one
    Yeah Billy Strayhorn a real pioneer of what I call colouristic harmony.

    Functionally we have V/V; however we also have a colour; you can’t play the tune (IMO) without alluding or the #11/b5 on it and the whole tone and ‘melodic minor’ (what I call applied minor) tonalities. So the functional moving chord becomes a type of exotic tonic.

    That’s what’s makes it different to tunes like Exactly Like You or Me Myself and I that have the same basic A section chords in theory.

    IMO that’s where colouristic harmony in jazz really starts to take off, and a couple of decades later the modal thing. For me it starts to come together with Strayhorn but you can see it in earlier exotic and novelty tunes; things like Oriental shuffle and In a Mist; and in tunes with long Mahlerian dissonances like Stella that through jazz ears turn into added note chords….

    If I had to chart the history of jazz harmony I would say that the main tendency has been to turn all chords into types of tonic chords whether they have a moving/dominant or secondary dominant function or not. That’s what chord scale theory is, really.

  18. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    The second chord of A train is definitely a place of rest. Just a crunchy one
    D7#11 = V7/V7 (Secondary Dominant)

  19. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    But where's it going? It can't just hang there, it's illogical.

    Possibly the only time a dominant is stable is in a blues as the I chord. What say you to that?
    Funk as well

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    Funk as well
    Right, funk!

  21. #45

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    There’s plenty of tunes where the I chord is a 7 which aren’t blues tunes. Mostly these are by jazz composers, Mingus etc. Conversely there are plenty of blues tunes that don’t use a 7 as the tonic.

    OTOH Listen to 30s/40s/50s players and it’s obvious they regarded any tonic chord as an opportunity to play the blues tonality. Lady be Good by prez springs to mind. And that’s a Gershwin tune…

    Admittedly this is rare in the GASB repertoire as it is written, and I think many modern players have less of tendency to use the blues in this way which is probably a byproduct of how jazz is taught now, and how charts in the Real Book etc are written.

    (I mean I saw a chart today where the first chord of All of Me was given as Cmaj7 which of course sounds minging with the melody…. Because Cmaj7 is the base Ionian ‘jazz’ chord and we couldn’t possibly write a C6 or a C chord lol. What are you gonna do haha?)

  22. #46

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    There are many different tonalities that expand on the traditional chord functions such as bluez using dominant/blues scale sounds over chords that function as a 1, or minor/major over a 1 chord, or dorian over a 1 chord.

  23. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris
    D7#11 = V7/V7 (Secondary Dominant)
    Whoa...hold on there bro !

    That D7b5 ( D7#11 ) doesn't resolve up a fourth to G ( something ). It resolves to itself Dm7...or do you see that chord as G9 sus ?

    .....just ask'n friendly like.
    Last edited by WILSON 1; 12-05-2021 at 06:21 PM.

  24. #48

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    Well I think there are many functions in jazz that go beyond the traditional functions, but they're still understood or formulaic. Some I can't understand, but I think I can make sense of a lot of them. The D7b5 in Take the a train resolves the Ab back up to A along with the melody and the major third resolves down to the b3 in the D-7. So it resolves, but not in the college theory type of way.

  25. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by WILSON 1
    Whoa...hold on there bro !

    That D7b5 ( D7#11 ) doesn't resolve up a fourth to G ( something ). It resolves to itself Dm7...or do you see that chord as G9 sus ?

    .....just ask'n friendly like.
    See the Dm7 as a suspension of G7?I generally would.

    But wait, remember charts are full of shit, would have to go back and listen... wait a sec....



    Not hearing Dm7. Is it me?

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    I forgot to mention there can also be dual function. Take

    Em - A7 - Dm - G7 - C

    The Em sets up the A7, both moving, and resolves to the Dm, stable.

    BUT the Dm is also setting up the G7, resolving to the C. So the Dm can be moving and stable at the same time. Both are true in their own worlds. Simultaneously.

    Asimov, eat your heart out :-)
    Agreed, and I hear the Dm7 in your earlier example, Blue in Green as having the same quality. Despite it being written as Bbmaj7#11 in the original RB, the opening chord is basically an extended Gm6 or an Em7b5/G so:

    Em7b5 - A7 - Dm7 - G7/Db7 - Cm7 - F7 - Bbmaj7