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MUSIC THEORY FOR

URBAN WORSHIP EXTREME


PREPARED BY LARQUITIN JOHNSON

INTRODUCTION

Undoubtedly, Music is an important aspect of our worship services. Worship is the total
experience of giving God the best of every thing.

URBAN WORSHIP XTREME seek to equip and inspire Gospel musicians with creative
uses of musical sounds with a view to enhancing Urban Worship styles. With our music
there seems that there are few moments of silence and when they occur, they are mostly
for very special effects and heightening tension. As a people we are never fully satisfied
with the ordinary or the normal and with our music open spaces with rests, are filled up
with runs, licks, chords, passing tones, passing chords, arpeggios, tremolos, chord
shaking in the upper and lower octaves.

Jamal Hartwell seems to show it all as he took Urban Worship Music to the Extreme
with the use of grace notes, chromatic movements, and using the note next door with
other dissonant intervals to include several uses of tritone intervals. This music of Urban
Worship Xtreme, involves a breath of new life with chord playing using cluster chords,
inspired uses of the whole tone scale, the blues scale, the major scale, the minor scale,
and more creative uses of popular chord progressions on the circle of 5ths / 4ths with
diminished chords, basic major triad, minor 9ths, minor 11ths, suspended chords and the
phatness use of the MAJOR 7TH ON STERIODS, (M7OS). The entourage of Urban
Worship Xtreme is boosted with inspired instrumental improvisation and vocal
improvisation with melodic embellishments, which complimented the Urban style and
reinforced musical principles of traditional music theory.

The music theory presented seeks to give you a better understanding of the Urban
Worship style used by Jamal Hartwell on his instructional DVD on urban worship. To set
the foundation. some basic music theory is provided to accelerate the musical
understanding of beginners who will acquire this advanced instructional DVD.
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FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS

The concept of music is of great importance to get our thinking in line so as to reach the
goal of a better understanding of the workings of music. Let us start at the beginning with
the definition of music.

MUSIC is an art of organized sounds that are pleasing to the listener and expresses ideas
and emotions mainly through four elements, which are rhythm, melody, harmony, and
tone color. Music is meant to be heard, since it involves sound, it will be a very
important prerequisite of all aspiring musicians to develop the
ART OF LISTENING. The prevailing condition must be changed where notes are
played and songs sung without engaging the cognitive development of the mind. This is
necessary to retain the musical sounds in your mind and to photograph in your mind the
chord positions along with particular nuances, chord patterns, numeric representations of
notes or chords intervals and chord progressions.

Among the characteristics of sound is the PITCH. This is the HIGHNESS and
LOWNESS of the sound. As a musician, Pitch Discrimination is very necessary to
function proficiently. We must be able to recognize the slightest change in the pitch of
the sound. This means literally that if a note changes from C to B, we must be able to
know that it changed. We should not confuse the lowness and highness of a note with the
LOUDNESS and SOFTNESS of the sound, as this involves the dynamic and acoustic
factors. Dynamics refers to the change in the levels of pitch used to organize musical
performance to achieve expressive and emotional effects.

DEVELOPING CRITICAL LISTENING SKILLS

EAR TRAINING is necessary for every musician to develop listening skills. It is


recommended that users of the Urban Worship Xtreme DVD, use the opportunity as
Jamal instructs to develop your listening ability and program the sounds in your mind.
Use of the keyboard in tandem with the presentation, to pick out particular notes and
chord patterns will help to engage your cognitive sense to train your ears.

We must develop our listening skills by cultivating the ears to listen selectively to certain
aspects of the music despite the fact that several other sounds are present also. Listen to
the bass-line as is jumps from one note to another and try to figure out is the note on 1 or
4 or 6 or 3 or 5 etc. and use this tool to your advantage to forming chords, learning chord
progressions, and building chords just by listening to the tune of the song. PLAYING
BY EAR should not be confused with the ability of improvising music. Playing by ear is
a function of Ear Training and that is the broader subject covering everyone and different
genre because everybody is capable of training their ears.
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For the person who has read music all of his or her life, the skill of playing by ear may
seem very difficult, despite the fact that his or her musical life encompasses ear training.
It is the challenge therefore as we embrace Urban Worship Xtreme to develop the habit
of making a mental picture of the keyboard with particular reference to the bass notes and
the major scale.

The Art of Listening is the cultivating of the mind and memory to be retentive. It is also
the ability to give practice to our eyes to recognize chord patterns without much effort. It
involves listening, processing, retaining, and reproducing. Many questions that aspiring
musicians ask about the whys & whys not have to do with poor listening ability. So we
must endeavor to train our ears to hear a wider range of musical nuances to include
intervals, different types of chords and scales.

Listen to different musical presentations and styles in a more critical and meticulous
way. This also means to listen to the rhythmic patterns of the drummer, the melodic and
rhythmic bass patterns. Listen also to the different musical instruments involved in the
performance doing the melodic runs, chords and licks and of course listen to the vocalist
with the supporting melody.

There is Melodic Ear Training where we are encouraged to listen to the tune played or
sung and in turn we must be able to reproduce the tune orally or via our fingers. Once we
have the ability to reproduce the tune then there is the need for Harmonic Ear Training
to develop a variety of chords to go along with the melody. Jamal has definitely shown
his prowess at his craft on the subject of Chord Substitutions and Re-harmonization, these
are all products of Melodic & Harmonic Ear Training.

Harmonic ear training is training our ears to hear harmonic intervals and chords. Our
ears should be familiar to what a major3rd interval (eg, C-E ) sounds like and also its
. Inversion, which is a min6th ( E-C ). Our training should include focusing on what a
major7th chord (C-E-G-B) sounds like and also its inversions. Based on Melodic Ear
Training your ears should be programmed to the sound of doh, ray, me, fah, soh, lah,
tee, doh. In real terms the art of listening will enable you to use that skill to hear the
root note of a basic chord at the bottom of the chord and if the chord is the 1st inversion
you will be able to pinpoint the 5th note in the middle or any other chord tone required. In
the case of a major7th chord like Db-F-Ab-C, the 7th note C will be the bottom note of
this 4-note chord in the 3rd inversion (C-Db-F-Ab). Playing or singing the chord tones as
broken chord tones will advance your ability to hear the harmonics of chords and sharpen
pitch recognition and pitch discrimination.

Ear Training is a life-long, hard-working process and exercise. Learning to play the
keyboard is a process and it is definitely not an over-night-thing. Consistent practice will
cause difficult runs, chord holding & playing, and the art of listening to become easier.
Once your fingers are capable of executing chord voicing, then your mind and your ear
will be in a position to dictate how and when to use a chord.
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With the necessary applications you will hear popular progressions, 2-5-1, 3-6-2-5, 7-3-
6-2-5, or 1-2-3-4-5 progressions instantly just as how quickly you are able to recognize
the voices of your friends over the telephone. According to the popular music educator
Jamey Aebersold, he said that scales and chords are your friends and the sooner we get
acquainted with them, the sooner they will begin helping you to better understand, enjoy
and create music.

THE CONCEPT OF THE MAJOR SCALE

To get a better understanding of major scales and their importance to our music learning
let us analyze what is a SCALE.
In music a SCALE is a musical ladder with a series of notes. It is a PATTERN of notes
comprising INTERVALS of WHOLE STEPS and HALF STEPS that are played
consecutively ascending and descending usually within a range of 8 notes or an octave.
The idea of a ladder implies that you climb up and down the ladder, and so we will keep
that in our minds to play a scale ascending and descending to develop speed in our
fingers and fingering skills.

PATTERNS

A very necessary tool to acquire to advance our learning of the chords presented in the
URBAN WORSHIP XTREME DVD is PATTERN CONSTRUCTION. Musical
Patterns are present in every musical idea, be it chords or melodic phrases and it is
strongly recommended that we seek to identify the patterns and use them to our
advantage to accelerate the pace of learning the chords shared with us.
PATTERN construction will be efficient if we use numbers correctly to signify steps of a
scale, chord tones and chord changes. It is recommended that we use numbers to
represent all the steps of the scales. For example if we want to play in the key of Eb
major. Write out the notes of the Eb major scale Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C-D-Eb and number the
steps consecutively 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 Now we will find it easier to identify the steps and
intervals of the scale because it is now in focus and in line with our cognitive senses.

If we wanted to construct Ebmaj7th we would use the numeric pattern 1-3-5-7 thereby
producing the notes Eb-G-Bb-D. Another pattern that emerge from the construct of the
Ebmaj 7th is that this 4-note chord is built by skipping over every other note. There is still
another pattern that may be gleaned and it is that the chord is built on intervals of 3rds.
This exercise is all about promoting the ability to recognize patterns in the different
elements of and using them to our advantage to advance our exploits in learning music in
a new way.

We will also find it convenient to number the PATTERN that is developed from the
different chord changes of a song or musical piece from the steps of the scale. This series
of chord changes is referred to as a chord progression. The pattern developed may be 1-3-
6-4-5. This means that the song or musical piece began with a chord on the 1st step of the
scale and then went to a chord on the 3rd step then to the 6th then to the 4th and then to the
5th step of the scale
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Identifying PATTERNS on the keyboard is the first step to begin our understanding of
the keyboard by locating and identifying notes and chords positions with their
INVERSIONS. Can we begin to imagine for a moment that people who are visually
impaired make us who have vision seem as if we are the ones with impaired vision.
How are they able to accomplish playing the keyboard so well? By patterns.

The first PATTERN that we should be able to identify on the keyboard is the
arrangement of the black and white notes. Surprisingly, several persons are unable to see
the PATTERN of the sets of the two black notes and the sets of the three black notes. If
you are able to identify the PATTERNS mentioned of the black and white notes then use
this to find chord positions and their INVERSIONS as well as individual notes very
quickly by sight or by feeling against / between the black and white notes.

You should always have a mental picture of the keyboard to enhance or enable ear
training and critical music deciphering with the art of listening. One side of this function
of patterns actually means that if no physical keyboard is present then while you are
listening to music you should see the chords, melodic line or the bass progression on the
virtual keyboard in your mind. You will be able to figure out the progression or parts of
the progression of a song just by applying the PATTERN of the chord progression. For
example the chord progression may be 1-6-2-5 or 1-2-3-4-5 or 7-3-6-2-5.

INVERSIONS

INVERSIONS relate to CHORDS and INTERVALS and the use of patterns are handy in
identifying the particular positions involved. The word INVERT means simply to turn
upside-down. Therefore when you invert a chord or an interval you literally turn it up
side down. To invert a chord, we must reposition the bottom note of the chord to the top
of the chord stack or the top note is repositioned to the bottom of the chord stack. For
example Cmaj7th with its inversions is as follows. C-E-G-B = Root position.
E-G-B-C = 1st Inversion. G-B-C-E = 2nd inversion and B-C-E-G = 3rd inversion.
When intervals are inverted (C-E to E-C), this changes the chord to the opposite chord
quality and the pair of inverted intervals add up to the numeral nine (9). Therefore a
major chord 3rd will become a minor 6th chord and a diminished 4th chord will become an
augmented 5th chord.

CHORD INVERSIONS serve two main functions. First to enable convenient, smoother
and quicker chord changes instead of jumping sloppily like a novice all over the keyboard
to find root positions chords and second to add variety and spice with alternate chord
voicing. Each of the inversions carry a certain nuance to it and most times the music will
not sound interesting without the particular chord inversion is played as composed by the
composer. A one over the five(1/5) chord will not sound correct if a pure 5 chord is
played. Certain inversions will not carry the strident feel of the tritone and the ditone.
We must cultivate the discipline to play the correct inversions of chords presented in the
URBAN WORSHIP XTREME DVD so as to reinforce the learning points presented by
Jamal.
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INTERVALS

An INTERVAL is the distance between two notes and it can only involve two notes.
Just as how we measure physical distance using yards, feet or other metric units, we have
musical measurement for musical INTERVALS. We use SEMITONES or HALF
STEPS to measure intervals. A SEMITONE or HALF STEP is the shortest distance
between two notes. This distance is when you do not skip over any note, for example
C to C# or E to F. Two half steps make a WHOLE STEP or a TONE. For example C to
D or E to F#.

INTERVALS are used as the building blocks of all chords and the major and minor
scales (The major and minor scales are referred to as diatonic scales because they have
two tonics). INTERVALS are referred to as DIATONIC (two tonics) because either note
may function as a tonic. INTERVALS are of 4 types, Major, Minor, Augmented, or
Diminished. All INTERVALS have a definite name and therefore it is incomplete to say
that an INTERVAL is a 3rd, 4th,or 5th, or just a major or minor. As such we have to
attach a precise description of the type of INTERVAL that we are talking about. Just as
how you would describe a car giving the make and the type for example, a Toyota
Camry. WE describe an interval as a major 3rd or a minor 6th.
It is always much easier to use the major scale as the blue print to test musical intervals.

The intervals on the major scale are as follows :

C C# = Min2nd ( half-step distance) . Measure = 1 semitone


C- D = Maj2nd ( whole step distance). Measure = 2 semitones
C-Eb = Min 3rd ( distance of 3 alphabet notes) .. Measure = 3 semitones
C- E = Maj 3rd ( distance of 3 alphabet notes) .. Measure = 4 semitones
C-F = perfect 4th (distance of 4 alphabet notes) . Measure = 5 semitones
C-F# = Augmented 4th ( distance of 4 alphabet notes) .Measure = 6 semitones
C-G = Perfect 5th ( distance of 5 alphabet notes) Measure = 7 semitones
C-Gb = Diminished 5th (distance of 5 alphabet notes) ..Measure = 6 semitones
C-G# = Augmented 5th (distance of 5 alphabet notes) .. Measure = 8 semitones
C-Ab = Minor 6th (distance of 6 alphabet notes) Measure = 8 semitones
C-A = Major 6th (distance of 6alphabet notes) . Measure = 9 semitones
C-A# = Augmented 6th (distance of 6 alphabet notes) Measure = 10 semitones
C-Bb = Minor 7th (distance of 7 alphabet notes) .. Measure = 10 semitones
C-B = Major 7th (distance of 7 alphabet notes) .. Measure = 11 semitones
C-C = Perfect Octave (distance of 8 alphabet notes) .. . Measure = 12 semitones
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IMPORTANCE OF INTERVALS

Apart from getting intellectual musical knowledge about intervals, it gives a deeper
understanding of the important functions that intervals play. INTERVALS :
- form notes of scales
- form building blocks for chords
- are used to define tonality of chords
- are used to define types of chords
- are used to define identity of scales (whole tone, blues, major, minor etc)
- are used to help identify changes in the pitch of musical sounds.
These are just some of the many uses of intervals and why we need to know about them.
NOTE CAREFULLY that perfect intervals are found in both the major and the
minor scales / keys. (That is why the intervals are PERFECT)

THE MAJOR SCALE

THE MAJOR SCALE consists of a pattern of 8 notes, with the first note being repeated
at the end to form an octave. The pattern of the scale is constructed by a series of seven
steps, beginning with 2 whole steps then a half step, followed by 3 whole steps and
ending with a half step. We could liken the scale to climbing up and down a ladder or a
set of steps. Let us play the kiddies game HOP SCOTCH to reinforce the pattern of the
major scale. To begin, we will say START - HOP HOP SLIDE HOP HOP
HOP SLIDE. In short, the steps are 2 1/2 3 1/2.

What makes a major scale a MAJOR SCALE? The answer is the pattern of the scale
regarding where the half steps occur. It is because the half steps occur between the 3rd to
4th steps and between the 7th to 8th steps of the scale.

The foundation of our musical knowledge is knowing the pattern of the major scale and
applying the pattern to learn all 12 major scales and playing effectively in the 12 keys. A
way to help us to learning the major keys is to sing the notes of the scale to the sol-fah
system Doh-Ray-Me-Fah-Soh-Lah-Tee-Doh and practicing to play all 12 major scales
with both hands. By now we must realize that MAJOR KEYS are based on the major
scales and both terms are used synonymously.
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For additional knowledge, Classical music theory teaches that the steps of the major scale
have technical names that are used to define harmonic relationships with notes of the
major scale.

- 1st note of major scale is the TONIC


- 2nd note is the SUPERTONIC
- 3rd note is the MEDIANT
- 4th note is the SUB-DOMINANT
- 5th note is the DOMINANT
- 6th note is the SUB-MEDIANT
- 7th note is the LEADING NOTE
- 8th note is the OCTAVE

While the information presented above may seem irrelevant to our forward music
learning, it is significant in setting the background for the more frequent uses in our circle
of the terms TONIC, DOMINANT and OCTAVE and so it will worth our while to
become acquainted with all the terms presented. We should be familiar with representing
the different steps of the major scale with ordinary numbers (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8) or the
classic way with Roman Numerals. (I-II-III-IV-V-VI-VII-VIII)

MINOR SCALES / KEYS

MINOR SCALES are scalar patterns that are indirectly related to the 12 MAJOR KEYS /
SCALES. The foremost relationship is that minor scales TONIC NOTE begin on the 6th
degree of Major scales. For example F major = F-G-A-Bb-C-D-E-F. Number the scale
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. Now go to the 6th note that is D. It therefore means that the
RELATIVE MINOR SCALE is D Minor.

For a shorter option, you may count 3 half steps backwards from the tonic of the major
key and arrive on the D as the relative minor key. Another important point to note is that
if we already know the name of the minor scale, we could count up 3 half steps to find
the tonic note of the RELATIVE MAJOR KEY / SCALE.

The other very important relationship between minor and major keys is that a MINOR
SCALE shares the same KEY SIGNATURE as the major key that it is related to. This
means that a MINOR SCALE is actually played with similar notes as the related major
key with few modifications. One such modification is that the minor begins on the 6th
note and ends on the octave. Another modification is that the half steps occur between
different steps and the half steps are responsible for the duller, bluesy sound of the minor
scale. There are three main forms of minor scales, namely the NATURAL, the
HARMONIC and the MELODIC
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The NATURAL minor scale is the easiest form to remember because it uses the exact
same notes of the relative major scale only that the tonic begins on the 6th note of the
relative major scale. There are two sets of half steps intervals that will occur between the
2nd-3rd steps and between the 5th-6th steps of the NATURAL minor scale. Using the F
Major scale above as an example, D Natural Minor would be = D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C-D

The HARMONIC minor scale would follow most of the same principles as the Natural
minor scale except that the 7th note will be raised, and therefore cause an additional set of
half steps intervals making 3 sets of such intervals in the Harmonic Minor Scale. The D
HARMONIC minor scale would be = D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C#-D

The MELODIC minor scale may seem difficult and more complex depending on how it
was taught to you and how it will now be presented to us. In classical music, the melodic
minor is played in an ascending format and then another format when descending. We
will stray from the classical format and present it in the optional version ascending and
descending. The easiest and uncomplicated way to view the MELODIC minor is to see it
as NOT BEING RELATED to the relative major as the rest of the minor forms but it
being a major scale with a flatted 3rd. Example D MELODIC Minor would be like a D
MAJOR scale with a Flatted 3rd = D-E-F-G-A-B-C#-D

The major difference between a major scale / key and a minor scale / key is that minor
keys have 3rd note flatted. It will be very beneficial for us to know the major scale pattern
so as to use it as a blueprint or reference to determining other types of scales. For
example we could develop formulae based on numeric patterns on the steps of the major
scale. Therefore a major pentatonic would be = 1-2-3-5-6 (C-D-E-G-A) or a minor
pentatonic would be = 1-b3-4-5-b7 (C-Eb-F-G-Bb) or the Blues scale would be I-b3-4-
#4-5-b7 (C-Eb-F-F#-G-Bb) or the Lydian mode would be 1-2-3-#4-5-6-7(C-D-E-F#-G-
A-B) the Mix Lydian would be 1-2-3-4-5-6-b7 (C-D-E-F-G-A-Bb).

CHORD THEORY FOR URBAN WORSHIP XTREME

The Chord Theory presented reinforces basic concepts that are mentioned in the forgoing
so as to build an understanding of the simple chords and the effective way that they were
used by Jamal.

It is also anticipated that the workings of the compounded chords and the more complex
ones will be focused on and the applications of basic concepts of music will prove that all
things are possible with the God being our Helper. The inspiration will come and it
will be the greatest joy for Jamal and the Gospel Keyboard Family when we have
successfully applied the musical concepts and in turn play our part in advancing the
ideals of Gospel Music. The unique feel of the Music and gentle touch of the keys with
the Urban Contemporary Sound happened right before our eyes. Jamal explained the type
of chords used in addition to the documentation of chords presented in the Video here is
also some theory behind the method presented by Jamal on the DVD
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WHAT ARE CHORDS ?

Chords are groups of two ( 2 ) or more notes that are played or sung simultaneously.
Note carefully that 2 notes played together is called an interval. Chords make up the
HARMONIC element of music and this is essential to provide a well based
accompaniment bed for the melodic lines.
Chords are used to generate harmony and provide rhythmic support for the tune of a
piece of music. Chords play the role of a short handed method to notate music, without
writing out the Bass part. Chords may be used to outline a song or a piece of music in a
simplified way for musicians to enable easy memorizing of the sequence of the music.
This sequence is referred to as CHORD PROGRESSION. Chord Progression involves a
series of chord changes and the changes are numbered as a numeric pattern, for example
7-3-6-2-5 or 3-6-2-5 or 1-2-3-4-5. The numbers represent the steps of the major scale.

CHORD CONSTRUCTION

A BASIC CHORD is formed using the 1st-3rd-5th notes of the major or the minor scale.
This basic chord is called a triad because three notes are involved in the process. For
Example Bb maj triad = Bb-D-F or F minor triad = F-Ab-C.

The first note of the chord (tonic note) is normally used to name the chord, for example
- C-F-G-Bb. Because the first note is C the chord will be named C something It is very
beneficial to represent the scale pertaining to the chord with numbers when we are trying
to figure out an unknown chord. Let us get back to the C something chord mentioned
above. Since we learned that the tonic is the note to be used to name the chord we will
then assume that the key is C major and proceed to write out the notes for that scale and
number the steps as follows;
C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C
1--2-3-4--5--6-78
We will then pick out the numbers represented by the chord and arrive with the result
1-4-5-7. The next step is to examine the major scale to see if the notes are contained in
the C scale. From our knowledge of intervals, we noticed that the 7th note is a flatted 7th
and it is not contained in the C scale. We will proceed to measure the interval C-Bb, and
discover that the interval is a Minor 7th. Further checks revealed that the intervals C-F, is
a perfect 4th and the interval C-G is a perfect 5th. With this information we conclude that
the notes C-F-G-Bb are contained in the C minor scale. From our advanced music
knowledge we know that the Bb is also the dominant 7th of C major. We are now ready to
report our findings. The chord C-F-G-Bb is a seventh chord and all the notes satisfied
both the C major and C minor scale.
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Whenever a condition exists where both perfect intervals connect in one chord the
resulting sound will be ambiguous, with the perfect 4th hanging, suspended, begging
to be resolved to the 3rd note that is important in defining the quality of a chord. This
chord is therefore is a suspended 4th chord. Putting back all the chord tones together we
derive that the chord is a C7th suspended 4th. It is an acceptable form to omit the numeric
value from the word suspended and it is therefore suffice to notate the chord as C7sus.
There is another chord that has the effect of a suspended chord involving the Major 2nd
interval for example C-D-E-G and when this is implied the chord is notated as C sus2.

HARMONICS OF THE MAJOR SCALE

GOSPEL MUSICIANS seem to have BROKEN some of the RULES of HARMONY


based on TRADITIONAL music theory. They seem to play different quality of chords at
places in the harmonic structure where they would be tabooed with traditional classical
harmony. There is an active type of sound associated with Gospel Music that creates an
intriguing sense of tension and drive. TRITONE intervals contribute to a sweet
dissonance in the sound only to be resolved by some consonance of perfect 5th intervallic
chords.

Traditional harmony has dominated Western cultures for over 3 centuries and most of our
music is based on the system where chords are built on intervals of thirds called triads.
The system is used as a reference despite the growing trend especially in Gospel
Music where the music is becoming increasingly complex and increasingly atonal
day by day. From the teachings of classical harmony we learn the following harmonics
of the major scale.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
maj-min-min-maj-maj-min dim-maj

The diagram seeks to display that certain quality of chords exist on particular steps of the
major scale. This means that we would normally use the particular chords to harmonize a
melody if the melody rests on a particular step or if the melody consists of the particular
chord tones. A significant amount of songs use the 3 primary chords on 1-4-& 5 as the
backbone of the harmony. We will explore more of the harmonics with the major 7th
chord.

Let us explore the basics of building chords. We will write out some notes to represent
the keyboard so as to see some essential learning concepts of harmony.
A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F
1-.2- 3-4- 5-67-8-9
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A chord is built on intervals of 3rds. The chord tones are formed by using every
other note. With the notes written out it will be easy to see the pattern of alternate notes
involved in the chord.. If we build a basic triad on the note A the chord would be A-C-
E. If we continue to build on the chord in the same manner using every other note G then
B then D then F then we would have extended the chord. A chord extension modifies
the original chord thereby making it more advanced, complex or compounded.
With the chord above the left hand may play A- E-G while the right hand plays B-D-F-
A. Chord construction is very simple, the only difficulty that we will experience is not
knowing the key signatures of the various keys. This theory support will not focus on
learning order of sharps and flats for the 12 keys but it is hoped that every one who is in
need of this information will get acquainted with the subject.

HARMONY ON THE 7TH CHORDS ON THE HARMONIC MINOR SCALE

Just to let us see a wider picture, the 7th chords on the steps of the C harmonic scale are
presented below for additional interest.( Remember that the relative major key is Ebmaj.
To apply the formula we counted up 3 half steps from the tonic of Cmimor)

Cmin maj7 Dmin7(b5) Ebmaj7(#5) Fmin7 G7 Ab maj7 Bdim7 Cmin maj7`


1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

Just to keep every one on track, the harmonic system above may be used as a guide to
find the best suited chords to harmonize a melody in a minor key. The numerals represent
the steps of the minor scale. For effective use of any of the harmonic guides, all the
chord tones may have to be written out so as to best fit the melody or by ear with trial and
error, which involves experimenting with the different chords to see what works well and
what does not fit the tune.

THE MAJOR 7TH CHORD

The seventh chords are 4-note chords built with stacks of intervals of 3rds. The major 7th
chord is evolutionary in its uses. It is the most used chord in popular music because of the
nuance and the flexible role it plays in developing other types of chords. Let us explore
the basics of the 7th chords in the key of Ab in reference to its use in the video. The Ab
major scale along with the corresponding numeric steps is written out below. (note that
the key signature has 4 flats)

Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb-F-G-Ab
- 1- 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 6 7 - 8 - 9 1011 12-13

We will form 4-note chords on each step of the Ab scale. Be mindful that each of those
step is going to be the ROOT of a chord and each resulting chord must be seen in
reference to the TONIC chord, Abmaj.
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Remember that to form basic chords we should use intervals comprising of 3rds which
means that every other note is used to form the chord and the numeric pattern for a
seventh chord is 1-3-5-7. (Please do not let this confuse you). The numeric pattern in the
bracket shows the notes used as the chord tones in reference to the tonic key Abmaj.

The chord tones represented in the brackets are to be used as a guide to match melodic
tones for those who find it difficult to harmonize a melody and do not know what chords
to use. There are several musicians who have mastered the art of listening and can hear
the melody and just work out the best chords to harmonize the melody. As was
mentioned earlier your ears and some experience will dictate the creative use of a chord.
You will know what chords do not fit and those that command interest to the ears of the
listener. Jamal Hartwell is a perfect Example and in living colors on the URBAN
WORSHIP EXTREME, most of the chords were never played that way before but now
we are inspired by the out-pouring of his knowledge and shedding some simple chords
that are manipulated to stimulate our ears and hearing to unearth and to discover the
creative good in us.

CHORDS on the Ab Major Scale

The chord on the 1st step = Ab-C-Eb-G - (1-3-5-7) = Ab maj7


The chord on the 2nd step = Bb-Db-F-Ab - (2-4-6-1) = Bb min7
The chord on the 3rd step = C-Eb-G-Bb - (3-5-7-2) = C min7
The chord on the 4th step = Db-F-Ab-C - (4-6-1-3) = Db maj7
The chord on the 5th step = Eb-G-Bb-Db (5-7-2-4) = Eb7
The chord on the 6th step = F-Ab-C-Eb (6-1-3-5) = F min7
The chord on the 7th step = G-Bb-Db-F (7-2-4-6) = G min7(b5)

From examining the breakdown of the 7th chord above, we will notice that the 7th chords
used the 1st-3rd-5th-7th notes of a root chord. The root note is the note that the chord is
built on. A root doesnt necessarily mean that it is the Tonic Note. The tonic is the key
note like the Ab in our example above. It has the greatest magnetic pull of all the sounds
in the scale and thus creating the key center pulling the other notes to the Tonic.

So there are seven chords on the major scale and we will notice that two of them are
major 7th chords occurring on the 1 and 4th steps, There are three minor 7th chords being
on the 2nd-3rd & 6th steps. The chord on the 7th degree of the scale is a minor 7 with the
5th chord tone flatted. This chord is also referred to as the Half Diminished on the 7.
From the breakdown of the chord above it is very clear how the min7(b5) developed.

In continuing our observation, will notice that the chord on the 5th step of the major scale
as well as the minor scale is a DOMINANT 7th. Many musicians are not so certain why
the five chord is called the dominant and why the Eb7 is referred to as Eb dominant 7th
(Eb dom7th). If we havent grasp it from what has happened so far, here is the
elaboration.
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First off, the same type of chord (dom7th) exist on the V in both the major and the
minor scales. Second is that, the tonic note has the tonality or the dominance over all the
other notes in both the major and the minor scales. Furthermore, each note of the scale
function with a special relationship to the tonic. If we were to analyze systematically the
chords on the steps of the scale, we would discover that by some design beyond our
control, that the chords either lead away or towards the Tonic Chord and that the 5th
has the strongest relationship and pull towards the Tonic. So we find that many songs,
hymns, musical compositions end with V to I chords. The IV chord(subdominant) is the
next chord that has a stronger pull towards the tonic and is also used to end music with
IV to I chords used especially at the end of a hymn with A-MEN.

MAJOR 7THS ON STERIODS - ( M7OS )

According to Jamal Hartwell, President, Gospel Keyboard.com, THE SECRET to the


uniqueness of his chords is Flipping the Use of the Major 7th Chord and Substituting it for
the Relative Minor11 Chord, Orchestrated by the use of 5th Voicing in the Bass. There
are two versions of the MAJOR 7 ON STERIODS (M7OS). 1. The Open movement 2.
The
Closed movement. We will use the key of Ab Major to show examples.

OPEN Movement of M7OS CLOSED Movement of M7OS


L / H ------------------ R / H L / H ------------ R / H
F-C-G --------- Ab-Eb-G-Bb .. F-C -------- Eb-G-Ab-Bb

There are two options to work from in tackling the use of M7OS. You may choose to
view the chord as a minor chord or as a major chord. Some musicians especially from the
traditional school find it appropriate according to their music training to operate in major
keys and minor keys. The musicians see minor and major keys as two entities despite
the fact that they know that both keys are related and so aspiring musicians spend years
and years studying two systems of key signatures, scales and chords and among other
reasons many become frustrated and disinterested.

Then there are some other musicians who find it much easier and more convenient to
work in major keys. The focus is on the major key and a minor chord is seen as a
major chord with the 6th note in the bass and this seems to make plenty of sense,
especially when playing chords. For example A minor7 (A-C-E-G) is really Cmaj triad
(C-E-G) with its 6th note (A) in the bass. In a sense the minor chord is a backward
extension of a major chord. We are more aware of the forward extensions of chords and
some of their uses for example L/H plays - Ab-Eb while R/H plays - Eb-G-Bb as the
initial chord. Combinations from the series Bb-D-F-Ab-C-Eb-G-Bb, may be played as
extensions of R/H chord. Jamals M7OS is his version of phatting up the Maj 7th with
a backward chord extension in the relative key. All the chord tones still belong to the
major 7 chord despite the fact that the bass is on the 6th degree. Due to the construct of
the chord with a range of 5ths, the chord produces some softer tones with an abundance
of color and smoothness. Let us develop a pattern to finding this chord quickly for the 12
keys.
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BREAKDOWN OF M7OS

Part of the R/H chord may be seen as a Ab triad without the 3rd note( C ) = Ab Eb
Interval of perfect 5th from root Ab = Ab Eb Bb
An Ab root with an Eb Triad. = Ab-Eb-G-Bb
th rd
An Ab maj 7 without the 3 note (C ) = Ab-Eb-G
An Abmaj 9 =Ab-Bb-Eb-G
In the bass Fsus2 = F-C-G
With the F in L/H as the root, the chord may be viewed as a F minor sus2 in the L/H with
an Ebmaj triad in R/H (major triad formed on the flatted 7th of the root). = F min11th

HOLDING THE M7OS CHORD

With your focus on the Ab chord in R/H, identify your bass root as the note that is 3
semitones below keynote Ab, which is F. Play the root of bass an octave lower using 3
notes in spans of perfect 5ths with the outer notes making an interval of a major 9th
F to G. Use the note G as a marker for the major 7th and for the note Ab where the root
of R/H chord begins.

Another way to identify the M7OS is to hold the Ab major 7th in R/H and omitting the 3rd
so as to reach the Bb (9th) as the upper note, then identify the 6th note of the Ab major
scale and play the bass in 5ths spanning a major 9th (A major 9th is like adding the 2nd to
your root (F to G).

The M7OS from the bass has this numeric pattern : 1-5-2 / b3-b7-2-4

You will see how handy the numeric pattern is when you use it as a formula for building
your chords once you know the major scales.

FINDING R/H CHORDS WHEN GIVEN BASS NOTE

If you cannot apply the formula involving the numeric pattern to build the M7OS, then
you have to study the relative major and minors for all 12 keys. To find the relative
major for the bass note so you will go up 3 half steps and build the major 7 chord on that
note. If you know your R/H major 7 chord then you go down 3 half steps to find bass
root or the relative minor.

There is also the option to create the M7OS using the R/H major 7th chord as the
reference chord. The formula /numeric pattern of this option is 1- 5- 7- 9 in the R/H while
the L/H is 6- 3- 7.
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You may use the circle of 5ths / 4ths to notate all your relative minors.

MAJOR ---------- RELATIVE MINOR

C A
G E
D . B
A F#
E . C#
BAb
F# . Eb
C# Bb
Ab .. .F
Eb C
Bb .G
F D

We may use the chart above to determine the L/H with R/H combination of M7OS
chords. For example if you need a C M7OS. Then the R/H chord will be Cmaj9 with a
span of 5ths beginning on A. If you know that the bass is A then count up 3 notes to
find the corresponding note C to form the M7OS in R/H.

Two tools to be used to practice M7OS are the chromatic and whole tone scales.
Chromatic scale involves 12 half steps movements before any note is repeated eg.
F-F#-G-G#-A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#E

Whole tones scale consists of 2 patterns, one set with 2 black keys
eg F-G-A-B-Db-Eb-F and the other with 3 black keys
eg.Gb-Ab-Bb-C-D-E

DITONES

Ditones now exist so we should get acquainted with them and their uses. Ditones means
2 tones or 4 half steps. There is word the semitone meaning _ steps (1/2 tone). There is
Bi-tonal harmony and there is tritone. Ditone is a new word with its genesis with
Urban Worship Xtreme coined by Jamal Hartwell to describe the major 3rd interval
held in the L/H eg. C-E. The R/H holds a suspended chord based on perfect 4th voicing
beginning on the flatted 7th of the root of the R/H chord.

L/H -------------R/H
C-E .. Bb-Eb-Ab
1-3 .b7-b3-#5

C-D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab
1- 2- 3-4- 5-6- 7- - 8-9-10-11-1213
The chord represented by the ditone above may be viewed as C7(#5)(#9)
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DITONES APPLICATION

Use ditones as passing tone to get to the major 7.


Ditones may be used as fillers and they may be used on whole tone scale to enhance
smooth feel.

Another way to hold a ditone is by spanning a 10th in L/H eg C-G-E / Bb-Eb-Ab

Substitute the one chord for the Ditone chord. To apply this you should change R/H
chords to perfect 4th beginning on the 6th note from the root.eg C-E / A-D-G (C6/9)

TRITONES

A Tritone is an interval consisting of 3 whole tones eg from F# to C. To determine the


required interval, count up F# to Ab = 1 whole step. Ab Bb = 1 whole step and Bb C
= 1 whole step. This interval may be viewed as an augmented 4th or a flatted 5th.
It is very common for musicians to see the flatted 5th as the tritone of a note.

Augmented intervals means a perfect 5th interval plus an additional _ step. A diminished
interval means a perfect 5th interval minus a half step or what is commonly referred to as
a flatted 5th.

An Augmented chord is built on a basic triad with a raised 5th eg. C augmented = C E G #

A Diminished 7th chord has 4 notes. It is really a minor 7th chord with the flatted 5th and
double flatted 7th eg Cdim7 = C-Eb-Gb-A
A half diminished chord has 4 notes and is also known as the half diminished
eg C _ dim7th = C Eb Gb Bb.

A tritone may be used as a passing tone. The R/H chord is built on the 3rd note of the root
of the tritone and it is best voiced with the 2nd inversion of the major triad,
Eg F-B / E-A-C# or E-Bb / Eb-Ab-C.

Jamal makes use of the 2 sided tritone to also substitute the dominant 7th chord. It is
possible to do this because of shared chord tones of the b7th and the 3rd note. The
Tritone works so well because of the voice leadings of both notes of the Tritone. Intervals
that have shared tones in different keys based on augmented or diminished interval will
allow either note to function as the root. The resultant ambiguity may imply that more
than one chord quality are involved and this makes the harmonizing of a melody easy.
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HOW TO TRANSPOSE A KEY

Transposing the music is changing the key to a more suited key. It has to do more with
transcribing the music on paper, than pressing the transpose button on the keyboard.
You may effect a key transposition by counting the intervals between the 2 keys for
example you wish to transpose your music from Eb major to C major count forward or
backwards the amount of semitones involved and determine if the interval is a major or
minor interval. In this instance, counting forward Eb-C = major 6th and counting
backwards the interval is a minor 3rd. This means that you may either count each note of
the original composition 6 steps forward or 3 steps backwards and write down the result.

KEY MODULATION

Key modulation also has to do with changing the tonal center of the music, which in
effect changes the key of the music. Modulation is different from a key change although a
key change results from the action. A key change is more dramatic in the execution, but a
modulation tends to be a subtle and artistic movement of changing the key without any
fanfare and drum roll. Most modulations often return to the original key. Listen to the
exposition of Lord I Lift Your Name On High on the Urban Worship Xtreme performed
by Jamal and Company and you will hear a classic modulation. How is modulation
executed? Any chord along with the progression of the song may be broken down and
analyzed as displayed in the foregoing to determine the shared chord tones or the
relationship among different chords. For example G major can be the IV chord of
D major or the V chord of C major and the E chord can be the 6th of G or the 2nd of D or
the 3rd of C

This flexible situation involving the chords enable different implications of the chords
and this makes modulation possible. The technique of modulation involves the use of a
pivot chord to help the best way to change the already established tonal center of the
music. Examples of some turn around progressions used to modulate are 7-3-6 or 1-
min5-1-4 or 6-2-5 . The IV and V chords are used widely as pivot chords and in most
cases the subtle change with modulations are executed by changing the tonality of the
pivot chord.eg if the pivot chord was a major chord then the minor sonority of the
particular chord is used.

FORMULAE FOR SOME POPULAR OF CHORDS

Major triad . = 1-5 / 1-3-5


Major sus 2 . = 1-5 / 1-2-3-5
Major 6th = 1-5 / 1-3-5-6
Major 7th = 1-5 / 1-3-5-7
Major sus = 1-5 / 1-4-5
Dom7th sus . = 1-5 / 1-4-5-b7
Dom7th = 1-5 / 1-3-5-b7
Dom 9th = 1-5 / b7-2-3-5
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Dom11th ..= 1-5 / b7-2-4


Dom 13th ..= 1-5 / b7-2-4-6
Major 9th = 1-5 / 7-2-5
Major 11th = 1-5 / 7-2-4
Major13th = 1-5 / 7-3-6
Major 6/9 . = 1-5 / 6-2-5
Ditone ..= 1-3 / b7-b3-#5
Tritone ..= 1-b5 / 7-3-#5
Augmented 9th ..= 1-b7 / 3-#5-2
Diminished 7th .= 1-5 / 1-b3-b5-6
Half Diminished ..= 1-b7 / 1-b3-b5-b7
M7OS (closed) .= 1-5 / b7-2-b3-4
M7OS (open) ...= 1-5-2 / 3-7-2-4

MINOR CHORDS ARE BASED OFF THE MAJOR KEYS


00000(difference is the flatted 3rd)

Minor triad . = 1-5 / 1-b3-5


Minor 6th ... = 1-5 / 1-b3-5-6
Minor7th = 1-5 / 1-b3-5-b7
Minor 7th(b5) .= 1-b7 / 1-b3-b5-b7
Minor Major 7th = 1-5 / 1-b3-5-7
Minor 9th .= 1-5 / b7-2-b3-5
Minor Major 9th ... = 1-5 / 7-2-b3-5
Minor 11 .= 1-5 / b7-2-b3-4
Minor 13th ..= 1-b7 / 2-b3-5-6

POPULAR ALTERED CHORDS

Dom 7th (b5) ..= 1-5 / b7-3-5


Major 7th(b5) .= 1-5 / 7-3-b5
Major 7th (#5) .= 1-3 / 7-3-#5
Dom Sharp 9th .= 1-b7 / 3-b7-#9
Dom # 5th(b9th) = 1-b7 / 3-#5-b9
Dom 7th (b9) .= 1-5- / b7-b9-3-5
Dom 7th(#5)(#9) .= 1-3 / b7-#9-#5.
Dom 7th (#5) ..= 1-b7 / 3-#5-1

PREPARED 12/07/05 BY: LARQUITIN JOHNSON


larquitin@yahoo.com
FOR GOSPEL KEYBOARD.COM
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