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AN OCTATONIC SYSTEM OF TONAL ORGANIZATION


APPLIED TO A HISTORICAL EXPLORATION OF JAZZ
HARMONY

A thesis submitted to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the School of Arts and Cultures.

International centre for music studies.

2011

Claude Werner

Department of Music
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Contents
Abstract 6
Acknowledgements 7
Introduction 8

Part I: The Theory

Chapter 1 Initial Considerations

Jazz and Improvisation 13


A Historical Perspective 18
Scales and the symmetry of temperament 23

Chapter 2 Jazz Education

Where did it begin? 29


Available Methodology 34
Harmonic analysis, ‘where art thou’? 41
Musical analysis as a requirement 46

Chapter 3 Basic foundations of the octatonic model

Section A: The fundamental scale


Philosophical background 51
Hierarchy of Intervals 55
Harmonic construction 59
Harmonic functions 64
Basic Cadences 67
The relative minor 68
The extensions 70

Section B: Other important scales and concepts


Melodic minor 74
Symmetric scales 78
The chromatic scale 80
Active and inactive notes 83
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Chapter 4 Analytical principles of the octatonic model

Key relations 86
Modulations and tonicisations 91
Transitions 93
Modal interchange (substitutions) 98
Tritone substitution 103
Symmetric scale harmony 112
Chromatic harmony 115
Traditional versus octatonic analysis 119

Part II: The Music

Chapter 5 Pre jazz compositions

Spirituals and work-songs 128


Popular songs of the 19th century 147
Ragtime 158
The blues 209

Chapter 6 The Standards: Non-jazz composers 227

Irving Berlin 233


George Gershwin 243
Jerome Kern 247
Cole Porter 254
Hoagy Carmichael 275
Richard Rodgers 281
Victor Young 286
Harold Arlen 291
Jimmy Van Heusen 300

Chapter 7 The Standards: Jazz composers 304

Duke Ellington 305


Billy Strayhorn 318
Tadd Dameron 337
Thelonious Monk 342
Dizzy Gillespie 349
John Coltrane 351
Antonio Carlos Jobim 354
Wayne Shorter 357
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Chapter 8 The Great Improvisers

Early Improvisers
Louis Armstrong 364
Lester Young 366
Coleman Hawkins 373
Ben Webster 383

Bebop
Charlie Parker 388
Chet Baker 398
John Coltrane 407

Modern jazz
Herbie Hancock 411
Joe Henderson 424

Part III: Other applications

Chapter 9 Other applications of the octatonic system

As an analytical tool 434


As a compositional tool 444
As a musicological tool 451

Conclusions and further research. 454


Glossary 458
Bibliography
Books 462
Articles/Journals 470
Web-based sources 473
Scores and transcriptions 475
Discography 471
Appendix 1 Chord Symbols and primary/secondary chords 482
Appendix 2 Chords and their upper-structures 483
Appendix 3 Degree relationships 491
Appendix 4 Connecting chords 493
Appendix 5 Chords substitutions 501
Appendix 6 Rast Peervi with bass 503
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In Loving memory of
Claudio Alejandro Rubio Blest
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Abstract

Jazz harmony today is explained in terms of relations between scales and chords. This is

done so that the improviser can know what available notes he/she has at his/her disposal when

improvising over a given chord. Though this method explains the construction of chords from a

diatonic scale and provides semi-adequate pitch groups that will fit over a sounding chord, it

does not begin to explain anything about harmonic analysis or the intricacies of harmony itself.

The relationship between chords and scales is left purely to the recognition of the chord symbol

i.e. Xmin7 is always Dorian, in a form of mechanical isolated recipe that takes no consideration

of the context in which it appears.

In the following thesis I intend to propose a different view that may facilitate the way

jazz harmony is analysed and understood. Central to my hypothesis is the suggestion that a

fundamental octatonic system of organization forms the basis of a coherent explanation of

harmony. This principle is extrapolated from theories of acoustic phenomena and early tonal

behaviour. The goal is to offer a unifying theory that may account for all tonal harmony, in its

traditional practice, as well as embrace modern concepts in a coherent logical manner.

In order to validate the theoretical claims made above the second part of this thesis deals

with the historical exploration of jazz harmony, from its nineteenth century influences up to

modern usage. A short sample of soloists is also provided as support of the theoretical model and

its application to the world of improvisation.

Besides finding a coherent form that may explain jazz harmony, this system has also

proven to be an efficient tool for music education. Furthermore, it potentially paves the way for

future developments in jazz and tonal harmony.


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Acknowledgements

Thanks to Dr. James Birkett for encouraging me to develop this theory and for suggesting I

approach Newcastle University. Special thanks to David Clarke for his continuous support, patience

and generous guidance.

A special thanks to Nicola Weaver and Judith Thompson for their constant support, proof-

reading and checking the hundreds of analyses for errors.


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Introduction

For many decades now, jazz has enjoyed a vast collection of literature in both history

and theory departments. But more impressive yet is how it has grown from a folk form played

in back alleys and places of questionable reputation, to an internationally recognized art form.

Countless universities and conservatories around the world now offer degrees on the subject and

in many cases even postgraduate degrees. People devote entire careers to the study of one

individual and his/her work as an improviser/composer. Outside the realm of academia is

another group of people, mainly musicians and educators, who attempt in their own way to

explain in some theoretical manner how jazz works. Interestingly so, academia seems to steer

clear of any theory-harmony treaties and instead delegates it to practitioners. Yet jazz harmony

seems to suffer from a lack of a coherent holistic system.

Until the 1950s most jazz musicians had to learn their craft from recordings or by

sharing ideas amongst colleagues and mentors. By the second half of the century books dealing

with chords and scales started to appear, and a ‘jazz’ theory began to take form. To this date

thousands of books have been published dealing with the art of improvisation, most of which

deal strictly with chord-scale relationships; the theory seems basically the same and only the

terminology differs. However, the concepts seem far from exhaustive and there has been a

dangerous inclination to standardise musical events in as few ‘recipes’ as possible, specifically

harmonic analysis. The trend nowadays is ‘chord symbol equals scale’, which leaves the learner

with a group of notes that they may use over chords, but no real understanding of the harmony

itself. Worse yet, on most occasions this chord-scale analysis does not coincide with the actual

piece of music and leads to unconnected melodic creation or simply frustration on behalf of the

improviser. Harmony is more than a set of pitches played simultaneously. Above everything it is
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linear, it moves, it tells a story, it takes us from one place to another. A chord may theoretically

be the same on more than one occasion in a piece e.g. G-Bb-D-E, but depending on what is

around it and when it occurs it can sound very different. The root of the problem does not only

lie in the depth in which it is studied, but also in how harmony is understood. It results from

how jazz theory came to be: a mix of basic classical theory, incomplete knowledge of harmony

and the passing of ideas by a small ‘select’ group of people who appear to know the truth,

because of their musical proficiency.

In this thesis I will propose a system inspired in the tradition of jazz harmony that

intends to go deeper and broader than that of my predecessors. The aim is to show that jazz

harmony is incredibly rich, complex, but above all contextual. The octatonic system is a new

approach that aims to unify other existing theories so that different approaches e.g. substitutions

and alterations, may be conceptualized under the same guidelines/terminology. There are two

newly labelled phenomena that underlie a substantial part of the proposed system. Firstly, an

eight-note scale is being identified as occupying a central position in harmony. Secondly, I’m

proposing a model that identifies the relationships between notes and keys in a way that has not

been put forward before and this is I call the hierarchy of intervals.

Naturally, the only way to create a harmonic theory that is unifying is by exploring the

whole historical existence of jazz harmony, from its early influences to its contemporary

development, and find the common ground.

The first part concerns the theory itself. Chapter one is an introduction for those

unfamiliar with jazz terminology and explores the historical context in which jazz theory

developed and why there was a need for it. It also explains the enormous diversity of names for

the same things e.g. chord symbols, as well as clarifying the jazz musician's conceptualization

of music. Classically trained musicians might discover that although the terminology being used

is frequently the same, in jazz it has a different meaning. The opposite is also true: different

terms in classical theory sometimes mean just one thing in jazz e.g. a C flat, an A double sharp
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and a B all mean the same in jazz.

Chapter two explores the existing jazz theory, where it began, its main exponents, what

is wrong with it and why there is need for a new one. It also introduces the methodology of

harmonic analysis which will be used throughout this thesis.

Chapter three begins the theory of the octatonic system. The aim here is not just to

propose a new system but also to explain how it came about, the logic behind it and the

fundamental principles. With the intention of using a system that would not be too different

from those already in existence, this chapter goes through the construction of a mother scale, its

diatonic chords, harmonic functions, etc., in the same tradition as other jazz theories.

Furthermore, auxiliary scales and their family of diatonic chords are introduced and explained,

concluding with the analysis of melody and its influence on chords.

Chapter four completes the first part with the analytical principles of the octatonic

system: how are chords recognized, how to interpret them, and different harmonic situations and

behaviour. Finally, there is a comparison of the octatonic system versus a traditional system of

analysis.

In part two the octatonic system is used in a chronological exploration of the music,

starting with 19th century influences in chapter five: spirituals, popular songs, ragtime and the

blues. This is followed by so-called ‘jazz standards’ written by composers outside the jazz

realm. These constitute an intrinsic part of the repertoire and are therefore highly influential in

the development of jazz harmony. Chapter seven takes a close look at several of the major

figures in jazz history and some of their most important compositions. Chapter eight concludes

the second part of this research by briefly analysing improvisations of some of jazz’ most

important soloists - thus making a case that the octatonic system is suitable for analysing almost

any musical situation, whilst providing a coherent and unifying theoretical system that can

incorporate all harmonic and melodic scenarios.

Part three deals with some unexpected outcomes of this research. Chapter nine covers
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other areas that I have found in which the octatonic system may be useful. These are side ideas

that are not fully developed, but that have proven to have interesting research potential. The

analytical method used throughout also appears to have other applications i.e. to analyse music

that is not necessarily tonal. Furthermore, the principles explored have the potential of aiding

the composition process, either as a way to find new tonal chord progressions or as a polytonal

map. Finally, there is a suggestion that the octatonic system could be used as a musicological

tool that may shed some light on why human beings organize their music so similarly.

The final pages contain a glossary of terminology and abbreviations and several

appendices that may facilitate the reading of this thesis. These include chord families and key

relationships that may assist the reader in following some of the more intricate analyses.

To design a new theory of harmony is too large a task for one man, considering that

traditional harmony took hundreds of years to evolve. By no means am I saying that this theory

is in its final state. It is a work in progress which hopefully will be nourished over time by the

input of musicians and educators everywhere.


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Part I:

The Theory
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Chapter 1

Initial Considerations

Jazz and improvisation

Improvisation exists in practically every culture1 and it is the most widely practised of all musical

activities2. Some even believe that the earliest forms of music must have been improvised and

perhaps included sounds of the natural world.3 Described as ‘pure transmission of musical ideas’4

or ‘instant composition',5 improvisation seems to be gaining more attention in the circles of music

education than ever before. Although often described as the spontaneous creation of music,

improvisation frequently follows a set of rules or models. For example, in the gamelan music of

Indonesia, the instruments in the ensemble take turns to vary the basic melody. The South Slavonic

tradition consists of combinations of themes and motifs often with a cultural or historical reference.

Indian classical music, either Hindustani or Carnatic, combines melodic (Raga)6 and rhythmic

(Tala) variations to create rich improvisations.7 Some West African traditions like the Huasa have

an even broader framework consisting of textual improvisation, melodic, rhythmic and alteration of

the form of a piece.8

Jazz on the other hand uses three components as frameworks for improvising: melodic,

1 Bruno Nettl, et al. 'Improvisation', Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/13738pg1 (January 10, 2009).
2 Derek Bailey, Improvisation: its nature and practice (USA: Da Capo Press Inc., 1992) xi.
3 Ross McMillan, 'To say something that was me: developing a personal voice through improvisation', British
Journal of Music Education, Volume 16, Issue 03 (Nov 1999), 263-273
4 Andy Hamilton, 'The Art Of Improvisation And The Aesthetics Of Imperfection', British Journal of Aesthetics,
Volume 40, No 1 (January 200), 173
5 Ibid., 179
6 Raga as a standard framework consisting of the basic intervals or pitch divisions of the sruti and the svara.
7 Ronan Guilefoyle, Creative Rhythmic Concepts for Jazz Improvisation (Ireland: Newpark Music Centre, 1999) 51.
8 Kwabena J.H. Nketia, The Music Of Africa ( London, Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1992) 236-237
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rhythmic and harmonic, though vocalists also sometimes indulge in variations of the lyrics probably

due to the African heritage.9 These frameworks can be used in a variety of settings, such as

‘Standards’, a repertoire of tunes or songs widely known to the jazz practitioner or connoisseur.

Large arrangements or compositions with improvised sections, free form, or simply open melodies

are also used as a basis for improvisation.10

Jazz has had a short history but a very swift development. It went from march-like rigidity

to free improvisation in less than fifty years of existence.11 Berendt believed that jazz had not

always been improvised and similarly Hamilton seems to speculate how certain famous jazz solos

were perhaps prepared and rehearsed.12 Nevertheless, improvisation seems to be linked with jazz as

if it were part of its definition. The Grove dictionary refers to improvisation as part of the definition

of jazz,13 as do many articles and books in the subject of improvisation. Therefore, we must

consider that to play jazz the art of improvisation must be mastered.

The techniques involved in the art of improvising jazz were not always the same. In its early

development most improvisations were based around a theme that was varied or distorted. Later in

its growth, we see the inclusion of harmonic embellishments based around the chord sequence

largely made up of arpeggios and a few incidental passing notes.14 A more ‘scalar’ approach took

place later but still based around the original harmonic sequence. Many famous soloists like

Coleman Hawkins started basing their solos around chord structures and substitutions rather than

the melody of a piece.15 When Bebop came around, jazz took a turn to complex rhythms and

harmonic substitutions; dissonance such as the flat 5th came into everyday use.16 Structures were

changed or rearranged and chords revised.17 Melody was approached from a polytonal perspective

by drawing different chords on top of the existing ones and melody became fragmented and
9 Also known as 'Scat' singing
10 Paul F. Berliner, Thinking In Jazz (USA: The University Of Chicago Press, 1994)
11 Joachim E. Berendt, The Jazz Book: from New Orleans to Jazz Rock and Beyond (London: Paladin Books, 1983), 4
12 Hamilton, The Art Of Improvisation And The Aesthetics Of Imperfection, 176 -77
13 Mark Tucker and Travis A. Jackson. 'Jazz', Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/45011 (January 15, 2009).
14 Winthrop Sargeant, Jazz: Hot and Hybrid (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1946) 154 -57
15 John Fordham, Jazz (Canada: The Reader’s Digest Association Ltd., copyright by Dorling Kindersley Limited,
London, 1993) 102
16 Joachim E. Berendt, The Jazz Book, 18
17 Andre Hodeir, Jazz: Its evolution and essence (New York: Da Capo Press, 1975), 101
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disconnected.18 Modal jazz and the publication of theory books concerning chord and scale

relations brought about a new concept that could be viewed as horizontal or linear as opposed to the

vertical ‘chord’ approach. These models are still very much in practice today and are taught in most

major educational institutions and by private tutors.19

After the scale or horizontal approach came a vast expansion of concepts and tools, each

with its own name and prophet. Quartal approaches, atonality, polytonality, symmetric patterns,

intervallic concepts, etc. Naturally, as with any mathematical permutations, many of these concepts

were the same in terms of the aural product. Berliner points out ‘Such discrepancies sometimes

initially confuse the students trying to understand jazz in consistent theoretical terms...’. But also

points out that these discrepancies ‘also reflect the complimentary relationships among chords,

scales and intervals in which each can be defined in terms of the other.’20 In other words, the

different conceptualization of the same material helps the practitioner understand the endless

combinations available to him/her, but this has a down side.

In a random search through Google, I was able to find 8,730,000 results for books about

jazz.21 Another search through the Copac database showed 16720 publications of which at least

3652 were specifically about theory or concepts for improvisation.22 For an art form that requires

the practitioner thousands of hours of practice, it seems an impossible task to read and digest all this

material whilst trying to master the difficulties imposed by the musical instrument as well. The

problem might be traced to the fact that jazz has always developed in the hands of musicians,

independent and isolated from each other. Since the very beginning in places like Memphis, St

Louis, Kansas and New Orleans, just to name a few, musicians created their own names and

symbols to explain music to themselves and others. This vernacular practice brought about an

extensive vocabulary of definitions and concepts that were essentially all the same or at least very

similar.

18 Hodeir, Jazz: Its evolution and essence, 104-105


19 Paul F. Berliner, Thinking In Jazz (USA, The University Of Chicago Press, 1994), 161-69
20 Ibid., 163
21 Informal search on Google on the 19th of January 2009.
22 Results from a search through www.copac.ac.uk on the 19th of January 2009.
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A browse through a few repertoire books, also known as real books’ or fake books’,23 can

demonstrate all the different chord symbols musicians use for mainly the same sound:

Fig. 1.1 Chord equivalent chart

A flat 5th and a sharp 11th can be used interchangeably: a whole tone scale is the same as an

augmented. A whole tone/half tone is the same as a diminished.24 A Mixolydian is the same as a

dominant scale, etc. When the first books on jazz were published, the trend did not stop. Many

authors continued using the vernacular expressions of their geographical area. Others instead tried

using classical academic terms to explain a music that defied traditional classification. The rhythm25
23 Robert Witmer and Barry Kernfeld. 'Fake book' The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed., edited by Barry
Kernfeld. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/J144800 (January 19, 2009).
24 AKA Stravinsky octatonic.
25 Gunther Schuller, Early Jazz: Its roots and musical development (New York, Oxford University Press, 1986), 6-12
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and pitch intonation of African rooted music cannot be easily written down with classical European

notation26 and when accomplished it is ‘but a shadow of the original’. 27 So the question remains,

when trying to organize educational material or a logical chronological order of information, where

do we start and how do we avoid contradiction? Would it not be ideal to have one model that could

serve to educate, analyse and explain the music? In terms of rhythmic notations there seems to be a

clear consensus. Quaver (eighth notes) in jazz are supposedly performed as a crotchet-quaver

triplets (quarter-eighth notes: ), though many modern players would disagree. The

philosophy of notation is ‘less is better’. That is to say, the least rhythmic figures used for a

particular rhythm the better. For example:

This

is considered better than this:

Though the latter might describe the performance more accurately, the former would be the

standard and perhaps complemented with indications such as ‘Laid back’ or ‘rushed’.

Melody has also achieved a certain level of convention. Melodic analysis is usually taken from the

perspective of the sounding chord and any non-diatonic pitch, if not chromatic, is notated

accompanied by symbols such as or for quarter-tone/microtone down and or for

quarter/microtone up just to name a few. Though this precision writing does not necessarily convey

the actual pitch, it is accepted as an approximation to the real sonic event.

Unfortunately, harmony does not enjoy the same benchmark. There are countless books

26 William Tallmadge, 'Blue notes and blues tonality', The Black Perspective in Music, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Autumn, 1984),
155-165
27 William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison, Slave Songs of the United States (New
York: Books For Library Press, 1867), iv
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about jazz chords and scales, and a few recent publications on analysis. Nonetheless, there are very

few conventions on the subject. Analysis is treated poorly and the teaching of harmony is disjointed

and impractical. In this thesis, I intend to point out the problems found in most educational material

whilst providing an alternative method for looking and understanding harmony in jazz. But first, we

must understand the context and evolution of harmony from the beginning of jazz to contemporary

usage. This will give us a historical perspective and a chronological framework to understand the

aural evolution of this music.

A historical perspective

The beginnings of jazz are as elusive as the definition. Officially, the story begins in 1917

when the first jazz recording appeared. Before that, it seems to be a muddle. The word itself existed

before the music and the music was not associated with the word until much later in its

development.28

The different theories relating to the beginning of this music are biased by what authors

think jazz is. Firstly, the sound most people associate with the word jazz is far from the early

traditional music that came out of New Orleans. Secondly, not all music that came from New

Orleans in the early 20th century qualifies as jazz. And thirdly, the idea that jazz is black and solely

American is misleading. Whilst jazz inarguably began in New Orleans, it is clear now that it did not

remain there for very long.29 In the search for the origins of jazz Gushee concludes that jazz came

from ragtime and for a time the words were used interchangeably.30 Robinson, one of the very early

jazz players, as quoted by Gushee says ‘jazz was nothing but ragtime, played by ear’.31 Ragtime we

know commenced somewhere in the late 19th century and was quickly exported to the world via

28 Gunther Schuller, Early Jazz: Its roots and musical development (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 65
29 James L. Collier, The Making Of Jazz: A comprehensive history (Hong Kong: Macmillan Publishers Limited, 1985),
57-58
30 Lawrence Gushee, 'The Nineteenth-Century Origins of Jazz', Black Music Research Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Spring
1994) 1-24
31 Ibid., 2
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the Chicago world fair in 1893. This early music is believed to have developed by ‘the visits of

Negro sailors to Asiatic ports’32 and somewhere between the end of the 19th century and the

beginning of the 20th it began to swing and musicians began improvising over the form. Another

important development, and what gave jazz a more exclusive characteristic, was the influence or

perhaps absorption of the blues. Sargant says ‘What we know as jazz is a combination of the blues

and ragtime, a grafting of the one on the other’.33 We know the blues appeared circa 1905 and it

introduced the so-called blue notes. These notes of indefinable pitch added what Tallmadge calls

‘an Afro-American polychordal practice’34 and it opened the sound of the European based Ragtime

to create a new type of music.

Collier believes the new music quickly moved out from New Orleans into other cities35 but

more important was that after the first recording of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1917 the

music rapidly expanded throughout the world.

So what we know at this point is that jazz evolved from Dixieland, a form of music that

developed from Asian and European sources. We also know that the blues, a form of music that

developed from work songs and to lesser degree spirituals,36 became a part of this new music in the

early part of the 20th century, thus enriching the sound and giving it its unique sonority. But once

the first jazz record, or to be more specific New Orleans jazz record, went out in to the world it

became an international phenomenon in the same way ragtime had been at the end of the previous

century.37 This event removed jazz from its cradle and brought it to new hands all around the world,

particularly to Europe. Taylor, in his review of Goddard’s book, mentions how jazz arrived in

Europe as early as 1917 after the first war,38 the year of the first jazz record in the United States.

Jazz musicians found quite a good reception in Europe, particularly in France and Scandinavia, and

32 Gushee, 'The Nineteenth-Century Origins of Jazz', 13-4


33 Tom Sargant, Norman Sargant, 'Negro-American Music: Or the Origin of Jazz III (Cont.)', The Musical Times, Vol.
72, No. 1062 (Aug. 1, 1931), 751-52 (751)
34 William Tallmadge, 'Blue notes and blues tonality', The Black Perspective in Music, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Autumn, 1984),
139-160 (162-63)
35 Collier, The Making Of Jazz: A comprehensive history, 57-58
36 Ibid., 35-42
37 Gushee, 'The Nineteenth-Century Origins of Jazz', 13
38 Martyn Taylor, 'Jazz Away from Home by Chris Goddard', Popular Music, Vol. 1, Folk or Popular? Distinctions,
Influences, Continuities, (1981), 213-15 (213)
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many of these settled in the old continent and began spreading their music. Taylor also mentions

how quickly French composers began incorporating the new sound into their compositions. The

jazz craze began as early as 1919 in Copenhagen and by the mid 20s it was the most popular music

in town.39 A squabble between English and American unions in the 30s left jazz isolated in Britain

to evolve without American influences, creating a new jazz sound that was distinctive for its

technical excellence.40 Django Reinhardt, a superb Belgian guitarist, introduced a unique new sound

by mixing jazz and Gypsy music.41 Reinhardt became ‘the single most important guitarist in jazz

history’42 thus influencing jazz all the way to its birthplace.

Another important consideration occurred on jazz’s native soil. When jazz reached the

American audience, it also found its way to numerous musicians, many of whom later became the

most famous emissaries of the jazz language. At the time jazz became popular it had to share the

attention of the audiences with other styles popular at the time besides ragtime and the blues.

Examples of this are the extraordinary pianist-composer Leo Ornstein who generated ‘an early form

of mass hysteria that would later greet Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra and The Beatles’. 43 Paul

Whiteman and George Gershwin, two white composers with commercial motives, made their

names with jazz-inflected songs that relied solely on classical techniques. Gershwin’s great hit

Rhapsody in Blue, was hailed as ‘…the first distinctively American concert piece’.44 Early jazz

legends such as Louis Armstrong,45 Jelly Roll Morton,46 Duke Ellington,47 Bix Beiderbecke48 and

Charles Mingus49 were raised in classical or at least European music environments. One of

Ellington’s Biographers says ‘Ellington’s music is more nearly related to European music than to

39 Morten Clausen, 'Egberth E. Thompson: He Introduced Copenhageners to Real Jazz Music,' The Black Perspective
in Music, Vol. 16, No. 2, (1988), 151-76 (151-5)
40 Collier, The Making Of Jazz: A comprehensive history, 322
41 John Fordham, Jazz, (Canada: The Reader’s Digest Association Ltd., copyright by Dorling Kindersley Limited,
London, 1993), 22
42 Collier, The Making Of Jazz, 322-23
43 Alex Ross, The Rest Is Noise ( London: Fourth Estate, 2008), 135-36
44 Michael Hall, Leaving Home: A conducted Tour Of 20th Century Music (Great Britain: Faber and Faber Ltd., 1996),
165-66
45 Max Jones, John Chitlon, Louis: The Louis Armstrong Story (London: Da Capo Press Inc., 1988), 45-54
46 Alan Lomax, Mister Jelly Roll (USA: University Of California Press Ltd., 2001 revised), 42-43
47 Mark Tucker, Ellington the early years (USA: University of Illinois Press, 1995), 20-3
48 John Fordham, Jazz, 98
49 Charles Mingus, Beneath The Underdog (Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd., 1995), 23
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American straight music' (My italics).50

In the biography of Joe Oliver, one of the founders of jazz and mentor to the great Louis

Armstrong, it says of early black musicians in New Orleans ‘Many of them had learned to play the

white man’s instruments, and in the surroundings in which they found themselves….. They

produced a strange new music, a blend of the white man’s opera, hymns, marches and ballads,

French, Spanish and Anglo-Saxon alike wedded to their own African chants and dances’.51

America saw most of the developments in jazz, Swing; Be-bop; Cool jazz; Free jazz; hard-bop; etc.

But Europe has much to claim as well, from the Gypsy influences of Django Reinhardt to what is

now known as the Nordic Tone or Nordic jazz, which is exclusively a Scandinavian development.

The global transculturation of jazz has also generated a vast diversity of new jazz styles

from different countries. Nicholson points out how the assimilation of jazz practices in different

cultures creates a new ‘dialect’ of jazz ‘hybridized and often innovative’.52 Europeans mix it with

their own folklore, South Africans fuse it with their indigenous rhythms, Argentinians with Tango,

many Europeans have included Club culture material such as drum loops and sampling, the list

goes on.

So this leaves us with a big question: if jazz is constantly evolving, mutating, transforming

and absorbing new elements from other styles, where do we draw the line? When does jazz stop

being jazz and becomes something else? To answer this it’s better to ask what makes jazz jazz. In

the article Three approaches to defining jazz’, the authors arrive at the conclusion that a strict

definition involving swing and improvisation has the greatest scholarly use.53 This definition, strong

in its simplicity, allows for easy categorization, though in my opinion, it excludes too many works

that are commonly accepted as jazz. For example, according to the authors this strict definition does

50 Peter Gammond (editor), Duke Ellington his life and music (London: The Jazz Book Club, 1959, Chapter:
Ellington’s Place As A Composer by Burnett James), 148
51 Walter C. Allen, Brian,A.L. Rust, King Joe Oliver ( London: The Jazz Book Club, 1957), 1
52 Stuart Nicholson, Is Jazz Dead?: or has it moved to a new address (New York: Routledge, 2005), 175-94
53 Mark Gridley, Robert Maxham, Robert Hoff, 'Three Approaches to Defining Jazz', The Musical Quarterly, Oxford
University Press, Vol. 73, No. 4 (1989), 513-531
22

not consider jazz-works which do not swing or in which improvisation does not play a major role. 54

This would exclude some major works by Duke Ellington, who happens to be one of the most

important figures in jazz. It also excludes major works in the area of fusion e.g. jazz-rock, since it

does not swing. On the other hand it ‘positively’ excludes music which has a jazz feel and popular,

non-improvised music, which resembles jazz only in sonority.

Therefore, in this thesis, I will mostly use examples which fall into this category as defined

by Gridley, Maxham and Hoff. However, I will also include repertoire which is considered by most

modern practitioners to be jazz: these are tunes played commonly in jam sessions which, though

they do not swing, represent an important part of the jazz heritage, for example bossa nova.

In conclusion, jazz is heavily influenced by European music, in its native soil as well as

other countries who adopted the style in early days. Though also influenced by other folkloric

forms, jazz developed in the hands of people trained in European classical music, even if just the

rudiments, and played mostly with western classical instruments e.g. piano, contrabass, clarinets,

cornets, etc. Notation also played an important role in deciphering the music in European classical

terms. Jazz has also developed in many different geographical areas as Nicholson points out ‘…One

key area in the growth of jazz outside America has been Europe’.55

The relevance of this information is the link that can be found between traditional classical

theory and jazz theory. As the music has developed over the past century, and it has continued to

absorb material from other cultures, musicians still notate chord symbols representing traditional

harmony. The instruments in charge of supporting the harmony in most ensembles are still the piano

and the guitar, both tempered instruments. But there is perhaps a radical difference between the way

a jazz musician understands harmony that makes him/her different from other western music

practitioners.

54 Ibid., 516-54
55 Stuart Nicholson, Is Jazz Dead?, 196
23

Scales and the symmetry of temperament

Jazz musicians today and probably since the be-bop era (1940s) consider harmony in terms of

intervals. These intervals are calculated in semitones and they are equal throughout the tempered

system. Tunes are practised in every key (12 of them) and they are completely interchangeable. The

minor 7th is a sound and a certain amount of semitones e.g. C to Bb is the exact same interval as Db

to B (instead of Cb). Jazz musicians use less intervals than say an atonal composer from the Second

Viennese School, and the intervallic reference is from the key of C major. The smallest interval is a

minor 2nd, there is no other name for this sound or distance and it is applicable to any key or

combination of semitones. Below is a chart taken from Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book56 which

shows all the commonly used intervals in jazz. After the octave the intervals continue in the same

fashion 9ths, 10ths, 11ths, etc.

Fig. 1.2 Interval Chart from Levine's Jazz Theory Book

Note the reference to semitones, called steps here, in bar one and two. Here Levine states

56 Mark Levine, The Jazz Theory Book (USA: Sher Music Co., 1995), 3
24

'The most commonly used term is shown above each interval; alternate terms are shown just below.'

No mention of when one would use the alternative in a different harmonic context.

Haerle says 'An interval is simply the distance between two notes. This distance is measured by the

number of whole and/or half steps between the two notes involved'.57

In Berklee college of music, the most renowned jazz education institution in the world,

intervals and harmony are taught in the same fashion evidenced by its publication, Berklee Music

Theory.58 In book 1 intervals are introduced from the perspective of the C major scale:

C - D - E - F - G - A - B – C59

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

They are then detailed as Unison – major 2nd – major 3rd – perfect 4th – perfect 5th – major 6th –

major 7th and perfect 8ve. Any semitone below the majors is called minor and the perfect intervals

can be raised to augmented or lowered to diminished. There is no mention of 2nd, 3rd, 6th or 7th

being able to become diminished or augmented.60 Intervals past the 8ve are taught as 'compound

intervals '61 and they follow the same rules. A 9th, 10th, 13th and 14th can only be major or minor

and 11th, 12th and 15th can be perfect, augmented or diminished. It's interesting to note that in page

33 of book one, enharmonics are introduced as the 'same physical key on the keyboard', 62 but no

explanation of why enharmonics are needed. Enharmonic notation is extremely common and

sometimes encouraged, like this V-I example from Hal Crook.63

57 Dan Haerle, The Jazz Language (USA: Studio 224, 1980), 3


58 Paul Schmeling, Berklee Music Theory books 1 and 2 ( Boston, USA: Berklee press, 2006)
59 Ibid., Book 1, 67-9
60 Exception to this is in page 23 of book 2 where the diminished chord is introduced as having a diminished 7th as
opposed to a major 6th. Though notated the author says the enharmonic A (major 6th) is frequently used to avoid
the double flat, (Bbb).
61 Ibid., Book 1, 74
62 Ibid., Book 1, 33
63 Hal Crook, Ready, aim, improvise (USA: Advance Music, 1999), 62
25

Fig. 1.3 Hal Crook's V-I movement from Ready, aim, improvise

Or this one by Chick Corea.64

Fig. 1.4 line from Corea's Keybord Workshop

Double flats or sharps are often unnecessary as are notes like Cb, B#, Fb and E# unless they belong

to the scale. The rules are simple, it must be easy to sight read. For example:

This is better than this

Aikin puts it nicely when writing about enharmonics, he says 'Why can't we call a given note by the

same name and be done with it?', and then he describes a few guitarists thought process: 'To them,

the note a half step above C is always a Db, never a C#.' He then reasons that the use of

enharmonics is mainly so that scales look sensible in the page65. Another example, in an informal

query among local jazz musicians66 I asked what is the minor 7th of Db7. Eight of them answered

B, one asked if I wanted the technical answer or the practical one and the last one said it's better to

64 Chick Corea, Keybord Workshop (New York: DCI Music-Video, INC., 1987), 41
65 Jim Aikin, Chords & Harmony, Music Theory for Real-World Musicians (San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2004), 20
66 Newcastle and London
26

think of C#7 unless you're talking about Db7# (Key of Ab melodic minor). This leads me to believe

that jazz musicians prefer to simplify, because though it might be theoretically incorrect, the

thought process is faster and therefore more accessible in midst of an improvisation. 'The chords are

what they are regardless of what they're called'.67

Of course there are other jazz books which teach theory in the traditional way. Once again,

as mentioned earlier in this chapter, different authors name and conceptualize the same theory

according to their background and local vernacular. Honshuku teaches them by counting the letter

names,68 and Aikin the scale notes.69 Grantham finds a sensible middle ground when saying that

'Intervals have different qualities that are recognizable to the ear. These qualities are based on the

relationship or ratio of two notes to each other rather than the exact frequencies of the notes. It is

this fact that allows us to hear relative pitch and recognize musical relationship by ear'. 70 This is a

very important statement since any jazz musician who has ever worked with a singer will find

themselves playing familiar material in unusual keys. A competent jazz musician is able to

transpose almost instantly any musical idea to any key. I believe they achieve this by the complete

symmetry in which they visualize the twelve-tone system. All notes have equal distances.

Another interesting point is the use of the names flat or sharp instead of the traditional

minor/major intervals. A chord containing a minor 9th in its structure is usually referred to as flat 9

e.g. A chord with the notes C – E – G – Bb – Db is written as C7b9 as opposed to minor 9.

The reason jazz musicians think of intervals in this manner is because everything is based around

the major scale and the chords that are formed from it and since they consider all twelve keys to be

equal, interval names are taken from the perspective of C.

For example:

67 Mick Goodrick, Almanac of Guitar Voice Leading for the Year 2001 and beyond (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Liquid
Harmony Publications, Volume 1, 2000), 8
68 Hiroaki Honshuku, Jazz Theory I, 5th Edition (Cambridge, MA: New England Conservatory Extension Division, A-
NO-NE Music, 1997), 6-7
69 Aikin, Chords & Harmony, 23
70 Jim Grantham, The Jazzmaster Cookbook, Jazz Theory and Improvisation, (USA: Nightbird Music Publishing,
2000), 13
27

These are the intervals in C major.

Fig 1.5 Intervals from C major perspective

The 9th appears major in the chart but most jazz musicians refer to it as natural. If it were minor or

augmented they would call it flat or sharp respectively. What is curious about this method of

thinking is that if we look at chord or scales in a different key, the alteration of the notes do not

coincide with the alteration of the intervals. For example F#7b9, the flattened 9th is in fact a natural

G. The 'natural' 9th of Db is an E flat, the flat 13th of E is a natural C, etc. Hiroaki provides us with

a possible explanation for this practice by saying that minor, augmented and diminished are used

for chord tones while symbols (#, b) for tensions.71 We may assume that he is referring to harmonies

below the octave and the alterations refer to the upper-structures (extensions) past the octave.

Finally, a modern jazz musician conceptualizes almost everything through scales. I believe

this is partly due to education and partly due to practicality. Almost every jazz theory book I have

read and researched starts in the same manner: intervals, then scales, then triads and finally

extensions. Jazz theory, whether it be modal, atonal, polytonal, etc. is still founded on principles of

tonality,72 the major scale and the chords that derive from it. Or more appropriately described in

jazz terms: what scale 'fits' over a given chord. Jazz musicians think of scales to know what notes

are available for them inside or outside the key.73 The Aebersold series, with more than a hundred

published volumes and growing, has made an industry out of chord-scale relationships (I will cover

more on this in the next chapter). In addition there are many other referenced books such as

Patterns For Jazz74 which provide the learner not only with suitable scales to match a given chord
71 Honshuku, Jazz Theory I, 4
72 Once again, slightly different from traditional harmony: a tonal centre can sometimes last for as little as two beats.
73 The terms inside and outside apply to notes, phrases, scales, etc. that are not diatonic to the key (or chord).
Independent of whether the key lasts for a beat or a whole piece.
74 Jerry Coker, Jimmy Casale, Gary Campbell, Jerry Greene, Patterns for jazz (USA: Studio P/R Inc, 1970).
28

symbol but also with possible permutations and formulas that can be played as pre-rehearsed

phrases. Every beginner, after they have learned their basic theory, will proceed to learn basic

cadences, particularly the II – V – I, II – V and V - I. Examples of books devoted almost entirely to

the subject are Jamey Aebersold's The II-V-I Progression75 and How To Play Bebop.76

The reason scales are perceived to be so useful in improvisation is that by knowing which notes are

diatonic it is easier to spontaneously create a melodic line that will work. This principle also applies

to substitutions, this is when an improviser plays a different mode/scale against the diatonic chord

creating a polytonal effect (See modal interchange). An excellent example of this is Liebman's

Chromatic Approach To Jazz Harmony And Melody,77 where the reader/musician finds him/herself

playing completely atonal or polytonal phrases but with a clear focus on the chord one is trying to

avoid.

In conclusion, since jazz was born in the west musicians took much of their dialect and

theoretical explanations from traditional classical theory. But because of its very practical nature,

not to mention nearly half a century of no academic/educational support, jazz developed its own

jargon and theoretical explanations which look and sound similar to traditional theory but differ

enough to be considered separate, and we must allow its idiosyncrasies. There are many names for

the same aural phenomena. Simplicity is the rule. Also, jazz musicians think in terms of chords and

scales more than they do about traditional voice-leading. Any alteration to a diatonic chord

sequence implies a different scale and therefore a different key, even if this 'passing' chord only

lasts for a beat. This acknowledgement will serve to better understand many of the scores,

transcriptions and theory books in this field. 'Theory has never yet caught up with practice' claims

Silverman,78 but perhaps the correct statement would be theory has yet to become simple enough to

be practical.

75 Jamey Aebersold, The II-V-I Progression: A New Approach to Jazz Improvisation (USA: Jamey Aebersold, 1974).
76 David Baker, How To Play Bebop 2 (USA: Alfred Publishing Company, 1988)
77 David Liebman, A Chromatic Approach To Jazz Harmony And Melody (USA: Advance Music, 1991)
78 Julian Silverman, 'What Theory Says and What Musicians Do', Tempo, Vol. 57, No. 226, Cambridge University
Press (2003), 32-39 (33)
29

Chapter 2
Jazz Education

Where did it begin?

'[…] a book had been written which had circulated in New York in the 1940s round Charlie

Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, and others of the Be Bop generation on the nature of musical modes.' 1

This is perhaps the earliest reference to the existence of a theory book used by jazz musicians.

Some have speculated that this book was Slonimsky's Thesaurus2 published in 1947, others that

it was the first drafts of what would become Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept3. Russell was

originally a drummer but life circumstances led him to become a composer and arranger, he is

credited with composing the first Afro-Cuban Bebop fusion. But as Jones puts it:

...for some time, Russell's mind had been on theory rather than composition; he found the
constraints of traditional music theory useless to explain music beyond Wagner and, more
significantly, totally inadequate for the analysis of Afro-American music, particularly blues
and jazz.4

It is possible to believe, thanks to the numerous biographies and personal accounted history, that

when jazz began most improvisation was made by ear5. As Berliner relates, musicians at an early

stage learn to improvise mainly by imitating or copying what others play.6 In early New Orléans

jazz improvisation was based around the theme of a tune, and when blues was incorporated the

sound of blue notes embellished the improvised line. Other more sophisticated improvisers used

1 Clive Barker, 'In Search of the Lost Mode: Improvisation and All That Jazz', New Theatre Quarterly, Volume 18,
Issue 01 (2002), 10-16 (11)
2 Nicolas Slonimsky, Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns (New York: Shirmier Books, 1947)
3 George A. Russell, Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization (Massachusetts: Concept Publishing
Company, 1953)
4 Olive Jones, 'A New Theory For Jazz', The Black Perspective in Music, Vol. 2, No. 1 (1974), 63–74 (63)
5 See chapter 1.
6 Paul F. Berliner, Thinking in Jazz (USA: The University Of Chicago Press, 1994), 21-51
30

arpeggios that they knew fitted with the chords played by the piano or banjo, or whichever

instrument provided the harmonic support. Later, great musicians like Coleman Hawkins

developed improvisational skills based on the chords and variations of them. These included

chromatic approaches, substitutions, etc.7 By the time bebop came around musicians had taken

these ideas further by including fast scale runs and more dramatic alterations of the chord e.g. the

b5 over the I chord or dominant 7th chords. But it wasn't until Russell's publication that the whole

idea of vertical’ versus horizontal’ took shape.

Russell credits the Boppers’ for the inspiration of his Lydian concept8 and claims that this scale

'sounds in closest unity with the harmonic genre of any traditional definable chord'.9 He then

continues his reasoning by demonstrating how every note available in the scale is harmonious

with each other.

Fig 2.1 Russell's graphic demonstrating his harmonic concept.

When comparing with the traditional major scale the claim of unity and finality is clear.

Fig 2.2 Russell's comparative illustration of Ionian versus Lydian harmony

7 Mark Levine, The Jazz Theory Book (USA: Sher Music Co., 1995), 31
8 Jones, 'A New Theory For Jazz', 63
9 Russell, Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, Fourth Edition (2001), 1
31

This is what he calls the principle of tonal gravity. His theory is long and complex, involving 257

pages and approximately 50 years of research, but in a nutshell Russell believes that horizontal

harmony and vertical harmony are the same. This would explain why jazz musicians perceive

harmony the way they do, as seen in chapter 1. 'The notion of chord/scale unity as the logical

approach to the vertical manifestation of harmony was simply overlooked by classical Western

theorists'.10 This rather self-righteous statement is accompanied by a multitude of philosophical,

political and historical claims, amongst them church intervention.11 Basically he sees chords as

having a traditional wrong scale and a Lydian correct scale. Russell's theory is both fascinating

and controversial, but perhaps what is far more important in the realm of this thesis is Russell's

influence on nearly every jazz theory text or book published since. For example Levine redefines

the concept by calling certain intervals in the scale 'avoid notes' 12 thus justifying the substitution

of the Lydian instead of the Ionian, the Dorian instead of the Aeolian, etc. very much in the same

line as Russell.

Fig 2.3 Levine's illustration of 'avoid' notes

But though Russell offered the jazz world a new sound and a new way of conceiving

music, he has been widely misinterpreted. First we have the issue of the 'recipe' approach. That is

to say a chord symbol equals a scale. For example the brief analysis he makes in page 55, these

are the first eight bars of what appears to be a tune called All The Things You Are13.

10 Ibid., 222
11 Ibid., 227
12 Levine, The Jazz Theory Book, 37-43
13 Russell, Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, 55
32

Fig 2.4 Russell's interpretation of All The Things You Are

The progression is clearly a VI-II-V-I-IV in Ab and then a II-V-I to C, but Russell uses a

different approach. The first bar uses an Ab Lydian, as illustrated above, which would make the

F-7 (F minor 7th) the II in the key of Eb. Then the II-V uses the traditional scale, Ab, but from the

perspective of Db Lydian. The I resolves to Ab Lydian, technically the IV of Eb and the IV chord

uses the appropriate scale Db Lydian IV of Ab. The II-V to C uses the appropriate C major from

the perspective of F Lydian but finally resolves to C Lydian, IV of G. Though puzzling at first

glance this system does offer two clear advantages: 1. it provides the improviser with a scale in

which all notes are consonant, hence easier to avoid 'wrong' undesirable notes and 2. it offers an

interesting modern sonority to an otherwise old standard which has been played far too often. He

calls it 'the scale which most purely conveys the sound (harmonic genre) of the chord.14

The context of the Lydian Chromatic concept works fine as an alternative to the diatonic

line. But when every chord becomes isolated from its context and can be played with a certain

scale simply because it steers clear of 'avoid' notes or because it 'works', then we lose the whole

narrative and unity of the tonal context. When a chord progression is seen as isolated random

bits, what is there to provide a meaningful continuous line? Which in turn creates the problem of

analysis. When a chord is viewed in isolation and the only concern is what scale will fit over it,

then we are not truly understanding the meaning of the piece. The harmonic narrative is

fragmented into small pieces filled with patterns or scales that perhaps have a sense of unity

within the sounding chord but little or no sense of unity within the piece.

The second issue is how Russell's theory seems to have altered the way musicians

approach improvisation. As I will show in the analyses in chapter 7, jazz became far more scalar

and pattern orientated. This is indubitably a great accomplishment for Russell but it also has a

14 Russell, Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, 59


33

downside. As Aebersold puts it:

I think the old days were better in some ways, because people were forced to use
their ears and really listen. Jazz education has changed...Now people use books, a
visual medium -- people using their eyes instead of their ears...Now, it's almost
reversed, and I think we oftentimes have players who don't get lost and play the right
notes, but aren't saying much.15

I believe what Aebersold is trying to say here is that modern musicians, primarily students, have

the 'trigger' effect, which means: I see chord X and it triggers scale A or pattern B, etc. Many

great teachers still encourage the aural approach, for example Ernie Watts,16 but it is perhaps

perceived as too much of a risk. Why should I attempt to improvise by ear when I have this

scale/pattern that sounds/fits perfect?

The final issue is the attempt of reconciliation between Russell's proposal and traditional

harmony. Many of the books I will be covering in the following chapter fail to do this.

Traditional harmony is understood only in its most basic elements e.g. major/minor scales and

basic cadences and anything outside the scope of that falls into Russell's territory. For example

when a non diatonic chord appears in the middle of a progression the scale to use is the one with

the most appropriate tonal gravity relation. There is no real understanding of what the chord in

question is doing there or why it sounds good. It is not unusual to find even in jazz composition

books suggestions like 'Until your musical taste is satisfied'17 avoiding any kind of 'rules' of voice

leading. Perhaps here we may speculate that since many of the traditional theory of harmony and

voice-leading rules come from European vocal ability, jazz departed from that tradition early in

its development since its average melodic line would prove challenging even to trained voices,

see for example the earliest form of scat by Armstrong18.

15 Kelly Bucheger, 'Writings about jazz', Kelly Bucheger's pages, 1999, http://www-
cs.canisius.edu/~bucheger/AebersoldTeachesTheWorld.html, Reprinted with permission from Midwest Jazz Fall
1994 (Vol. 1, #3), an Arts Midwest publication.
16 Bruce Mishkit, Sax/Flute Lessons With The Greats (USA: Manhattan Music, Inc. 1994), 7
17 Ron Miller, Modal Jazz Composition & Harmony, Vol 1 (Germany: Advance Music, 1996), 45
18 Louis Armstrong, 'Heebie Jeebies', Jazz Legends (Columbia/Legacy, 1926)
34

In summary, in jazz:

D There is an aural tradition of 'picking up' each others ideas.

D Most of the terminology is borrowed from classical traditional theory but sometimes has

different meaning, and finally

D Russell contributed a scale syllabus that makes melodic lines fit in with chords

independent of tonal context.

So now we should look at how this translates to contemporary education.

Available Methodology

As seen in the previous chapter, in Jazz music education harmony, is explained in terms of

relations between scales and chords. This is done so that the improviser can know what available

notes he/she has at his/her disposition when improvising over a given chord. Reviewing most

relevant texts on the subject, such as those recommended by Professor Charles Beale 19 or the

renowned Berklee Books20, we may observe a consistent method that describes the formation of

chords by harmonizing the notes of a given scale.

In this example taken from Paul Schmeling’s music theory book, he explains the

formation of triads by building ‘upwards in thirds from a fundamental note called a root’21

Fig 2.5 Schmeling’s triad formation from the major scale perspective

19 Charles Beale, The Jazz Education Book, Pathways To Jazz Education (UK: Jazz Services Limited, 2003), 55-
56
20 Paul Schmeling, Berklee Music Theory, book 2 (Boston, USA: Berklee Press, 2006).
21 Ibid.,1
35

He then proceeds to show the same example in D major and Eb major. But then in page 3, when

he explains minor triads or page 4 and 5 when describing augmented and diminished triads he

omits the scale from the example and prefers to relate the construction of this chord to the major

triad. This is the beginning of confusion.

Fig 2.6 Schmeling’s diagram of the formation of other chords

Later on, in page 19, he returns to his original scale model to explain major 7th chords.

Fig 2.7 Schmeling’s graphic of the formation of C major 7.

But once again when explaining dominant seventh in page 20 he abandons the model and

relates the formation of this new chord to the major seventh instead.
36

Fig 2.8 Schmeling’s graphic of the formation of C7.

Haerle on the other hand constructs his model from what he calls the ‘diatonic’ chords of

the scale:22

Fig 2.9 Haerle's diagram of diatonic chords.

A somewhat different method is offered by Jamey Aebersold.23 Instead of explaining the

chords in relation to the major scale, he offers a perspective from the minor Dorian.

Fig 2.10 Aebersold's approach to chord formation

A slightly different approach is that of Mehegan who describes jazz and popular music

harmony as 'based on the diatonic or major scale', like the above.24 But later he applies a 'sixty

chords' system where he reduces the diatonic triads to just five types of chords per key and

avoids complicated keys such as C#, D#, G#, A#, Cb, and Fb.25

22 Dan Haerle, The Jazz Language (Miami USA: Studio, 1980), 13


23 Jamey Aebersold, How To Play Jazz And Improvise (USA: Jamey Aebersold, revised sixth edition, 1992), 41
24 John Mehegan, Jazz Improvisation 1: Tonal and rhythmic principles (New York: Watson-Guptill Publications,
1976), 11
25 Ibid., 25-6
37

Fig 2.11 Reduction of page 25 Mehegan's chord chart

The diminished chord is also referred to as a chord that does not appear naturally in any

key.26 Mehegan’s approach does however include the use of Roman numerals and a ‘Figured

bass’ like notation to describe the tonal reference of a piece, but once again fails to explain the

appearance of non diatonic chords. Furthermore, he devotes only four pages to modulation and

two lines to explain it: 'A simple rule for identifying the presence of a new key is the appearance

of a major chord on other than I or IV'.27

Other very common approaches are those of scale syllabuses, similar to Russell's

approach. In this type of approach the author does not cover the origin or function of harmony at

all and instead limits him or herself to providing an arbitrary association between scales and

chords. For Example, Jerry Bergonzi:28

Fig 2.12 Bergonzi's chord-scale relationships

26 Mehegan, Jazz Improvisation 1, 17


27 Ibid., 44
28 Jerry Bergonzi, Inside Improvisation Series, Vol.1 Melodic Structures (USA: Advance Music, 1994), 90-5
38

Or Jamey Aebersold:29

Fig 2.13 Aebersold's chord-scale relationships

The student is then faced with the difficult task of analysing pieces of music by associating

chords symbols to scales without any deeper understanding of the music.

A slightly more comprehensive approach is that of Mark Levine. He starts by introducing

the seven Greek modes and associating them to the major scale in what he calls ‘Major Scale

Harmony’, and then proceeds to relate the chords that can be built individually on each mode.30

Fig 2.14 Levine's approach to chord formation

Throughout the first part of the book he describes scales and relates the chords that can be built

from them. For example figure 2.15 and 2.1631

29 Jamey Aebersold, The jazz handbook (USA: Jamey Aebersold jazz Inc., 1982), 5
30 Mark Levine, The Jazz Theory Book (USA: Sher Music Co., 1995), 16-18
31 Ibid. p.34 and 56
39

Fig 2.15 Levine's major scale harmony (fig 3-3 in the book)
40

Fig 2.16 Levine's melodic minor harmony (3-63 in the book)

Interesting to observe at this point is the lack of analysis of chord III as a minor 7 th

possibility in the major scale; this is the point where Levine’s theory begins to standardise chord

symbols and their relation to scales.


41

Harmonic analysis, where art thou?

Even though the methods described thus far systematically explain the construction of chords in

a diatonic scale, they do not begin to explain anything about harmonic analysis. The relationship

between chords and scales is left purely to the recognition of the chord symbol, for example:

Xmin7 is always Dorian.32

In chapter 2 Levine explains the II-V-I harmonic movement as a diatonic progression of a

single key, and then to demonstrate he chooses the first four bars of a piece entitled I Didn’t

Know What Time It Was by Richard Rodgers to demonstrate his argument.33

Fig 2.17 Levine's analysis of I Didn’t Know What Time It Was

Here he claims that bar 1 and 3 are in E major and bar 2 and 4 are in D major. If this were so

how can we explain the note G in the melody? E major does not contain a G natural.

The example below shows the complete version of the piece as published in the Standards Real

Book recommended by Mark Levine in chapter 21.34 The song is clearly in G major with a small

tonicisation (modulation) in D major.

32 As already proposed by Russell in his Lydian Chromatic Concept.


33 Levine, The Jazz Theory Book, 20
34 The Standards Real Book (USA: Sher Music Co., 2000), 187-188, as recommended by Mark Levine in chapter
21, The Repertoire.
42

Fig 2.18 I Didn’t Know What Time It Was as presented in the Standards Real Book.
43

By Levine theory the available notes in these two bars would be:

This would make the G# conflict with the G natural in the melody. Furthermore, our original

source above clearly indicates the B7 to have a b9 which would make the C# in Levine’s

analysis another conflict. These 4 bars could be analysed in D major as III-V/ II35– II – V, which

would make it look like this.

This analysis provides an alternative without any of the conflicts found in Levine’s theory whilst

providing material for smooth melodic transition between chords.

Further on in chapter 3, the explanation of minor II-V-I is analysed as three different

melodic minor keys.36

Fig 2.19 Levine's minor II-V-I

Here he claims that the D half diminished belongs to F melodic minor, the G7 to Ab melodic

minor and C minor to C melodic minor. In this way he standardises all minor II-V-I cadences no

matter what type of music it might be, when in fact this progression is clearly only in one key,

the key of C minor. Later he also makes the claim that ‘there isn’t one’ scale to fit them all.37

35 As in dominant of the II
36 Levine, The Jazz Theory Book, 75
37 Ibid, 76
44

In chapter 3, he describes diminished harmony as coming exclusively from a symmetric

scale that he calls the diminished scale.38 He then proceeds to exemplify the use of this scale in

both dominant and diminished chords. The first example in which we can find inconsistency is in

page 84 (figure 3-128 in Levine's book).

Fig 2.20 Levine's use of 'diminished scale' on dominant chords

The above is taken from bar 5 to 7 of a piece entitled Here’s That Rainy Day by Jimmy Van

Heusen. The chord motion is obviously diatonic and the flat 9th of the D7 is but a chromatic

passing note. If intending to sort out the appropriate scale for this progression by ear, we would

conclude that it is all in G major with an added Eb during the D7. Levine on the other hand

suggests the use of the diminished scale which adds strong inconsistent notes such as the Ab and

F. If we look at the original piece of music, same bars, we can see that the added notes would be

nothing but disruptive to the cadence.39

Fig 2.21 bars 5-7 of Here’s That Rainy Day

38 AKA whole-tone semi-tone or Stravinsky’s Octatonic.


39 The New Real Book (USA: Sher Music Co., 1988), 138
45

The song is clearly in G major and this cadence is a normal II-V-I. The added Eb will be

explained later, but suffice to say it does not disrupt the diatonic sound of the progression.

Later Levine describes the Whole-step/half-step approach to the diminished scale stating

‘You play this scale over diminished 7th chords’.40 He then proceeds to exemplify this with an

example taken from the bridge of a song entitled Sophisticated Lady by Duke Ellington and

explains how diminished chords are ‘…played in place of V7b9 chords…’. 41

Fig 2.22 Levine's diminished chord

By Levine’s description the available notes for improvisation or harmonisation over this chord

would be:

G#

Once again giving us two disruptive notes, A# and C#, which interrupt the natural flow of the

progression.

Fig 2.22 Scale summary of Levine's proposal

As seen above, the G major and the A minor 7th share the same common notes, but

40 Levine, The Jazz Theory Book, 84


41 Ibid, 85, (figure 3-132)
46

Levine’s G# diminished introduces three 'foreign' notes. If the sound of the cadence is seemingly

diatonic and smooth, why do the scales used offer such drastic dissonance?

Wouldn’t this be a better option?

In summary: the model undeniably has its pedagogical value when explaining the basics,

but fails to explore the complexities of harmonic analysis. It is necessary for the apprentice, in

improvisation or arranging, to fully understand not only the connection and smoothness between

chord progressions, but also how the melodic line works within the given framework of

harmony. Consequently, an analytical model based on similar principles is needed. In other

words, a system which respects the principles adopted by other educators of being accessible and

easy to follow, whilst providing the absent harmonic information.

Musical analysis as a requirement

Nowadays we are fortunate to have many different systems of musical analysis. We have

traditional methods, Schenkerian, psychological approaches, formal approaches, comparative

analysis, etc. They all serve different purposes, have different flaws and virtues and in the end

they provide us with a deeper understanding of music. Cook says 'an analysis should not aim to

be a carbon-copy of the listener's experience: rather it should simplify, clarify and illuminate it.'42

Consequently, the decision of which method is to be used will depend on the desired outcome.

What is it that I am trying to understand? Is it the harmonic structure? Is it the melodic

counterpoint? Or why it brings tears to my eyes? The overall use is always to understand and

42 Nicholas Cook, A Guide To Musical Analysis (London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1992), 229
47

learn something from it.

What was quite surprising to discover during my research of analytical systems and

which systems are preferred by practising musicians, is that actual players know little or nothing

at all about analysis.43 Some classical players have heard of Schenker and some vaguely

remember doing something Schenker-related in college/conservatory. Popular, rock and folk

musicians met me with a genuine 'what do you mean?' And most jazz musicians stated 'not

having a clue', but in close inspection they all understood basic II-V-I progressions and used

Russell-like method to deduce what scale they can use to improvise.

So this makes me ask: if analysis is so fundamental to understanding music, how is it

possible that the actual performers know so little about it? The answer, I believe, is that analysis

is seen as a torturous, intellectual endeavour which presents little practical use to real life

circumstances. But in reality all practitioners have some kind of practical analysis system of their

own. Though it is true that most orchestral players are happy just to read what is written, they all

recognize if they are playing in major or minor keys, or if they are playing a scale or an

arpeggio. This is not necessarily true for pop/rock musicians, where many play by ear or by

'shapes' in the case of string instruments.44 But jazz musicians, perhaps more than any other

performer, need analysis to perform their craft, unless they happened to be blessed with

incredible ears and intuition like the legendary Chet Baker who was known for being 'largely

autodidactic, primarily intuitive, barely able to read music, harmonically illiterate, loathe to

practice, and limited in technique to the middle register of the horn.' 45 On the other hand I found

plenty of expertise amongst educators and academics but as Tagg puts it 'analysis of popular

music should in no way be considered a job reserved for experts’. 46 Unfortunately this does not

solve the issue that performers are not taking much of their analytical lessons into their

43 Of course here I am not referring to composers, arrangers or orchestrators, just instrumentalists and performers.
44 The term shapes is used mainly by guitar and bass-guitar players and it refers to the habit of deducing what to
play by finding the appropriate position in the instrument.
45 Morris B. Holbrook, 'The Ambi-Diegesis Of My Funny Valentine’, Pop Fiction: The Song In Cinema, edited by
Lannin, Steve & Caley, Matthew, (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2005), 52
46 Philip Tag, 'Analysing popular music: theory, method and practice', Popular Music, Vol. 2, (Cambridge
University Press, 1982), 37-67 (56)
48

professional world, possibly because most analytical systems go beyond practical. In addition

one must learn a whole new vocabulary and technical jargon just to be able to do it. Kenny puts

is nicely when saying that jazz musicians are exclusively practical and there is 'no similar

concept of musica theoretica, as opposed to musica practica'.47

Larson attempted Schenkerian analysis of modern jazz repertoire but failed to include

what most jazz musicians would agree is the most fundamental characteristic of the jazz

narrative:48 its rhythm and phrasing. The classical approach to analysis serves us well to

understand relations of pitches, direction of voices, etc., which is useful if one intends to write a

book about the style or performer in question, but to the actual jazz player the systems involves

too much time spent just understanding the graphics. Besides, improvisation is a spontaneous

form of composition in which rhythm, interaction, alterations and the element of surprise do not

allow for such a global conceptualization. Kenny finds two major flaws in Schenkerian analysis:

'It implicates a set of idealised criteria (i.e. structural unity) for judging jazz improvisation' and

since Schenkerian analysis gives importance to harmonic direction and closure, much of jazz

would fall outside of this category.49

Perhaps what is needed is a practical formal analysis that utilizes the same concepts and

terminology used in practice i.e. minimal use of graphs, jargon, and dissemination of the music.

Since practitioners learn most of their repertoire from lead-sheets and transcriptions, it is natural

to assume that the standard score format is the most comfortable. What information does the

improviser require from the music then?

1. Without a doubt the harmonic structure, if there is one.

2. The melody or melodies if counterpoint exists.

3. The form/structure.

4. And finally rhythm. This includes tempo, stylistic expressions e.g. swing, and of course
47 Barry Kenny, 'Jazz Analysis as Cultural imperative (and other urban myths): a Critical Overview of Jazz
Analysis and its Relationship to Pedagogy', Research Studies in Music Education, Number 13, (1999), 56-77
(57)
48 Steve Larson, 'Schenkerian Analysis of Modern Jazz: Questions about Method', Music Theory Spectrum, Vol. 20,
No. 2, (1998), 220-36
49 Kenny, Jazz Analysis as Cultural imperative, 65
49

the actual rhythmic figures and/or harmonic displacements/anticipations.

Looking at the above we can clearly reason that a normal score would do the job. Most of the

information needed can be added to the top or bottom of the staff. Here's a proposal:

Fig 2.23 proposition for an analytical method

The graph is self explanatory, nevertheless I would like to establish some of the ideas

proposed above. The first bracket on top of the staff indicates which scale (major, minor, melodic

minor, etc.) is being used, or can be used, over the current harmonic progression. Below this

bracket we may add, if they are not already provided in the score, the chord symbols which

delineate the harmonic events. Underneath the staff we may add the analysis of the melody, but

in reference to the chord over which it is sounding e.g. if the melody goes C, G, F, B over C

major chord, then we would analyse as R-5th-4th-7th, the R standing for root. Since the scale is

already provided on top it would be redundant to analyse it in reference to scale notes. What is

far more useful to the improviser/arranger is to understand the relation between melody and

chords, for example: the note D in a piece in the key of C major sounds very different if the

chord over which it is being played is a G7 or Cmaj7, the former being a common 5 th and the

latter a more interesting 9th. Below the melodic analysis we may place Roman numerals to

indicate harmonic movement. This is useful, particularly for jazz musicians, since it allows them

to understand the piece outside the context of the key, which in turn allows for the learning of the
50

piece in any key. A few important remarks here: upper case is used for primary chords and lower

case for secondary chords (more on this in the next chapter). When chords are not diatonic they

should be boxed, this is to indicate that this chord needs special attention.

Fig 2.24 example of non-diatonic chords (boxed)

As we can observe, the piece is in G major, but the chord C# diminished is not diatonic to this

key i.e. this chord cannot be formed from the notes of the G major scale. Finally, the Roman

numerals should always be referencing the tonic key or tonic centre as indicated by the main

(dotted) bracket below. The last line of analysis is dedicated to harmonic events (modulations,

tonicisations, etc.), which I will cover in depth in the next chapters. Suffice to say, this line of

analysis is what most of this thesis is about.

In summary, this method provides two advantages: 1. it can be easily applied on a score

with a pencil in mid-rehearsal/practice and 2. it gives the performer instant understanding of the

inner workings of the piece. Therefore, whatever school one might be from, the material is there.

If one would choose to improvise using scales, the harmonic analysis above would provide the

appropriate framework. If one would choose to improvise from the melody, the intervalic

relation between the melody and chords is also there. But most important of all, the actual music

is fully a part of the analysis making it easy to follow and use in reference whilst

playing/listening. With some practice the written analysis becomes second nature as it directly

relates to sound.

Now that I have explained the analytical system that will be used from here onwards, I

will continue by introducing the tonal organization and harmonic concepts used when analysing

pieces in the second part of this thesis.


51

Chapter 3
Basic foundations of the octatonic model

Section A:
The fundamental scale

Philosophical background

Before introducing the octatonic model I would like to share the philosophical basis which

inspired the creation of this scale/system. I must remind the reader at this point that the intention

here is not to present scientific evidence of the origin of music or scales, but rather an

explanation based on practice and with pedagogical intentions. The theory is based on real

practical tempered systems,1 hence the letters designating pitches are approximations as

understood by practitioners e.g. an E is tuned differently if it's acting as a 5th or a 3rd but it is still

called an E.2 The different theories presented here are not accepted as absolute truths but rather

as philosophical speculations which justify or lead up to the creation of this model.

Theoretical backgrounds

By the late 19th century Ionian and Aeolian modes were already established as the main

source for musical composition in Europe,3 to the extent they were called natural major and

minor. The main and most influential work on this subject was carried out by Hugo Riemann, in

which he defined the use of harmony in terms of functions.4 His studies were based on the earlier

1 See: The acoustical foundations of Music by John Backus


2 John Backus, The Acoustical Foundations Of Music (London: W.W. Norton & company Inc., 1970), 130-8
3 Rita Steblin, A History Of Key Characteristics In The 18th and Early 19th Centuries (University Of Rochester
Press, 1996), Transition to tonality 31-41, 19th century models 153-192
4 Bernstein, David, W., 'Nineteenth-Century harmonic theory: the Austro-German legacy', (edited by Thomas
Christensen) The Cambridge History of Western Theory, (Cambridge University Press, 2002), 796-800.
52

works of physicist and music theorist Arthur Von Oettingen and Hermann von Helmholtz.5

Among Riemann’s notorious works was his theory of dualism6 in which he stated that the minor

triad came from the exact inversion of the major. When constructed upwards (vertically) the

major triad contains the interval of a major third and a perfect fifth e.g. C-E-G; by inverting the

intervals from the root C the resulting triad is F-Ab-C, an F minor. Although this theory became

widely criticized and sometimes even ridiculed it survived the passage of time and was

constantly mentioned throughout academic circles as a curious anecdote.7 The importance of this

account is the fact that it shows for the first time in history the addition of a minor six (or major

3rd below) added to the major tonality, although it was not accepted at the time of its publication,

it might have slipped into the minds of musicians as a possible addition. Later works in the field

of acoustics have reinforced this theory in the concept of virtual pitch. The mind perceives

virtual tones below the fundamental as well as those found above in the natural harmonic

sequence or harmonic series.8 These sub-harmonics could be classified as the equivalent of the

ascending harmonic series; the first being the octave, the second a perfect fifth and the third a

major third as experimented by some musicians.9 In fact, sub-harmonics are used as a

compositional technique in French Spectral Music.10 So for example, taking the root C the

harmonics are C-G-E (omitting repetitions) and the subharmonics are C-F-Ab (similar to

Riemann’s inverted triad).

Bob Fink11 hypothesizes that the origin of scales and chords is actually due to the

overtone series (harmonic series) as opposed to the traditional Pythagorean cycle of fifths. He

believes that since any note produced by a flute, bamboo, or wind whistle will produce a definite

5 Hermann von Helmholtz, On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music (Dover
Publications Inc.; 2 edition, 1954).
6 Alexander Rehding, Hugo Riemann and the birth of modern musical thought (Cambridge University Press,
2003), 15-35
7 Ibid.,16-7
8 Llorenç Balsach, 'Application of virtual pitch theory in music analysis', JNMR (Journal of New Music Research),
volume 26, No. 3 (1997), 244-65
9 Peter Hill, 'The Chinese Song-Cycles of Brian Dennis', Tempo, New Series, No. 137 (1981), 23-29 (25)
10 Francois Rose, 'Introduction to the Pitch Organization of French Spectral Music', Perspectives of New Music,
Vol. 34, No. 2 (1996), 6-39
11 Bob Fink, The Origin of Music, (Canada: Greenwich Publishing, 1985), 5-13
53

pitch group,12 these overtones might have been easily perceivable by our ancestors. In this

manner by generating a fundamental root note, for example C, we can produce C-C-G-C-E-G-

Bb of which he extracts the three most audible overtones, C-G-E.13 By grouping the 'three most

widely found intervals' (1st, 4th and 5th) he claims to be able to create both primitive pentatonics

and our modern major scale.14 For example:

Fig 3.1 Fink's trio grouped to form a scale (my diagram)

C-G-E F-C-A G-D-B

C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C15

According to Fink, this contains all the notes found in early western forms of tonal

organization. Although the formation of pentatonics leaves much room for debate the system

does seem to account for major/minor scales and their relative modes, at least from a

pedagogical perspective.

The question I ask now is: if the basic major and minor scales can be easily formed from

the sum of the overtones of the three degrees I, IV and V, what would happen if we continue

with the second overtones of each family group (G, C and E) and third overtones? In this case E,

A and B.

Fig 3.2 Expansion on Fink's trio (my diagram)

Trio Fundamental IV V
Roots: C F G
First overtone family: C-G-E F-C-A G-D-B
Second overtone family: G-D-B C-G-E D-A-F#
Third overtone family: E-B-G# A-E-C# B-F#-D#

12 Bob Fink, 'Stages In The Evolution of Melody, Scales And Harmony', Crosscurrents, No 194 (2002), 25
13 Fink, The Origin of Music, 8
14 He probably gathered this from the first overtone and undertone. Though his reasoning is that C is the loudest
overtone of F and G is the loudest overtone of C. Hence the relation of these three notes referred to as the trio.
15 Though he does not explain how he constructs the pentatonic from this method, he does imply that E and B are
weaker than A due to the semitone proximity of louder overtones. Thus the pentatonic here would be C-D-F-G-A
(F major pentatonic).
54

As seen above, C produces the overtone family group C, G and E. The second overtone,

G, produces G, D and B. The third overtone E produces E, G# and B, the latter (B) already

contained in the overtones of G and the former (G#) creating a beautiful interval of a minor sixth

to the tonic or a major third to the octave. Combining these overtones we are left with an

organization that looks like this: C-D-E-F-G-G#-A-B16. It is interesting to consider what would

result from proceeding further in the same manner, adding the third family group of the overtone

(G) and undertone (F). Starting with IV, the first overtone of the third family group (A) produces

C# and E. The latter (E) is already included in the overtone of C and the former (C#) creates the

dreaded flattened 9th interval from the tonic C, avoided since Pythagorean times. 17 From the V

the first overtone D produces F#, a tritone away from the tonic, a tension difficult to tune and

considered to be an evil interval in earlier times.18 The F# also clashes with the IV by creating

another flattened 9th to this degree. The overtone A is already contained in the overtones of F

(IV) and is therefore ignored. B on the other hand generates D# and F# which present similar

problems. D# is a minor 3rd away from the tonic which would make the C major triad ambiguous

and also creates a flattened 9th to D acting as the 5th of G. Fink sees it differently, his proposition

is that these intervals are too far away to have any valuable effect. He claims weaker intervals

are cancelled out by the stronger ones.19 Since the family E-B-G# is produced by the overtones

of the fundamental, the weaker A-E-C# family, which is produced by the third overtone of the

undertone F, is cancelled by conflicting with an overtone with a higher degree of strength (see

table below). The same applies to B-F#-D#.

16 Again we must consider that these overtones will not match perfectly, but their proximity is close enough to
allwo grouping e.g. pitch B is actually closer to tempered B than to octave C or Bb.
17 The eighth note found in the Pythagorean cycle of fifths
18 Robert Greenberg, Understanding the Fundamentals of Music, Lecture 10 (The Teaching Company, 2007), 8
19 Fink, The Origin of Music, 11-2
55

Fig 3.3 Degrees of overtone strength (my diagram)

Degrees of strength 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th


Roots First overtones Family group Family group Irrelevant
and family produced by produced by overtones
group 1st overtones 2nd overtones
Fundamental C C-G-E G-D-B E-B-G#
st
1 Undertone F F-C-A C-G-E A-E-C#
1st Overtone G G-D-B D-A-F# B-F#-D#

This diagram shows the level of strength of each overtone, C being the fundamental point

of construction and F and G the first undertone/overtone. The notes of the family group

produced by the fundamental C fall in the same degree of strength as the overtone and

undertone. Thus, the family produced by the overtone and undertone fall on a weaker degree

similar to the family group produced by the first overtone of the fundamental (G) which happen

to be the same notes G-D-B. The notes in bold indicate notes that are reinforced by repetition in

the spectrum. We can speculate then that the notes generated by the family groups of the second

and third overtones are too far in the spectrum for any harmonic application, with the exception

of E since its generated by the fundamental.

I would like to suggest an alternative way of viewing this construct based on the same

phenomena of overtones: I call this the Hierarchy of Intervals.20

Hierarchy of Intervals

This theory is based on the hypothesis that the human ear gives more harmonic relevance to

some intervals above others mostly because of how audible they are in the series.21 The

relevance or importance of these intervals follow the same order as found in the overtone series,

these are shown in figure 3.4.

20 Not to be confused with Krumhansl’s Tonal hierarchy.


21 Edward Aldwell, Carl Schachter, Harmony And Voice Leading, Second Edition (Hacourt Brace Jovanovich Inc.,
1978), 25
56

Fig 3.4 Hierarchy of intervals in the overtone series

C - C - G - C - E - G 22

8ve P5th P4th M3rd m3rd

The fifth is the strongest interval, it is also the most audible overtone and it has particular

significance in a harmonic context. The fourth is weaker than the fifth and will therefore lose

relevance when sounding together with a fifth. In a harmonic context it will always be subject to

the fifth. The same principles apply to the thirds: the major will always predominate over a

minor but both are weaker than the perfect intervals. The octave is generally disregarded since it

produces the same results. To avoid confusion, each level is referred to as a degree. Thus, the

first degree of the hierarchy is a perfect 5th, the second degree a perfect 4th, etc.

By examining Fink's tonal scheme we can justify the addition or dismissal of our second

and third overtones using the hierarchy of intervals model.

Fig 3.5 Fink's Overtone grouping (my diagram).

C-G-E F-C-A G-D-B

G-D-B E-G# -B C-G-E A-C# -E D-F#-A B-D# -F#

By omitting repetitions we are left with: C, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A and B of which the naturals

from the first row of overtones are accepted since they are audible in their basic state. The added

tones G#, C#, F# and D# on the other hand are audible as extensions of the originals (overtones

of the overtones) and therefore need to be justified in terms of harmonic relevance. To begin we

must analyse these notes against the hierarchy of intervals and this we must also consider

intervalic inversions.23 G# above its tonic C creates an interval of a minor 6th, and below the

tonic it creates a major 3rd. This last interval is the third degree in the hierarchy of intervals,

therefore welcomed by the ear as harmonious and relevant. C# on the other hand creates an

22 The remaining overtones are omitted since there is much debate as to their relation to the tempered system.
23 One must consider that a note will exist melodically and harmonically above or below the root in a musical
context. Hence, we need to consider inversions and the intervals they generate.
57

interval of a flattened 9th which in its second inversion is a minor 2nd, unavailable in the

hierarchy and consequently conflicting (in this particular tonal construction). F# in either of its

inversions creates a tritone which is not found in the hierarchy unless considering the interval

found amid the 5th and 7th harmonic in the overtone series, which in any case is too disguised to

have any relevance.24 Finally the D#, which creates an interval of a minor 3rd (the fourth degree

in the hierarchy), could be accepted in terms of physics but it is discarded because of its

ambiguity in terms of the major tonality.25 Also worth remembering is that since D# belongs to a

family group of the third degree of the overtone V (G) it will lose its relevance against the E

which belongs to the first family of the fundamental. If we follow the pattern of intervals in the

hierarchy we could also justify the existence (conscious or unconscious) of this 'octatonic' scale

as part of an evolution of usage. As seen above, the fundamental C generates E and G.

Fig 3.6 Overtones generated by root

R - P5th - P4th - M3rd - m3rd

C-G-E

If the ear is capable of discerning a fifth as the first interval (omitting repetition) within the

hierarchy, then it is only natural to proceed with the overtones of this: G-D-B.

Fig 3.7 Overtones generated by the first degree

Root - P5th - P4th - M3rd - m3rd

C-G-E G-D-B

24 After all the hierarchy considers the relationship of the each overtone to its root, not amongst themselves.
25 Though this is an interesting consideration that might pave the way for a new system of tonality.
58

The next discernible interval is the fourth, with the overtones F-C-A; with this we complete our

traditional major and minor scales.

Fig 3.8 Overtones of the second degree

8ve - P5th - P4th - M3rd - m3rd

C-G-E G-D-B F-C-A

But now I suggest: if we have followed the hierarchy step by step why not move up to the next

possibility? The major third E creates G# and B which would be the next natural step to take:

Fig 3.9 Overtones of the third degree

8ve - P5th - P4th - M3rd - m3rd

C-G-E G-D-B F-C-A E-B-G#

In this thesis I stop my exploration here, since this organization seems to be enough to

explain most of the music I have analysed throughout the years. It would be interesting to

continue adding the overtones of the fourth degree to research the harmonic possibilities offered

by such a system, but that will have to wait for another research project.

The theories and models explained above inspired and contributed to the rationalization

of this octatonic scale. Now I intend to demonstrate how this scale may coherently provide

numerous harmonic possibilities that are perceived as being diatonic from both an aural and

theoretical perspective. From here onwards I will be referring to this basic organization as the

Fundamental Scale and the additional note (#5th) will be known as Q.

Fig 3.10 The fundamental scale in C major

C – D – E – F – G – G# – A – B – C
(Ab)26
59

Harmonic construction

As is well documented, the history of polyphony in the West saw its early beginnings with the

use of 4ths and 5ths, in concordance with the hierarchy of intervals above. Later the addition of

thirds contributed to the beginnings of major/minor tonality.27 Two hundred years later Rameau

spoke in his theory ‘Basse fondamentale’ about the concept of three basic chords.28 A chord was

a grouping of at least three notes sounding simultaneously that could provide a solid harmonic

foundation for melodic tonal construction. These were formed by combinations of 5ths, 4ths and

3rds (the first four intervals in the hierarchy excluding the 8ve). 29 For example a C major chord

in its root position is formed by a major 3rd and a perfect 5th from the root (C-E-G); minor third

and perfect 4th in its first inversion (E-G-C), or perfect 4th and major 3rd in its second inversion

(G-C-E). This basic approach differs little from current practice, in which the basic chord still

follows this organization. In today’s music theory we call these chords ‘triads’ and they form the

basis of tonal harmony. Whilst it is true that the ear will identify a chord built exclusively from

5ths or 4ths as being strong and powerful, the 3rds offer a balance in the distance between tones,

as well as defining the characteristics (major/minor) of the tonality. For example:

Fig 3.11 Root C harmonized using the hierarchy of intervals

Our first chord here is built by perfect 5ths from the tonic C. Although this chord is perceived as

the strongest possible polyphonic combination, it does not define the cultural inherited

26 As explained in Chapter 1 there will be occasions in which the enharmonic must be used for practical reasons.
Particularly considering that an octatonic system would require eight letters of the alphabet, hence a whole new
re-conceptualization of the tonal organization which would conflict with the practical nature of this proposal.
27 Waldo S. Pratt, The History Of Music (New York: G. SCHIRMER, 1907), 43-97
28 Thomas Christensen, 'Eighteenth-Century Science and the “Corps Sonore:” The Scientific Background to
Rameau's Principle of Harmony', Journal of Music Theory, Vol. 31, No. 1 (1987), 23-50
29 Deborah Hayes, 'Rameau's Nouvelle Méthode', Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 27, No. 1
(1974), 61-74 (68)
60

characteristics of major/minor tonalities. The second chord is built exclusively by 4ths and has a

similar nature to the former, a lack of tonal definition. The third chord utilises a combination of

4ths and 5ths, this chord although popular in music is basically an inversion of the previous one,

thus vague in its tonal designation.30 The fourth and fifth chord are composed of a combination

of 4ths and 3rds, these present the problem of generating a minor and major 2 nd between the

second and third voices, intervals not found in the hierarchy and therefore conflicting. We can

then deduce that the sixth and seventh chord, containing intervals of 3rds and 5ths from the tonic

(or simply 3rds between voices), offer the best balance whilst defining tonal characteristics.

Taking this into account we can proceed to harmonize the fundamental scale.

The first faction of triads is formed by observing the best possible balance of the

hierarchy, combinations of perfect 5th and 3rds from the root or 3rds between voices. I will refer

to this group as primary triads.

Fig 3.12 Primary triads31

It is interesting to observe the sixth and eighth chords, which produce an unusual combination of

intervals: an augmented 5th or a diminished 5th. Although these intervals are not found in the

hierarchy the distance between voices are those of major 3rds or minor 3rds. These chords are

known as augmented (aug) and diminished (dim).

Our second faction observes the alternative possibilities offered by the scale i.e. chords

obtained by harmonizing with scale notes ignoring the hierarchy of intervals.

30 Some may argue that a Csus4 does represent tonality, but its use in jazz proves otherwise. This chord can be
used in either major or minor tonality and its purpose is usually that of ambiguity.
31 Ab is used for notation purposes. As seen before the Q note can be either Ab or G#.
61

Fig 3.13 Primary and secondary triads formed from scale notes

In figure 3.13 the first chord is formed from a balanced combination of the hierarchy i.e. all

notes, including inversions and interrelations are available in the hierarchy (M3rd, m3rd, P4,

etc.). The rest of the chords in this figure are formed with other scale notes, and because these

chords violate the hierarchy they produce tension (Csus2, Csus4, Caug). These chords are often

used as passing chords between primaries or internal voice movements. I will refer to these as

secondary triads.

Fig 3.14 Secondary triads of C major fundamental32

From the above is easy to notice how traditional notation conflicts with practice. Ab augmented

and G# diminished are essentially the same root (Q), but because of the seven note system it is

difficult to notate the primary and secondary using the same root. We must nevertheless consider

both options since in a piece of music we are likely to encounter Ab augmented or G#

diminished as part of a C major progression. We may also notice that there is no secondary chord

for B, the reason will become more apparent when we begin adding upper-structures. Suffice to

say, any re-harmonization of this chord would result in an inversion of another already existing

chord from the scale. Below we may observe how this works. The example is in C major

beginning on the first primary chord and slowly moving away using secondary chords.

32 Once again, the G# is a more appropriate spelling for this secondary chord, since Ab would imply the need for
Cb and Ebb, both unavailable in this scale.
62

Fig 3.15 Movement between primary and secondary chords.

The example ends again on primary I (C major) after passing through nearly every

secondary chord. An octatonic analysis of the piece would look like this:

Fig 3.16 Octatonic analysis of the piece33

33 As a reminder: the chord symbols above are interpreted from the analysis of the voices and the sound they
produce in conjunction with each other. The Roman numerals below indicate the position of the chord in the
scale from which they were formed. Upper case indicate primary options (chords which respect the hierarchy)
and Lower case indicate secondary options (other alternatives formed within the scale). Rp indicates Root
position, inv stands for inversion.
63

Fig 3.16 Cont...

As we may observe, for all intents and purposes this piece is in one key and one scale. All

chords found here belong to C major fundamental. As mentioned before we may also observe

three different chords (I, V and VI) becoming temporally a sus4 or sus2. What is most important

at this point is the realization that the same chord symbol may appear in different places of the

scale i.e. a diminished chord may be a primary VII, a secondary q or a secondary ii, in the same

manner that a sus2 could be a i, ii, v or vi. This begins to explain the error of assigning a chord

symbol to a specific scale. A chord symbol may represent different places/location within a key

depending on the context.


64

Harmonic functions

Now that we know the harmonic possibilities offered by this system I shall continue with the

analysis of its functions. Theoretically speaking, chords sounding in the context of a key or tonal

centre acquire what we could call a personality. The ear interprets the harmony creating an

expectation of what will happen as a result anticipating the event towards resolution or tension.34

I believe functions can be reduced to four basic states which are: tension, transitional,

semi-resolved and fully-resolved. Depending on the degree of the scale from which the chord is

built, and trying to link this theory with that of Riemann,35 I will refer to resolved chords as tonic

chords, semi-resolved as supra-tonic,36 transition chords as sub-dominant and tension chords as

dominants.37 Tonic chords could be defined as those that have an inactive personality. They

generate no tension or unease and they state the nature (major/minor) of the tonality. They also

provide a sense of closure. Supra-tonic chords have a sense of resolution, but not of closure

(more on this below). Sub-dominant chords offer the feeling of transition and movement. They

generate subtle tension but their direction could be towards resolution or more tension.

Dominant chords generate tension from the perspective of their degree in the scale as well as

their inner structure. They usually contain a tritone in either their basic form (triad) e.g. B

diminished or their extension (7th, 9th).

After careful experimentation and observation of the diatonic triads in the fundamental

scale, it is possible to classify all of them within four functions. For the purpose of analysis from

now on the chords will be referred to in relation to the degree in the scale from which they are

formed. Lower case will be used for secondary chords.

34 Bret J. Aarden, M.A., Dynamic melodic expectancy (USA: The Ohio State University, 2003).
35 Alexander Rehding, Hugo Reimann and the birth of modern musical thought (UK: Cambridge University Press,
2003), 15-35
36 My term (see below)
37 Arnold Schoenberg, Theory Of Harmony (USA: Faber and Faber ltd., 1986), 32-3
65

Fig 3.17 Positions of primary triads

I II III IV V Q VI VII

Fig 3.18 Positions of secondary triads

i i i ii ii ii iii iii iv iv q vi vi

We could say that chords which possess a tonic function are those generated from the

primary I, VI and the secondary iii. Although it is debatable that the iii and VI are actual tonics

they do behave as such in a diatonic cadence, as we will see below, in the sense that they

generate neither tension nor the feeling of transition. This is possibly due to the fact that they

share two common notes with the tonic. For the sake of clarity I will refer to these two chords

(iii and VI) as supra-tonics, a point between sub-dominant and full Tonic resolution.38 Chord VI,

however, has dual-function. Under some circumstances it acts like a sub-dominant, though it is

more commonly found as a supra-tonic.

The primary II and IV can be classified as sub-dominants since their nature is that of

transition, either towards resolution or further tension. The IV was the original sub-dominant in

classical theory, but during the early 20th century it was more widely replaced by the II,

especially in jazz.39 Other variations of this replacement include the secondary iv or iv minor.

The secondary ii is rarely used and should be considered an inversion of secondary q. A more

thorough explanation of this will be found below.

Dominants were originally considered to be chord V of a scale only, but the term has lost

38 Schoenberg in his theory of harmony (Harmonielehre) referred to these as mediant and submediant, which come
from Italian mediante, from late Latin medire, to be in the middle. Arnold Schoenberg, Theory Of Harmony,
32. In this case supra suggests tonic above the tonic, therefore not in its full state of resolution (between Tonic
and Subdominant).
39 Though these two chords have been interchangeable since at least the 17th century, chord II became far more
common in usage than the IV as a sub-dominant, particularly in a complete cadence.
66

much of its original intention in modern usage and what is now called a dominant mainly

indicates a major triad with a minor 7th from the root, this generating a tritone between the 3 rd

and the 7th. Because this intervalic combination sounds so strong to the ear (possibly due to its

absence in the hierarchy of intervals) all chords containing the tritone interval seem to the

untrained ear as the same or at least similar, consequently their function is perceived to be

equivalent in terms of being inclined towards resolution, particularly to the tonic. The chords

that possess this quality are primary V, VII and secondary q.40

Haerle describes the nature of each chord in much the same manner but without the

inclusion of Q and the effects it produces on the harmonies of the scale. He includes the seventh

of every chord as part of its normal construction, but I believe this does not affect the actual

function of the chord. He describes chord I as: 'Establishes the key center, doesn't need to

progress, but may go anywhere'. For chord iii (which he considers as III due to the absence of Q

in his method) he says: 'Substitute for I Maj7...' and again chord VI 'Substitute for I Maj7 and IV

Maj7...'.41 He continues in this manner describing each chord analogously to my analysis above,

yet groups the functions in a somewhat peculiar manner e.g. he speaks of the 'major family' of

chords as being always capable of assuming a tonic function, which seems inconsistent with his

previous analysis if we consider that chord IV would fall into the major family.42 Jaffe has a

slightly more formal approach and groups the chords in a similar way:43

40 Once again Schoenberg related this to the fact that the amount of common notes that these chords possess in
respect to the natural V and the positioning of the roots in respect to the root of the tonic, would account for its
inclusion in the modern repertoire. Schoenberg, Theory Of Harmony, 38-52. Also see ‘Concerning the
diminished seventh chord’, 192-201
41 Dan Haerle, The Jazz Language (USA: Studio 224, 1980), 13
42 Ibid., 14
43 Andy Jaffe, Jazz Harmony (Tübingen: Advance Music, 1996), 30
67

Fig 3.19 Jaffe's Functional categories

Evidently Jaffe's system does not include Q either. Nevertheless, with the functions now

defined we may proceed with harmonic movement.

Basic Cadences

Cadences, as traditionally understood, refer to the use of harmonic progressions not only for the

use of colour but as a defining statement of tonality.44 According to some theorists cadences are a

must for establishing the tonic of a key due to the vagueness of the triad. When justifying a key

melodically, using the scale, tonality becomes obvious due to the presence of the 7 th and 4th

degree, but harmonically a C major triad for example could easily be misinterpreted as

belonging to the key of F major or G major. Thus a chord containing the defining degrees 4th and

7th, for example B diminished, would provide the most appropriate anticipating chord to the tonic

(C). Jaffe considers these degrees of the scale (4th and 7th) as 'unstable' and consequently the

functions of chords are defined by the presence of one or both of these notes. 45 For example:

sub-dominants contain the 4th degree of the scale and are thus 'mildly unstable'. Dominants have

both degrees (4th and 7th) and are consequently 'most unstable'. Historically, the most widely used

cadence has been V to I. The justification of this is that the V provides a natural gravitational

tendency to its root I. Seen in terms of the hierarchy of intervals the root of V is the first

overtone (omitting repetitions) to appear; it is therefore believed to generate a natural tendency

44 Edrward Aldwell, Carl Schachter, Harmony And Voice Leading ([no place of publication cited]:Hacourt Brace
Jovanovich Inc., 1978, Second Edition),83-6
45 Jaffe, Jazz Harmony, 30
68

to anticipate I, to gravitate towards its fundamental. This has been mentioned from Rameau 46 to

Schoenberg47 as the basic phenomenon of tonal harmony and it has been used throughout

centuries as the most efficient way to establish the tonality. However, since the notes that truly

establish the key are the 4th and 7th, any chord containing these notes would work. Thus chord

VII and secondary q also serve the purpose. These types of movements fall under what is known

as a dominant cadence.48

Another common movement is that of IV to I, this is known as Plagal. It is considered to

be an ambiguous movement since it deceives the ear to think V-I49. This problem is easily solved

by using the extensions of the chord (see below). Another solution is to use II as this is also a

sub-dominant and therefore interchangeable. These movements are known as sub-dominant

cadences50

Finally the sum of the above creates what is known as the full cadence.51 This consists of

the movement sub-dominant/Dominant/Tonic. In its primitive form it would look like IV-V-I, but

variations include II-V-I or II-VII-I, the former being a more common progression in jazz.

The relative minor

In traditional theory the Aeolian mode is considered to be the ‘natural’ minor. This mode is

contained within the Ionian or C ‘natural’ major scale.52 Because it contains the exact same notes

it is referred to as a relative minor and it's built from the 6th degree of the major scale. The

fundamental scale offers the same possibility by changing the tonic to the 6th degree of the scale

(a major 6th up from the root or a minor 3rd down) thus changing the point of resolution. I will

46 Alan Gosman, 'Rameau and Zarlino: Polemics in the Traite de l'harmonie', Music Theory Spectrum, Vol. 22, No.
1 (2000), 44-59 (52)
47 Schoenberg, Theory Of Harmony, 130-1
48 Jim Grantham, The Jazz Master Cookbook: Jazz theory and improvisation (Oakland, CA: Nightbird Music
Publishing, 2000), 46
49 Schoenberg, Theory Of Harmony, 129-30
50 Grantham, The Jazz Master Cookbook, 47
51 Ibid., 47
52 Aldwell & Schachter, Harmony And Voice Leading, 18
69

call this the minor fundamental scale.

Fig 3.20 The two fundamental relatives

Major fundamental Minor fundamental


C-D-E-F-G-G#-A-B-C A-B-C-D-E-F-G-G#-A53
(Ab) (Ab)

The procedure for obtaining primary chords is the same as the major:

Fig 3.21 Minor fundamental primary triads

I II III IV V VI VII Q

And the secondary triads are the same as those found in the major tonal scale:

Fig 3.22 Minor fundamental secondary triads

i i iii iii iii iv iv iv v v vi vi q

Here we see the first advantage of the octatonic model. The basic cadences and functions work

in the same fashion as those of the major fundamental scale but from its minor perspective, that

is, considering A minor as the tonic chord as opposed to C major. Thus a minor dominant

cadence (V-I) in A minor would be Emaj – Amin. A Plagal would be Dmin – Amin and a full

cadence would be either Bdim – Emaj – Amin54 or Dmin – Emaj – Amin. Since the intervals

contained within the V chord of the minor scale are the same as the V chord of the major

perspective, I shall use the term minor dominant for the V chord that resolves to the minor and

major dominant for the V that resolves to a I major.


53 We may notice that Q is now the 8th degree in the scale (major 7th)
54 This progression is commonly found with its extensions, otherwise the tritone of the II triad overwhelms the
major triad V, thus losing much of its transition-tension-resolution characteristic.
70

The extensions

A common practice in modern music and jazz is the addition of the 7 th over the basic

triad. This is mostly true for the V chord, since the addition of the 7 th creates a tritone to the third

which solves the possible misinterpretation of the V being I or IV.

Fig 3.23 Tritones in the minor and major dominants

This creates the best possible definition of a key centre since it includes, subtle

movement of the voices, natural gravitation of the roots 5th to 1st (hierarchy of intervals) and

resolution of the tritone to a minor 6th or major third inverted.

Fig 3.24 Examples of Hierarchy movements in the V-I progression

The tritone movement of this progression looks like this:


71

Fig 3.25 Tritone resolution of the dominant 7th chords

It is possible to create 7th chords from the primary triads as well as the secondary. This offers a

wide range of options that can be frequently found in a wide variety of musical examples.

Fig 3.26 Primary 7th chords:

Cmaj7 Dmin7 E7 Fmaj7 G7 Abaug7 Amin(maj7) Bmin7b5

Any major triad with a minor 7th is referred to as a 7th chord or sometimes as dominant 7th and it

is notated without the major (maj) symbol.55 The major (maj) symbol is reserved to a major triad

with a major 7th which can be found on degree I and IV of the major and/or III and VI of the

minor. Also the VII degree changes its name to minor flat 5 because its diminished quality is lost

with the addition of the minor 7th. This chord is also referred to as a 'half-diminished' and is

sometimes written with a Ø symbol.56 The 7ths on minor primary chords are the same as the

major.

These extensions, also known as upper-structures, are not simply any note in the scale

above the 5th. Every single chord pocesses its own family of upper structures and it is this group

of notes that gives every chord its functional/modal characteristic. These new notes need to

respect similar principles to those of the formation of primary chords but only to the notes below

it, whereas primary chords need to consider any inversion. The upper-structure by its very

definition (upper) needs only to concern itself with the notes that precede it. In this manner we

may use the hierarchy to establish all the notes that qualify as the upper-structure of a given

chord. For example primary chord I in C major:

55 Jim Aikin, Chords & Harmony: Music Theory for Real-World Musicians (San Francisco: Backbeat Books,
2004), 71
56 Lance Bosman, Harmony For Guitar (England: Musical New Services/Music Sales ltd., 1991), 85
72

First upper structure

The basic triad is C-E-G. Following the hierarchy of intervals we may add the following

diatonic notes on top, taking the G as a starting point.

Fig 3.27 Possible diatonic additions to the C major triad (chord I)

Hierarchy of intervals 5th 4th Major 3rd Minor 3rd


Added notes from G D C B n/a

Now we must consider the relation they have with the other notes in the chord.

D The note D is a perfect 5th from G, but it is also a minor 7th from E and a major 9th from C

which inverts to a major 2nd, which is not in the hierarchy.

Upper-structure D
Intervalic relation with 9th (2nd) m7th (2nd) 5th (57)
chord
Basic chord C E G

D The note C cannot be considered an upper-structure since it is simply the octave of the

root.

D B creates a major 3rd from G and a perfect 5th from E. However, it also creates a major 7th

from the root C which inverts to a minor 2nd, also not in the hierarchy.

D Finally the minor 3rd would have to be a Bb which is not in the scale and is therefore

unavailable.

Upper-structure B
Intervalic relation with M7th (m2nd) 4th (5th) M3rd
chord
(m6th)
Basic chord C E G

In retrospect the note B offers the best embellishment since it only conflicts with one note,

whereas D conflicts with two. Now we possess a tetrad which is extremely common in jazz, C-

E-G-B.
57 Fonts in bold represent compatibility, D is a perfect 5th from G and its inversion is a perfect 4th. Both exist in the
hierarchy.
73

Second upper structure

The next upper-structure is defined by the same principles but now takes into account

these four notes starting from B.

Fig 3.28 Possible diatonic additions to C major 7 (chord I)

Hierarchy of intervals 5th 4th Major 3rd Minor 3rd


Added notes from B n/a E n/a D

This one is relatively straightforward. The E is already contained in the tetrad hence D is the

only option, our new chord looks like this: C-E-G-B-D.

Third upper structure

The next upper-structure is again defined in these terms i.e. this time from D.

Fig 3.29 Possible diatonic additions to C major 9 (chord I)

Hierarchy of intervals 5th 4th Major 3rd Minor 3rd


Added notes from D A G n/a F

D The note A creates a perfect 5th from D, a minor 7th from B, a major 9th from G, a perfect

11th from E and a major 13th from C.

Upper-structure A
Intervalic relation with th th rd th
13 (6 , 3 ) 11 (4 ) th
9th (2nd) m7th (2nd) 5th (4th)
chord
Basic chord C E G B D

D G is already in the chord.

D The major 3rd is not available (F#).

D The F creates a minor 3rd from D, a tritone from B, a minor 7 th from G, a minor 9th from E

and a perfect 4th from C.


74

Upper-structure F
Intervalic relation with 11th (4th) m9th (m2nd) 7th (2nd) a4th (d5th) m3rd
chord
Basic chord C E G B D

Hence the A is the most appropriate upper-structure i.e. it contains only two clashes as opposed

to F which has 3 . Now we can confidently say that the upper-structure of chord I is major 7th,

major 9th and major 13th. For a more detailed view of the upper-structures of every chord please

refer to appendix 2.

Section B:
Other important scales and concepts

Melodic minor

The origin of the Melodic minor scale or singer’s scale seems ambiguous though there have been

many treatises on the subject.58 The most accepted explanation is that choir performers found the

intervals of the natural minor difficult to tune59 particularly because of the missing leading tone

to the tonic-root60 and eventually with the arrival of polyphony the harmonies needed to be

adapted to fit the melody. By the 15th century the development of the Motet in three voices

brought about the existence of new chords,61 which while not belonging to the diatonic key still

appeared as smooth substitutions to the actual diatonic cadence. Interesting to observe is that this

practice still appears in contemporary music, particularly that composed by song writers with

58 Kathleen Schlesinger, 'The Origin of the Major and Minor Modes (Concluded)', The Musical Times, Vol. 58, No.
894 (1917), 352-355
59 Wes Ludemann, 'Modes and scales', Northern California Spelmanslag journal, Vol 14 Nº3 (2004), 5-9 (7-9)
60 Though this does not occur with the fundamental minor, where Q serves as the leading tone.
61 Peter A. Frazer, 'The Development of Musical Tuning Systems', Midicode, April 2001,
http://www.midicode.com/tunings/renaissance.shtml (6th of August 2009).
75

little or no formal training e.g. The Beatles, Sting, Elton John, Coldplay, Radiohead, etc.

The melodic minor scale is a seven note scale which looks similar to the Aeolian mode

but with the 6th and 7th raised. Unlike the classical melodic minor which ascends in one way and

descends in another, in jazz the melodic minor is the same up or down since it contains several

chords which are widely used.

Fig 3.30 A melodic minor scale

The chords generated by harmonizing this scale are:

Fig 3.31 Primary chords of A melodic minor62

It contains at least five common chords with the tonal scale. The extensions are:

Fig 3.32 Melodic minor 7ths chords


63

Because the V-I cadence of this scale and the fundamental minor scale, basic triad or with

the 7th extension, sound the same it is often used as a substitute.

62 In my years of researching I have never encountered secondary melodic minor chords, this does not imply that
they are not possible, but that they are rare.
63 The unusual spelling here is used so that it becomes clear that the notes in this chord belong to the A melodic
minor scale. For notation purposes it should be written out as Ab-C-E-Gb.
76

Fig 3.33 Fundamental and Melodic minor V-I

Consequently composers take the liberty to extend to II – V – I movements as well:

Fig 3.34 Fundamental II-V-I

Bdim E7 Amin

II V I

Fig 3.35 Melodic minor II-V-I

Bmin E7 Amin

II V I

In other words, melodic harmony sometimes operates as an alternative route. A diatonic

progression can suddenly depart from its fundamental harmony into melodic minor harmony

whilst retaining the tonic centre. Because the tonic is not lost or altered, we cannot consider it a

modulation, but rather a variant or parallelism. I avoid using the word substitution here because

the resulting sound is not strong enough to warrant the term as I understand it i.e. a substitution

is a sound that stands out, something which is evidently different and unexpected. Below is an

example from a Lennon/McCartney piece which illustrates the above.64

64 John Lennon, Paul McCartney, 'Yesterday' (London: Northern Songs Ltd., 1965).
77

Fig 3.36 First three bars of Yesterday, illustrating a melodic minor 'parallelism'

The piece is in F major. In the second bar it initiates a short modulation to the relative

minor by the use of a full cadence. On close inspection we may notice that 1.- chord II of the

cadence is a minor 7th instead of a half-diminished (the normal II of a minor) and 2.- the melody

clearly reveals the melodic minor variant. As previously stated, the movement to the relative

minor is not affected. The sense that we are in F major with a brief passage through the relative

minor is also not affected. The alteration of the chords in bar 2 are subtle enough to pass almost

unnoticed in the frame of the main key.

The 'parallelism' of the melodic minor is perhaps the most common non-diatonic

alteration in the modern repertoire. Unlike other substitutions, the melodic minor can be found in

countless popular songs. It usually appears disguised by mimicking the 'common' diatonic

progressions. If we observe figure 3.41 we notice that every chord differs by only one note and

besides chord VI, both scales contain the same roots.

Fig 3.37 The parallelism of the melodic minor

Melodic minor

II III IV V VI VII
Fundamental minor

I II III IV V VI VII Q

This is how it should be viewed in analysis. A minor key may, at any point, detour to its

parallel melodic minor. Knowing the difference between the diatonic chords of the fundamental

and the melodic minor will prove indispensable in recognizing when a movement is a

parallelism or another type of harmonic movement (more on this in the next chapter).
78

Symmetric scales

Another set of scales which are found in use in jazz are the symmetric scales. These scales are

found more typically as special effects than as tonal centres. They produce very singular types of

chords and are therefore easily identified in harmonic analysis. These are commonly known as

the diminished scale and the whole-tone scale.65

Fig 3.38 The Diminished scale66

Fig 3.39 The whole-tone scale

The diminished scale, which was previously mentioned in Levine's example, produces two types

of chords: a diminished and a 7th chord.

Fig 3.40 Chords from the diminished scale

65 Jamey Aebersold, How to play jazz and improvise, (USA: Jamey Aebersold, Sixth edition, 1992), 51
66 Also known as the octatonic scale in some circles, but it should not be confused with in this thesis.
79

Most chords here are spelled enharmonically, as they would be found in most charts e.g. the C

diminished is spelled with a Gb not an F#, but the D7 is spelled with an F#. We may notice the

symmetry in the harmony as well: one diminished chord, one 7th chord. The upper-structures of

these chords are quite rare in my experience but they can be found with at least one of its

extensions.

Fig 3.41 Diminished chord's upper-structures

The C diminished is notated as maj9 which implies a major 7 th and a natural 9th. It also contains a

perfect 11th and a natural 13th. The D7 almost appears like an altered dominant, but contains the

perfect 5th and a natural 13th. Consequently, if one would want to imply 'diminished' harmony,

then it would be required that either chord be used with a combination of extensions which is

exclusive to this scale e.g. Cdim(maj9) or D7#9 with a natural 13th. Examples of this will be

explored in part two of this thesis. To differentiate the scale from C diminished which starts tone,

semitone, tone, etc., from the scale of D7 which goes semitone, tone, semitone, etc. I will refer

to the former as diminished and the latter as half/whole tone (H/W tone for short).

Whole-tone harmony is far simpler due to its construction of pure tones:

Fig 3.42 Chords built from the whole-tone scale


80

Again I have re-spelled enharmonically (in brackets) as it would be found in most charts. In this

scale we find that every note produces the same type of chord: a 7 th sharp 5. Its upper-structure

illuminates the exclusivity of this scale:

Fig 3.43 Whole-tone chord's upper-structure

The combination of natural 9th, sharp 5th and sharp 11th is exclusive harmony i.e. chords built

from the whole-tone scale. Unlike the diminished harmony, here one would require all three

alterations (#5, 9, #11) since the absence of any of these could be reinterpreted as a chord from a

more traditional scale e.g. a C9#5 could easily be interpreted as a V of a melodic minor, a C9#11 a

IV G melodic minor, etc. Perhaps at this point it is important to remind the reader that chord

symbols are intended to indicate a voicing, not an analysis. Most musicians will write a sharp 5

when analytically speaking is a flattened 13th. In other words, the required voicing will be that of

C-E-G#-Bb, but in the context of the of F minor this a perfectly acceptable voicing for chord V.

Most of these notation problems are caused because of the jazz musician's use of enharmonic

spelling. Nevertheless, it has been stated repeatedly that chord symbols should not be interpreted

superficially and that it will always depend on the context not on the actual symbol.

The chromatic scale

The last important resource in tonal analysis is the chromatic scale. This organization

provides all the possible notes in the western tempered system and it is commonly used as a
81

passing event, either melodic or harmonic.

Fig 3.44 The chromatic scale

Because of its total lack of tonal centre this scale provides an interesting colour to the tonal

system without interfering with it. Many examples can be found, particularly in jazz, which use

the chromatic scale to parallel the diatonic harmony e.g.

Fig 3.45 Parallel chromatic movement

……………………………………………………….….
Chromatic transition (1/2 step up from the diatonic movement)

The chromatic scale is covered by most theoretical treatises, but I include it here since I

think it is necessary to establish the rules for identifying chromatic movements. Harmonically it

is important to determine when a movement is chromatic and when it is key-relation detour. The

principles of identification will be covered in the next chapter (see chromatic harmony).

Melodically it is much easier, but still one must understand what qualifies as a chromatic

line. In most cases a chromatic line will begin and end on a chord note, most commonly the

triad.
82

Fig 3.46 Chromatic movement between chord voices

Here we see that although some of the notes in the line are diatonic (F and D) the notes are still

interpreted as chromatics, because the resolution of the melodic line is towards the chord notes

not the scale.

Another example is what is known as a chromatic approach. These are melodic

movements that do not necessarily move in a straight direction i.e. straight resolution.

Fig 3.47 Chromatic approach to chord tones.

These types of approaches could be described as an indirect approach to the chord tone, since the

chromatic line approaches from both sides. These approaches can be applied to any note of the

chord and they were common practice in the styles of Bebop or hard bop. I will explore more on

these passages when analysing music from that era. This practice is particularly important to

identify because it is often used as an anticipation of chords that have not yet sounded.

Fig 3.48 Chord anticipation via chromatic approach


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We notice here that the root of D minor 7th is being approached a beat early. It would be incorrect

to analyse this group of notes from the perspective of C major since the melody is heading, and

thus anticipating, the next chord. The procedure is to always observe where a melodic line

begins and where it ends (normally on a note of bigger value). This clarifies whether the analysis

should concern the chord over which the notes sound or whether the melody is anticipating a

coming event. In any case this should be clearly noted in the analysis with a word (ant.) or

brackets, since an anticipation is a short form of polytonality.

Active and Inactive notes

The final observation I would like to make is the function of individual notes against a sounding

chord. The term active applies to notes that create tension against a given chord and inactive

those that rest within the harmony without intruding or creating dissonance.

In this example the notes in black are creating tension. The ear anticipates a resolution to

the closest possible degree of the chord.

Fig 3.49 Active notes

It must be understood that this principle is also dependent on orchestration i.e. we assume we

have one instrument playing the chord and another one playing the active note. If the same

instrument performs the active note, then we simply get a chord with extensions.

As stated before, inactive notes are those that belong to the sounding chord and thus do

not generate any tension. If a melodic instrument performs an active note and the harmonic

instrument adds the same note to its chord-voicing, then it ceases to be active.
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Fig 3.50 Active versus inactive


Cmaj Cmaj (add9)

The note D against the C major chord acts as tension, but in the C major with an added 9th it acts

as part of the harmony and consequently sits well within the harmonic frame. This is mostly the

case in modern jazz, where the chords are extended to allow resolution to unusual notes.

Chromatic approaches or transitions also act as active notes since they create tension

within the given harmony. To understand the difference between diatonic active and chromatic

active we must observe the direction of the melodic line.

Fig 3.51 Diatonic and chromatic active notes

4th  3rd 2nd  3rd 3rd  2nd C  C  C  Root


A I A I A A A A A I

The melody occurring over C major uses exclusively diatonic active notes, whereas the melody

over D minor uses a chromatic approach. These approaches can be applied to any note of the

chord and they were common practice in the styles of Bebop or hard bop. I will explore more on

these passages when analysing music from that era. Hal Galper offers a slightly broader

definition than mine which considers that notes can be active or inactive not just in terms of

relationship to the chord but also rhythmically.67 Personally I feel a note's activeness is not

influenced by the speed in which it is played.

In summary, in this chapter I have attempted to cover all the basics of my theoretical

proposal. I have described the construction of an alternative tonal organization (the fundamental

67 Hal Galper, Forward Motion (USA: Sher Music Co., 2004), 30


85

scale) including the philosophies that inspired it. I have also given an explanation of other

important scales and principles, so that we have all the tools we need to understand the various

musical phenomena that we may encounter. In the next chapter I will expand on the theory in

terms of analysis and how it relates to practice.


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Chapter 4
Theoretical principles of the octatonic system

Key relations

Since the octatonic system is intended for practical/pedagogical use, the analytical basis must

remain simple. So far everything I have described has been based around the hierarchy of

intervals, five scales, and their respective chords. Now I intend to show how these resources can

be utilized to analyse almost every type of tonal jazz piece by following some simple principles.

The octatonic key centres and harmonic movements

Harmony of course does not always abide in one key. Modulations can be easily achieved

and recognized by the use of cadences, particularly the perfect and complete. But it is not

unusual to encounter isolated chords that are not diatonic to the key of the progression. These

types of chords are often difficult to analyse using traditional methods (chord symbol = scale)

but there is a simple relation between the scale of the tonic key and the scale of the non-diatonic

chords and this has to do with the way keys relate to each other. So far I have used the hierarchy

of intervals as the founding principle from which to build scales and chords, but the hierarchy is

also useful to understand key changes and harmonic exceptions.

First we must establish that all tonal music contains a tonic key and on most occasions

tonic centres. The latter refers to any other main key that may occur during a piece which is

strong enough to create a new gravitational pull. On some rare occasions a piece may contain

multiple tonal centres and no tonic key (see for example Countdown by John Coltrane).

Every tonic key and tonic centre contains what could appropriately be called a family of
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'overtone' keys.1 These keys are related to each other, and to the tonic, in different levels of

strength, similar to the overtones. In other words, some keys are very strongly linked to the tonic,

whereas others appear quite remote.

In the past key relationships have been studied via the circle of 5ths (or in some countries

circle of 4ths). In my continuous research I have not found this system to be particularly useful

or accurate.

Fig 4.1 Circle of 5ths/4ths

In this graphic we may observe that C is closely related to G and F, but on the same principle this

would suggest that D is closer to C than say A or E. In my experience (see part II) E has far more

relationship to C than either D or A, in fact D would appear as one of the most remote keys that

C could move to. The hierarchy of intervals provides a better model for the relationship

between keys encountered in the actual practice.

1 The term overtone here applies to an underlying presence of these keys that may be felt via passing chords or in
some cases in polytonal harmony. See modal interchange
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Fig 4.2 Hierarchy of intervals in C

Similarly to the circle of 5ths G and F appear at either side of the tonic C, but this system implies

that E, Eb, Ab and A are closer in their relationship to C than those suggested by the cycle of

5ths. In part two of this thesis it will become apparent that this is actually the way harmony

seems to behave.

Naturally, not all key relations are equal. Some feel more remote or create more of an

impression than others. When C detours to G it is smooth and gentle, but when it detours to E or

Eb the impression is strong, almost like it has moved far away. For this reason I prefer to refer to

these relationships as degrees i.e. degrees of strength or proximity to the tonic. Ascending

degrees (intervals up from the tonic) seem to occur most commonly in practice, whereas

descending degrees are rare and should be considered exceptions to the rule. To avoid confusing

intervals with key relationships I will henceforth refer to the latter as first-degree, second-degree,

etc. In other words any key a 5th above the tonic will be referred to as the first degree, a 4th

above as the second degree, a major 3rd as the third degree and a minor 3rd above as the fourth

degree. For keys found descending from the tonic I will identify them as descending’ degrees

e.g. Ab is the descending third degree of C.

Now that the relationships have been established we must consider how these are

normally found. First we must set up some rules:

1. The nature of a key (major/minor) should always be analysed to its equivalent in the

degrees e.g. C major is related to G major, F major, etc. not to G minor, F minor.

2. When it is evident that a major key has moved to a minor key then the relationship is to

be found in its relative major e.g. C major moves to D minor, the analysis should say
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relative minor of the second degree.

3. The opposite applies to minor keys e.g. C minor moves to Bb major, the analysis should

say relative major of first degree.

4. Analysis should respect the hierarchical order in which degrees are expressed. The chord

available in the closest key to the tonic supersedes all others e.g. when encountering a B7

in the key of C major, B7 can be found as III of G major or V of E major. G major is the

correct analysis since it is the first degree, whereas E major is the third degree.

Since in this system keys are only related to other equivalent keys (major to major, minor to

minor) what happens to the other scales?

Symmetric scale harmony is quite simple: basically for the relationship to be obvious it

would first have to belong to the same tonic e.g. C major is related to C diminished harmony or

to C whole-tone harmony. But more important yet, it would clearly have to draw the symmetric

quality by the use of exclusive chords i.e. chords that can only belong to that particular scale, or

via a melodic sequence which emphasizes the scale notes. In any case, the use of symmetric

harmony is almost always used as an effect which falls more in the realm of Modal interchanges

(see below) rather than normal tonal analysis.

Melodic minor harmony on the other hand is extremely common in jazz repertoire, and

its relationship to fundamental scale harmony is not that dissimilar from the relations observed at

the beginning of this chapter. However, due to its 'artificial' quality its relationship to the tonic

key is slightly displaced. As observed earlier in the previous chapter melodic harmony often

appears in parallel to a key, this parallelism is of course, in a sense, a key-relation. Consequently

the hierarchy degrees should be placed after the parallelism relation. This is illustrated in figure

4.3 below.

Fig 4.3 Melodic minor relationships


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We can observe that the first degree is the same key but melodic minor. The second

degree is the root of the relative minor but in melodic minor. The opposite is true of minor keys:

the second degree melodic minor would be the relative major e.g. the second degree melodic

minor of C minor would be Eb melodic minor. From the third degree onwards it follows the

same order as the hierarchy of intervals. Below are two graphics which include the relationship

between keys from major and minor perspective. Above the main key line are the melodic minor

relations and below the common relations.

Fig 4.4 Examples of key relationships in C major

Fig 4.5 Examples of key relationships in A minor


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This covers the basics of key relationships. Now I must proceed with details of harmonic

phenomena and how and when do these relations take effect.

When encountering non-diatonic chords/melody in a tonal piece, we understand that the

key has changed. But on occasions the scale changes whilst the key remains the same. In my

opinion there are three distinct harmonic events that can be found in tonal music which

dramatically change the way we analyse, perform and hear the music. These are: modulation,

tonicisation and transitions.

Modulations and tonicisations

Modulations are well understood by most musicians, these are departures from one key into

another. But there are different types of key changes. In particular what concerns me is the

difference between a key change that is brief, thus we do not lose the reference to the tonic key,

and one that is long enough for us to completely lose the reference of the original key. To make

this distinction obvious I separate the terms modulation and tonicisation. The latter, as the word

expresses, is a temporary departure into another key (new tonic-centre) where the progression

will soon return to the tonic key or at least its reference will not be lost. To exemplify this

difference let's observe the first half of a standard called All the things you are.2

2 Jerome Kern, 'All The Things You Are' (Santa Monica, CA, T.B. Harms Company, 1939).
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Fig 4.6 Examples of modulations and tonicisations in All the Things You Are

The piece is in Ab major beginning with a VI-II-V-I movement. After the resolution to

chord I it moves to chord IV which leads into a tonicisation of C major. At this point Kern could

have easily returned to Ab major without the need of a modulation or any type of cadence. In

other words, this brief departure from Ab is not strong or long enough for us to lose the reference

of Ab as the tonic key. However, in the next system (last one above) he plays the same chord

progression as he did at the beginning but now in Eb. At the end of the sequence, chord IV

(Abmaj7), we have completely lost the reference to Ab as tonic. This is particularly emphasized

by the use of the previous tonic chord now acting as chord IV. Kern would require an intricate

set of chords to return us to the key of Ab. Notice also how the tonicisation does not require a

key change bracket and instead the Roman numerals are boxed. This to emphasize that the

reference is still towards the tonic key.

This example exemplifies quite clearly the difference between a modulation and a

tonicisation, but there is another difference worth noting. Tonicisations generally occur to related

keys (degrees), whereas modulations may go to any key, not necessarily the ones in the
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hierarchy. In the second part of this thesis we will notice that this distinction developed over the

passage of time. Initially modulations were in fact, or at least commonly, done to degrees in the

hierarchy, but in time they became quite random and unexpected. Tonicisations on the other hand

remain subject to the hierarchy.

Two concerns that deserve to be mentioned here are firstly, the difference between a

modulation and a tonicisation are highly subjective; when does a tonicisation become a

modulation? Not everybody can retain the reference of the tonic key for the same amount of time

and as one clever student pointed out, they also depend on the tempo the piece is performed i.e.

what was perceived as a tonicisation at an up-tempo is perceived as a modulation in a slower

tempo. Secondly, modulations require cadences to be achieved, and without them they are

perceived as tonicisations or transitions (see below). For a key change to be permanent or at least

to cause a shift of tonic reference, they must be prepared through traditional sub-

dominant/dominant movements. Otherwise the result is clumsy and the tonal shift is perceived as

vague and undefined. Tonicisations on the other hand do not require specific finality, any chord

progression in another key will suffice. In other words, any chord progression which is not

diatonic can be analysed as a tonicisation as long as another key is clearly being drawn. When a

non-diatonic chord is not long enough to cause an alteration of the key i.e. it is perceived as a

passing chord, then they fall into a different category.

Transitions

Perhaps the most difficult harmonic phenomena to analyse are the chords that are not diatonic,

but are so short in their duration that appear diatonic to the untrained ear. I call these transition

chords and like the rest of the harmonic rules encountered thus far they can be analysed in terms

of their degrees of distance from the tonic as seen in figure 4.4 and 4.5. For example a chord

progression in C major: Cmaj-Emin-D7-G7-Cmaj. The analysis would be I-iii-V/V-V-I.


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Though this would not be incorrect it does raise the question of what is the D7? We understand

by basic voice movement that it is the V of the V (secondary dominant), but where does it come

from and what scale can be played over it? There are at least four D7s and one D7alt that we

know of so far: one V of G major, another one V of G minor, another V of G melodic minor and

finally the IV of A melodic minor. We also have D7alt VII of Eb melodic minor. The rule of

transitions dictates that the first possible alternative in the hierarchy is the most likely choice, as

we will see in part two. The key a 5th up from C is G major (first degree) and the scale of this key

contains the mystery chord. This rule will become much more evident when analysing repertoire,

particularly when encountering chords with more than one interpretation.

Melodic minor transitions also exist, but on a lesser level from the others. Let's take for

example the first eight bars of Strayhorn's famous piece Take The “A” Train.3

Fig 4.8 Example of melodic minor transition

At a quick glance we are able to tell that this piece is in C major with a transition chord in

the third bar. Following the hierarchy of intervals we would be able to claim that the D7 belongs

to G major making it a first-degree transition chord, but if we look at the melody we notice a G#

that does not belong to the scale of G major. By observing the key-relation chart in the previous

section (fig 4.4) we may recognize that this is a second degree melodic minor transition. If the

G# were not present in the melody or the chord symbol then we would assume that it is G major,

because it is higher in the hierarchy of intervals. Let's observe some more examples. If one

3 Billy Strayhorn, 'Take The “A” Train', (USA: Tempo Music, 1968).
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would encounter a progression like this: Cmaj-B7-Emin7-Amin7-Dmin7-G7-Cmaj The B7 is

clearly non-diatonic, but it resolves to the iii of C. We know of three scales where this chord

exists: III of G major, V of E major and V of E melodic minor.

a) III of G would be first degree transition.

b) V of E would be third degree transition.

c) V of E melodic minor would be fifth degree transition (see fig 4.3).

So it is clear that the best choice is G, whose relative minor happens to be E minor therefore

insinuating a V-I or analytically speaking V/iii.

Now consider a less obvious progression:

Cmin7 – Ab7 – G7 – Cmin7

We know that Ab is contained in the key of C minor, but the chord in the example above is an

Ab7 not an Abmaj7. Hence we must look for it in another key using the hierarchy. We know

there are five 7th chords so far but it is much faster to look for them in the transition chart since

then we will know immediately which is the most appropriate scale.

a) First degree transition is G minor, no Ab there.

b) Second degree transition is F minor, there's an Ab but the chord formed from it is an

Abmaj7.

c) Third degree transition is E minor, no Ab there.

d) Fourth degree transition is Eb minor, we have an Ab but the chord is an Abmin7.

After exhausting these options we are left with the melodic minor transitions:

a) First degree transition is C melodic minor, no Ab there.

b) Second degree transition is Eb melodic minor, and voilà we find the Ab7 on the IV chord

of the scale!

The other options without this system would have been Ab7 VII of Bb minor, Ab7 V of Db

minor and V of Db melodic minor. All these options are a semitone or a tone away from our

tonic key and thus will sound awkward and disjointed.

Going back to Strayhorn's piece we may observe how by purposely avoiding the logical
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order of the hierarchy, he achieves a renewed freshness in an otherwise ordinary progression.

Fig 4.9 Strayhorn's Take The “A” Train

The D7, as seen before, could easily be interpreted as belonging to the key of G major, but

Strayhorn avoids this obvious approach and instead takes it to the second degree transition, IV of

A melodic minor.

Here are some more typical diatonic progressions containing first-degree transitions:

C – Dmin – Emin – Ebdim – Dmin – G7. The Eb diminished comes from the secondary q of G

major.

C – D7 – Dmin – G7. The D7 is the V of G major.

Some typical diatonic progressions containing second-degree transitions:

C – C#dim – Dmin – G7. C#dim comes from the q of F major.

C – Bbmaj – Amin – G7 – C. Bbmaj comes from the IV of F major.

Some typical diatonic progressions containing first-degree melodic minor transitions:

C – F7#11 – C – Dmin7 – G7. F7#11 comes from the IV of C melodic minor.

Some typical diatonic progressions containing second-degree melodic minor transitions:

C – D7#11 – Dmin – G7. D7#11 comes from the IV of A melodic minor.

C – E9 – F. E9 comes from the V of A melodic minor.

The last remaining question is: do diatonic secondary chords 'outrank' transition chords?

The answer would be yes, since a secondary chord will still have far more notes in common to
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the central key than the transition. For example: Cmaj7-Fmin(maj7)-Cmaj7-G7-Cmaj7. The F

minor has two possible interpretations: fourth degree melodic transition or simply secondary iv,

the latter being the appropriate option. However, there are occasions in which transition chords

do supersede diatonic secondary chords. For this to be the case the chord in question must be

referencing a diatonic chord, this is particularly common in minor keys, for example: Cmin7-

DØ-G7-Cmin7-Gmin7-C7-Fmin7-DØ-G7-Cmin7. Here we may observe a common diatonic

progression in C minor which is the followed by a II-V to chord IV (underlined). In the key of C

minor we may have a secondary v which would be a Gmin7, but this analysis would be

erroneous since there is clearly a cadence here which is referencing a diatonic chord, in this case

the IV. Thus, the Gmin7 is part of a II-V (second-degree transition) to IV. Let's observe two

contrasting examples:

1. Cmaj7-Dmin7-GØ-C7-Fmaj7-G7-Cmaj

2. Cmaj7-Dmin7-GØ-C7-Fmin-G7-Cmaj

The difference is subtle and it is often bypassed by students. In example 1 the GØ is referencing

primary IV, so when analysing it one would go to the first option in the hierarchy which is

secondary ii of the second degree. This would be correct since the chord of resolution is Fmaj7,

thus the closest relation is the second degree. In example 2 we have a different situation. Here

the GØ is referencing the secondary iv, a minor chord. Then the most appropriate analysis would

be that of primary VII of the descending third degree, Ab major whose relative minor is F minor.

In other words, when transition chords are referencing diatonic chords one must consider the

nature of the chord being referenced. The scale must coincide in its nature major/minor to the

chord at the end of the cadence.

Fig 4.10 Transition chords referencing diatonic chords in C major

Referencing Second- Third-degree First-degree Second-degree Desc. Third- First-


chords degree F#min7-B7 F#Ø-B7 Gmin7-C7 degree degree
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EØ-A7 GØ-C7 Amin7-D7


Diatonic Dmin7 E7 Emin Fmaj Fmin G7
chords II III iii IV iv V

Chords I and VI have been omitted from the diagram since they can only be referenced

by diatonic chords. Diminished chords would be referenced in the same manner as minors and

augmented chords would be referenced as majors. It is interesting to note that nearly all degrees

are present here except the fourth degree, which serves to corroborate the hierarchy of intervals

as an effective way to sort out key relationships. The fourth degree is also able to reference

diatonic chords, but its effect is slightly different from the rest and thus belongs to a category of

its own.

Modal interchange (substitutions)

One of the most renowned devices used by jazz musicians is substitution. What this term means

is that in certain settings an improviser or arranger might play a different chord or scale in place

of another one. The result is an unexpected sound that leaps out from the rest of the music. There

are many different levels of alteration and concepts for substitutions, from simply altering one or

two notes to completely re-harmonizing a section or a whole piece. But perhaps the most

common form of substitution is the modal interchange, since it can be found as early as swing

and continues to be favoured today.

Modal interchange, as the name insinuates, is the practice of changing the mode of a

given chord for another mode of a similar chord. For example, in fundamental harmony we

know only two major 7th chords exist: chord I and chord IV. If one would decide to play the scale

of chord IV over a chord I, for example the scale of G major over a C major (chord I) then one

would be practising modal interchange.

As mentioned in previous chapters, George Russell proposed a system of chord-scale


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relationships which he called the correct scale to use.4 Further on, Levine spoke of 'avoid' notes

in the major scale and proposed similar alternatives to Russell.5 Basically what they were

proposing is the use of modal interchange as a constant instead of an alternative. I believe that

the sound created by using these substitutions is quite strong and thus should be taught and used

as such. When correctly analysing a piece using the octatonic system, one should be able to

skilfully create melodic lines that flow smoothly through the chord progressions, without any one

note leaping out. But if one would wish to do so then it is by breaking the rules that one achieves

this. In other words, a musician should be equally capable of improvising through a chord

progression traditionally, as in simply drawing the harmony, as well as modern and create

unusual sounds with the old material. Modal interchanges are, I believe, the first step to achieve

the latter.

Fig 4.11 Example of a Modal interchange on chord I

If we play the melodic line in figure 4.11 we may notice how even the chromatic

approaches sound smoothly over the chords. The line continues effortlessly until the last bar

when the last note really stands out. This effect is precisely caused by the fact that the note F# is

foreign to the key and not the 'correct' scale for this chord. Below is another example of how a

different scale inevitably calls our attention to the specific note.

4 George A. Russell, Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization (Massachusetts: Concept Publishing
Company, 1953), 1
5 Mark Levine, The Jazz Theory Book (USA: Sher Music Co., 1995), 37-43
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Fig 4.12 Modal interchange over minor I

The modal interchange takes place on bar 5 and 6. We may notice that in this example the

foreign note is not held as in the previous example, nevertheless it stands out from the rest of the

melodic line. It is this type of practice that has defined the sound of modern jazz and musicians

often stress these notes in order to emphasize the fact that they are not playing the 'obvious' ones.

So now let's look at how this works. Modal interchanges can be analysed in a similar

manner as transitions. Interchanges which generate the least tension are the ones whose scale is

in closer relation to the key of the chord being altered. However, since interchanges are limited

by the nature of the chord, the substitution possibilities are restricted. For example, as stated

above, major 7th chords are scarce in comparison to other chords. This basically means that their

substitution is limited to either changing chord I for the mode of IV or vice-versa. Minor chords

on the other hand are far more common in the tonal organization, hence they offer many more

possibilities of interchange. But let's take a moment to observe the octatonic analysis of a modal

interchange, in this case the same example as in figure 4.12.

Fig 4.13 Analysis of figure 4.12


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Fig 4.13 continuation...

The tonic key or tonic centre is C minor, indicated by the main bracket below the first bar. In bar

5 and 6, where our modal interchange takes place, the scale indication changes above

accompanied by an explanation of the event below. We may notice that the key does not change.

So what is occurring here? The function of the chord is not being altered i.e. the resolution to the

tonic chord is still strong. But the scale being used is not the 'natural' one, or the expected one.

As the bracket indicates, it is the scale of the first degree that is being used over chord I. This

works because in G minor we also have a Cmin (chord IV), hence the modes are

interchangeable. Below is a table which shows all the possible interchanges available in the

different degrees.

Fig 4.14 Modal interchanges available in the different degrees

Tonic key Possible interchanges to other degrees


Diatonic 1st degree 2nd degree 3rd degree 4th degree Desc 3rd degree Desc 4th degree
chords
I IV - - - - -
II VI - - - -
III - - - - - V
iii (minor) VI - - - - -
IV - I - - - -
iv (minor) - - - II VI -
V - - - III - -
Q - - - - ii -
VI II iii iv - - -
VII - - - q - ii
As we can see some chords contain only one alternative whilst others contain two or more. What
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this chart intends to show is the basic principle of interchangeability of chords and scales.

However, like most musical principles the possibilities don't stop there. The chart above takes

into consideration not only the nature of the chord itself but also its extensions up to the 7th. But

modal interchange can also be applied to just triads, in which case the possibilities expand.

Perhaps the oldest modal interchange found in jazz is the substitution of chord I major for

the chord V of the second degree i.e. a major chord for a 7th chord. This is the basic sound of the

blues interpreted harmonically by the octatonic system. I will go into more detail in chapter 5,

but for the time being consider that a chord may still act as a I (tonic) whilst being modally

interchanged by chord V of the second degree.

Another very common and old interchange is that which does not consider even the

nature of the chord, but instead just the root and key-centre relation. This is seen when we use

the fourth degree in major or the descending fourth degree in minor. In either case the related

degree contains the relative major/minor of the key in question. This resource is often referred to

as a minorisation, which similarly to the melodic minor parallelism, is often used as a detour

from the expected resolution. Below is the middle section or bridge of the previously visited

piece All The Things You Are, which illustrates the use of a majorisation.

Fig 4.15 majorisation in All The Things You Are

We can observe in the last few bars above how the movement anticipates a modulation or
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tonicisation to the relative minor, but instead lands on a major chord. The analysis here refers to

a majorisation instead of a modal interchange. This does not mean the latter would be incorrect,

but many modal interchanges already have widely used names e.g. tritone substitution, so I find

it more appropriate or less confusing to use the vernacular. But one should still be aware that this

is a fourth-degree interchange.

Other less obvious minorisations include the interchange of the V chord in major for its

equivalent in the fourth degree.

Fig 4.16 minorisation of chord V

This approach is extremely common in bebop, though it can be traced back to late swing and it is

still widely used today. I believe it is this particular modal interchange that led the way for the

most widely mentioned substitution of them all: the tritone substitution.

Tritone substitution

This term applies to either a harmony device used for composition or as an improvisational tool.

Unfortunately they are never explained together. In composition the tritone substitution is seen as

a way to alter the old fashion V – I movement. For example, G7 to C major can be substituted by

Db7 to C major. In improvisation, it’s almost always explained as a polytonal concept. The

substitution can be played over the original chord and vice versa e.g. over the G7 one can always

play a Db7.

Haerle explains: ‘Two dominant 7th chords whose roots are a tri-tone (3 whole steps) apart
104

substitute for each other’.6 He then proceeds to demonstrate how by following this recipe a new,

more interesting effect can be accomplished. Earlier he states that ‘chords that function similarly

may substitute for each other.’7 Hence a 7th chord acting as a dominant may be substituted with

another acting dominant. Another reason, according to Haerle, that a 7th chord can be changed for

one a tritone away includes what he calls the ‘colour tones’. These are always the 3 rd and 7th e.g.

on a C7 the colour tones would be E and Bb. The chord a tritone away from C7 contains the

same colour tones but in a different order: F#7 in which E is the 7th and A# (enharmonic Bb) is

the third.8

Fig 4.17 Haerle's tritone substitution

This would seem to satisfy Haerle for the justification of this substitution, but what is puzzling is

the fact that although he’s also from the scale-chord school he doesn’t seem to offer any scale

option for the new chord. Furthermore, the analysis of the chord is limited by the observation

that the 'tri-tone' is redefined as a bII, as was the use of the German 6th chord in traditional

harmony.9 But this chord, as defined by Drabkin in equal temperament resolves to I 6/4 or V not

the I chord.10

A similar approach is that of Wyatt and Schroeder, but they expand to include secondary

dominants and the analysis remains consistent. Db - Cmaj is analysed as bII7 – I and the

movement to chord IV e.g. Gb7 – Fmaj as bII7/IV ‘analysed according to the relationship to the

chord of resolution’.11 Still no scales are provided.

6 Dan Haerle, The Jazz Language (USA: Studio 224, 1980), 39


7 Ibid.,13
8 Once again the jazz use of enharmonic. Here Haerle treats F#7 and Gb7 as complete equivalents and A# and Bb
are the same note.
9 Ibid., 39
10 William Drabkin. 'Augmented sixth chord', Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com (10 November 2008).
11 Keith Wyatt, Carl Schroeder, Harmony and theory (USA: Musicians Institute, Hal Leonard Corp., 1998), 135-
37
105

Other more simplistic approaches include Aikin where the technique is summarized as

‘In jazz, it’s usually possible to replace a dominant 7th chord with another dominant 7th whose

root is a tritone from the original root’12 - no scales, no analysis just a recipe. Further on in the

book he does however propose voicing possibilities for this chord which would perhaps offer

some more clues as to what notes besides the chord tones can be played. Yet this description is

taken solely from an intervalic relationship with no reference to scale or key.

Willmott’s approach is far more complete but rather confusing. In the tritone substitution

chapter he states that the two alternating chords ‘mirror’ themselves.13 The tritone substitution,

which he refers to as 'sub V', contains the same tensions but with a different name.

Fig 4.18 Wilmott's sub V diagram

Going slightly further than the authors discussed above he states: ‘Every dominant type chord,

with the exception of those containing a suspended fourth, can be substituted by another

dominant chord a tritone away’.14 So far we’ve only seen the substitution of the normal 7 th chord

e.g. G7 = G – B – D – F. But Willmott would seem to suggest that any dominant would allow

this substitution. For example figure 4.19.

12 Jim Aikin, A player’s guide to chords and harmony (USA: Backbeat Books, 2004), 81-2
13 Bret Willmott, Mel Bay’s complete book of harmony, theory and voicing (USA: Mel Bay Publications, 1994), 27-
8
14 Ibid., 27
106

Fig 4.19 Unusual tritone substitution

This example would be a common progression in western music. The Bb standing for a

substitution of the traditional V, in this case E7. If the original progression was in fact a minor

dominant, it would imply an E7 with a b9, #9, b13. He does suggest, however, that perhaps the

nature of the substitution has to coincide with the original chord15 e.g. E7#5 can only be

substituted by a Bb7 with a natural 9. Willmott’s further contribution to the theory involves the

scales to be used over the different types of chords.16 Unfortunately, like many others, he does

not provide an actual explanation of the relation between the scales or why they work in a tonal

context.

Two more practical approaches are those by Taylor or Harris. Taylor suggests that the

tritone substitutions are interchangeable.17 He also suggests that the chord can be drawn

melodically just by using the arpeggio.

Fig 4.20 Taylor's use of tritone substitution

15 Willmott, Mel Bay’s complete book of harmony, 28


16 Ibid., 79-80
17 Bob Taylor, The art of improvisation (USA, Taylor-James Publications, 2000), 255
107

This explanation is both limited and erroneous. Since the melodic instruments may be

considering the G7 as the natural V dominant of C, they will include upper-structures such as A

and E which would conflict with the notes belonging to Db7. It’s also important to note that

Taylor adds an Eb in his example when playing the Db. This rather arbitrary decision is not

followed up by any explanations, nor is the chord symbol respelled as Db9. In other words, if the

9th (Eb) is being added, should we assume that the scale for this chord is the V of Gb? Or perhaps

the IV of Bb melodic minor? Which one would have more of a relationship with the key of C

major?

Harris, as seen in Chapter 2, has a completely different view of harmony. He conceives

the world of scales starting from the chromatic (God) then the whole tone, (Man & Woman).18

And then the ’children’ of the whole tones: the diminished scale.19 The whole tone scales provide

dominant 7ths either #5 or b5 which are a tritone apart. The diminished scale on the other hand

provides normal dominant 7ths chords a tritone apart.

Fig 4.21 Chords a tritone apart in the Whole-tone scale

Fig 4.22 Chords a tritone apart in the Diminished scale

18 Alan Kingstone, The Barry Harris Harmonic Method For Guitar, Canada, Jazzworkshop Productions, 2006, 17
19 AKA the Stravinsky octatonic or the whole tone-semi tone.
108

Harris teaches all his students to connect these scales to their possible resolutions, that’s all

twelve keys, four resolutions per-chord; major, minor and the tritone substitution. So he at least

teaches the dominant function in several permutations whilst giving a very practical approach to

it. But Harris is from the Be-bop school where substitutions are common place. Furthermore,

substitutions are always resolved and only sound for a limited duration of the original chord. If

we look at Harris' proposal below we can clearly see that this line is very much in the be-bop

tradition. However, how does it relate to the Bb major key?20

Fig 4.23 Harris use of tritone substitution

So once again we are faced with a set of scales that although offer a connection between the

tritone chords they do not offer an explanation as to the relation between the substitution and the

key centre. Thus, another recipe.

It is my belief that the tritone substitution comes from another earlier type of substitution:
the minor dominant modal interchange. As mentioned in the previous section, in late swing and
early be-bop it became common practice to substitute the major dominant for its equivalent
minor.

Fig 4.24 Minor dominant substitution

This can be seen in composition as well as in improvisation, see for example Night and Day21 or
20 Howard Rees, The Barry Harris Workshop Video part 2 (Canada, Jazzworkshop Productions, 2005), 7
21 Chapter 6, sub-chapter Non-jazz composers
109

Lester Young's solo on Lady Be Good.22 The basic principle is that the minor dominant chord

and scale sound only slightly different from the altered dominant, the VII chord of melodic

minor. When analysed vertically the intervals of a minor dominant are:

Root – M3 – P5 – m7 – b9 – #9 – P11 – b13.

The intervals on an altered dominant on the other hand are:

Root – M3 – #5 – m7 – b9 – #9 – #11 – b13.

Thus G7 minor dominant and G7 altered would look like this:

Fig 4.25 Minor dominant and altered dominant comparison chart


Minor Altered
dominan dominant
t
G G
B B
D Eb
F F
Ab Ab
Bb Bb
C Db
Eb

I believe that the similarity of the alterations offered by the minor dominant and the

altered led to the inclusion of the altered chord as a common modal interchange. This could be

analysed as a modal interchange to the descending fifth degree melodic minor (altered for short).

Let’s take a moment to analyse the construction of G#7alt from the A melodic minor.

Fig 4.26 Construction of the altered chord-scale

We must remember the rules of chord construction according to the hierarchy of intervals:
whenever a major 3rd is present it will always supersede a minor third (see chapter 3). This is a

22 Chapter 8, sub-chapter Early improvisers


110

particularly difficult chord to explain since most students will often form a half-diminished first,
but if one takes into consideration that there is a major 3rd from the root as well as a minor 3rd,
then by hierarchy we must consider the primary chord to be major. By continuing up the
structure we find that every extension, plus the 5th, are altered; hence the name. This peculiar
chord also happens to be a tritone away from another 7th chord whose 'colour-tones' are the same.

Fig 4.27 interchangeable dominants of the melodic minor (A melodic minor)


D7………Tritone……… G#7

I II III IV V VI VII
These two chords contain a shared tritone: F# and C

Fig 4.28 Shared tritone of chord IV and VII in A melodic minor

Hence G#7alt could be written as D7/G#. We can therefore say that G#7 and D7 are by their
very nature interchangeable.
If we return to the concept of parallelism in the melodic minor, we find two ways of
visualizing the tritone substitution. First we must consider that neither of these chords have a
natural resolution point within the scale:

Fig 4.29 Resolution absence of chords IV and VII

G?...................………………………………… D7
C#?...............…………....…………………….. G#7

Since the melodic minor scale and minor fundamental scale function as parallels, a resolution

from the former to the latter offers a possibility.


111

Fig 4.30 Parallelism resolution of chord IV

Melodic minor D7

Fundamental minor G7

This type of harmonic movement acts as a secondary dominant. As we can see from the example

above the movement of the root is that of a V – I but the nature of the chord it resolves to is also

a dominant, analytically speaking it would be V/V (dominant of the dominant). The name

associated to this chord is Lydian dominant. Since the D7 has proven to be interchangeable with

chord VII, then we could presume that this movement is also a possibility.

Fig 4.31 Tritone substitution of V/V


G#7 G7

But there is a problem with this logic. Since the tritone substitution comes from modally

interchanging the normal V for an altered, then the tritone substitution should be the Lydian

dominant, not the altered as in the above example.


112

Fig 4.32 Altered dominant and its tritone substitution

The difference of course is the relationship with the tonic key. If a secondary dominant is

substituted the reference is towards the key not the chord. In the previous example we had a D7

or a G#alt moving to a G7 VII of A minor. In that case G#alt VII of A melodic minor is the

closest relationship (first degree). In the example above (fig. 4.32) the key reference is C major,

a Db7alt would belong to D melodic minor, no relationship with C. Whereas a Db7 Lydian

dominant would belong to Ab melodic minor (Descending fifth degree).

In closing, most tritone substitutions I've encountered resolve to the tonic I. In these cases

one should assume the tritone substitution to be a modal interchange or an alteration of the V

which is then interchanged to its Lydian dominant counterpart. Whenever a tritone substitution is

present as a secondary dominant they should be treated as transition chords and analysed as such

i.e. closest key relationship.

Symmetric scale harmony

Symmetric scale harmony is commonly found as a form of modal interchange. There are

exceptions like Ralph Lalama's Da-lama's Da-lemma where the whole bridge section is
113

comprised of whole-tone harmony:23

Fig 4.33 Bridge section of Ralph Lalama's Da-lama's Da-lemma

We may notice that the actual key does not change, only the scale. In most cases, symmetric

harmony utilises modal interchanges from the tonic-centre, in this case C. Both the melody and

the chord are exclusive to the C whole-tone scale, which Lalama cleverly moves between

common roots of the C minor key i.e. Ab and Bb. The Gb provides the final confirmation of the

'symmetric' quality. Lalama returns to the natural dominant (G7#9) in the last bar to return to the

next section in C minor.

Symmetric harmony, however, is not generally found in such explicit settings. Normally

we find it as a special effect, where again it utilises the tonic as a point of reference. Below are

two examples of melodic symmetry which omit the chord changes, but reference the tonic-key.

23 Ralph Lalama, 'Da-lama's Da-lemma', Momentum (Criss Cross Jazz, 1992), my transcription.
114

Fig 4.34 Charlie Parker's use of symmetric scale-chord on his improvisation over Laird Baird24

The chords are not boxed since the harmony itself is not being altered, but instead it is Parker

who plays the scale over the normal chords. The scale is clearly C diminished, as indicated by

the bracket above, which references the tonic key (C major). Here is another example:

Fig 4.35 Joe Henderson's use of diminished on his improvisation over Home Stretch25

This is a C major blues and the example begins on bar 7 of the ninth chorus. We notice that

chord I and IV are boxed since it was explained earlier that blues utilise the modal interchange to

the second degree. However, Henderson ignores the chords being played by the rhythm section

and draws a diminished scale for three bars. Again this is justified since the modal interchange is

done in reference to the tonic-key.

All of these examples above are exceptions. The symmetric chord/scale is evident and it

is used in its entirety. More often we find symmetric harmony disguised as a modal interchange

of only one chord.

24 Michael H. Goldsen, Charlie Parker Omnibook (Altlantic Music Corp., 1978), 32


25 Jim Roberts, The Best Of Joe Henderson (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp. 1996), 34
115

Fig 4.36 Diminished modal interchange on Girl From Ipanema26

The above example is the last four bars of the bridge. The previous bars (not in the example) are

in D minor, hence the analysis: modulation to relative major/tonic key. The second chord appears

to be a common V/II, but on close inspection we find that this chord is exclusive to diminished

harmony, specifically half/whole tone combination. The same occurs on the last chord of the bar,

what appears as common V is again a half/whole tone type chord. Both chords reference the root

of the original/expected chord i.e. the modal interchange in this case is done to the quality of the

chord itself, not the tonic key, similar to the first examples of modal interchange we saw at the

beginning of this chapter.

In conclusion, symmetric harmony can be found in two forms: 1. as a special effect

referencing the tonic-key, in which case it is evident and it is simple to analyse and 2. as a modal

interchange, in which case one must treat it like a transition chord and the reference is towards

the nature of the chord substituted e.g. D7 interchanged for a D7 H/W tone or Cdim interchanged

for a Cdim diminished.

Chromatic harmony

Chromatic harmony is perhaps the easiest to explain. The rules are simple:

1. The distance from any diatonic chord must be a semitone, below or above.

2. The chromatic chord must be of the same quality as the neighbouring diatonic chord.

3. Sometimes it is possible to encounter a chromatic passage as opposed to a single

26 Antonio Carlos Jobim, 'Garota De Ipanema/Girl From Ipanema' (London: MCA Music Ltd., 1963).
116

chord. In this case the movements must be exact parallels of the chords before or after

and respect the above rules e.g. Fmin7-Bb7 to Emin7-A7 or vice versa.

There are many occasions on which transition chords may be confused for a chromatic one, for

example in a tritone substitution of V/V.

Fig 4.37 Tritone substitution in bar 9 of a minor blues

The above is quite common in bar 9 of minor blues. In this case the Ab is a tritone substitution of

V/V not a chromatic chord. These are often mistaken for chromatic chords because of the

symmetric semitone movement, which does not occur on tritone substitutions to chords of other

natures (minors, diminished, etc.). However, the simplest solution to this analytical problem is

that if the chord is chromatic, then the melody should also insinuate it. In other words, when a

non-diatonic chord appears in a progression, which is moving chromatically, the analyst must try

by all means to justify it as a transition, unless it is clearly delineated by the melody. Let’s look

for example at the bridge of Thelonius Monk's Well You Needn't.27

27 Thelonius Monk, 'Well You Needn't' (USA: Regent Music Corp. 1971).
117

Fig 4.38 Bridge section of Thelonius Monk's Well You Needn't

Here we can see a clear example of chromatic harmony. Firstly, we could not justify the Ab as a

tritone substitution since it does not resolve. Secondly, the melody is contributing to the analysis

by shifting the motif chromatically as well. Hence there is no doubt that this is chromatic

harmony. Other examples of chromatic harmony can be found in the second part of this thesis

(see chapter 6, sub-chapter jazz composers).

Furthermore, in modern practice chromatic harmony is often used as a resource for

playing 'outside'. This term refers to when an improviser creates a melodic line which is

purposefully non-diatonic. The simplest way to spontaneously create an idea completely out of

the key is by playing a semitone above or below the given harmony. This can be done

melodically as well as harmonically. Dave Liebman, in his ground breaking book, proposes

several possibilities for an improviser to utilise chromatic harmony as a resource for

improvisation.28 These can be from simple chromatic approach from a chord a semitone above or

below (see fig. 4.38), to complex progressions which move chromatically away from the

sounding chords (see fig. 4.39).

Fig 4.38 Liebman's single chromatic approach, page 19


28 Dave Liebman, A chromatic approach to jazz harmony and melody ([no place of publication sited]: Advance
Music, 1991).
118

Fig 4.39 Liebman's chromatic progression, page 21

In both examples the chords above the staff are the ones which would be the original chords of a

piece. The chords below the staff are those suggested by Liebman as possible chromatic

alterations. Figure 4.38 is self-explanatory, every chord suggested by Liebman is a semitone

below the expected one. Figure 4.39 however, is much more complex. Here Liebman is

exploring a combination of what he considers to be 'Coltrane-harmony'29 in addition to chromatic

harmony. The melody begins diatonically, then appears to move to its tritone substitution. In bar

2 it begins with a minorisation followed by a II-V a major third above the tonic. This moves to

the next bar where Liebman draws a semitone above the tonic chord, but the nature of this chord

is dominant 7th, hence implying a resolution to a tritone away from the tonic. The reader might

not consider this to be exactly chromatic harmony, which is true in the strict term of the word.

However, we will see in practice (part 2 of the thesis) that these ideas often do resolve

chromatically. When they don't, I take the liberty of re-conceptualizing them into something that

makes more sense.

In conclusion, in this chapter I have attempted to cover all foreseeable harmonic

situations which may be encountered during analysis of repertoire or transcriptions. The

hierarchy of intervals in conjunction with the fundamental scale, provides a basis for the

understanding of basic tonal harmony. In addition, melodic minor, symmetric and chromatic
29 Coltrane harmony refers to in the jazz vernacular as harmonic movements by minor thirds. But it is my opinion
that this term is utilised too freely and in most occasions the harmonic events have little to do with Coltrane's
original work. See Chapter 8, sub-chapter Bebop
119

scales account for the appearance of exceptions, which become more common as we progress

along the time-line. Finally, other special resources such as modal interchanges, substitutions and

chromatic detours attempt to explain certain idiosyncrasies of jazz harmony and why traditional

functions still seem to operate underneath a sound that becomes more polytonal and chromatic as

time goes by.

So now, to end part one, I would like to take a moment to put this theory to test and see

how it compares to traditional methods.

Traditional versus octatonic analysis

Going back to the analyses seen in chapter 2 I will attempt to compare some previously seen

examples to show the effectiveness of the octatonic system.

Levine explained that the analysis of chords is done through recognition of symbols.30

For this he chose the first four bars of I Didn’t Know What Time It Was.31

Fig 4.40 Levine's analysis of I Didn’t Know What Time It Was

Without having to look at the original score we are immediately able to spot problems with his

analysis. He considers minor 7th chords as II chords, whatever the scenario. This would mean

that despite the context, the scale to use would be a Dorian. Dominant 7 th chords on the other

hand can be interpreted as V of major, altered-chord or a chord derived from the diminished
30 Levine, Mark, The Jazz Theory Book, (USA: Sher Music Co., 1995), 20
31 Rodgers, Richard, 'I Didn’t Know What Time It Was', (Chappell & Co., Inc. 1939)
120

(whole-tone/semi-tone). If the 7th chord is preceded by a minor 7th and does not contain any

alterations in the symbols (such as b9 or altered) then we can assume that it is the V of a major

scale. This rationale accounts for his conclusion that the progression above is a sequence of II-Vs

in two different keys.

Fig 4.41 Chord/scale relation based on Levine's analytical system

Now using the octatonic model the methodology would be different. The first step is to try to

establish a key centre. By observing the melody and the chords we can speculate that the

progression is in D major, since the majority of chords belong to this key, and apart from the D#

most of the melody uses notes from the D major scale.

Procedure:

-Does F#min7 appear in D major? Yes

-Does B7 appear in D major? No

-Does Emin7 appear in D major? Yes

-Does A7 appear in D major? Yes

Consequently B7 is the only chord that would need justification. Using the transition chart we

begin by looking for the chord in the first degree, this would be A major. In this key we find

Bmin7. The second degree is G major and here we find the B7.

The analysis would look like this:


121

Fig 4.42 Octatonic analysis of the first four bars of I Didn’t Know What Time It Was

The analysis of B7 as V/II (V dominant of II) is more appropriate since it explains the harmonic

movement.32 The scale is indicated above therefore needs no reinforcement. Looking at the

whole piece we can compare Levine's method to the octatonic:

Fig 4.43 I Didn’t Know What Time It Was analysed using Levine's method

32 The analysis V/II should only be used when there's a clear dominant – tonic movement or V-I. Under other
circumstances the analysis should point to the position of the chord within the tonal centre. e.g. if the B7 did not
resolve to E minor then the analysis should state a boxed VI.
122

Fig 4.43 cont...

There are three noticeable problems in Levine’s analysis.

1. Should the Bmin7 in the second system be interpreted as II of A or iii of G? According to

Levine minor 7th chords are Dorian and as seen in chapter 2, chord III according to

Levine is a Bsusb9.

2. The minor II-V in the B section contains two melodic keys, and this is assuming that the

B7b9 does not belong to the diminished scale. Levine specified the V of minor as being an

altered chord not a flat 9. The 7th flat 9 chord belongs to the diminished scale harmony.

3. There are too many jumps between unrelated keys for a piece that sounds so diatonic.

To give Levine credit he does however provide the correct key analysis to most chords.

But an analysis should provide all the correct keys not some.

Now the octatonic analysis: the piece is clearly in G major. It resolves at the end to the

tonic chord and it is also indicated by the key signature. Repeating the analysis provided above

for the first four bars we can justify once again that F#min7 belongs to the key of D major. The

chord F#min7 cannot be found in the key of G, so proceeding up the hierarchy the first degree

transition is D major. We have two ways of analysing this:

1. The piece begins in D and then modulates to G or

2. The piece is solely in G and the first four bars are a tonicisation.

It would make more sense to analyse a piece from the perspective of what is heard, so that when
123

the analysis is complete one can observe and listen to the same phenomena. Since one is not

aware of the tonic key of the piece till the 6th bar we must consider the piece to start in D major.

Fig 4.44 Octatonic analysis of I Didn’t Know What Time It Was


124

Fig 4.44 Cont...

From the example above we can gather that the piece is mainly in G major. There are two

modulations, one to the 5th above and the other one to the relative minor. Interesting to observe

are bars 8 and 9 of the C section (penultimate system above). A fourth degree transition to Bb

and a fifth degree melodic transition to B melodic minor, this would seem a bit too ‘far’ for a

song written in 1939. But if we look at our original source we find that there are two alternatives

for these bars. From bar 6 one version is:33

Fig 4.45 Alternative chords for C section of I Didn’t Know What Time It Was

Emin Emin/D Cmaj7 Bmin7 Cmin9 F9 B7#5 E9 Amin7 D9sus G6

Or

G6 Emin7 Cmaj7 Bmin7 Cmin9 F9 Gmaj/D B7 C6 D9sus G6

If we follow the E minor route we can justify the E9 as a fourth degree melodic transition (V of

A melodic minor) and then a modulation back to G major. We may instead follow the G6 route,

33 The Standards Real Book, USA, Sher Music Co., 2000, 187-188
125

in which case the whole progression is diatonic (excepting the fourth degree transition to Bb).

Looking for other corroborating sources, I found that a mix of both versions is the most

common. For example see Jazz Fakebook34 and The original musicians'.35 These versions consist

of the progression starting on E minor, but resolving after the Bb transition to I-iii-II-V-I, which

reminded me of what one of my teachers in New York once told me: 'Never trust a book! They're

all wrong!'.

In chapter 2 we also saw the analysis given by Levine over the II-V b9-I in Here’s That

Rainy Day.36 His argument was that 7th chords with a flat 9 come from diminished harmony, so

for example:

Fig 4.46 Illustration of Levine's scale proposal

According to him, this would be a normal approach to this form of II-V-I. The fundamental

scale, however, offers a more diatonic solution.

Fig 4.47 Octatonic alternative to the II-V7b9-I

The added Q note to the scale contributes the flat 9 on the dominant. Later on in the analysis of

great improvisers I will show that this is a far more common explanation than Levine's

diminished harmony. Finally the analysis of the chord movements in the bridge of Sophisticated

Lady,37 where Levine uses his diminished harmony theory once again to describe the passage I-

#Idim-II:
34 Compiled by Herb Wong, The Ultimate Jazz Fakebook (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1988), 155
35 Original Legal Musicians' Fake Book (USA: Hansen House, 1978), 421
36 Jimmy Van Heusen, 'Here's That Rainy Day', (Burke & Van Heusen, Inc. 1953).
37 Duke Ellington, 'Sophisticated Lady', (Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC and EMI Mills Music Inc., 1933)
126

Fig 4.48 Levine's example of diminished harmony in Sophisticated Lady

The notes of the scale have little to do with such a diatonic-chromatic progression.

Using the transition chart we are able to find a more sensible solution:

Fig 4.49 Octatonic alternative to Levine's diminished harmony.

Now I must stress that under no circumstances I am saying that Levine's proposals are

wrong, after all they would fall under the category of a modal interchange. What I'm criticizing

is the fact that he does not offer a diatonic alternative, nor does he mention the fact that his scales

will have the sound quality of substitutions.

In conclusion, the octatonic model offers a more reliable tool to establish chord-scale

relations in the context of tonality. The analysis is not limited to chord symbols but rather to the

whole harmonic movement, considering how the chords relate to each other and how they relate

to the overall key. Now it is time to see if this theory applies throughout the harmonic

development of jazz.
127

Part II:

The Music
128

Chapter 5
Pre jazz compositions

So far we've covered theoretical aspects of the octatonic model, but how does this apply to

actual music? In the following chapters I intend to show how the octatonic model reflects the

evolution of jazz as well as accommodating other theoretical approaches. From traditional

analysis to Russell's Lydian Chromatic, all can be explained in terms of hierarchy of intervals,

transitions, substitutions and the fundamental scale.

To begin it would be interesting to look at the music that was popular and had some kind

of influence prior to the evolution of what was first called jazz. These are minstrels, spirituals,

folk songs, work songs, and of course Ragtime.1

Spirituals and work-songs

The task of finding music prior to the recorded era, circa 1913, is quite difficult. Fortunately

some accounts exist thanks to a few early observers and the production of cheap sheet music

around the last decades of the 19th century, designed for home entertainment and piano-roll

music.2 As seen in Chapter 1, the birthplace of jazz was New Orleans, this 'seeding ethnic

melting-pot'3 of cultures brought together influences from places as far apart as Europe, India

and Africa.4 Historians like Ted Gioia believe that the closeness of the cultures was such that it

erased any delineations between them. With this statement in mind I set out to look for the

earliest slave songs I could find, expecting of course to find notation sources that would impose

1 Lewis Porter, Michael Ullman, Ed Hazell, Jazz From Its Origins To The Present ([No place of publication cited]:
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1993), 7
2 Alyn Shipton, A new history of jazz (London: Continuum, 2002),10-1
3 Ted Gioia, The history of jazz, (USA: Oxford University Press,1998), 7
4 Ibid., 6-7
129

the classical western notation system, therefore eliminating much of the original flavor of the

music. But since most of the early jazz players were also educated in classical terms, we may

allow for a bit of leeway and assume that many of these songs were passed on in the same

manner and eventually lost their original sound anyway.

By far the most mentioned slave song in journals, essays and books on the subject is

Roll, Jordan, Roll. Eugene Genovese was the first to mention it and used it as the title for his

early study of slave society.5 One published version (below) from a book dated 1867 scores the

song in D major.6

Fig 5.1 1867 version of Roll, Jordan, Roll

The first two bars don't seem to indicate any change of harmony. Then on the 3 rd bar one could

interpret the harmony as changing to D7 to modulate to G major in bar five, or it could also be

possible to interpret the C natural in the melody simply as a blue note, with no real change to the

D major triad.7 It is possible to conceive the latter since the notation system used here is

European in origin, quarter note notation did not come about till the next century, and we know

5 Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The world the slaves made (New York: Pantheon books, 1974).
6 William F. Allen, Charles P. Ware, Lucy McKim Garrison, Slave Songs of the United States, ([No place of pub-
lication cited]: A. Simpson & Co., 1867), 1
7 This practice is quite common in much Afro-American music particularly the blues which will be covered be-
low.
130

from the introduction that this transcription was made by Ware with variations by McKim, both

classically trained musicians.8

In bar five there's a clear change of harmony since the inactive note is now a G.9 This

could suggest a IV, a V or a II. I believe it is more likely a IV, and since this progression is not

unusual in popular music from the period we could safely assume that this is correct. Bar six

clearly goes back to D major before moving to the dominant V and resolving again to D. This

interpretation of the first eight bars might seem biased but it is quite close to other available

versions on record, for example: Papa Bue's Viking Jazzband10 and the very early recordings of

Deep River Plantations Singers.11 Unfortunately these references date from 1929 to 1969 so they

are not reliable sources to establish if these were in fact the harmonies used prior to jazz. The

editors do note, as Gioia had, that this music had become 'imbued with the mode and spirit of

European music.'12 and it had been 'partly composed under the influence of association with the

whites'.13 So perhaps we may reason that the analysis proposed above, with the aid of some

recorded examples, is accurate enough to permit a basic octatonic analysis.

Fig 5.2 Octatonic analysis of 1867 version of Roll, Jordan, Roll

8 William F. Allen, Charles P. Ware, Lucy McKim Garrison, Slave Songs of the United States, ii
9 The assumption that it is inactive comes from its rhythmical properties as described by Galper in Chapter 3.
10 Papa Bue's Viking Jazzband, 'Roll Jordan Roll', The Hit Singles 1958-69 (Storyville Records, B0013SD924,
2000).
11 Deep River Plantations Singers, 'Roll, Jordan, Roll' (Document Records, B001W4N8XE, 1998).
12 William F. Allen, Charles P. Ware, Lucy McKim Garrison, Slave Songs of the United States, viii
13 Ibid., vi
131

At this point we can already see the use of second degree transition as part of a diatonic

piece. Though the movements are concerned only with I, IV and V chords; it is clear that the

music had already become tonal. But this is not enough evidence. Epstein confirms that McKim

was the first and only 'professional musician among the people known to have collected slave

songs in this area during the Civil War.'14 but most important yet is the statement that they were

reproduced with fidelity and sympathy.15 The following octatonic analysis of an arrangement of

the song in C major, arranged by Mckim herself,16 provides us with a piano part with her

interpretation of the harmonies. This version differs considerably to the above or any recorded

version I have found:

Fig 5.3 Octatonic analysis of McKim's piano/voice score17

14 Dena J. Epstein, Sinful Tunes And Spirituals (USA: University of Illinois Press, 1977), 260
15 Ibid., 262
16 Provided in Epstein's Sinful Tunes And Spirituals page 268-9
17 Chord symbols, Roman numerals and analytical brackets have been added by me.
132

Fig 5.3 cont...

This arrangement has an unusual tonicisation to C minor. Epstein wonders about this

arrangement as well and calls it 'highly unconventional for its time'.18 On the other hand we may

ask ourselves, could this be a misinterpretation of the blue notes on McKim's part? A flattened

3rd or 7th could be seen as a modulation in a classical theory context, but ,as can be found in the

blues, the major and minor third are melodically interchangeable whilst the supporting harmony

remains major.19 I will cover more on this below (see blues). Another important point mentioned

by Epstein is that neither of these versions (Ware or McKim's arrangement) contain the tune

usually associated with Roll, Jordan, Roll 'based on the ascending tones of the major triad.'20

which brings me to an important thought: jazz melodies are rarely played the same, variations

18 Epstein, Sinful Tunes And Spirituals, 262


19 It is also worth mentioning that Epstein considers McKim an 'inexperienced arranger' so perhaps her accuracy of
harmonic interpretation could be questioned. See page 262-270.
20 Epstein, Sinful Tunes And Spirituals, 220
133

over certain landmarks and interval-chord relationships are used in order to identify the piece

itself, a basic motif one could say. But strictly speaking in its notated form, no version resembles

the other. Seemingly this would also apply to spirituals and work songs.21 Of the 77 versions I

was able to find only a handful were recognizably the same. See for example the difference

between The Fairfield Four version22 and the more Rock 'n Roll style of the Palmetto State

Quartet.23 Therefore when speaking about a specific song one must take into account that

numerous different variations exist or could exist, but what concerns us here is the basic

harmonic frame and its principal motifs e.g. the ascending major triad of Roll Jordan Roll.

The score below, from 1926 and arranged by Johnson,24 might provide a final version

that comes closer to the tune we know today. It also resembles most recorded versions so we

could speculate that it was this or a similar version that set the standard.

Fig 5.4 Octatonic analysis of Johnson's Roll, Jordan, Roll 1926 version25

21 Ibid., 261
22 The Fairfield Four, 'Roll, Jordan, Roll', Standing in the Safety Zone (Word Entertainment, B000002LU0, 1992).
23 Palmetto State Quartet, 'Roll, Jordan, Roll', When He Blessed My Soul, (Horizon Records, B0012K7LNQ,
2001).
24 Rosamond J. Johnson, Laurence Brown, The Book Of American Negro Spirituals, (London: Chapman & Hall,
Ltd., 1926), 105
25 Chord symbols, Roman numerals and analytical brackets have been added by me.
134

Fig 5.4 cont...


135

Fig 5.4 cont...

In this analysis we can see that my initial speculations about the harmony were correct.26

The harmony is very stationery with only a modal interchange to the second degree. The chords

are also the ones used in most versions excepting the use of secondary chords for voice

movement.

26 A few points about the analysis: 1.- I've substituted the triad notation e.g. Ebmaj, for simply Eb to avoid confu-
sion with the key referent on top. 2.- The Eb7 analysis as a i instead of V/IV is because the Eb7 doesn't resolve,
the Eb7 is not acting as a dominant but rather as a modal interchange, the function is still tonic.
136

Go Down Moses, known originally as The Song Of The Contrabands, has an interesting

story that fits well at this point of the thesis. This song started out as a slave song sang at

Fortress Monroe,27 circa 1862, and its impact was such that it spread throughout the land, partly

due to McKim's transcription and John S. Dwight's journal of music.28 Go Down Moses, as it is

known today, has been played from Tuskegee Institute Singers (circa 1914-1927)29 to Charles

Lloyd (2002).30 Below is my analysis of a score from 1926 also arranged by Johnson.31

Fig 5.5 Octatonic analysis of Johnson's version of Go Down Moses32

27 Epstein, Sinful Tunes And Spirituals, 367


28 William F. Allen, Charles P. Ware, Lucy McKim Garrison, Slave Songs of the United States, ii
29 Tuskegee Institute Singers, 'Go Down Moses (B-15167-1)', 1914-1927: In Chronological Order (Document Re-
cords, B000000JH8, 1997).
30 Charles Lloyd, ' Go Down Moses', Lift Every Voice (ECM, B00006L3GC, 2002).
31 Rosamond J. Johnson, Laurence Brown, The Book Of American Negro Spirituals (London: Chapman & Hall,
Ltd. 1926), 51
32 Chord symbols, Roman numerals and analytical brackets have been added by me.
137

Fig 5.5. cont....


138

We can observe that this piece is mostly diatonic, no modulations and a simple first

degree transition. The introduction establishes the key (F minor) via a I-V-I movement. In bar

two of the A section it moves to the IV but it is embellished by adding a 6th to it. After returning

to chord I it detours to the VI chord before passing through a first degree transition, the

secondary q chord of C minor, written as #iv because of its secondary nature. Then VII-V back

to I. Besides some inversions in section B the harmonies are quite straight forward. Now to

compare this to the original 1861 version:33

Fig 5.6 Octatonic analysis of Baker's Song Of The Contrabands

33 The Song of the “contrabands”, arranged by Thomas Baker (Washington, Horace Waters, 1861).
139

Fig 5.6 cont...

The changes are minimal. This original version in G minor contains slightly different chords but

it remains the same degree transition (first degree). The lyrics of the A section in Go Down

Moses coincide with the chorus of The Song Of The Contrabands.

Fig 5.7 Lyrics of Go Down Moses and The Song Of The Contrabands
140

The differences are minimal. The intervallic relation is nearly the same and the word 'king' is

replaced by 'ole'.

In bar six of the chorus we see a similar movement: VI which goes to IV instead of #iv,

but #iv (C#dim) appears anyway a bar later before V-I to finish.

Fig 5.8 Bars 5 to 8 of the chorus of The Song Of The Contrabands

Fig 5.9 Bars 3 to 10 of the A section of Go Down Moses

In Go Down Moses we saw the first degree transition leading up to VII-V-I, whereas in Song Of
141

The Contrabands #iv leads directly into V-I. The words 'Tell ole Pharaoh' from Go Down Moses

and 'Tell king Pharaoh' from Song Of The Contrabands fall on the same bars, but on Moses 'Tell

ole' takes place over the VI chord and in Contrabands the VI occurs over 'Pharaoh'. The melody

in Song Of The Contrabands appears quite different at first glance, but draws upon the same

chord-tones, less ornamented, as Moses.

Another legendary piece that has survived the passage of time is Swing Low Sweet

Chariot. This spiritual is known to have slipped into Dvoák's New World Symphony 34 and is

still performed by artists as varied as Eric Clapton35 and Joan Baez36. This stunning arrangement

from 1926 is provided by Johnson.37

Fig 5.10 Octatonic analysis of Johnson's Swing Low Sweet Chariot

34 Colles, H. C., 'Antonín Dvoák. III. In the New World', The Musical Times, Vol. 82, No. 1180 (1941), 209-211
(211)
35 Eric Clapton, 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot', Time Pieces: The Best Of Eric Clapton (Universal, B0002ZEUJ0,
2005).
36 Joan Baez, 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot', Essential/From The Heart (Polygram International, B000006SNF,
1993).
37 Rosamond J. Johnson, Laurence Brown, The Book Of American Negro Spirituals (London: Chapman & Hall,
Ltd. 1926), 62-3
142

Fig 5.10 cont...


143

Fig 5.10 cont...

The introduction establishes the key via a Plagal cadence and the piece begins with a

diatonic progression: I, IV, I, V, etc. In bar 8 it detours to a first degree transition (A7) in the key

of D major before continuing as before. At the end of bar 9 we find an unexpected chord: D7 #5.

We know of three chords that can be voiced in this manner, these are:

1. III of Bb, which would make it a fourth degree transition

2. V of G melodic minor, which would mean a first degree melodic transition.

3. Or VII of Eb melodic minor, which would mean something like fifth degree (descending)

melodic transition.

The obvious choice here, for proximity to the tonic key, would be V of G melodic minor. This

harmonization of the melody could also be interpreted as a modal interchange, since the Bb
144

could be interpreted as a chromatic passing note, but Johnson decided to harmonize it as V with

a sharpened 5th, hence we are obliged to find the scale that would fit it best in its tonal context.

The rest of the piece continues in normal fashion, I, IV and V movements, till bar 19, the Cmin6.

Fig 5.11 Bars 18 to 21 of Swing Low Sweet Chariot

A secondary iv and two bars later a secondary iii, these progressions are very common in jazz.

Finally in bar 25 and 34 a secondary ii, which is quite a modern substitution for this genre.

Fig 5.12 Bars 25 and 34

One must take into consideration that this arrangement is from 1926, it is unlikely that

older versions (before 1900) would have used such harmonic extensions/embellishments. On the

other hand this arrangement has several educational advantages:

D It uses several possibilities of diatonic secondary chords (iv, ii and iii)

D It contains a first degree modal interchange not encountered thus far.


145

D There is ample use of extensions (G6, D7, Amin7b5 AKA “AØ”, Cmin6).

But what is of particular significance is how this arrangement seems drenched in

fundamental scale’ harmony. The Q note (Eb in G major) and the additional harmonies it

contributes, appear constantly throughout the piece. Perhaps this is an interesting point in time

(1926) where fundamental harmony begins to appear more prominently.

I would like to end this sub-chapter with a song that is perhaps the most famous of all

African-American spirituals, Amazing Grace. This song was originally written by John Newton

in 1779 as a Christian hymn.38 Later, in 1831, it was published with a slightly more modernized

melody, closer to what we know now today.39 Finally, in 1835, it was re-arranged by William

Walker with the harmony commonly associated to it.40 Michael Harris provides two versions, an

'old way' and a modernized version by the renown Thomas Dorsey, 41 a famous gospel singer

who fathered the birth of Gospel Blues.42

Fig 5.13 Octatonic analysis of Amazing Grace original version

We may notice that the harmony is quite common for the period and less sophisticated

than the previous pieces I have analysed. The F5 in the penultimate bar could be argued as a

secondary chord, but since this chord is actually more of a Fmin(omit 3rd) then it should be analysed

38 John Newton, William Cowper, Olney hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779), 53


39 David L. Clayton, The Virginia Harmony (Winchester: Samuel H. Davis, 1831).
40 Steve Turner, Amazing Grace: The story of America's most beloved song (USA: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2002),
254
41 Michael W. Harris, The Rise Of The Gospel Blues: The Music of Thomas Andrew Dorsey (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1992), 102-5
42 Ibid., ix
146

as primary.43

Fig 5.13 Dorsey's version:

It is interesting to note that Dorsey's version is harmonically simplified but the melody is far

more ornamented. Chord IV is substituted by secondary v. We may also note the omission of the

second degree transition and a substitution of the II-V for a V/V-V. Below is a version published

by Hal Leonard,44 this version seems to coincide with the majority of modern recordings (see:

Aretha Franklin,45 Judy Collins46 and Johnny Cash47).

43 The absence of intervals which corroborate primary nature do not need to be present, since cultural conditioning
will make us hear the primary by default. It is secondary chords that need reinforcement or explicitness.
44 Compiled by Dr. Herb Wong, The Ultimate Jazz Fakebook (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1988),
44
45 Aretha Franklin, 'Amazing Grace', Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings (Atlantic / Wea, B00000IPY3,
1999).
46 Judy Collins, 'Amazing Grace', Amazing Grace (Delta , B0000C662K, 2009)
47 Johnny Cash, 'Amazing Grace', Cash - Ultimate Gospel (Columbia/Legacy, B00136M0KI, 2007).
147

Fig 5.14 Modern version of Amazing Grace

Like the traditional version offered by Harris, this version above contains a second degree

transition in the form of V/IV (dominant of IV) and chord IV in bar 3, as opposed to secondary v

as in Dorsey's version.

Further research I have done into spirituals and work-songs suggests, with minor

exceptions, that most of the harmony used in this period is predominantly diatonic with slight

uses of first and second degree transitions (mostly in the form of V/x or Q diminished). So it is

time to cover other forms of popular songs of the time.

Popular songs of the 19th century

By popular I am referring not necessarily to greatest hits of the era, but rather songs which were

well-known at the time of their writing. These are songs that were published for home

entertainment as well as quoted and rearranged hundreds of times on films, shows, radio,

minstrels, etc., and still survive today. Most of these songs were known around the time of the

American civil war and their popularity around the turn of the century is well documented.48

The earliest score I managed to find of this time period was Dixie's Land49 by Dan

48 Richard Jackson, Popular Songs Of The Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Dover Publications, Inc.,
1976), vi-ix
49 Dan D. Emmett, 'Dixie's Land', in Emmett's inimitable Plantation Songs written for Bryant's Minstrels (New
York: Firth, Pond & Co., 1860), 3-5
148

Emmett, this traditional American song is perhaps one of the most played tunes of American

history. From Warner Brothers cartoons to television series like The Dukes of Hazzard, this tune

has been a symbol of southern United States for over a century.50

Fig 5.15 Octatonic analysis of Emmett's Dixie's Land51

50 Hans Nathan, Daniel D. Emmett, 'Dixie', The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 1, (1949), 60-84
51 Chord symbols and analytical brackets are my addition.
149

Fig 5.15 cont...


150

Fig 5.15 cont...

Once again we don't find any unusual progressions. There is a first degree transition in

bar 20 (V/V) and the rest of the movements can be summarized in the usual cadence

movements. The melody rests solely on chord notes and only uses scale notes.

Home Sweet Home52 was written by an English composer/conductor as part of a play

called Clari, which was a hit in London in 1823.53 The success of the play, back then called an

opera, sent this piece around the world to eventually become an American classic.

52 Henry R. Bishop, 'Home Sweet Home' as part of the opera Clari or Maid of Mila at the Theatre Royal, Covent
Garden (G.E. Blake, Philadelphia, 1823).
53 Jackson, Popular Songs Of The Nineteenth-Century America, 270
151

Fig 5.16 Octatonic analysis of Bishop's Home Sweet Home

We can appreciate that this is an extremely simple piece that contains no transitions, no

modulations, no secondary chords, only basic I, IV and V movements.


152

Jingle Bells,54 originally published as The One Horse Open Sleigh, known today as a

Christmas carol, was originally published in 1857. Its author, James Pierpont, barely saw the

success of the song in his lifetime but by the turn of the century it was widely well-known in

America, particularly in the south where its author settled in the last years of his life. 55 The

chorus of this version has little to do with the version we know nowadays.

Fig 5.17 Octatonic analysis of Pierpont's Jingle Bells

54 James Pierpont, 'Jingle Bells' or the 'One Horse Open Sleigh' (Oliver Ditson & Co., Washington, 1857).
55 Jackson, Popular Songs Of The Nineteenth-Century America, 272
153

Fig 5.17 cont...

Though at first glance this tune appears similar to home sweet home in terms of harmonic

movement, this piece is the earliest example that I have been able to find of the use of primary

III (C major). Thus, it is also the earliest example of an imminent use of Q. The verse of the song

follows similar guidelines as the previous example: I, IV and V movements. But in the chorus,

starting from the second bar, the chord progression V-VI-III-IV-I with the melody actually

resting on Q over chord III, makes this tune stand out amongst its contemporaries.56

56 Notice that C major is interpreted as primary III instead of V of the relative minor. This is because under the oc-
tatonic model the C would need to resolve to F minor to suggest a modulation, otherwise it is perceived as VI-
III-IV all in reference to the tonic major.
154

Eastburn's The Little Brown Jug,57 published in 1869, was probably 'One of the most

popular Comic Songs in existence',58 but this song also transcended the popularity of its time and

became a Swing favourite 60 years later, see for example: Billy May59 and Glenn Miller.60

Fig 5.18 Octatonic analysis of Eastburn's The Little Brown Jug

The original version contains nothing unusual, I, IV and V movements, no passing notes,

chromaticism or transitions. By 1869, twelve years after the publication of Jingle Bells, popular

57 Eastburn, 'The Little Brown Jug' (J.E. Winner, Philadelphia, 1869). Note: Eastburn was the alias used by Joseph
Winner, it was also his middle name.
58 Jackson, Popular Songs Of The Nineteenth-Century America, 274
59 Billy May, 'The Little Brown Jug' Plays the Standards (EMI, B0001NIZ1M, 2004).
60 Glenn Miller, 'The Little Brown Jug' The Best of Glenn Miller (Music Digital, B00000JX45, 2003).
155

harmony still hadn't evolved much. Triads in root position were still most common place as for

example in other tunes like Oh My Darling Clementine61 and Grandfather's Clock.62 Little

Brown Jug in the 1940s was considerably different, all the chords were extended to use at least a

6th. The traditional harmony was embellished by additions of secondary chords including V/x

and suspended chords, plus considerable modulations. For example Feist's arrangement for

Glenn Miller:63

Fig 5.19 Octatonic analysis of Feist's arrangement (Chords symbols by Feist)64

61 Percy Montrose, 'Oh My Darling Clementine' (Oliver Ditson & Co., Boston, 1884).
62 Henry C. Work, 'Grandfather's Clock' (C.M. Cady, New York, 1876).
63 Eastburn, 'The Little Brown Jug', arrangement by Leo Feist (Big Three Music Ltd., USA, 1939).
64 Last section has been omitted since it provides no useful comparison and would only lend itself to confusion at
this point.
156

Fig 5.20 cont...

The chord symbols are provided by the arranger himself, but there are several

inconsistencies. For example: in the bridge section (bar 11) Feist did not specify any chords, but

it is obvious by the accentuated bass on bars 10 and 12 that there is a sound of a dominant V. In

bar 13 we have Bb-Ab7-Ebm6, but since the bass remains an Ab why not presume that it is

actually a change from Ab7 to Ab9, which would resemble the actual sound taking place? In the
157

next bar (bar 14) we find a tritone substitution, C#7b5 (unusually spelled as -5 suggesting a minor

5th instead of diminished or flattened). Once again there is nothing to suggest a C# chord, but

rather a G7 with a raised 11th. Finally, bars 27, 29 and 31 Feist spells a B diminished but the

chord being struck on beat two suggests a minor and a sharpened 11 th in the melody. I point out

these inconsistencies so that it is understood that the analysis is done respecting Feist's chord

suggestions, an in-depth octatonic analysis would require the respelling of chord symbols to

match that which is being heard.

Beside these inconsistencies the chords of the song are embellished using very common

additions. The progression IV to #iv diminished in bar 2 and 6 is typical of blues and swing

pieces of the era. The reason I analysed the #iv as a secondary is because the minor 7 th (F#Ø)

should be considered primary and the diminished 7th (F#O AKA F#dim) should be considered a

secondary option.65 Thus primary VII in G would be F#Ø (F#min7b5) and vii (secondary) F#O

(diminished). From bar 10 to 17 Feist adds a bridge section before going back to the melody. In

bar 13 we find two transitions in a row: Bb, IV of F major, and Ab7, V of Eb melodic minor. In

the next bar, as seen above, is a dubious tritone substitution. Whether this is a justifiable tritone

substitution or simply an alteration of the V, the Ab melodic minor would still be the appropriate

scale analysis.66 In the next section of the arrangement the melody is revisited with slight

rhythmic and harmonic variations. The #iv is replaced by the diatonic II. Feist then adds another

bridge section (C-AO-BO-C) utilizing secondary ii of G major (analysed as vi from the tonal

context) and again a secondary vii, this time in C. It is important to note that A diminished is

simply another inversion of F# diminished and chord vii, as seen in harmonic functions, is a

dominant substitute of V. Therefore, the progression AO-BO-C can be seen as a variation of

F#O-G7-C of the first section.

Seventy years after its original publication Little Brown Jug was still a popular tune, but

65 The distance between the 5th (C) to the minor 7th (E) is a major 3rd whereas the distance between the 5th and the
diminished 7th (Eb) is a minor 3rd. By following the hierarchy of intervals the major 3rd relationship should be
considered primary and any other smaller combination secondary. However, this chord could truly be interpreted
as q in first inversion: Ebdim/F#
66 See tritone substitution for interchangeability of VII altered and IV Lydian dominant.
158

its sound had change dramatically. The harmony was richer and more elaborate and the melody

swung. Feist's arrangement would not be considered jazz, it was a popular/dance arrangement

for a band that enjoyed popular acclaim and that never intended to play jazz. But before I detour

too much from the time-line I will continue with jazz's greatest influence of all, in the hope of

finding the link between early popular music and jazz.

Ragtime

By far the most renowned ragtime composers of the period were Scott Joplin, James Scott and

Joseph Lamb.67 These composers wrote most of the famous pieces that gave ragtime its voice in

the world. It is well documented that the first jazzmen, from Jelly Roll Morton to Duke

Ellington, enjoyed in their youth playing classics such as Maple Leaf Rag, Sensation and The

Entertainer; just to name a few. Ragtime is perhaps the only style of music that clearly links

Euro-American principles to African rhythms68 and as seen in chapter 1, it was this music that

slowly transformed into jazz.

Joplin's earliest composition is possibly Please Say You Will (1895)69 which was a waltz.

Though this was quite an early work we can already see a more sophisticated level of harmonic

development than other popular songs of the time:

67 Lewis Porter, Michael Ullman, Ed Hazell, Jazz from it origins to the present (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1993),
12
68 Michael Hall, Leaving Home: A Conducted Tour Of Twentieth-Century Music With Simon Rattle (Great Britain:
Faber and Faber Ltd., 1996), 164
69 Scott Joplin, 'Please Say You Will' (M.L. Mantell, New York, 1895).
159

Fig 5.21 Octatonic analysis of Joplin's Please Say You Will70 (introduction)

The introduction begins using both basic transitions, first and second. The vi (ii of F

major) could be interpreted as an inversion of C# diminished (q of F), which would make more

sense because, since q is a dominant, the movement would be similar to a V/iii - iii. 71 The

progression Xdim – iii is repeated throughout the piece usually in the form of C#dim (#v), hence

we could safely assume that all diminished chords found in this piece are inversions of first-

degree q.

70 Original score is voice and piano only, all analytical elements, including chord symbols, are added by me. Same
applies for the rest of this section.
71 In F major the dominants are C7, A7, C#dim and Edim In early swing it is common to find q as a substitute of
the minor dominant, thus V of a minor chord is often substituted for q of the same key i.e. instead of A7-Dmin
we find C#dim-Dmin
160

Fig 5.22 Octatonic analysis of Please Say You Will (First verse)
161

The first verse follows a similar harmonic pattern to the introduction. Interesting here is

the use of chord VI followed by V/V in bars 19 and 20, then reduced in bar 21, since this gives

the illusion of a II-V-I to F. Another worthy consideration is the use of Q in the melody in this

bar (21), harmonized as C7b9, though it could be argued that the Db is simply a chromatic

passing note to C. But the length of the note equals the length of the chord being struck, hence

the sound we hear is that of C7b9. The section finishes on the dominant (V) which leads into the

next verse.

Fig 5.23 Octatonic analysis of Please Say You Will (second verse)
162

Fig 5.23 cont...

The second verse (above) offers slight variations from the first. Of particular interest is

the use of iv in bar 33 leading into iii, which creates the effect of a chromatic movement but both

are in fact diatonic in the fundamental scale. In bar 37 we find an F9: though this extension (the

9th) is provided by the melody, we can already appreciate the addition of upper-structures in

popular harmony. This verse finishes on chord I before moving in to a bridge section:

Fig 5.24 Octatonic analysis of Please Say You Will (bridge)


163

Fig 5.24 cont...

The bridge cleverly modulates to the relative minor before modulating to the first degree

of the tonic key. Modulating to the first degree is useful since the whole key seems to act as a

dominant, Joplin treats this carefully by reinforcing the F key with frequent V-I movements. The

section finishes with the I converted to a V of the tonic key.

The last verse (omitted here) is almost identical to the second verse with some omissions in the

melody and slightly different voicings.


164

Fig 5.25 Octatonic analysis of Please Say You Will (chorus)


165

The first four bars of the chorus present an unusual dissonance: the left hand is striking

down on a Bb major triad whilst the right hand and the melody play an Eb an octave above. This

creates a flattened 9th interval between the top D of the triad and the Eb. One may wonder if

Joplin actually intended such dissonance or if he didn't consider the duration of the event to be

of any consequence. In any case the duration of this note is equivalent to the chord being struck,

so I've taken the liberty of adding the chord symbol Bb(add11). The rest of the chorus doesn't

present any more peculiarities.

Maple Leaf Rag72 was Joplin's first ragtime, written only four years after Please Say You

Will. It already shows extensive alterations of the traditional harmony, extensive use of transitions,

upper-structures, modulations and a very clever minorisation:

Fig 5.26 Octatonic analysis of Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag

The first four bars offer nothing special harmonically speaking, but serve to establish the tonality. Joplin

immediately breaks the obvious by introducing an Fb chord to announce, what appears to be, a change of

key.

72 Scott Joplin, 'Maple Leaf Rag' (Shattinger International Publications, USA, 1972)
166

Fig 5.26 cont... (bars 4-7)

It does not become apparent that the change is towards the minorisation of Ab (modal

interchange), but the initial chord is alien enough to the key to call attention. I hesitated to

consider this chord a diatonic VI of Ab minor since most jazz musicians would probably

consider the Fb a tritone substitution of V/V. But my reasoning for this is that since there is

nothing to indicate a 7th chord (Fb7), I must consider the option which is closest to the tonic

centre, thus a diatonic VI.

Fig 5.26 cont... (bars 8-11)

In the next four bars Joplin works the piece back to major. He achieves this by using a

chord common to both keys. D diminished is q of Eb minor (first degree transition of Ab minor)

or chord vii of Eb major (first degree transition of Ab major). In bar 10 we find Fb/D, which

could be interpreted as an inversion of E7. Unlike the previous Fb, this chord does sound and act

like a tritone substitution. First of all the context is different. Previously the Fb was used as a

starting point of a minorisation, now it's in the middle of a progression in a major key and the

voicing is not a triad but a dominant 7th chord. If this chord had progressed into a V, then the
167

matter would be simple: a tritone substitution of V/V. However, in this case it moves to Ab

which makes it a transition chord instead of a substitution chord. The logical analysis would be

third-degree transition (primary III in C major) but this would conflict with the melody which

passes through Bb. C major fundamental does not contain a Bb, thus we must continue up the

hierarchy which eventually lands us in B melodic minor. In other words an unresolved tritone

substitution of V/V. The reason I stress these subtleties is that one of the main arguments for the

need for the octatonic system is precisely these small subtleties of jazz harmony. In music from a

later period we will see that sometimes composers utilise modal interchanges or chords from

higher degrees. Hence, if the analysis is not done correctly, one may end up with a set of scales

that do not match the texture or peculiarity of the tune.

Fig 5.26 cont... (bars 12-16)

The next four bars reinforce the same ideas an octave lower.

Fig 5.26 cont... (bars 17-20)


168

Fig 5.26 cont... (bars 21-33)

The next section (above) plays around with V and I in different inversions. Interesting to

observe is the added tension on the dominant by striking the 5th of the chord first and then the

root. The F triad in bar 29 might present doubt but following the hierarchy the selection is

obvious. The options are:

D I of F, a fourth degree descending transition, rare and unlikely.

D IV of C, a third degree transition.

D V of Bb, a major second from the tonic key, unavailable in the hierarchy.

D IV of C melodic minor, fifth degree melodic transition.

D V of Bb melodic minor, unavailable in the hierarchy, and finally

D III of Db, a second degree transition.


169

In chapter 4 (Fig 4.10) I explained key relations and how each degree provides a secondary

dominant to a diatonic chord: the first degree contains the V/V, the second degree contains the

V/II, etc. Thus III of Db is the most appropriate answer, unless otherwise suggested by the

melody.

The last four bars of this section (bars 31-32) present a common early jazz trademark. A

variation of the II-V-I progression in which the II is substituted by a V/V.

I've omitted the next section, 16 bars, since it is exactly the same as the first.

Fig 5.26 cont... (bars 50-61)

This section takes us away from Ab and modulates to the second degree, Db. After much

insistence of V-I, Joplin detours again to a second degree transition in the form of V/II only to

prepare us for the very modern progression ahead:


170

Fig 5.26 cont... (bars 62-33)

The whole of bar 62 could be considered as a C7b9, instead of half a bar of G diminished and

then C7b9. But since the root C is absent for the first beat it is better to consider what we

actually hear. On the other hand the movement Gdim-C7b9 sounds very similar to a II-V minor

leading to iii, which is a supra-tonic.73 There are quite a few pieces in jazz that use this resource

to create less obvious harmonic movements, see for example bars 4-5 of It Could Happen To

You, where we have a II/iii-V/iii to tonic I. In the next few bars after this Joplin uses very

modern chords for the period, Bb7(add13), Eb9 and Ab13; to bring us back to I.

Fig 5.26 cont... (bars 67-74)

This section is quite difficult to analyse, though the chords appear simple. On a superficial level it

is evident that Joplin is modulating back to the tonic key (Ab), partly due to the change of key signature

73 Substitute of the tonic. See chapter 3: harmonic functions.


171

and also due to the presence of the Eb7 in bars 71 and 72. However, an improviser might not wish to be

so abrupt in the change and might also hear this progression as I do: our previous section clearly

established Db as a tonic centre. When we begin this section the first chord does not sound like a IV

simply because the key signature has changed. In fact, if we recall the chapter of modulations and

tonicisations, I mentioned how the difference is that in a modulation one loses the reference to the tonic

key, case in point.74 Up to now we have had 32 bars of Db tonic-centre, consequently it is quite difficult

not to perceive the first Db of this section as tonic I. Nevertheless, Joplin is very clever in avoiding any

disambiguating notes e.g. Gb, G, E or A over these chords, and thus achieves a wonderfully gentle return

to the tonic in which it is quite hard to pinpoint exactly where the modulation occurs. After many hours of

improvising over these two sections I came to the conclusion which is seen in the analysis above. That is,

in my view the modulation takes place on the Eb7 I bar 71. The first Db is perceived as I and the Ab a V,

since playing a Gb over this chord does not sound as awkward as playing a G.

Fig 5.26 cont... (bars 75-83)

Bars 75 to 78 again seem slightly subjective. Personally I do hear the Db as a IV this time

because the previous cadence already 'tuned' my ears to Ab major. However, the parallelism of the

movement might warrant an equivalent analysis i.e. interpret the Db-Ab movement again from the

perspective of the key of Db major, as in a short tonicisation. In my improvisation of these sections I

74 I have also mentioned how the difference between modulation and tonicisation is highly subjective and it will
inevitably differ from one listener to another.
172

found that both perspectives seem to work, but the latter (the parallelism) requires the use of similar

motifs to clearly establish a temporal return to Db key centre.

Joplin, not satisfied with the vagueness of the resolution, uses an intricate progression of

V/x to truly establish the Ab as tonic! The Bb7#11 is very modern for this period and this type of

music, so I was forced to check other sources to be certain that this was truly the chord written

by Joplin.75 A second degree melodic transition was common place in classical music, but in

popular music of the era it might have been considered quite adventurous. Nevertheless, the

chord is of very short duration and it is almost felt like a chromaticism.

The Entertainer76 was another of Joplin's famous hits, written in 1902 this piece shows

how Joplin's music kept evolving.

Fig 5.27 Octatonic analysis of Joplin's The Entertainer (introduction)

The introduction uses a simple descending motif eventually resting on G dominant. This

seems sufficient for establishing the key.

75 Published versions by John Stark & Son. ,1899, and Martin Gieseking 2001.
76 Scott Joplin, 'The Entertainer' ( Shattinger International Publications, USA, 1972)
173

Fig 5.27 cont... (bars 4-20)

The tune begins immediately with transitions and chromatic passages. In bar 5 I could

have analysed the last beat as Dmin-D#min, but I considered the movement too brief to have an

impact on the overall harmony.77 Again we find transitions of first and second degree in the form

of V/x, but more interesting is the movement in bars 16 and 17, four bars before the end of the

section. This chord progression, I-V/IV-IV-iv-I and the line of the bass, are a trademark of the

blues, particularly in endings, but as we know the blues appeared circa 1905 and this tune was

77 See the chromatic scale: chromatic harmony.


174

published in 1902. We also know that blues was originally mostly modal. Perhaps we can

already see how the styles began to influence each other. Furthermore, the Fmin seems to

suggest that Joplin was also aware, aurally (perhaps not intellectually), of fundamental scale

harmony and the secondary chord possibility.

Fig 5.27 cont... (bars 21-37)


175

The next section (above) continues with the same type of progressions: many chromatic

movements, both melodic and harmonic, and transitions of first and second degree. Secondary q

of G appears as D#dim (analysed as #ii) instead of Ebdim which makes sense since the

movement of the voices is upwards, towards C.

The next section repeats the same ideas as the first section so I've omitted it as there's

nothing new worth noting.

Fig 5.27 cont... (bars 54-57)

In the bridge Joplin uses the same resource he used in Maple Leaf Rag and modulates to

the second degree. This time he uses a different approach: instead of playing the V-I repeatedly

he starts the progression from the IV of the original key, now acting as I, followed by the IV of

the new key. Since the chord Bb cannot be found in the key of C major there is an immediate

impression of a change of key. In other words, instead of using V to draw the new tonality as it

would be expected, Joplin prefers to draw the obvious differences between the two keys. Yet, it

is important to observe that the tonic-centre F is not completely established at this point, since

the Dmin still has an inclination to sound as II of the tonic key, thus making the Bb a transition

chord. However, this is remedied by the use of Gmin in bar 57 which corroborates that we are no

longer in C major.
176

Fig 5.27 cont... (bars 58-61)

In bar 59 we finally feel the F as tonic, but Joplin quickly detours into a progression not

encountered thus far: a V/iii. The E7-Amin implies a modulation, but this not so since Amin

clearly belongs to F major and there is not enough time for a modulation to be implicit. This

beautiful movement works well since iii is a supra-tonic which in turn is a substitute of the I,

when the C7 is struck it doesn't sound that far from A minor.

Fig 5.27 cont... (bars 62-70)

In bar 67 we see iii used straight after the IV, though it could be argued that there is not

enough information here to speculate such a conclusion, but I believe that the strong

combination of A in the bass, C in the melody, and both landing on beat 1 are sufficient to leave

the impression of an A minor chord. After this chord we encounter a Db7 in the same bar. The

analysis here is tricky since it resolves to an F with a C in the bass. Considering hierarchy of
177

degrees we should analyse this as a third degree transition (chord III in the A major scale) but the

sound we are hearing in the next bar is not of F major, but a dominant of some sort. Looking at

the score we realize that though the right hand is playing an F triad, the bass is insisting on the C

so that when it arrives in either the first or second ending it creates the impression of resolution.

Therefore we could assume that the actual sound we are hearing is that of a Csus4, this is helped

by the fact that the melody rests on G for a moment, consequently the Db7 is a tritone

substitution of V/v (secondary v).

Fig 5.27 cont... (bars 71-74)

In the next section Joplin uses a similar technique as Maple Leaf Rag to modulate back to

the original key. He begins with I of F major (IV of C) and then utilizes the common chord

F#dim (q of Bb and vii of G) to bring it to C. This is quite clever since q of Bb is a second

degree transition to F whereas vii of G is a first degree transition to C. The proximity to the key

of C validates the hierarchical pull making this modulation unusual yet effective. The V/V-V-I

occurring later serves only to corroborate the effect just described.

The last section does not offer any more insights so I have also omitted from here.

There are two things at this point that stand out in Joplin's work:

1. the way he uses first degree transitions as a substitute of the dominant i.e. q-I

(for example bar 33). This not only helps break the monotony of V-I but it also seems that Joplin

considers the whole key of the first degree as a dominant.

2. His use of common chords to modulate between keys. In Maple Leaf Rag we
178

saw how he avoided any disambiguating notes whilst he played around with common chords

before establishing their tonal-centre. In the Entertainer he added to this play of chords a

second/first degree commonality (F#dim) which also serves to create an evasive tonal-centre.

Weeping willow78 was written only a year after The Entertainer and already shows how

Joplin's concept kept expanding:

Fig 5.28 Octatonic analysis of Joplin's Weeping Willow (introduction)

Once again, in the introduction, Joplin uses a melody line to draw the dominant. He then begins

the piece by moving between I, IV and V using transitions in the form of V/x:

Fig 5.28 cont... (4-11)

78 Scott Joplin, 'Weeping Willow' ( Shattinger International Publications, USA, 1972)


179

Though we see some of the usual trademarks e.g. IV-iv and V/V, the progressions are already

becoming slightly more unpredictable. The movement of I to VI to the V with its 5 th on the bass,

seems to be a forerunner of the common turnaround in jazz.

Fig 5.28 cont... (12-20)

The B7 in bar 16 might be more appropriately analysed as III of G, but it does create the

illusion of a modulation to the relative minor. Nevertheless, the movement is too brief to be

considered a modulation but strong enough for the sound of V-I (B7-Emin) to be heard, thus the

analysis of V/VI.

Fig 5.28 cont... (21-24)

Joplin, as in all his pieces up to this point, modulates to the second degree. Though this
180

time he is far less concerned with establishing the new key and instead just leaps in without any

warning. This time he achieves the new key via a progression from the I to the relative minor

and then to the IV (F) of the new key, which is not found in G major. In this manner Joplin

establishes the second degree as a new key in a more subtle way than before e.g. I-IV-VI-II used

in the Entertainer.

Fig 5.28 cont... (25-37)

He utilizes the same progression again using a tritone substitution to move to a dominant sus4,

but this time takes it to the supra-tonic instead of the tonic I. This movement above is

particularly interesting since Joplin manages to delay the resolution to I for four bars. First he

goes to VI then iii, both supra-tonics, he then plays a B7 to reinforce the iii. It is almost as if he

was intending to establish E minor as a new key, but before this becomes implicit he takes us
181

back to V and resolves to the tonic. The next eight bars repeat the same process as above but the

section finishes with a V/V-V-I.

Fig 5.28 cont... (38-37)

The last section surprisingly doesn't take us back to the original key (G major) as in his

other pieces, and instead plays a variation of the first section but still based on C major. The

rhythm and the lead voice in the first bar are virtually identical, but this time they are playing

over a dominant chord instead of a tonic. This type of motif development had not been used by

Joplin thus far. His motifs were normally subtle variations simply transposed to other keys.

Again we see the use of the tritone substitution to go to the v sus4 in bar 50 and he then

reinforces it with the V/V-V to finish on tonic I.

Eugenia79 written three years later (1906), shows a much more elaborate use of harmony.

79 Scott Joplin, 'Eugenia' (Shattinger International Publications, USA, 1973).


182

The first section, in Bb major, like most of Joplin's works uses V, IV and I with a few transitions

to the relative minor. The second section modulates to the relative minor and then back to the

major. He then repeats the first section and modulates to the second degree (Eb major) as he's

done in previous pieces. This new section is in fact a 16 bar bridge that he utilizes to modulate

the piece to C minor (relative minor of Eb). The last section is what interests us here:

Fig 5.29 Octatonic analysis of Joplin's Eugenia (last section)

From the first four bars we can see an interesting relationship of chords. The secondary ii and vi

are, in reality, different inversions of q (Bdim in the scale of C minor) which in turn is a

substitute of V. Consequently we could analyse this as a bar of tonic and two bars of dominant.

In the next bar we see a tritone substitution of V/V, this time in the form of Ab7 with a flattened

5th. This chord only appears as IV in the Eb melodic minor scale and VII of Bbb (A) melodic

minor as an Ab altered. It is also the first time that Joplin clearly uses melodic minor harmony.

The last chord of the system is a G major triad (V of C minor) that plays a trick on our ears. This

is Joplin using commonalities again. The next eight bars move to E minor making the G triad

retrospectively a III chord of the new key. However, it is interesting to note that this is quite an

abrupt movement uncharacteristic of Joplin thus far.


183

Fig 5.29 cont... (bars 4-7 of the last section)

At first the E minor chord appears as a third degree transition from the C minor, but

because it also follows the G major triad it is unclear if this is in fact a transition or a relative

minor of a quick modulation we did not perceive. The second bar, B7b9, begins to establish the

E minor as a new key, this is followed by D#dim (inversion of the latter) which then arrives at E

minor, this finally establishes the new key. In the next bar Joplin uses the tritone substitution of

V/V again to move to V, using the C7b5 clearly denoting melodic minor harmony.

Fig 5.29 cont... (bars 8-11 of the last section)

In the next four bars Joplin takes us through a movement where E minor and G major are

intertwined, it is not apparent whether this section is in minor or major which works effectively

when modulating to the next key.


184

Fig 5.29 cont... (bars 12-15 of the last section)

The chords analysed in the above bars are pure speculation since Joplin uses only a

melody to draw the new key. Because the previous four bars deceived us to think G major, the

most obvious proximate key is Bb major (third degree). Though this could also be interpreted

from the perspective of E minor i.e. modulation to the relative major of the third degree. The last

chord initially sounds like a V/IV but we are quickly rectified.

Fig 5.29 cont... (bars 16-19 of the last section)

Joplin arrives at Eb major and immediately establishes the new key-centre by playing the

dominant on the second bar. It's worth noting the use of chord III in its primary form, not as a

V/x but simply as a diatonic passing chord, this is also a first in Joplin's work.
185

Fig 5.29 cont... (bars 20-27 of the last section)

Continuing in the next four bars we see how Joplin proceeds by using the available first

and second degree transitions to embellish the diatonic movement. In bar 25 we find the first

example of diatonic q, used not as transition chord but as a diatonic passing chord to lead to VI.

One may wonder if Joplin was becoming more aware of Q as a part of the tonal scheme.

Fig 5.29 cont... (bars 28-32 of the last section)

Finally in the last four bars we see another modern variation in Joplin's harmonic

resources: a Plagal in the form of secondary iv – primary I, ending on a II-V-I. The secondary iv

is a trademark in modern soul music and it's widely used in jazz. Joplin also used this cadence in
186

The Stoptime Rag80 written four years later (1910) as an interlude between sections.

Fig 5.30 Octatonic analysis of Joplin's The Stoptime Rag (Bars 43-54)

The first 6 bars of this section use this movement (iv-I) as a subtle way to return to I,

mainly due to the chromatic movement in the bass (A-Ab, G). As I mentioned in the previous

analysis I wonder if Joplin was becoming more aware of the possibilities offered by Q. In this

case it becomes evident by the use of ii secondary. We can observe that Joplin has departed from

the transitions utilizing V/x and instead uses other transition chords to create harmonic

movements, specifically secondary chords. In fact, after ii of G he decides to play secondary ii

of C with Q in the bass, almost making it sound like a minorisation of the II-V.

In the last section we see Joplin's use of the first degree Q as a substitution of V, much

more than he has before:

80 Scott Joplin, 'The Stoptime Rag' (Jos. W. Stern, New York, 1910)
187

Fig 5.30 cont... (Bars 43-54)

In bar 68 we see the repetition of this resource (first degree #ii-I).


188

In Scott Joplin's New Rag,81 written in 1912, there are two sections that call my attention.

First is the second section, from bar 22 to 37:

Fig 5.31 Octatonic analysis of Joplin's Scott Joplin's New Rag (bars 22-37)

In this section we see Joplin modulating the piece to the relative minor, but on this

occasion he draws the change by using a melodic minor transition. This becomes clear by the

use of the ascending melodic minor scale from the 5th in bar 22, 26 and 30 (above). However, he

is not drawing melodic minor harmony as a centre, since he distinctly uses the note F in the

melody (bar 29, 34 and 37) over the I and the IV chord, as opposed to D7 in melodic minor.

81 Scott Joplin, 'Scott Joplin's New Rag' (Jos. W. Stern & Co, New York, 1912).
189

In the next section the area of interest lies in bars 72 to 91. In the previous section Joplin

revisited the first motif in C major and now he dramatically modulates to the relative minor of

the first degree (G major):

Fig 5.31 cont... (bars 38-41)

To make this work Joplin very cleverly uses the IV chord (A minor), which is common to C

major, but with an added 6th. In this manner he brings to our attention that the key has changed.

Fig 5.31 cont... (bars 42-45)

Once it arrives at E minor he uses secondary iv of the first degree (analysed as boxed i)

to move to the IV, this time in the form of Amin7. Both diminished chords are acting as

dominants and although the Edim is moving towards the Amin the pull of the chord is really

towards I, hence the Edim-Amin-D#dim-Emin can be translated to dominant-subdominant-

dominant-tonic.

In the next few bars Joplin utilises a descending motif over the D#dim to build tension,

here he plays the whole scale of E minor including Q.

Fig 5.31 cont... (bars 46-49)


190

The rest of the piece offers no new insight.

Finally Wall street rag82 is Joplin's most adventurous piece. Written two years before

Joplin's New Rag it is interesting mostly because of the harmonizations being used, particularly

in the last section.83

Fig 5.32 Octatonic analysis of Joplin's Wall Street Rag (bars 56-72)

Not only is this section filled with upper-structures but they are also hidden within
82 Scott Joplin, 'Wall street rag' (Seminary Music Co., New York, 1908).
83 Bars 56-72. It is worth mentioning that this is the only rag in which Joplin named all the different sections to in-
form the player what the section is about. The section mentioned above is named 'Listening to the strains of
genuine negro ragtime, brokers forget their cares'.
191

clusters. The 9th and 13th are stuck together with the root or 7th. In the Gmin9 the 9th is hidden

below the 3rd, and in the E7 the 7th is stuck to the root in the first and second voices. This type of

harmonization is not uncommon in jazz, but for Joplin this was quite outside of his usual style in

which he normally harmonizes the lead voice with triads in one inversion or other.

James Scott was a contemporary of Joplin's and also wrote many influential pieces. His

first known piece was A Summer Breeze.84 Written in the same year as Weeping Willow, Scott

favours the use of V/x much more than Joplin does.

Fig 5.33 Octatonic analysis of Scott's A Summer Breeze (Intro)

The introduction plays around with vii and q of the first degree (F#dim and D#dim)

leading into a II-V to establish the tonality.

Fig 5.33 cont... (bars 4-11)

84 James Scott, 'A Summer Breeze' (Dumars Music Co., Missouri, USA, 1903).
192

The piece begins with a very classical progression, unlike Weeping Willow which was

using secondary chords to move smoothly between harmonies.

Fig 5.33 cont... (bars 12-15)

The next eight bars offer no surprise besides chord III, which resolves to a V/II as

opposed to the relative minor or simply VI.

Fig 5.33 cont... (bars 16-20)

In the last four bars of the section however we see a far more interesting use of

harmonies.

Firstly chord III from bar 15 takes us into a V/II which Scott does not resolve immediately,

instead he prefers to detour to diatonic q before landing on chord II. He then converts chord II to

a first-degree q which he resolves straight to chord I. This rather unorthodox resolution is


193

immediately reinforced by a V-I. He repeats this process in the first four bars of the next section:

Fig 5.33 cont... (bars 21-24)

This time the resolution is towards supra-tonic iii as a passing chord before repeating the I-V-I.

Fig 5.33 cont... (bars 25-28)

In the second half of bar 26 there's a chord that proves quite challenging. By proximity

one could easily say that this chord is a second-degree transition (secondary iv of F major), but

the F# in the melody indicates that this cannot be. There are two ways of looking at this:

1. Scott might have considered this chord to be what Levine calls diminished harmony,

in which case this chord would belong to the diminished scale : A#-B#-C#-D#-E-F#-

G-A, thus the analysis could be something like M.I. of V/II.

2. This chord begins a modulation or a tonicisation to G major, in which case the A#dim

is q of D major (first degree transition).

The latter is more likely since diminished harmony, as explained in chapter 4 (Symmetric scale
194

harmony), requires that pitches appear in an exclusive manner i.e. a combination only available

in the symmetric scale. The A# diminished above clearly sounds like q of D major, not a

symmetric interchange. The other very interesting point that this movement illustrates, is that

since D major has no relationship with C major (according to the hierarchy of intervals) we

cannot help feeling that the key has changed. Consequently, only a modulation or a tonicisation

can justify an unrelated chord in a progression.

In the last two sections Scott uses the same technique as Joplin and modulates the piece

to the second degree:

Fig 5.33 cont... (bars 54-57)

Scott utilises a slightly different method than Joplin and instead draws the arpeggio for three

bars (at this point F major is being heard as a IV of C), then he suddenly jumps to C7 followed

by a tritone substitution85 and then C7 again. In this manner he establishes the new key with only

two chords. In the next section we find a particularly interesting set of chords:

Fig 5.33 cont... (bars 58-61)

85 Theoretically speaking the correct scale here is G# melodic minor, but I consider the notation here to be erro-
neous since the movement is downwards towards C, therefore the tritone substitution should have been a Db6.
195

Scott jumps from I to III of the first degree transition for seemingly no purpose other than the

colour that this provides. In other words, Scott does not seem to use this chord as a V/x or more

appropriately V/iii, nor does he continue moving down chromatically. Instead he leaps from the

III of C to a V/II to play a II-V-I, of course the bass line is moving down the scale but because of

the harmonization being used he inevitably draws upon transitional harmony. What is interesting

to note is that this is the first example of degree movements in this order (first degree then

second degree). At this point it has become common to find second to first degree movements in

the form of V/II-V/V, #i-V, etc. But this reversal of the hierarchical order is quite unique and

exciting.

Fig 5.33 cont... (bars 70-74)

In the last four bars of this section we see an even more dramatic use of this colour. Here

he interrupts the II-V by adding the III of C in between. One may wonder if this is intended as a

motif that he is developing i.e. if at some point the piece will drastically jump to A major or A

minor.

Fig 5.33 cont... (bars 79-82)


196

In the final segment Scott uses the III of C again but this time as a V/iii. This may appear

as a modulation to A minor but Scott jumps to C7 straight after the iii, confirming that we have

not left F major.

Fig 5.33 cont... (bars 87-91)

Finally Scott surprises us by using an upper-structure on the dominant before the end. We

may also notice the first degree interruption of the II-V again in bars 88-89, this time to q of the

first degree (G#dim) instead of III.

Scott's use of harmony is on the same level as Joplin's but he uses his own individual

approach. His harmonic movements detour to the same degrees as Joplin, but he chooses to use

less obvious chords and slightly more unpredictable progressions. The next piece I wish to cover

was Scott's first hit, and one of the pieces he's famous for.86

Frog Legs Rag87 has two unusual components within the genre, firstly the usual

modulation in the second half is to the first degree as opposed to the usual second degree and

secondly, it has a distinctive call and response element in the main motif.

86 Bill Edwards, 'James Sylvester Scott', Perfessor Bill Edwards, 2009,


http://www.perfessorbill.com/pbmidi2.ssshtml (25th of August, 2009).
87 James Scott, 'Frog Legs Rag' (John Stark & son., St Louis-New York, 1906).
197

Fig 5.34 Octatonic analysis of Scott's Frog Legs Rag (bars 1-7)

The piece begins in Db major. In bars 6 to 8 Scott takes an interesting turn to the supra-

tonic iii. This works very smoothly since the iii also happens to be the relative minor of the first

degree (Ab), making the C7 appear diatonic for a moment. It could be argued that this is more

appropriately a tonicisation but I believe the Fmin never loses its iii characteristic, though there

is doubt after the C7. The first Fmin would need to draw on notes outside the key of Db to be a

more convincing tonicisation.


198

Fig 5.34 cont... (bars 8-16)

The following bars continue in the same manner as the first four bars but then conclude

(bars 12 to 14) using a progression very common in jazz standards: usually analysed as I-I7-IV-

#IVdim, the detour to second and then first degree support the feeling of finality of the cadence.

This type of movement is quite common in many forms of jazz standards e.g. Be-bop blues and

rhythm changes. The next section is a repetition of the first with nothing new to add to the

analysis.

In the second part of the piece, as mentioned above, Scott modulates to the first degree.

He achieves this by simply drawing the dominant of the new key for four bars, but allow me to

skip ahead.

Fig 5.34 cont... (bars 33-37)


199

In bar 33 we find secondary q (Bdim) of the first degree being inverted to appear as vi

and #iv leading into I. This chord has similar properties to the diatonic secondary q (Edim) but

the voice movements are inverted:

Fig 5.35 Movements of first and second degree secondary q

Adim Ab6 Adim Eb7

Movement is downwards Movements is upwards

Bdim Ab6 Bdim Eb7

Movement is upwards Movements is downwards

In second degree movements (Adim) the root and 7th of chord q resolve downwards towards the

I, whereas in the first degree q (Bdim) the root and the 3rd move upwards. The opposite is true of

the movement of q to chord V where the root, 3 rd and 7th of second-degree q move upwards to

the 5th, 7th and 3rd of V respectively. And first-degree q moves the root, 3rd, 5th and 7th downwards

to the 5th, 7th, root and 3rd of V respectively.

Fig 5.34 cont... Octatonic analysis of Scott's Frog Legs Rag (bars 38-41)

In the last section of the piece Scott draws a simple form of call and response. Though
200

harmonically very simple, this resource is one of the trademarks of early jazz, hence I value its

inclusion in this analysis.

Scott draws upon similar harmonic resources as Joplin, but works slightly different

progressions, for example the brief tonicisation of iii in the first section, which can also be found

in bars 7 to 8 in the second section of Kansas City Rag.88 In this case it truly works as a

tonicisation since the melody introduces the F# which is not diatonic to C major:

Fig 5.36 Octatonic analysis of Scott's Kansas City Rag (Bars 22-30)

The F# (bar 27) actually begins over the C major triad causing the ear to accept the E

minor as a transition instead of iii. The B7 serves to confirm the E minor as a potential new key.

This is a favourite resource of Scott which he would use in countless compositions until his very

late works, for example see Broadway Rag89 his last published work. Scott's music became

88 James Scott, 'Kansas City Rag' (Stark Music and Co., St. Louis-New York, 1907).
89 James Scott, 'Broadway Rag' (Stark Music and Co., St. Louis, 1922).
201

more complex in later years, mainly rhythmically or technically challenging, but his harmonic

concept remained consistently the same.

Joseph Lamb, the third of the famous ragtime composers, uses the same form of harmony

as Joplin and Scott, but brings his own idiosyncrasies to the mix.

The Lilliputian's Bazaar90 written in 1905, a year before Frog Legs Rag, shows Lamb's

approach to the same resources:

Fig 5.37 Octatonic analysis of Lamb's The Lilliputian's Bazaar (Intro)

The introduction consists of the dominant 7th played repeatedly, followed by second-

degree q (Dbdim) and then dominant again for two bars before resolving on I. This clearly states

the tonality of the piece.

In the first verse we see the usual treatment of V-I, as in most rags.

90 Joseph F. Lamb, 'The Lilliputian's Bazaar' (H.H. Sparks, USA, 1905)


202

Fig 5.37 Cont.... (Bars 7-14)

However, in the second half of this verse we already find a variation of the same resources:

Lamb not only uses upper-structures here, but he holds them and repeats them. At this point in

time not even Joplin had incorporated these extensions and when he did (b9 in Eugenia) there

were only passing notes/chords.

In the next section Lamb modulates, as is common, to the second degree. He does this in

a beautifully subtle way by making us think he has just moved to IV of C, but then proceeds

with playing diatonic triads of the new key.

Fig 5.37 Cont.... (Bars 39-46)


203

We can observe here that even though the key signature has changed, our ears are still

hearing the key of C. Initially the C7 simply sounds like a V/IV. When the C7 is repeated in bar

40 we begin to feel the modulation. Another important observation is Lamb's use of the diatonic

chords: he seems to be moving in contrary motion to what Joplin or Scott would have done. For

example: on many occasions Joplin uses secondary chords and transitions to move to I or V.

Scott on the other hand prefers V/x, but Lamb is moving to the dominant after he has played the

I i.e. F followed by its V (C7), Dmin followed by its V (A7), Bb followed by its V (F). In the

next section we find another interesting use of upper-structures, and a chord not encountered

thus far, the secondary tonic:

Fig 5.37 Cont.... (Bars 56-59)

Lamb holds the C7(add13) but resolves it to i (secondary). He also doubles the 9th an octave below

as if to reinforce its sonority.

Sensation91 was written a year after Kansas City Rag and contains several

interesting transitions and tonicisations.

Fig 5.38 Octatonic analysis of Lamb's Sensation (Bars 1-8)

91 Joseph F. Lamb, 'Sensation' (Stark Music Printing & Publishing Co., New York & St. Louis, 1908).
204

Lamb borrows an idea from Joplin but only for a brief passage, this is the Eb7 (third

degree transition) over the last quaver in bar 4 to lead into I in the next bar.92 Joplin would have

used a tritone substitution resolving to Vsus or I with the 5th in the bass, but since Lamb resolves

directly to I with no suggestion of a V, this chord would be analysed as a third degree transition.

Following the resolution we see a treatment similar to that of Scott, utilizing V/x to move the

harmony forward.

Bar 7 captures my attention with the use of Q in the bass. Lamb lets the C and F ring

over the change to Eb, but more important yet is the notation used in the next bar. Though he is

virtually using the same key on the piano he does not consider the Eb the same as the ascending

chromatic D#. Purely speculating, I wonder if Lamb was also aware of Q as a possibility within

the tonal framework?

92 I did not consider this passage worthy of a chord symbol since the movement is too brief and not discernible
enough to be useful to an improviser.
205

Fig 5.38 Cont... (Bars 29-36)

In the penultimate section we see Lamb modulating to the customary second degree. He

achieves this in the most peculiar and abrupt manner. The section before the modulation consists

mainly of two bars of V and two bars of I in G major with a turn around beginning on bar 29

above. Once the new section begins, bar 33, the sound of the first chord is that of IV of G. It is

not till the second bar that we become aware that this in a different key. This seems to be one of

Lamb's trademarks, the uncertainty of tonal centre. He takes this even further in the last section,

but before I detour there are some other interesting transitions in this section.

Fig 5.38 Cont... (Bars 37-39)

In bars 37 and 38 we encounter one of those rare occasions where the hierarchy principle

in the octatonic system offers two equal possibilities: The Bb7 in the Key of C major is either a
206

fourth degree transition (Eb major) or a fourth degree melodic transition (F melodic minor), both

alternatives contain the same amount of common notes with the tonic scale. Since the melody

doesn't offer any clues I must assume that the most likely possibility is Eb, because melodic

harmony was not commonly used in this period. And when it was, for example the Fb7 and

Bb7#11 in Maple Leaf Rag or the Ab7b5 in Eugenia, it was used briefly to connect two chords

chromatically, usually lasting a quaver or less, and the melody was drawn around the melodic

minor scale notes.

Fig 5.38 Cont... (Bars 49-56)

Finally, in the last section, Lamb modulates to the relative minor (R.M.) and then a

tonicisation of the first degree. An improviser might draw these changes more clear but Lamb

prefers the uncertainty created by not using any of the extensions, thus making us wonder if

there actually is a tonicisation to G or rather a V/V-V movement. Due to the long duration of the

D7 and the further inclusion of the chromatic F# in the melody over the G triad, one may
207

experience this movement as a modulation to G major.

Fig 5.38 Cont... (Bars 57-64)

The arrival of C would seem to confirm this supposition since Lamb persists with the use

of F# as a chromatic passing note. As an experiment I played the piece at a slower tempo

(crotchet =50) and what I found was that the C major acquires a strong sense of IV, but this

makes the last four bars sound very awkward. When the piece is played at its appropriate tempo

(between 85 and 100 bpm), then Lamb's intentions become much more clear and the return to

the C major triad is less doubtful. This seems to corroborate what I proposed in chapter 4

concerning the difference between modulations and tonicisations. If the piece is played too

slowly, then Lamb's intention is lost and one ends up with the C major in bar 57 sounding like a

IV. However, when it is played at the tempo it was designed to be played, the movement is short

enough to appear as a tonicisation and thus the pull back to C is not lost.

Ragtime Nightingale,93 written in 1915, shows an exquisite use of modern harmonies that

perhaps anticipated the sound of Broadway songs in later years.

93 Joseph F. Lamb, 'Ragtime Nightingale' (Stark Music Co., St. Louis, 1915).
208

Fig 5.39 Octatonic analysis of Lamb's Nightingale Rag (Intro)

The first point of interest is the VI with a flattened 5th. This chord should be analysed as a

secondary, but it is unclear if this is actually a #11th or b5th. Any of the secondary possibilities

(Abmin, Absus2 or Absus4) would radically alter the intention of the movement, whereas the Ab

major or Ab#11 would produce very similar results. The second point is the brief, but noticeable,

tritone substitution of V/V, which is basically converted from the secondary vi. This could imply

that an improvisation over these chords could treat all Ab chords as tritone substitutions, since

the Ab6(b5) could also be a voicing of the Ab7.

Fig 5.39 cont... (bars 22-29)


209

In this verse we see upper-structures used extensively. Particularly unusual for a rag, is

the major 7th possibility for chord I. In the second half of bar 28 we find an F7 which suggests a

V/V, but the chord to which it resolves looks more like an Ab(b5) with a D in the bass. On closer

inspection this chord could also be interpreted as a Bb9 whose root is being omitted in favour of

a more ambiguous voicing i.e. it is possible to conceive that Lamb intended this ambiguous

movement since 1. the Ab(b5)/D sounds similar to a Bb9, played only two bars before and in this

manner it tricks the listener into thinking V/V-V-I back to the tonic. 2. This chord is also very

similar to a tritone substitution of V/iii, thus making the arrival of iii (bar 29) sound unexpected

but coherent at the same time.

Lamb, unlike his counterparts, lived to be seventy-two years old and continued writing

until his death (1960). This is perhaps the reason why his compositions always seemed

harmonically more progressive in comparison to other famous ragtime writers.

In conclusion, ragtime was probably the most harmonically advanced popular music at

the turn of the century. We know, as seen in chapter 1, that most jazz began as improvised

ragtime. It seems likely that this is where jazz harmony began. In the next chapter we will be

able to appreciate the strong harmonic influence, particularly amongst jazz composers, that

Ragtime had in early jazz repertoire. But there is still one ingredient missing which gave jazz its

final seasoning.

The blues

There is probably no other style of music that has defied theoretical analysis as much as the

blues. First we have the problem of definition: what exactly is the blues? For some the blues is a

sound, for others a way of playing.94 Some think of the blues as a song form (twelve bars),

whereas others think it's a certain quality added to the music, primarily the sounds of the blue

94 Alyn Shipton, A new History of Jazz (Continuum, London, 2001), 42-3


210

notes.95 Theoretically speaking, the blues seems to be somewhere between modal and tonal. It

could be expressed as a I-IV-I-V structure where each chord is Mixolydian. Nettles claims that

the blues have their basis in early American church music.96 He also argues that the 'basic scale'

used for blues melodies is a scale 'NOT diatonic to the harmonies'. But on the other hand it is

quite easy to find blues which use the Ionian mode over chord I, see for example Charlie

Parker's Blues For Alice97 and Bird Feathers.98 Another view is that there is a basic blues

progression and then there are hundreds of variations of it.99 But what concerns us more here is

the blues as a musical entity before and around the birth of jazz. According to Titon there are

two distinctive forms of blues, one is the vaudeville blues and the other is what he calls

downhome blues.100 The former was a commercial popular form and the latter more of a folk

form. The blues as we understand it today has more to do with vaudeville since early singers

would accompany themselves with bands or at least a piano player therefore necessitating a

predefined structure for the musicians to follow,101 whilst the folk forms involved singers who

accompanied themselves on a guitar or piano, allowing freedom of form and structure.

According to most books on the subject the blues form can be viewed as a twelve bar

structure usually divided into AAB. The first A section consists of four bars of I, the second A

consists of two bars of IV and two bars of I; and finally the B section consists of one bar of V,

one of IV and two of I:

| I | I | I | I |

| IV | IV | I | I |

| V | IV | I | I |

95 Shipton, A new History of Jazz, 41-2


96 Barry Nettles, Harmony 2 (Berklee College Of Music, 1987), 51
97 Charlie Parker, 'Blues For Alice', The Complete Verve Master Takes (USA, The Verve Music Group /Universal
Music Classics & Jazz, B001KO41FU, 2003).
98 Charlie Parker, 'Bird Feathers', Charlie Parker: The gold Collection (EEC, Retro, R2CD 40-16, 1997).
99 Richard Lawn, Jeffrey L. Hellmer, Jazz: Theory and Practice (Alfred Publishing Company Inc., USA, 1996),
167-9
100Jeff Todd Titon, Early Downhome Blues: A musical and cultural analysis (The University of North Carolina
Press, 1994), xvi-xviii
101 Shipton, A new History of Jazz, 42
211

Accepting this as the scaffold on which variations are built, we may acknowledge that any piece

of music which contains this movements is a blues.

Now concerning the harmonic peculiarities: one option is to consider the added blue

notes as part of our tonal scheme. For example, Masters proposes a scale called 'Composite

Blues scale':102

Fig 5.41 Composite Blues scale

The benefit of this approach is that the scale above contains all the notes needed for traditional

chords and functions to work whilst including the blue notes. Using this approach all the chords

of the blues would be analysed from one tonal perspective. The disadvantage of this approach is

that it would require a whole new system of primary and secondary chords plus ten new modes

to consider. Added to that is the absence of Q in the scale which would entail that diminished

chords can only be formed from the root and its inversions (Cdim, Ebdim, F#dim and Adim).

Grantham states 'the blues has its own history and aural logic and does not need to be justified

by traditional music theory'.103 But he also states that musicians, specially jazz players, have

applied advance theoretical techniques to the basic blues form. So this brings me to the question:

what is the basic blues form?

The second problem is the justification of 7th chords substituting for the traditional

harmonic functions (X7 acting as I or IV). My proposal is that we acknowledge the basic form

of the blues as a triadic construct, anything falling outside of the diatonic upper-structure could

be considered a modal interchange, thus justifying any presence of blue notes as belonging to a

modal substitute. In other words, since a modal interchange is the practice of substituting a

102 Randy Masters (ed.), Standard & Exotic Scales: From around the World (P.D. Costello Publications, Santa
Cruz, CA., 1983), 6
103 Jim Grantham, The Jazz masters Cookbook: Jazz Theory And Improvisation, (Nightbird Music Publishing,
Oakland, USA, 2000), 83
212

mode for another that contains the same chord, the basic major triad of the blues can be

substituted by any other mode containing the same major triad:

C (IV of G major fundamental )

C (major fundamental)

C (V of F major fundamental)

The combination of these substitutions would justify any presence of blue notes in a harmonic

situation i.e. first-degree M.I. adds the flattened 3rd and the sharpened 11th; the second-degree

M.I. adds the flattened 7th. However if a blue note would appear only as a melodic passing note,

then the note should be recognized as such with no dramatic alteration of the harmony e.g. if it

appears as a chromatic passage. The advantage of allowing this open interpretation of the blues

will be seen better when analysing blues in the context of jazz, since the evidence will show that

many of the so-called blues differ considerably in terms of harmonic structure.

To begin the quest for appropriate pieces to analyse, it would seem better to begin with

blues pieces we know for certain early jazz musicians performed or knew about.

The earliest published blues appears to be I Got The Blues,104 by A. Maggio. This is in

fact another ragtime but the blues form and characteristics are already present.105 The first

section consists of a twelve bar structure and although distinctly tonal, the melody and

harmonizations use certain notes outside the tonality e.g. accidentals which do not coincide with

the key signature:

104 Lewis Porter, Michael Ullman, Ed Hazell, Jazz From Its Origins To The Present (Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1993), 15
105 Antonio Maggio, 'I Got The Blues' (A. Maggio, New Orleans, 1908).
213

Fig 5.40 I got the blues original score (my chord symbols)

We may notice that in the B section of the blues (bars 13-14) the movement is that of a V-

I and not a V-IV-I, but we will accept this as a variation of the basic form of the blues. The

second part of the piece (after the second ending) continues more in the fashion of a ragtime not
214

a blues, so our octatonic analysis will just concern the first part.

Fig 5.42 Octatonic analysis of Maggio's I Got The Blues (Intro)

The introduction begins in D major (q-I), but Maggio quickly establishes the tonal centre

by playing the D7, thus emphasizing that we are not in D major.

Fig 5.42 Cont... (bars 5-10, blues section)

The first section begins without any alteration of chord I. In bar 4 we see a common

conversion of I into a V/IV. Following the G7 we encounter C7, which does not belong to G or C

major. But since the G7 has led us to believe that we are resolving to C major chord (IV) and C7

is only a second degree transition from C major, then we can justify the 7th as a modal

interchange.106 In other words, the G7 tetrad conditions us to hear a resolution to C, since the C7

contains the C major triad we partly hear a resolution (V/IV-IV). The minor 7th extension (Bb)

over this chord, simply implies an ornament i.e. a modal interchange. The question, however,

106 I remind the reader at this point that modal interchanges are done in function not of the key, but the scale of the
chord being altered.
215

remains as to why we would prefer F major scale over G melodic minor scale? The latter is

closer in proximity to C IV (M.I. to first-degree m.m.). My reasoning is that the G7 is enough to

tonicise the C as a temporal tonic centre, thus G melodic minor would not actually be the closest

in relation. In other words, transitions occur in isolation (surrounded by diatonic chords) or in

combination with chords of the scale e.g. Gmaj-Cmaj-Gmaj-Dmin7,G7-Cmaj, the two transition

chords here (in bold) belong to the same degree (C major scale). If one encounters two non-

diatonic chords in a row that belong to two different scales, then a transition might not be the

correct analysis, especially if the sequence involves a cadence of some sort. Consequently, the

movement between G7 to C7 should in fact be considered a tonicisation,107which in turn makes

C major the suggested temporal tonal-centre and F major the closest degree relationship.

Another peculiarity is the diminished chord, often found in bar 6 in most blues. In

ragtime we observed several instances where #iv appeared in the form of diminished. This chord

was always analysed as a first-degree transition. But in the blues this wouldn't make much sense

because we are coming out of a modal interchange, which has also suggested a tonicisation. The

#iv is diatonic to the modal interchange (q of the scale in question), thus the closest in

relationship. So basically, every alteration has a chain reaction which demands that we

reconsider the obvious analysis. The whole point of the octatonic system is to provide a smooth

and logical transition between chords, therefore we should always aim to find the closest key

relation to the event which has just occurred i.e. the previous chord.

107 The exception of course is when the transition chord resolves to a diatonic chord, like we have seen in Ragtime:
V/IV to IV, V/II to II, etc.
216

Fig 5.42 Cont... (bars 11-17)

The last 6 bars offer no other peculiarity but I have included them to show the full form

of the blues.

So now that we have understood the mechanics of the blues better, I will continue with

the analysis of other important pieces around the beginning of the 20th century.

It is widely accepted that W.C. Handy was responsible for the blues 'fad' 108 or 'craze'109 at

the turn of the century. Handy was one of the first musicians along with Maggio to publish

music using the blues form, but unlike Maggio his music became widely known and popular.

The two most famous pieces were Memphis Blues (1912) and St. Louis Blues (1914).110 Though

these pieces were originally published under the 'rag' designation, they both contained a section

which drew upon the twelve bar blues structure.

This analysis of Memphis Blues (below) comes from the original publication scored for

voice and piano.111 I have omitted the melody since it is doubled by the top voice in the piano

and consequently doesn't add anything to the analysis. The structure is not that of the typical

ragtime. It consists basically of four different sections of dissimilar length. First we have the

usual introduction, lasting five bars, which states the tonality of the piece:

108 Lewis Porter, Michael Ullman, Ed Hazell, Jazz From Its Origins To The Present (Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1993), 15
109 Jeff Todd Titon, Early Downhome Blues: A musical and cultural analysis (The University of North Carolina
Press, 1994), xviii
110 Alyn Shipton, A new history of jazz (Continuum, London, 2002) ,42
111 W.C. Handy, 'Memphis Blues' (Theron C. Bennett, N.Y. City, 1913).
217

Fig 5.43 Octatonic analysis of Handy's Memphis Blues (Introduction)

This next section (above) consists of a four bar ostinato, where in the original score it

contains the performance instruction 'Til ready.' This is clearly a vaudeville arrangement where

these types of section were written to allow the singer or MC to ad lib with the audience or make

introductions. The Db7 in the second bar could be misinterpreted as a third degree transition, but

one must always observe the melody before jumping to conclusions. Here the lead voice

descends from Ab to G and then F. If this was a second degree transition then the G would have

to be sharp. The procedure here is to continue up the transition chart until we find a key that

hosts this chord and the notes in the melody. The only possibility is a sixth degree melodic

transition (Ab melodic minor), which as we know at this point is also the tritone substitution of

V/V. This is clearly a resource Handy borrowed from earlier ragtimes.


218

Fig 5.43 Cont... (bars 9-16)

This section is more similar to our typical ragtime. The A7, analysed here as a V/VI

instead of III, clearly announces a modulation, but to where? The normal assumption would be

to the relative minor, but the Adim used as a passing chord in the second beat of both bars

insinuates D major more than D minor (due to the presence of the F#). Nevertheless, this note is

a chromatic passing note and does not dramatically alter the fact that we are hearing a

tonicisation of the relative minor.

Fig 5.43 Cont... (bars 17-28)


219

The D7 in the next bar destroys our speculations and now we perceive that the piece is

modulating elsewhere. There are two considerations here that must be noted: in the general

practice of analysing music, one sometimes tends to rush and jump to conclusions on what

appears to be a common chord progression. A7-D7-G7 in the space of two beats is quite

dissimilar from the above, where every chord lasts for two bars. For example in earlier analyses,

particularly ragtime, we found V/VI as well as V/II, etc. many times, usually heading straight

into its resolution within a few beats. In the case of Memphis Blues however, each of these

chords last long enough to create a whole new tonic-centre, or at least the impression that one

may occur. The second consideration - which is directly related to the previous one - is that since

a new tonic centre has been suggested, but not established, then transitions and modal

interchanges must relate to this hypothetical centre. Hence, the D7 is suggesting a V/VI as much

as a V/II. In other words, the A7 created the illusion of a modulation/tonicisation to the relative

minor, thus the D7 can also be perceived as V/IV of D minor. This in turn prepares us for the

sound of G minor IV. Under normal circumstances the D7 would clearly be V of the second

degree (G minor), but Handy is very clever to draw that this is not so. The melody is drawing D,

E, F# but E does not belong to Bb (second degree transition), so just as we did with the Db7

above we must continue up the transition chart to find a key containing D7 with an added 9th (E),

consequently G melodic minor. Since the function remains unaltered (V/IV) we must consider

this a modal interchange.

A traditional analysis would consider this movement starting from A7 to be V/V/V or

dominant of the dominant of the dominant, then the D7 as V/V dominant of the dominant, etc.

This could even be carried all the way across from A7 to C7 and the analysis would look absurd.

Under this system it becomes clearer how the key actually detours into other degrees whilst

gathering the appropriate scale to be used to improvise/arrange.

Resuming the analysis, the last five bars of the section conclude with the same movement

as the introduction, just before rapidly modulating to a Bb blues:


220

Fig 5.43 Cont... (bars 29-33)

Similarly to I got The Blues, the first chord of the blues section does not begin with a 7th

chord but rather a normal I. The second chord Bb7 is analysed as a transition because the next

chord is diatonic to Bb up to a point. Though the following Eb (bar 33) is not necessarily an Eb7,

the movement in the melody would seem to imply it. The melodic line F-E-Eb could be

interpreted as a chromatic descent in which case the chord could be a diatonic IV of Bb, or it

could also be interpreted as 2-Q-root in Ab. Since we know that this is a blues we can make the

assumption of the latter.

Fig 5.43 Cont... (bars 34-38)

The next bar of Eb seems to draw upon the 7th and q, but once again this could be

interpreted simply as chromatic approaches as are commonly found in ragtime. In bars 37 and 38

we find another variation of the blues form. Instead of V-IV as it was described above, the

movement here is that V-I-IV before finally resolving on I for two bars. Handy does not include

any indications for the end of the twelve bar cycle and rather writes the whole section as a

twenty-four bar structure, where the twelve bar blues is written twice slightly differently. I've
221

taken the liberty of adding a double barline to indicate the beginning of the second blues form.

Fig 5.43 Cont... (bars 39-46)

The second blues section begins with a modally interchanged I. It is fascinating to see

how Handy manages to make this blues interchange work i.e. how he avoids this chord

becoming a V or insinuating a modulation/tonicisation. I believe the main factor at work here is

that he uses the exact same motif he did in the first bar of the first blues section (bar 29) whilst

hiding the minor 7th in the bass. Thus the blues feel is present but the dominant effect is subdued.

Fig 5.43 Cont... (bars 47-50)

The next four bars repeat the same movement as before, returning to I (Bb) and then the

V-I-IV variation. But this time Handy ends in what truly constitutes a bluesy manner:
222

Fig 5.43 Cont... (bars 47-50)

The resolution of the Eb IV is directly into a modal interchange before finishing on triad I. This

is perhaps where Handy made the greatest contribution to the jazz sound. As we will see in

countless examples, jazz musicians have a predilection for altering the obvious chords. That is to

say, whenever there is a traditional movement such as V-I, the modification of one or the other

(for example via modal interchange) is used to create an unpredictable resolution.

Handy's other blues contribution was St. Louis Blues.112 The analysis below is from a

reduced score (lead sheet) provided in the Real Book of Blues, 113 this format is more common in

jazz repertoire. To be certain that this version was not modernized I double checked with a

publication done by Handy himself arranged for piano and ukulele, published five years after the

original publication.114 The only difference I found is: 1. the omission of the introduction in the

modern version, which is based on the first chords of the second section and 2. the II-V-I at the

end of the piece which in the original version is a I-V-I.

Unlike Memphis blues, Handy incorporated the blues in the first section. This piece

captures more of the essence of what we understand as blues. From the opening chord to the

final cadence, Handy uses modal interchange to draw upon the minor 7th blue note:

112 Copyright 1914 Handy Brothers Music Company Incorporated, USA


113 Jack Long, The Real Book of Blues (Wise Publications, UK, 1999), 239
114 W.C. Handy, 'St. Louis Blues' (Handy Bros. Music Co., N.Y.C. 1919).
223

Fig 5.44 Octatonic analysis of Handy's St. Louis Blues (bars 1-6)

This is the first example of the 7th chord being used from bar 1. The melody does not

draw any of the 'blue' notes, but Handy made sure that the G7 chord was being played from the

first beat.

Fig 5.45 Firs bar of Handy's arrangement of St. Louis Blues

In this example of Handy's 1919 arrangement we can see that the harmonization is

simply root and minor 7th, this plus the melody playing the 3rd and 5th draws the full chord. It is

clear that Handy wanted the blues sonority from the beginning.

The second chord, C7, asserts the blues sonority by drawing on the second degree modal

interchange. Handy then takes a break from the interchange and gives us a full bar of G major

triad. Now the following G7 repeats the same effect as the first one, but this time it is resolved to

a C major triad. In fact, Handy makes a point of it by resting the melody on the A and

harmonizing a C6. Was Handy intending a tonicisation? Though it is true that the movement

towards the IV would appear as diatonic, making the G7 in bar 4 a V/IV, the ambiguity of the
224

first four bars make this C6 appear as a resting point. Nevertheless, in the following bar Handy

returns to the blues feel by means of the same interchange (C7 replacing C major triad).115

Fig 5.44 Cont... Handy's St. Louis Blues (bars 7-13)

In the last four bars of this blues section we find another variation of the basic form.

After returning to I Handy prefers a melodic transition instead of the IV: the D7#5 appears in

brackets since it does not appear in the original score.116 Though the Bb in the melody might be

interpreted as a blue note, the first degree melodic transition offers a smooth passage that

justifies this note in close proximity to the tonic key. It also anticipates the event that takes place

in the next section.

Fig 5.44 Cont... (bars 14-19)

The second section is not structurally a blues, but Handy uses many of the blues

ingredients in certain passages: first we may observe a dramatic minorisation which utilises no

modulation or tonicisation progression. The motif employed on the I is then repeated on the V to

lead back to I.

115 Thus the modal interchange to C7 can be presumed for both bars for improvisational purposes i.e. C6 is simply
a different voicing of the C7 interchange.
116 However, the combination of the chord being played by the rhythm section (which omits the 5th) plus the Bb be-
ing sung, does create an overall perception of a D7#5.
225

Fig 5.44 Cont... (bars 20-29)

The motif is repeated twice and then returns to major via a simple first degree transition

followed by a majorisation of the dominant (chromatically approaching the B).

Fig 5.44 Cont... (bars 30-33)

In the following bars, which could be classified as a new section, Handy draws upon a

new variation of the blues. This time we find two bars of G-G6 that appear closer to a rag than a

blues. It is not till bar 33 that Handy insinuates blues form again

Fig 5.44 Cont... (bars 34-37)

Handy repeats the idea of C6 followed by C7, thus delaying the modal interchange.

Another point here worth noting is the second half of bar 35: the melody anticipates the
226

harmonic movement by drawing upon the notes of the next chord before it happens. This form of

anticipation will prove extensively common in jazz melodic improvisation.

Fig 5.44 Cont... (bars 38-41)

As stated earlier the II-V appears to be a modernization of the original blues structure,

but whether this was a I or a II does not affect the analysis of the key movement i.e. a diatonic

unaltered movement. In the second half of bar 40 Handy reiterates the blues sound with one final

modally interchanged IV.

In conclusion, despite the vast literature on the subject, early published blues seemed to

draw only around the modal interchange of the minor 7th. There is no indication of a blues scale

and the harmonic movement is still based around the basic tonal functions of other songs and

pieces of the era. The blues sound seems to be nothing more than a modal substitution of the

primary degrees (I, IV and V). Of course this is not evidence enough to define a whole genre,

but since these were the first published versions and consequently the first blues to venture

outside the south of the United States, it is logical to assume that they were the most significant

blues influences on the early development of jazz.


227

Chapter 6
The Standards

When attempting to compile over a century of repertoire to prove an analytical point, one may

be overwhelmed by the amount of musical pieces that provide their own theoretical uniqueness.

Throughout the 20th century jazz went from simple blues influenced ragtime, to modal, atonality,

poly-tonality and eventually a mix of all the above. What would be the best way to organize the

repertoire whilst trying to cover as many aspects and peculiarities that each tune provides? A

chronological approach would seem to be the obvious decision, but since jazz development

occurred so fast, sometimes in the space of a decade, many of the styles and composers

overlapped. For example, free jazz began to develop nearly side by side with jazz funk and

fusion.1 Many jazz standards were composed by outsiders such as the tin-pan alley and

commercial composers of Broadway and Hollywood songs,2 whilst other pieces were being

written by actual jazz performers whose music was very different e.g. Duke Ellington. On the

other hand, trying to analyse every piece which contains some theoretical importance would be a

lifetime task. So clearly a middle point that covers most of these issues would be ideal. First we

need a proportional representation of the major composers i.e. those who feature widely amongst

repertoire books (real-fake books) and mainstream recordings. Second we need the pieces

written by these composers which represent not only the style but also any theoretical peculiarity

that might be of interest. Finally these tunes should be in chronological order of the composer's

work.

As a reference I began my quest by looking into the repertoire lists suggested by David

Baker3 and Mark Levine.4 These two lists provide an invaluable source of information since 1.
1 John Fordham, Jazz (Canada: The Reader’s Digest Association Ltd., copyright by Dorling Kindersley Limited,
London, 1993), 42-5
2 Darius Brubeck, '1959: the beginnings of beyond' in Cooke, Mervyn, & Horn, David., (eds.), The Cambridge
Companion to Jazz (United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 2002), 177–201 (185)
3 David Baker, How To Learn Tunes, Vol. 76 (USA: Jamey Aebersold, Albany, 1997), 69-82
4 Mark Levine, The Jazz Theory Book (USA: Sher Music Co., 1995), 421-458
228

they are a compilation made by practitioners who are also educators and have published

numerous educational materials and 2. they provide additional information which allows me to

build up a database of authors. Baker's list offers 784 tunes with their composer and if applicable

the lyricist's name. Levine on the other hand offers 965, of which he highlights 248 as

essentials.5 Unlike Baker, Levine adds information of recordings of these tunes plus in which

real/fake book one may be able to find a copy of the score. Naturally there are other sources such

as the internationally known Real Books.6 These are hand written books with no

acknowledgement of publisher, year or author/editor. There are five volumes of these to my

knowledge, two of which are devoted to vocalists, and I have seen them used in many countries.

Other well known repertoire books of this shady nature are 'The Colorado Cookbook', ' Jazz

Ltd.', 'The Book', 'The Tin Pan Alley Series', 'The Firehouse Jazz Band' and 'The Library Of

Musicians “Jazz”' just to name a few. Many of these books include not only an alphabetical

index but also a composers index, and if not, the composer's name appears at the top of the

score, though with no indication of copyrights.7

Below are my findings, in order of number of appearances, of the 25 books I researched.8

5 Ibid., 419
6 Not to be confused with the legally published 'New Real Book' or 'The Standards Real Book' by Sher Music Co.
7 I must make a note that these books were used solely for the purpose of building a statistical’ database of com-
posers, for actual scores I referred to legal publications since they would appear closer to the original composer's
intentions.
8 The list consists of: 150 American Jazz Standards (Moscow: V. Kiselev ed., Moc M
 ,1994); 557
Standards in C (No information); This Is The Ultimate Fakebook (USA: Hal Leonard Corporation, WI, 1996);
The Colorado Cookbook (No information); The Great Gig Book (No information); The Jazz Bible Fakebook
(WI, USA: Rob DuBoff ed., Hal Leonard Corporation, 2000); Real Jazz Book (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing
Corporation, 1998); Jazz Fakebook (No information); Jazz Ltd. (No information); Library of Musicians' Jazz
(No information); New Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co., 1988); The New Real Book
volume two (USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co., CA, 1991); The New Real Book volume three (CA, USA:
Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co., 1995); The Original Musicians' (CA, USA: Hansen House, 1978): The Real
Book fifth edition (No information); The Real book all new volume II (No information); The Real book all new
volume III (No information); Legit Professional Fake Book (Canada: Richard Wofle ed., Boosey & Hawkes,
1986); The Other Book (No information); The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co.,
2000); The Tin Pan Alley Series: Golden Standards of the 1900 (No information); The World's Greatest Fake
Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co., 1983); The Ultimate Broadway Fake Book (USA: Green
Stanley, Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1991); The Real Vocal Book (No information); The Real Vocal
Book volume II (No information).
229

Fig 6.1 Findings of repertoire books analysis


Composer Number of compositions
Richard Rodgers 363
Duke Ellington 166
George Gershwin 164
Cole Porter 160
Harold Arlen 147
Charlie Parker 134
Wayne Shorter 112
Jerome Kern 103
Horace Silver 100
Jimmy Van Heusen 99
Irving Berlin 98
Antonio Carlos Jobim 89
Miles Davis 89
John Coltrane 88
Thelonius Monk 87
Armando “Chick” Corea 82
Dizzy Gillespie 72
Victor Young 65
Gerry Mulligan 60
Hoagy Carmichael 57

I was surprised to find Rodgers heading the list by such a large margin. One might take

into account that not all of these books are aimed at the jazz practitioner. For example The Tin

Pan Alley Series does not contain any jazz composers, only musical theatre composers. It is the

case that the jazz standard repertoire consists in large part of these type of tunes, but it is my

belief that these composers should be separated by category i.e. jazz practitioners and non-jazz

practitioners. This allows certain composers of importance, but of small repertoire, to figure in

the list, for example Herbie Hancock who featured only 40 times, Billy Strayhorn and Tadd

Dameron with 35.


230

Non-jazz composers

Correlating the above findings with Baker and Levine's lists I was left with the following order

of composers, sorted by chronological order and some of their most relevant pieces.9

Irving Berlin10 1888 – 1989

D Remember (1925)
D Blue Skies (1926)
D How Deep Is the Ocean (1932)
D Cheek to Cheek (1935)

George Gershwin11 1898 – 1937

D Oh, Lady be Good! (1926)


D There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York (1935)
D Embraceable You (1928)

Jerome Kern12 1885 – 1945

D A Fine Romance (1936)


D All the Things You Are (1939)
D I'm Old Fashioned (1942)

9 This is an arbitrary number intended to be a sample of the composers work, since a larger number of works
would surpass the scope of this thesis. The actual pieces were chosen out of a combination of both lists plus their
harmonic interest. The chronological order is based on the earliest work.
10 Laurence Bergreene, As Thousands Cheer: The Life Of Irving Berlin (New York: Da Capo Press, 1990), xiii
11 William G. Hyland, George Gershwin: A New Biography (USA: Praeger Publishers, 2003), 3
12 Stephen Banfield, Jerome Kern (USA: Yale University, 2006), 1
231

Cole Porter13 1891 – 1964

D What Is This Thing Called Love (1929)


D Love for Sale (1930)
D I Love You (1939)
D All Of You (1954)

Hoagy Carmichael14 1899 – 1981

D Stardust (1929)
D Skylark (1941)

Richard Rodgers15 1902 – 1979

D Lover (1932)
D Have You Met Miss Jones (1937)

Victor Young16 1900 – 1956

D Stella By Starlight (1944)


D When I Fall in Love (1952)

Harold Arlen17 (Hyman Arluck) 1905 – 1986

D Out of This World (1945)


D Come Rain or Come Shine (1946)

13 William McBrien, Cole Porter (New York: First Vintage Books Edition, 2000), 5
14 Richard M. Sudhalter, Stardust Melody: The Life And Work Of Hoagy Carmichael (New York: Oxford Univer-
sity Press, 2002), 7
15 Geoffrey Block, Richard Rodgers ( USA: Yale University, 2003), 9
16 'Biography', Victor Youngs's Web, 2006, http://victoryoung.czechian.net/indexeng.php?text=biog (5th of Septem-
ber 2009).
17 Edward Jablonski, Harold Arlen: Rhythm, Rainbows and Blues (USA: Northeastern University Press, 1998), 4
232

Jimmy Van Heusen18 1913 – 1990

D Here's That Rainy Day (1953)

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin wrote around 1500 songs in his lifetime which is interesting considering

that he could barely read music or play the piano.19 Nevertheless his work in theatre and in

Hollywood made him one of the most representative composers of the American song-book.

The first song I will analyse is Remember20 written in 1925. This song presents a

fascinating use of melodic minor transitions which were not frequently used in this era.

Fig 6.2 Octatonic analysis of Berlin's Remember (bars 1-5)

From the beginning we can observe that Berlin used melodic transitions every two bars.

The G7 in the fourth bar could be misinterpreted as a second degree (regular) transition, but the

A in the melody makes us reconsider the analysis finding that fifth degree melodic transition is

the only suitable option. Berlin then modulates to the first degree using Q in the melody (C#).

This is the first example of Q being held (as opposed to as a passing note) that we find. This

intervalic combination over the dominant is almost a trademark in jazz.

18 Alec Wilder, American Popular Song: The Great Innovators 1900-1950, ( New York: Oxford University Press,
1972), 442
19 Bergreene, As Thousands Cheer: The Life Of Irving Berlin, 587-600
20 Hal Leonard, Real Jazz Book (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1998), 290
233

Fig 6.2 Cont... (bars 6-11)

In the next bar the modulation comes to a close and immediately modulates back to Bb,

which creates a doubt as to which is actually the tonic key. There are two ingredients at work

here: on one hand the F major inevitably sounds like a dominant key-centre from Bb. But the

latter, though sub-dominant in reference to F, actually adds more tension. In other words, the

simple and direct resolution to F plus the Bb major progression leading into the cadence closing

in F, seem to imply that the tonic key is actually F. In any case both keys should be analysed in

reference to each other i.e. F is the first degree of Bb and the latter is the second degree of F.

Fig 6.2 Cont... (bars 12-23)

Here we begin to feel F major as a tonic, since both times Berlin has led us back here as a

point of closure. Once it has returned to Bb we find what could very appropriately be called a

bridge section (bar 16). Berlin uses a variation of the initial motif an octave higher, thus

reinforcing our perception of Bb as a sub-dominant centre from F. We then hear the original
234

motif in a different context. This is the same motif we heard in bars 1-2, 8-9 and 16-17, now

being played over iii of F major. Though the notes of the chord being played are different (root

and 3rd instead of 3rd and 5th) the melodic intervals are the same i.e. an ascending and descending

minor 3rd. We know that Berlin didn't have any formal training in music which makes this

example particularly interesting: the motif was previously introduced over chord I (tonic) and

this variation is introduced over iii (supra-tonic) of the first degree. We know that supra-tonics

sometimes function in place of the tonic, but to use this resource on the iii of the first degree

makes it much less obvious and still close enough to home (key) to be effective, thus giving the

whole piece cohesion and structure.

In the last eight bars we see the repetition of the first section to finally conclude in F

major:

Fig 6.2 Cont... (bars 24-33)

Since these last eight bars match the first sixteen so closely, and the length of the variation

(bridge) also lasts eight bars, it would be suitable to structure the piece into an AABA form. This

would make it visually easier to appreciate the structure. What is also interesting is that in

previous analyses we have seen the use of first and second degrees as a tension building detour,

one might say a key substituting for a dominant/sub-dominant function. But in this case, Berlin
235

uses the second degree as the main tonic-centre throughout and only briefly touches on the tonic

for closure of statements.

I should point out that this tune was composed eleven years after St. Louis Blues and ten

years after Ragtime Nightingale. There's a considerable development in harmony between these

decades that could mostly be linked through classical music rather than popular music.

Nevertheless, the influence of ragtime and the blues will become far more evident when we look

jazz composers. This chapter aims mostly at observing the influence that non-jazz composers

had on jazz.

Blue Skies,21 written in 1927, shows again Berlin's predilection for melodic transitions.

But this time we can observe ample use of secondary chords. The song is also an AABA format,

though it is not indicated in the score.

Fig 6.3 Octatonic analysis of Berlin's Blue Skies (bars 1-11)

It could be argued that the piece begins in minor and then modulates to the relative major,

but there is no clear indication of a modulation. The piece begins in E minor with a chromatic

descending bass line leading to G major. At no point is E minor corroborated or established as

the tonic chord. Also worth noting is Berlin's use of chord VII of the first degree transition,

21 This Is The Ultimate Fakebook (USA: Hal Leonard Corporation, WI, 1996), 81
236

C#min7b5 in bar 4, used as a continuation of the chromatic bass line. This chord serves the

function of allowing the root to descend to C# (not available in this key) whilst holding the note

B in the melody. No other primary chord offers this possibility. The passing chord Cmin6/Eb

could be better interpreted as ii (AØ/Eb), since this chord would be more common in this

voicing.22 Berlin delays the confirmation of the tonic chord for another two bars by repeating the

voicing G/D, creating a sense of unease or delayed resolution. Then there is complete cadence,

altered as a melodic minor detour, that finally resolves on I (root position). After two bars of rest

the harmony leaps again to E minor thus confirming its sound as VI of G major. This could be

classified as the beginning of the second A section.

Fig 6.3 Cont... (Bars 12-17)

As seen above Berlin uses no variations the second time around and in bar 17, and what appears

to be the bridge section commences.

Fig 6.3 Cont... (Bars 18-22)

The B section, though fairly simple, shows evidence that composers like Berlin were

probably aware of Q as part of the scale/key, unless one would consider a harmonic major scale

as an alternative explanation.23 Here we can see that the melody uses most of the G major scale

22 Again the hierarchy of intervals plays a role here: two chords with the exact same notes in them, Cmin6/Eb and
AØ/Eb, one voiced from the 3rd and the other one from the 5th. The latter has a stronger definition and distinct-
ness.
23 Harmonic major: R-M2-M3-P4-P5-m6-M7. Example in G: G-A-B-C-D-Eb-F#, which is similar to the funda-
237

carefully avoiding the note E which would conflict with the harmony. In bar 20 the obvious

choice would be to harmonize the melody (A-G-F#) with the dominant (D7), but Berlin clearly

needs to make a point that this C minor is in the key of G and plays almost the full scale from Eb

down to F# over this chord. However, in bar 7 he does harmonize the same motif with the

dominant bringing the section to an end. The last section ends the piece with an almost identical

repetition of the first A section, thus I have omitted it.

How Deep Is The Ocean,24 written in 1932, proves much more challenging to analyse

than most pieces so far. It contains excessive use of transitions in the form of potential

tonicisations, and deceptive cadences that give the illusion of a modulation. This is a minor

piece, but unlike other tunes seen up to this point, it modulates to the relative major via a first-

degree modulation. It also uses similar cadences (II-V) to go to different places in the key. The

structure of this piece is AB, the B being a variation of A:

Fig 6.4 Octatonic analysis of Berlin's How Deep Is The Ocean (Bars 1-4)

The tune begins by setting the tonic (C minor) via a complete modern cadence, but as

soon as we become comfortable with this key centre, Berlin takes us to the first degree. He

achieves this very effectively by using a minor II-V, which could have been easily misinterpreted

as a II-V/v., since the v in minor also exists in its secondary possibility minor 7 th. But he

reinforces the G minor as a new tonic using a melodic II-V.

mental major minus the 6th.


24 Real Jazz Book, Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, USA, 1998, 151
238

Fig 6.4 Cont... (Bars 5-9)

The other obvious reinforcement is the use of the note A in the melody, if this had been a

secondary v it would have been an Ab. Though it could also be reasoned that the note A is a

chromatic passing note, the combination of a minor II-V plus this note (non-diatonic to C minor)

establishes the G minor as a new key. Later we see a return to the tonic key but this time to the

relative major. For analytical purposes this is a modulation to the second degree (from G minor

to C minor). But since the II-V in bar 8 of the above graphic clearly modulates to Eb major, I

thought it improper to analyse the movement as IV-VII-III in C minor and opted instead for a

return to the relative major (R.M.) of the tonic key (TK).

Fig 6.4 Cont... (Bars 10-16)

In bar 10 we find a sound we are already familiar with. The II-V, already heard four times

at this point, makes us anticipate another modulation or at least a transition to chord IV. But

Berlin once again surprises us by taking an unexpected turn: granting that the root is precisely

what we expected, the nature of the chord is not. The only key with any relation to Eb in which

Ab7 can be found is Eb melodic minor and since the function is not being altered we can safely

conclude that it is a modal interchange to the first-degree melodic minor. Since this chord lasts
239

for two bars and the next chord is also found in the same key (chord VI in Eb melodic minor),

then we could consider the whole movement as a melodic tonicisation. However, the Cmin7b5

has a tendency to push us in two directions 1. as a modulation to Bb minor and 2. as a ii/V.25 It is

very interesting how Berlin manages to satisfy both sounds, to an extent: the Cmin7b5 could be

secondary ii of Bb (second degree) but since the movement is coming from Eb melodic minor

the latter is closer in relation. The F7 pushes us out of the Eb melodic minor 'feel' and begins to

insinuate a modulation to Bb minor, but Berlin is clever to play a D on the second beat of the bar

to quickly correct any misinterpretation. He is not happy with this and he closes the circle by

resolving to a modally interchanged V to the same degree as before (Eb m.m.), thus he achieves

a perfectly balanced progression in an otherwise common sequence.

Fig 6.4 Cont... (Bars 29-32)

He concludes the piece in a simple manner with an unresolved V/V, analysed as boxed II,

into a II-V-I. We may also conclude at this point that the tonic key of the piece is in fact Eb

major not C minor.

Cheek To Cheek26, written in 1935, presents an interesting use of transitions,

minorisations and majorisations. Here Berlin utilises different transition degrees consecutively

but manages to do this without losing reference of the tonic key. The piece is structured as

AABCA, the A sections lasting sixteen bars and the B and the C only eight.

25 A normal II/V would imply a Cmin7, but since Cmin7b5 is a secondary option in this scale then the analysis
should be ii/V.
26 The Real Book: Volume III, Second edition, Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, USA, 2006, 50-1
240

Fig 6.5 Octatonic analysis of Berlin's Cheek To Cheek (Bars 1-4)

The first four bars show a very common sequence seen in jazz standards. In this

progression we can see the second degree q acting as a V/II.27 This type of progression is often

used as an introduction in order to establish the key centre whilst allowing performers to fill in.

In the next four bars we find a variation of this movement in the form of q of the first degree

acting as a V/iii:

Fig 6.5 Cont... (Bars 5-8)

After Emin7 we find an unusual set of transitions. Since transition chords need to be

isolated in between diatonic chords, here one would tend to look for a tonicisation or a

modulation. But the Bb7#11 is actually a hidden tritone substitution of E7alt, which in turn is

felt as V/VI. When the chord progresses to an A7 (V/II) and immediately a D7 (V/V) we are

unable to experience the movement as tonicisation or modulation and instead we appreciate all

three chords as transitions, because they all make direct reference to diatonic chords (the VI, II

and V). In this manner Berlin is able to use consecutive diatonic chord and make them sound

like transitions.

27 q sharing the same scale as A7 dominant of D minor. In this key q also acts as dominant.
241

Fig 6.5 Cont... (Bars 9-12)

Similarly in the next four bars, the use of melodic transitions enables the use of

consecutive transitions, all making direct reference to diatonic chords. Though the F7 is clearly a

non-diatonic chord, it provides two functions here: 1. From the ascending harmonic movement,

Dmin7-Emin7, we expect the sound of IV, the first degree melodic minor transition allows for a

subtle substitution (only the 7th changes), so half the expectation is satisfied. 2. The F7 is also

acting as V (dominant) of the following chord, thus announcing the movement. The Bb7#11 is

the same as in the analysis above and the A7 is the V/II this time resolved.

The B section utilises only II and I and requires no further analysis. The C section on the

other hand leaps to an unannounced minorisation.

Fig 6.5 Cont... (Bars 28-31)

Berlin again uses a melodic transition to allow the continuation of a chromatic

movement. This time he descends to the root of C minor using scale notes (C-B-Bb or 8ve, Q,

minor 7th) but in order to continue the descent to A he borrows from the parallel melodic minor.

The next chord, Ebmin7, appeared to me as slightly out of place. So far Berlin has always

preferred subtle movements using voice leading methods to arrive at transition chords, hence the

Ebmin7 sounds somewhat abrupt. When looking for other corroborating scores I found that most
242

versions contain only an Ab7 or a variation of this for the duration of the two bars. 28 So instead

of:

most versions say:

Which would make the two bars a second-degree melodic minor transition from C minor. This in

turn is much more consistent with Berlin's style than the above fourth degree tonicisation. It also

makes more sense since after these two bars Berlin returns to C minor before majorising the

progression.

Fig 6.5 Cont... (Bars 32-35)

The beauty of this movement above is the subtlety of the majorisation. Assuming that the

previous two bars (30-31) were simply a second-degree melodic transition, the DØ could be

interpreted as a secondary ii of C major or II of C minor. The same could be said for the G7b9

and the G#dim, V and secondary q respectively. The Amin7 appears, almost unsurprisingly, as it

28 For example see This Is The Ultimate Fakebook, Hal Leonard Corporation, WI, USA, 1996, 117
243

is also following the chromatic descent. An improviser might very well want to be aware of this

duality since he/she can begin the majorisation at any point in these four bars. When the Amin7

arrives we realize that we did not notice when the majorisation took place. In this manner Berlin

returns for a final A section which is almost identical to the first.

George Gershwin

George Gershwin was one of America's best known composers. Amongst his many

achievements was the crossover between Broadway musicals and opera, culminating in Porgy

and Bess, which is one of the great American concert works.29 Gershwin is also one of the main

influences in the jazz repertoire, with multiple artists recording his works. 30 Unlike some of his

contemporaries Gershwin was interested in the sound of early jazz. One of his contributions to

the American songbook was the bluesy sonorities we have encountered in work-songs and blues

i.e. modal interchange.

The first example of this is Lady Be Good31 from 1924. This piece imitates the

substitution of the IV chord in the same manner Handy had done twelve years before, but what is

particularly interesting about this piece is that it is clearly not a blues. In fact, Gershwin utilises

the same song form (AABA) which was common amongst other song writers of the time e.g.

Irving Berlin, and manages to introduce the blues sonority as part of a standard American song.

29 William G. Hyland, George Gershwin: A New Biography (USA: Praeger Publishers, 2003), 155-83
30 See: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, 'Porgy And Bess' (Universal Classics, 2008, B000VT2NH8), Miles
Davis, 'Porgy And Bess' (Sony Jazz, 1997, B000024F6M) and Joe Henderson, 'Porgy And Bess' (Decca, Verve
Music Group, 2009, B002NCUPBW)
31 George and Ira Gershwin, 'Lady Be Good' (Harms, Inc., New York, 1924)
244

Fig 6.6 Octatonic analysis of Gershwin's Lady Be Good (bars 1-4)

The first two bars resemble the same harmonic progression as a blues: the modal interchange of

chord IV in bar 2 and 4 is acting as the sub-dominant of G major, not a V of another key i.e. it is

not a modulation nor a tonicisation. However, unlike the blues we do not have an insinuated C

tonic-centre so it must relate to the most proximate key to the tonic, unless evidence of an F

major interchange is stated, thus G melodic minor. Worth noting is that even though it is a

melodic minor interchange, the blues sonority is still present due to chord IV being transformed

to a non-diatonic 7th chord.

Fig 6.6 Cont.... (bars 5-10)

The second ending finishes with a II-V-I to the tonic and then a brief II-V to the IV

degree:

Fig 6.6 Cont.... (bars 11-14)


245

The bridge could also be related to bars 5 and 6 of a blues: the movement of IV to the first

degree diminished to return to I is exactly the same as I Got The Blues.32

Gershwin uses a similar approach on There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York,33

but this time he applies it to the I, insinuating a V/IV:

Fig 6.7 Octatonic analysis of Gershwin's There's A Boat... (bars 10-13)

The above example begins in bar 10 of the actual song. We can observe that the piece is

in Bb major with a brief sixth degree melodic transition. In bar 13 Gershwin plays an Ab note

over chord I, he does not however, change the chord symbol i.e. this note is sung not

orchestrated. Perhaps Gershwin wanted to make a point that this note was a blue note and not a

conversion of the I chord into a V/IV. Nevertheless the next chord is the IV and we cannot avoid

hearing the movement, so perhaps the analysis should be that of V/IV making it a second degree

transition. Following the movement to IV Gershwin returns to chord I before taking us to

another blues sonority.

Fig 6.7 Cont... (bars 14-17)

32 See first analysis in chapter 5, sub-chapter The blues.


33 George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward, 'There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York' as part of Porgy and
Bess : an opera in three acts, (USA: Gershwin Publishing Corporation, 1935), 24
246

Here Eb continues acting as IV but with a clear use of the aforementioned blues

interchange. The song proceeds to III and then modulates to the relative minor. In this manner

Gershwin introduces blues-like sounds into the mainstream repertoire. But Gershwin was also

able to produce interesting works using traditional harmony as for example his 1928 song

Embraceable You34 where we find a third degree tonicisation in bars 11-14 of the verse.

Fig 6.8 Octatonic analysis of Gershwin's Embraceable You (bars 1-16)

34 Chuck Sher (ed.), The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Sher Music Co., 2000), 129
247

The following four bars, not included in the example above, leave the verse on the

dominant of G major to begin the chorus A Tempo. This piece is of particular interest since it

includes the earliest third degree tonicisation I have managed to find.

Jerome Kern

Jerome Kern wrote A Fine Romance in 1936,35 this piece offers very early examples of

chromatic transitions. The piece consists of one section with a second ending:

Fig 6.9 Octatonic analysis of Kern's A Fine Romance (bars 1-4)

The piece begins in C major moving through a set of transitions which are familiar to us at this

point.

Fig 6.9 Cont... (bars 5-8)

In the next four bars (above), Kern utilises a iii-VI-II-V progression which should be

viewed as a modern variation of the traditional turnaround (Anatole).36 This is because, as seen

in earlier chapters, the secondary iii acts as a substitution of I, the former being a supra-tonic and

the latter a tonic.


35 This Is The Ultimate Fakebook (WI, USA: Hal Leonard Corporation, 1996), 186
36 The traditional turn around is considered to be I-VI-II-V, for example Gershwin's I Got Rhythm.
248

Fig 6.9 Cont... (bars 9-12)

In the next bars we see I converted to V (second degree transition) but not resolving to IV

nor modulating or tonicising a new key. This leads me to believe that Kern perhaps was

attempting Gershwin's blues type sonority. In the second half of bar 10 we see the chromatic

transition beginning with the fifth-degree melodic transition. A13 can only belong to two

possible keys: D major and E melodic minor, the latter been closer in the hierarchy to C major.

This chromatic transition is not particularly adventurous compared to other examples available

below, since both transitional keys are still within range of our original key. E m.m. and Eb m.m

are fifth degree melodic transition and sixth degree melodic transition respectively.

Fig 6.9 Cont... (bars 13-16)

In bar 14 we see a more daring chromatic progression which Kern uses to detour from

the key via a cycle of fifths to return to the tonic via V/II-V/V-V. Though initially I was tempted

to consider the E7 from its relation to the tonic key i.e. III of C, the chromatic movement from

F#13 makes the the E7 sound like a continuation of the chromatic sequence. This is possibly

why the voicing of the chords in this passage have an added 13, which reinforces the chromatic

nature of the progression (F#, A#, C#,37 G# and D# are all a semitone away from the tonic chord

in its second inversion: G, A, C and E). The piece contains no more peculiarities worth

mentioning.

37 The 7th E is omitted since it is a common note, third of C.


249

All The Things You Are written in 193938 is perhaps the most widely played and recorded

standard in jazz history.39 This tune offers an interesting set of transitions and tonicisations that

are often used to get beginners acquainted with standard chord progressions. The piece consists

of four parts ABCD. D being an extended variation of A:

Fig 6.10 Octatonic analysis of Kern's All The Things You Are (bars 1-8)

The piece begins with a simple diatonic progression in Ab major. The last three bars of

the A section (6-8) show a subtle detour to a third degree by creating the illusion of V/III or V/iii.

This is done effectively by using the dominant of the first degree. On many occasion I have

heard the progression above (bars 5-6) played as two consecutive 7th chords i.e. Db7-G7, which

is another clever way to modulate to the third degree since one is the tritone substitution of the

other. This allows the same scales to be used over both chords, for example the symmetric

diminished (WT/ST) or Ab melodic minor if the G7 is altered.

38 Jerom Kern, 'All The Things You Are', (CA, USA: T.B. Harms Company, 1939).
39 Turning 200 results on iTunes and 704 on Spotify (on the 26th of September, 2009)
250

Fig 6.10 Cont... (bars 9-12)

The next section, turns the I of the third degree tonicisation (Cmaj7) into a minor 7th

chord. The inclination here is to think that it is a minorisation, but the progression quickly

develops into the same harmonic movement as the first four bars of the A section, thus it is clear

that what occurs here is a modulation to the first degree of Ab, or perhaps more appropriately

fourth degree of C major. At this point I wonder what would be more logical as a practical

analysis. A transition is that which does not confuse or detour from the sound of the tonic key. A

tonicisation is a clear change of key but not long enough for the feeling of the tonic key to be

lost. Finally a modulation is clearly a strong detour which makes us completely lose the

reference to the tonic key. Hence when a modulation occurs after a tonicisation, should the new

key be analysed from the perspective of the tonic key (which has not been lost due to the

tonicisation) or from the tonicisation itself since a new key has been implied? I suppose this

question should remain open until educators and students may answer from their experience

using this system.

Fig 6.10 Cont... (bars 13-16)

In the final four bars of the B section we see the same process repeated. A IV followed by
251

what appears to be a II-V to iii of Eb. The difference at this point is that Kern has already

prepared us to anticipate the event. Both harmony and melody were a repetition of the A section

a fifth above, therefore the modulation to the third degree (G major) is both expected and

anticipated.

Fig 6.10 Cont... (bars 17-20)

The first four bars of the C section break the pattern to introduce a simple progression

around G major. In practice this progression is not that dissimilar from the A and B sections, but

sound-wise it is, mainly due to the different melody.

Fig 6.10 Cont... (bars 21-24)

The final four bars of this section show a wonderful deception. Kern pretends to move us

to the relative minor but instead arrives at a major chord. This resource can be found in countless

tunes such as Night And Day or I Love You.40 In this particular instance it works very well due to

the commonality of the surrounding keys. E major is a descending fourth degree of G and also a

descending third degree from Ab, our tonic key and also the key of the next section. The section

ends with V/VI to the tonic key (Ab).

40 Cole Porter, 'Night And Day' and 'I Love You', The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Mu-
sic Co., 2000), 325-6; 203-4 respectively.
252

Fig 6.10 Cont... (bars 25-28)

The final section begins in a similar fashion to the A and B sections, VI-II-V-I and with

the same melody. This movement, which we have already heard twice, prevents the modulation

at the end of the C section (C7#5) from sounding as if we were heading towards a minor tonality,

thus the C7#5 should be considered V/VI and not a modulation to F minor.

Fig 6.10 Cont... (bars 29-32)

The next four bars introduce a new variation over the progression. As in the A and B

sections, the IV chord arrives after the I, but this time instead of going to V/iii or modulating to

the third degree, it transitions to the fourth degree (Cb major). Then it returns to I and proceeds

with q of the first degree (substitution of V/II) to end on a II-V-I.

Three years later Kern wrote I'm Old Fashioned.41 Here we see Kern's ever evolving

sophistications and explorations of more advanced harmonies. The structure of this piece is

ABC, where C is a variation of A.

41 Jerome Kern, 'I'm Old Fashioned' (CA, USA: T.B. Harms Company, 1942)
253

Fig 6.11 Octatonic analysis of Kern's I'm Old Fashioned (bars 1-4)

The piece begins with a traditional turnaround in F major.

Fig 6.11 Cont... (bars 5-12)

The next four bars modulate the piece to minor. We then find two interesting movements:

a first and a third degree melodic transition (bars 10 and 12 respectively. The chord after the D7

is Gmin7, so there's an inclination to analyse this chord as V of G minor scale which would be a

closer second degree transition. But one must always observe the melody before jumping to

conclusions. The melody is playing an E which is not available in G minor, so one must continue

up the hierarchy to find a chord that fits both, hence chord IV of A melodic minor.
254

Fig 6.11 Cont... (bars 17-20)

The first four bars of the B section (above) show no surprise but for the unusual voicing

of the last chord: secondary iv of the first degree melodic transition. What is actually happening

here is a chromatic movement of the internal voices leading into I of the third degree (A major).

So despite the possibility of analysis of these chords from the perspective of F major, one must

also consider the possibility of the movement as a modulation, thus analysing it from the

perspective of A major.

Cole Porter

Thirteen years before Kern wrote I'm Old Fashioned, Cole Porter wrote What Is This

Thing Called Love.42 This standard stands out amongst most not only because of how frequently

it is played and sung, but also because it has inspired many other tunes which also became jazz

classics.43 It is also one of the best examples I have found of major/minor duality. The piece

consists of an initial verse followed by an AABA structure. The verse is rarely played but it

offers interesting analytical insights.

42 Cole Porter, 'What Is This Thing Called Love', The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Mu-
sic Co., 2000, copyright 1929); 517-8
43 For example: Hot House (by Tad Dameron), Fifth House (by John Coltrane), Barry's Bop (by Fats Navarro).
255

Fig 6.12 Octatonic analysis of Porter's What Is This Thing Called Love (bars 1-4)

The piece begins with an unusual progression of diminished chords. This sequence, more

than most, seems to prove that composers around this era were quite aware of the Q possibility

within the tonal structure. The fifth chord in particular (second half of bar 3) could not be

formed by any other scalar combination. A more appropriate chord symbol for this chord would

be Ab6(b5)#9 for analytical purposes or Abdim/C for practical purposes. The chromatic

movement between voices joined together by the pedal C is almost a predecessor of modal

compositions like Coltrane's Naima.44 At the end of the fourth bar Porter begins a modulation to

the third degree (Eb major), though initially it feels more like a V/IV.

Fig 6.12 Cont... (bars 5-8)

After arriving on I Porter repeats the modulation to a third degree, using a different

method this time: first we find what appears to be an unresolved V/IV (second half of bar 6)

which in fact leads to the II and then q of Bb analysed here as #ii. This is a familiar resource:

common chords between two keys. The F#o7 is both a first degree transition of Eb major and

also secondary vii of G major, which acts as a more subtle dominant of the new key.

44 John Coltrane, 'Naima', from the album Giant Steps (Atlantic, 1959, SD-1311).
256

Fig 6.12 Cont... (bars 9-12)

In the next four bars Porter remains longer in the new key and again uses the pedal note

to join the sequence together. This resource gives the progression a very dramatic feel whilst

giving the tonality more of a modal feel. The fourth bar ends with a tentative return to Eb major,

though initially it feels like a modulation back to C major.

Fig 6.12 Cont... (bars 13-16)

Porter delays the resolution and seems to be drawing us towards the relative minor. We

must take into account at this point that the consideration of C major as our tonic key is purely

speculative. The key has in no way been confirmed nor reinforced. But in the second half of bar

14 Porter insinuates a modulation to C minor, thus leading us to believe that C minor is the

actual key. Surprisingly the progression comes to a close on a majorisation of the tonic C major,

thus closing the structure in the same chord it began. The C7 at the end of the bar seems to imply

either a V/IV or a modulation of some sort. Since the actual tonic key is still vague, the point of

reference cannot be C major and instead we must move forward to the next section to understand

what is happening.
257

Fig 6.12 Cont... (bars 17-20)

The A section begins with a II-V that could simply be interpreted as ii-V of F major, but

the progression resolves to an F minor 6th. Since we are speculating that C, major or minor, is our

tonic key and this is a complete cadence, then we must conclude that this is either a modulation

or a tonicisation to the second degree where I is modally interchanged.

Fig 6.12 Cont... (bars 21-24)

The movement is a minor II-V which resolves to I major. This seems to confirm C as the

tonic key, but why minor if the resolution is towards major? Simply because the majority of the

chords in the piece so far relate directly to C minor i.e. 1. most of the verse centred around Eb

major and C minor and 2. the A section began with a progression in F minor. If C major was the

tonic key then most large sections would have to be considered minorisations and this is just

impractical and illogical. The second A repeats exactly the same progression so it's omitted.
258

Fig 6.12 Cont... (bars 33-36)

The B section moves briefly to the relative major of the first degree via a II-V-I, then

returns to the tonic key by using a common key:

Fig 6.12 Cont... (bars 37-40)

Eb melodic minor is both a fourth degree transition from Bb major, and a second degree

transition from C minor. The minor II-V takes us back to the last A section which identical to the

first two.

This piece is a perfect example of major/minor duality. Each section resolves on a C

major, but most of the piece functions around C minor, hence we could say this piece is in C,

both major and minor or plain C.

Love For Sale,45 written in 1930, shows Porter taking the major/minor duality to an

extreme. This piece, structured as ABCD with an introductory verse, plays around with

majorising the relative minor of Db major. But what is particularly interesting is that this

exchange is completely unpredictable and occurs sometimes over other chords within the key,

45 Cole Porter, 'Love For Sale', The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co., 2000, copy-
right 1930); 277-8
259

not just the I.

Fig 6.13 Octatonic analysis of Porter's Love For Sale (bars 1-4)

The verse begins with a descending progression leading into F minor. Since the key

signature indicates that the piece is in Bb major, one would tend to analyse the first chord as a I,

I believe this is not so. When listening to these four chords played in a sequence one gets the

impression that the first chord is actually a hidden 7th chord (Bb7). Another consideration is that

the movement is heading towards a point of resolution, hence the first chord is a passing chord

not a tonic one. Since F minor is the point of repose then the previous four chords must be

analysed from this perspective.

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 5-8)

The next passage takes us briefly to the relative major of the second degree, followed by

a sustained dominant of the minor.


260

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 9-12)

The resolution arrives at a modally interchanged I, followed by a II-V that leads into a

movement which is very similar to the first four bars. Because now we have a reference key (Bb

minor) which we didn't have at the beginning the scale analysis is slightly different. Another

justification for this is that this movement is harmonised as 7th chords not 6th and the sequence

ends on a modulation. So perhaps Porter himself wanted to insinuate a similar progression when

in fact he was considering it differently?

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 13-16)

As we can see above the sequence ends on a tonicisation to a descending third degree.

This movement is so short that perhaps it should be considered more of a transition, but since the

tempo indication is freely I suppose this might be performed either way. Bar 16 sees us returning

to our tonic key.


261

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 17-20)

Porter detours uses the dominant in bars 17-18 to take us to the relative minor, but he

resolves chord I on a majorisation. In this manner Porter finishes the verse clearly announcing

that the key is Bb, and as we have seen before, it is both major and minor.

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 21-24)

The A section begins with an unusual majorisation of the IV chord. The logic behind this

analysis is that the closest Ebmaj7 is found in G minor (descending fourth degree) which is the

relative minor of Bb major. Now it could be argued that the piece is in fact in Bb major and it is

the Bbmin7 that is a minorisation. But further analysis of the piece will prove otherwise.

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 29-32)

Here we can see Porter taking us to the relative major of Bb minor. Therefore if our tonic

key was in fact Bb major this would have to be analysed as a modulation to the fourth degree,
262

but this is not what we hear. In any case, Porter makes sure we hear Bb minor as the tonic key at

the end of the section:

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 33-36)

this shows II-V ending on a modally interchanged I. In this manner it becomes clear that the

tonic key is Bb minor, since a chord cannot be both minorised and modally interchanged at the

same time.46 But Porter is not happy to establish it that quickly and in the next section we find

ourselves doubting the tonic key again:

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 37-44)

In the B section Porter uses the majorisation for eight bars. When a modal interchange

takes place for this long it should really be considered a modulation/tonicisation, hence the key

bracket.

46 I remind the reader that a minorisation is a modal interchange to the fourth degree, not the first.
263

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 45-52)

Of course analysing it as a modulation to the fourth degree gives us the same scale result, but

what we actually hear this time is a return to the tonic-key from a very remote key.

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 53-60)

The C section or bridge begins with eight bars around the relative major.
264

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 61-64)

The next four bars modulate to the relative minor of the second degree (Gb major) via a

small chromatic side-step. Notice that all four bars are modally interchanged to a first degree

melodic minor. This is insinuated by the melody which clearly draws upon the relevant notes (C,

D and Gb). This modally interchanged I is also chord II of the key we were just in, thus creating

analytical doubt if this a II of Db or a I of Eb. I believe the sound of the preceding dominants is

strong enough to make the Eb minor as tonic-centre stand in its own right.

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 65-68)

The section ends with what could be considered a minor turnaround. A II-V of II

followed by a II-V. This following movement I find fascinating. Since Eb is our temporary tonic

key and the previous turnaround clearly indicated a movement towards Eb, the return to the last

section, which is similar to A and B, sounds in a completely different context:


265

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 69-72)

Though this is clearly the same movement (IV-I) as A and B, the previous turnaround makes the

Ebmaj7 sound incredibly unstable as a function. To my ears the Bbmin7 does not quite sound

like a I. In fact the next Ebmaj7 below sounds more like a point of resolution than the Bbmin7.

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 73-76)

The Bbmaj7, which is clearly a I because of its position within the key, still sounds

almost like a V of Eb. We have seen how Porter uses similar chord progressions in different

contexts, so perhaps he intended to draw a Lydian progression that sounded similar to the A and

B section?
266

Fig 6.13 Cont... (bars 77-84)

The last eight bars return to the relative major of the tonic key but with a subtle variation.

Chord I is replaced by a 7th chord (modal interchange to the second degree). This almost sounds

like a V/IV, but since the IV is a first degree melodic transition the resolution, V-I, is lost and

retrospectively the modal interchange sounds more like a bluesy I. The piece ends with a II-V

leading into the modal interchanged I.

I Love You,47 also written by Cole Porter, contributes an exciting set of chords to this

thesis. First we have a movement between primary and secondary chords and modal

interchanges for only half the duration of a chord. We also have what appears to be Porter's

typical use of minor/major duality, but in this case is not so. The piece is structured as AABA

with an introductory verse.

47 Cole Porter, 'I Love You', The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music Co., 2000, copy-
right 1939 ); 203-4
267

Fig 6.14 Octatonic analysis of Porter's I Love You (bars 1-12)

The verse begins with a simple set of chords in F minor. Besides the second degree

melodic transition in bar 2 all chords are diatonic. But then the verse takes an interesting turn:

Fig 6.14 Cont... (bars 13-16)

First we have a II chord implying a II/V or a tonicisation of the first degree . The V in bar

13 seems to corroborate this, but then something unusual happens: the melody plays an E for a

beat and a half, which is too long to be ignored or treated as a chromaticism. The feeling here is

that of a majorisation. Since the V/V in minor normally belongs to chord V of the first degree (C

minor), the note E can only be interpreted as an intentional alteration which is insinuating a

larger event. The next two bars (15-16) contain no clues since both these chords can be found in

major and minor. But the corroboration of a majorisation becomes evident at the start of the next
268

section:

Fig 6.14 Cont... (Bars 17-20)

Here we find that the key has indeed been majorised, which by now is not surprising in

Porter's tunes. Consequently, the note E over the G7 was deliberately meant as a signpost that the

tonality was changing and retroactively the two C chords should also be analysed as V of major.

In this system we also encounter what appears to be another variation of a blues progression i.e.

three bars of I followed by a V/IV. It is worth noting how Porter uses the secondary i to achieve a

chromatic movement of the internal voices that smoothly leads into the F9.

Fig 6.14 Cont... (Bars 21-24)

The next four bars break the blues pattern and instead Porter seems to suggest a

tonicisation of G minor. However, before this can be corroborated or established Porter begins a

long cadence back to the I:


269

Fig 6.14 Cont... (Bars 25-32)

Initially the BØ is felt as a II leading to a tonicisation of the relative minor of the first

degree. The tritone substitution in bar 26 doesn't help matters and reinforces this perception. Bar

27 however, tells us that we are in fact still in F major as it is referring to chord VI. So now we

can analyse the first two (bar 25-26) as references of III, which in turn gives the unusual spelling

of bII/II, as this is a tritone substitution of V/V. Bar 28 offers some doubts: melodically it seems

to be implying a D minor, but the chord symbol suggests a 7th chord. Normally, as we have

seen, the V/II comes from the second degree (chord III in Bb major), this seem to fit the melody

since the E could easily be interpreted as a chromatic approach to the #9th. Since there is no

scale containing a 7th chord with both a natural 9th and a sharpened 9th,48 I must consider the

possibility that this is an editorial mistake. But since I was not able to find another score of I

Love You containing the verse, then I must analyse this to its closest possibility, hence A melodic

minor and the note F as perhaps an anticipation of the next chord.

48 Unless we consider an A melodic minor with an added Q note (F).


270

Fig 6.14 Cont... (Bars 33-40)

The A section begins with what appears to be a minorisation, a minor II-V leading into F

major. But one must not forget that the Ø option also exists for the major II chord, substituting

the 5th for Q. Therefore this is a deceptive minor II-V, since it exists as a possibility in F major

too. The next four bars continue with a diatonic progression in F major, finishing on a V/II.

Fig 6.14 Cont... (Bars 41-48)

The second A section differs slightly from the first. Porter again uses the deceptive minor

II-V, but after resolving he modulates to the third degree via a II and secondary v. The last four

bars of this section draw clearly on the third degree as a temporal tonic-centre.
271

Fig 6.14 Cont... (Bars 49-56)

The B section (above) finds us returning to the tonic key. Porter again uses the secondary

ii but then embellishes the V by moving from its secondary position to the primary before

resolving. He ends the B section by drawing upon an unresolved II-V of the II, followed by a

V/V. Here we find an unusual modal interchange applied to just half the duration of the chord. In

this manner Porter finds another way to move an internal voice chromatically up to the 3rd of C.

Fig 6.14 Cont... (Bars 57-64)

The last A section begins in the same manner as the previous two, finishing on a V/II that

resolves to another interesting set of internal movements: G9(b5) is similar to G7(#11) in that it

can only exist as IV of a melodic minor. Of course Porter uses this to harmonize the chromatic

movement of the melody, but it is worth considering that the proximity of this key (D melodic
272

minor) offers an interesting modal interchange to several of the traditional chords which allow

melodic chromatic passages that lead into diatonic notes and chords (melodic minor

parallelisms). Finally we see the secondary-primary movement of V again but this time

embellished up to the 13th.

The last Porter piece I would like to cover is All Of You,49 since it's a well known standard

that is usually analysed wrongly. The piece is structured as AB with an introductory verse. My

two favourite elements of this piece are the extensive use of secondary chords that are often

mistaken for minorisations. The verse, not provided here, is a simple sequence of Vs and II-Vs

establishing Eb major as the tonic key.

Fig 6.15 Octatonic analysis of Porter's All Of You (bars 17-20)

The A section begins with a secondary ii, often interpreted as a minor II. But the melody

passes through G, hence the only other possibility would be a VI of Ab melodic minor, which is

a fourth degree melodic minor. Why go so far when the chord in question is available in the

tonic key? From an improviser's point of view it's an interesting modal interchange substitution,

but he/she might want to take into account that the actual movement is that of a ii-I, and the

substitution will stand out. After resolving to I it returns to secondary ii for another three bars.

49 Cole Porter, All Of You, The Standards Real Book (Sher Music Co., CA, USA, 2000, copyright 1954); 15-6
273

Fig 6.15 Cont... (bars 21-24)

After resolving Porter moves to the secondary iv, again a chord sometimes misinterpreted

as a minorisation. We then find one of those chords that are at the same degree distance in two

different keys: Gb major or Ab melodic minor are both a fourth degree away and in both keys

the Db9 appears as a primary chord. I opted for an Ab melodic minor because another Db9 is

found later in the piece acting as a tritone substitution of V/VI. However, both possibilities

remain open.

Fig 6.15 Cont... (bars 25-32)

Above we see the last eight bars of the A section. The C7(#5) is analysed as a secondary

v, since the triad is altered to an augmented. In the second half of bar 29 we find the

aforementioned Db9 acting as a tritone substitution. This is analysed as a tritone substitution of

V/VI, though it does not resolve to VI it does resolve to a chord with the same root, therefore the

sound is still that of a dominant resolution.


274

Fig 6.15 Cont... (bars 33-40)

The B section begins in the same fashion as the A, but then takes a different turn:

after resolving to I Porter decides to move to secondary iii instead of the iv. This movement

almost sounds like a II-V of II, but he does not resolve it:

Fig 6.15 Cont... (bars 41-48)

The movement detours to primary IV thus delaying the resolution for another four bars. He uses

a first degree transition to move again to the iii and then repeats the II-V of II effect, this time

resolving it.

So this piece is clearly in Eb major all the way. There are no modulations, minorisations

or majorisations, which shows that one can never take a chord symbol or progression for

granted. Most Porter tunes contain the major/minor duality, it is clear and he makes a point of it.

But in this last piece it is not obvious. If one would have to play it by ear then it would seem
275

apparent that it is in major. It is only when looking at the chord symbols that one may be tempted

to consider a minorisation, when in fact Porter is just using secondary chords to add an

interesting flavour to what would otherwise be a very common or traditional diatonic

progression.

Hoagy Carmichael

Hoagy Carmichael's Star Dust,50 written in 1929, shows a stunning use of nearly all

diatonic possibilities. It also provides a clear example of third and fourth degree transitions. But

I also believe it provides an excellent introductory study of diatonic harmonic possibilities. The

structure is AB with an introductory verse, where B is a subtle variation of A. The verse

introduces a motif which will not be repeated until the end of the B section, though there are

subtle references in some places. The piece is in Db major and as mentioned above, aside from a

few transitions, the piece remains in one key throughout.

Fig 6.16 Octatonic analysis of Carmichael's Stardust (bars 1-4)

The verse begins with I moving into a melodic transition of IV which then moves to

V/VI. Of course this could be interpreted as a tritone substitution of V/III, but I believe the

sound of IV is too strong and consequently the V/III sound is lost. It's interesting here how

Carmichael uses the III as a dominant of V/II. He manages to play three 7th chords in a row

without losing the key and without making it sound like a modulation. This is mainly due to the

50 Hoagy Carmichael, 'Star Dust', The New Real Book volume two (CA, USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co.,
1991, copyright 1929), 345-6
276

fact that all roots are diatonic and the functions of the chords are referencing diatonic chords.

Fig 6.16 Cont... (bars 5-8)

The progression continues with a II-V-iii-VI. Six bars in and Carmichael has managed to

introduce nearly all relevant chords of the key. Then we find a perfect example of a third degree

transition in complete isolation i.e. it does not resolve and it is not referencing any diatonic

chords. A II-V takes us back to the tonic and a repetition of the first sequence:

Fig 6.16 Cont... (bars 17-20)

The A section begins on the sub-dominant which then moves to its secondary position

and adds the major 7th. Carmichael then transforms this secondary chord into a primary of the

fourth degree (II of E major). This is another clear example of a fourth degree transition in

complete isolation, since then it moves back to the I of the tonic key:

Fig 6.16 Cont... (bars 21-24)

The next four bars find us back on a diatonic progression of the tonic key. In bar 23 there
277

is a subtle mention of the motif introduced in the verse.

Fig 6.16 Cont... (bars 25-28)

In bar 26 we find an unusual chromaticism: the note Fb over the Ab7 chord could imply a

modal interchange of some sort, maybe a minorisation of the dominant or a melodic minor

transition. But it could also be interpreted as a delayed chromatic resolution to the note F (3 rd of

Db) in the next bar. I leave this open for interpretation.

Fig 6.16 Cont... (bars 29-32)

The last four bars of the A section show the first large detour from the tonic key. This

movement borders between transition and tonicisation because 1. the piece is so slow that these

two bars last long enough to imply a different temporal tonic-centre and 2. The rhythm of the

phrases makes the chords sound self-contained i.e. there is no forward movement towards a

resolution. However, since there is no resolution and all chords in the sequence belong to the

same scale and reference diatonic chords, we must conclude that this is simply an unusually long

transition. The section ends by returning to the tonic key and a V/IV which leads to a repetition

of the first eight bars of the A section.


278

Fig 6.16 Cont... (bars 33-40)

As seen above the first eight bars offer the same chords and melody as the A section. I've

included them to add context to the next eight bars which introduce the variation.

Fig 6.16 Cont... (bars 41-44)

A fourth degree transition appears suddenly detouring us away from the tonic key.

Though Carmichael has prepared us several times to hear and accept this remote detour, one

cannot help feeling a rather dramatic moment when this occurs, partly due to the length of it and

partly due to the suddenness i.e. the leap from Ebmin7 as opposed to the smooth movement from

the iv he used in previous bars.

Skylark51 on the other hand presents a beautiful treatment of diatonic progressions plus a

clear example of a tritone substitution. But perhaps this piece's greatest contribution is the

unusual modulations found in the bridge.

51 Hoagy Carmichael, 'Skylark', New Real Book, vol. 1 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co., 1988, copy-
right 1941), 321
279

Fig 6.17 Octatonic analysis of Carmichael's Skylark (bars 1-4)

The piece begins with an ascending bass line from Eb to Ab. Carmichael prefers the use

of the tonic with its 3rd on the bass instead of the more common secondary iii we have seen on

other occasions. In the second half of bar 3 we find a tritone substitution of V/IV, this is an

excellent example of the use of T.S. since there's no space for misinterpretation.

Fig 6.17 Cont... (bars 5-8)

The next four bars continue drawing around the diatonic chords with the exception of the

V/V.

The first six bars of the second A section are identical to the first, but it is in the last two

bars were we find something unusual:

Fig 6.17 Cont... (bars 13-16)

The Bb7#9 opens several questions, since none of the scales we have covered contain this
280

combination of notes. It is far simpler to consider the note Db as a chromatic approach to the 2nd,

otherwise we have the issue of having a #9 chord (minor dominant or altered dominant) with a

natural 9. The only possibility of a scale that would suit both the melody and this chord voicing

would have to be an F melodic minor with an added Q. But personally I would recommend re-

harmonizing the Bb7#9 for a diatonic Bb7 and consider the note Db as a chromaticism or a blue

note.

Fig 6.17 Cont... (bars 17-20)

The bridge or B section leads into a modulation to the second degree via the VI chord of

the tonic key, passing through another tritone substitution. Once resolved Carmichael heads

straight to the relative minor.

Fig 6.17 Cont... (bars 21-24)

Bar 22 finds us rapidly moving back to the relative major only to suddenly leap a

semitone below. Carmichael establishes the new key via a I-VI-V/V-V-I and surprisingly

requires only a beat and a half (dotted crotchet) to return to the tonic key (Eb major). The last A

section repeats almost identical chords to the second A section, except for the aforementioned
281

mystery V chord in the penultimate bar:

Fig 6.17 Cont... (bars 29-32)

On this occasion it is clearly a modal interchange to the fourth degree, since the melody holds

the Db note for at least a beat.

Carmichael offers the beginner an excellent introductory study of diatonic progressions

and transitions. His songs are simple and yet include clear isolated examples of substitutions and

detours to other degrees. When he does so he reflects them in the melody and always avoids

using common chords that may lend themselves to misinterpretation.

Richard Rodgers

The prolific Richard Rodgers wrote Lover52 which renders two interesting uses of third

degree movement. The piece appears to be structured as an AABA. The three A sections vary

only in the last four bars.

Fig 6.18 Octatonic analysis of Rodgers Lover (bars 1-4)

The piece begins in C major and quickly leaps to a third degree tonicisation. It is

analysed as a tonicisation because it does not return to C major until the end of the section.

52 Richard Rodgers, 'Lover', Real Jazz Book (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1998, copyright 1932),
206-7
282

Fig 6.18 Cont... (bars 5-8)

Then he begins a chromatic descending sequence drawing the same parallel chords each

time (II-V), thus impossible to misinterpret.

Fig 6.18 Cont... (bars 9-12)

Finally he returns to C major via the same sequence of II-V.

Fig 6.18 Cont... (bars 13-16)

A turnaround variation leads back to the second A where Rodgers repeats the same

harmony.
283

Fig 6.18 Cont... (bars 29-32)

The last bar of the second A section appears to modulate to the first degree, but this not

so:

Fig 6.18 Cont... (bars 33-40)

The first eight bars of the B section show that the Rodgers has actually moved to E major.

Retrospectively one may be inclined to analyse the modulating II of the previous bar as a

secondary ii of E major, but I believe the F#Ø is first heard as vii of G major or more

appropriately a II of E minor, since in the context of C major this is the closest relation.

Consequently, the start of the B section sounds more like a majorisation of the expected

resolution.

Fig 6.18 Cont... (bars 41-44)


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The next four bars move to the third degree of E major which is also the first degree of C.

In this manner Rodgers manages to connect the two remote keys via a common degree.

Fig 6.18 Cont... (bars 45-48)

The last four bars return to the tonic key via a II-V confirming our previous assumption.

As explained previously, the last section offers no variation and simply ends on four bars of C

major.

Have You Met Miss Jones53 is perhaps one of the most quoted and known standards

amongst jazz musicians. It has been speculated many times that it was the bridge of this tune that

inspired Coltrane's Giant Steps.54 The piece is structured AABA with a twelve bar introductory

verse which is rarely played. But it is the bridge of this tune that has made it so popular and

sought after by jazz practitioners. For the sake of context I will include the A section.

Fig 6.19 Octatonic analysis of Rodgers' Have You Met Miss Jones (bars 13-20)

The A section consists of simple diatonic movements around F major. The only detour

53 Richard Rodgers, ‘Have You Met Miss Jones’ ( USA: Rodgers and Hart 1937 Chappell & Co.)
54 David Demsey, John Coltrane Plays Giant Steps (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1996), 8
285

being used is a second degree transition acting as V/II. The first A section ends with a variation

of a turnaround (I substituted for iii).

Fig 6.19 Cont... (bars 25-28)

The second A section finishes with the turnaround interrupted by a modulation that takes

us into the bridge or B section.

Fig 6.19 Cont... (bars 29-32)

Here we can see what is so unconventional about this piece. The movement begins with a

resolution to the tonic of the second degree (bar 29). Then it modulates to a descending third

degree. This type of modulation is rare but we have encountered it on a few occasions. But what

is most unusual is that Rodgers then takes it down again to the next descending degree.

Fig 6.19 Cont... (bars 33-36)


286

Once resolved he returns to the previous key, now a standard (ascending) third degree,

only to return to the tonic key via a chromatic modulation. This very original progression makes

this piece stand out amongst most whilst providing a more challenging framework from which to

improvise. The last A section is very similar to the first and warrants no further analysis.

Victor Young

Victor Young's Stella By Starlight,55 falls directly into the modern repertoire. Written in

1944 in the midst of the bebop era, this tune presents an exquisite set of chords that seem to leap

from one key to another making it a particularly challenging piece to analyse. To begin analysing

this tune one must first comprehend what is the tonal centre from which Young based the

harmony. In the foreground it would appear that the chords have no connection between each

other and the leap between key is unrelated. But from a background analytical perspective one

may easily determined that the piece is in Bb major and that all chords in the piece reference the

tonic key in one level or other.

Fig 6.20 Octatonic analysis of Young's Stella By Starlight (bars 1-4)

Initially the first two chords imply a II-V to D minor. However, since there is no

resolution one cannot blindly assume this. The next two chords suggest a II-V to Bb major, but

again these do not resolve. At this point we begin to get some clues as to what the tonal centre is:

D If D minor is the centre then Bb is the relative major of the second degree.
55 Victor Young, 'Stella By Starlight', Real Jazz Book (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1998, copyright
1944), 327
287

D If Bb major is the centre then D minor is the relative major of the first degree

Acknowledging that the piece is in Bb major, the first two chords can be analysed as a II-V to

the secondary iii. As we know the iii (supra-tonic) chord is a substitute of the tonic chord, hence

when the next two chords (Cmin7-F7) reference the tonic I it doesn't necessarily sound like a

different key. But looking ahead the next few bars certainly provides the answer.

Fig 6.20 Cont... (bars 5-8)

From bar 5 onwards we begin a modulation to Eb major. This is enough information to

establish a tonal centre since Eb major, or its relative C minor, has no relation to D minor. But

both Eb major and D minor have a relation to Bb major: the former second degree and the latter

relative minor of first degree. In this manner we can establish Bb major as the tonic centre of this

section.

Fig 6.20 Cont... (bars 9-12)

The next bar lands on Bb major which now is identifiably the tonic chord. The following

three bars are often misunderstood and analysed as a modulation to the relative minor of the first

degree, but I believe there is not enough evidence to confirm this i.e. the melody does not

suggest a change of key nor do the chord voicings.


288

Fig 6.20 Cont... (bars 13-16)

This system begins with chord I of the first degree, which insinuates a transition.

However, the next bar (14) suggest a modulation to the relative minor. Thus the movement is

tonicising the first degree. A II-V in bars 15-16 initiates what appears to be a modulation to the

relative minor of our tonic key (Bb), but detours quickly to the relative minor of the second

degree (Eb):

Fig 6.20 Cont... (bars 17-20)

This section is considered by most players as the bridge of the piece. Here we can observe a long

dominant held to eventually resolve on C minor. Considering that this key is the relative minor

of Eb we may appreciate that so far our tune has only detoured to the first and second degrees,

mostly to their relative minors.

Fig 6.20 Cont... (bars 21-24)


289

The second half of the bridge links C minor to the tonic key via a second degree melodic

transition, which also happens to be a fourth degree melodic transition of the tonic. This is a

resource we have seen used many times as an alternative to traditional modulation.

Fig 6.20 Cont... (bars 25-32)

In the next section we see a beautiful progression to I via diatonic references, first

starting with a II-V of iii, mentioned since the beginning of the piece, followed by a II-V of II.

But then an interesting surprise: Young prefers to parallel the previous chords and minorises the

II-V of the tonic before resolving to I major. Again these two chords are often analysed as a

minorisation (modal interchange to the fourth degree) of the diatonic II-V, but since there is no

evidence of this it will be up to the improviser/arranger to exercise such alteration.

In summary, on a background level the piece is clearly in Bb major and it can be reduced

to:

• 4 bars:tonic

• 4 bars: sub-dominant

• 4 bars: tonic/supra-tonic

• 4 bars: dominant modulating to sub-dominant

• 6 bars: sub-dominant

• 10 bars: tonic
290

The key centres are always Bb, Eb and F, mostly covering relative minors but always referencing

the tonic Bb major on different levels of the four functions. Young has predilection for tonicising

functions that are not the usual I major or I minor, as he did above with the iii.

Another example of this can be found in his piece When I Fall In Love,56 though not as

radical as Stella By Starlight.

Fig 6.21 Octatonic analysis of Young's When I Fall In Love (bars 1-4)

The piece is in Eb major and it begins with a variation of a turnaround. The V/II is

particularly more altered than usual.

Fig 6.21 Cont... (bars 5-8)

In the second half of bar 6 we find we find an unusual modal interchange worth

mentioning: the V/II, normally belonging to an Ab major (second-degree transition) is

substituted by a V of F melodic minor, making it a first degree modal interchange.57

56 Victor Young, 'When I Fall In Love' ( USA: Victor Young Publications, Inc. 1952)
57 The reference is to Ab not Eb
291

Fig 6.21 Cont... (bars 9-16)

In the first system (bars 11-12) we see the beginning of a tonicisation of chord II. On

paper this progression doesn't seem to be that unusual, but one must take into account that this is

a very slow ballad and the melody's forward movement is towards the dominant of II i.e. there is

a break or pause over C7 that anticipates a modulation. Young resolves to F minor and then

reinforces it with another bar of the dominant. Once the F minor has been established he moves

back to the V of our tonic key and we realize that we never actually departed from Eb. Other

versions of this tune show a far more elaborate set of chords for these eight bars that reinforce

the tonicisation of the II even further.58

Harold Arlen

Harold Arlen's Out Of This World59 is an excellent example of modal interchanges. This

piece is in Eb major though this would not seem evident till the end of the first section. This is

because the piece begins in a tonicisation of the minorised first degree i.e. Bb minor, but it gets

more complicated than that. The sequence is held together by a pedal bass note in Eb which

gives a large section of the piece a modal feel. The piece is structured ABCD, though A, B and D

differ little from each other and consequently feels more like an AABA.

58 See: Real Book 1, 461; and The Great Gig Book, 89


59 Harold Arlen, 'Out Of This World', New Real Book, Vol 1 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co., 1988,
copyright 1945), 255-6
292

Fig 6.22 Octatonic analysis of Arlen's Out Of This World (bars 1-4)

From the above we can gather that perhaps what Arlen intended was simply a movement

of the internal voices, F moving to Gb, then to G and back to Gb. The harmonic result is

nevertheless an impression of I moving to IV and a modal interchange (analysed as a first degree

transition) before returning to IV.60

Fig 6.22 Cont... (bars 5-8)

The next four bars shows a return to the tonic chord followed by the same movement as

before, but this time Arlen leaps the internal moving voice to Ab creating a Eb9sus.61 This chord,

vague in its designation/function, could be interpreted as either a secondary option of Ebmin7 or

a secondary option of Eb7. It is up to the improviser how she/he would approach this. But since

the aim of the octatonic system is to find the smoothness in movements, strictly speaking one

should always relate the chord to its predecessor.

60 The justification is that a modal interchange must at least be based on the basic triad, since this particular move-
ment changes from major to minor it is easier to analyse it as a first degree transition. But due to the pedal note
the movement sounds like a change of modes more than a change of actual chords.
61 As mentioned earlier the existence of the 9th in the chord symbol logically implies that the sus refers to 4th.
293

Fig 6.22 Cont... (bars 9-12)

In this system we see a different internal voice beginning to move. The Db on bar 9

(Ebmin7) down to C, down Cb and back up to C. It would appear at this point that Arlen is

attempting a modulation, partly due to the break in the bass note. It also seems to be pushing

towards a resolution to the relative major (Db) , but in fact Arlen surprises with an

unprecedented change of key:

Fig 6.22 Cont... (bars 13-16)

These, the last four bars of the first section, show a perfectly conventional diatonic

progression in Eb major. There are three levels of events going on here:

1. The Eb becomes tonicised almost immediately, how this occurs is a bit of a mystery. I

believe a big part of it is due to the constant stress of the Eb in the root during more than

half of the section, or perhaps it is because this chord progression is typically played over

the tonic key i.e. I-#i-II-V.

2. The other important event is that the Eb is a majorisation of the second degree. Granting

that Eb6 has at least four different interpretations (VII of F minor, III of C minor, VI of G

minor and IV of Bb melodic minor), it is the chords that supersede it that retrospectively

give it the quality of tonic.


294

3. The Eb becomes the tonic key because when we move to the next section, which is

almost the same as the first one, the Bb minor (key) has a sense of sub-dominant which is

waiting to be resolved.

This piece might seem very difficult to analyse on the spot without being able to hear it a few

times, but there are some clues that may facilitate the reasoning provided above. The B section

has 4 extra bars added at the end. After repeating almost the exact same chord progression of the

A section, Arlen gives us 4 complete bars of Eb6:

Fig 6.22 Cont... (bars 29-36) End of B section

The only difference is that the Bb7 has no alteration therefore a diatonic V and then we have the

four added bars which rest on Eb as a tonic key. Just to corroborate that Eb is indeed the tonic

key the C section (or bridge) leaps to the relative minor. If the tonic key was in fact Bb minor

then the leap to C minor could not be justified.

Fig 6.22 Cont... (bars 37-40)


295

Arlen is not satisfied with just giving us a straight relative minor after such harmonic intricacies

and instead he substitutes the I for its melodic minor equivalent (modal interchange to the first

degree). This substitution can be seen as a second degree melodic from Eb or first degree

melodic from C minor, but the following bars prove that the latter is more adequate.

Fig 6.22 Cont... (bars 41-44)

In the next four bars we see secondary q of E minor, which appears to be a hidden V/V.

This is followed by a modal interchange to the second degree,62 which is also the tritone

substitution of V/V. So apparently these two bars are simply two different versions of secondary

dominants leading into V of the tonic C.

Fig 6.22 Cont... (bars 45-48)

The next two bars present the first unaltered chords in C minor, but then immediately

Arlen repeats the same two chords using melodic minor equivalents i.e. modally interchanging

the same sequence.

62 The justification of modal interchange as opposed to transition is that this chord is closely related to diatonic VI,
and since it is moving towards V the function remains the same.
296

Fig 6.22 Cont... (bars 49-52)

Arlen repeats the same two melodic minor alternatives and then holds on to the dominant

for two bars to initiate a modulation that at first appears to lead to the relative major:

Fig 6.22 Cont... (bars 53-56)

But quickly we find ourselves in the last section, named D, which is similar to A and B.

Arlen avoids any kind of traditional progressions to move between keys. Instead he prefers

sudden changes, constantly surprising the listener as to where the piece is headed and where it

will end.

Another great example of this is Come Rain Or Come Shine.63 Written a year later this

piece shows even more dramatic leaps between keys and some very distant transitions. It also

contains one of the most extensive uses of majorisations and minorisations, from both the

relative major and minor.

63 Harold Arlen, 'Come Rain Or Come Shine' (USA: Chappell & Co.. Inc. Publishers, 1946)
297

Fig 6.23 Octatonic analysis of Arlen's Come Rain Or Come Shine (bars 1-4)

The piece begins in F major with a straightforward move to the VI, this might be

interpreted as a modulation to the relative minor, but Arlen quickly returns to major:

Fig 6.23 Cont... (bars 5-8)

A V/V followed by V makes the piece retain its major characteristic. However, the

progression does not resolve to I, instead it detours to a V/IV that will take us to a completely

unexpected change:

Fig 6.23 Cont... (bars 9-12)

Initially one is tempted to analyse this chord as secondary iv. However, the next chord falls into

an F minor, thus it would appear we have moved to the fourth degree of F major. But the tonic
298

quality of the F minor suggests that what has actually happened is a Cole Porter type

minorisation.

Fig 6.23 Cont... (bars 13-16)

The piece continues in minor and then cleverly modulates back to major using a series of

common chords starting from the A diminished. All the diminished chords here appear to be

hidden V/x:

D Adim contains the same notes as D7b9

D Fdim contains the same notes as G7b9

D Bbdim contains the same notes as A7b9

D Cdim contains the same notes as D7b9

In this manner Arlen manages to avoid a predictable cycle of fifths back to the tonic major,

whilst clearly leading the progression in that direction. I believe the actual change from major to

minor occurs on the G7, but since the Cdim is anticipating it as a hidden V/II (D7 b9) I decided

that the majorisation, began in bar 16.

Fig 6.23 Cont... (bars 17-20)


299

The next section finds us returning to the same harmonic movement as the first four bars,

he utilises the same idea of V/VI-VI, but this time he actually modulates to the VI:

Fig 6.23 Cont... (bars 21-24)

As we can see above, Arlen decides to stay on the minor and to avoid predictability he

interchanges it for its first-degree melodic minor. This is followed by a fifth-degree melodic

transition which would appear to insinuate a V/II. However, Arlen in his quest for capricious

progressions detours to the V, thus establishing D minor as a modulation instead of a

tonicisation.

Fig 6.23 Cont... (bars 25-28)

In the next four bars we begin to suspect a return to major. This movement suggests a

tonicisation rather than two transitions, but the fact is that Arlen does not change key:

Fig 6.23 Cont... (bars 29-32)


300

As we can see above the piece remains in D minor for another two bars, after which he suggests,

once again, a modulation to the major. But Arlen has already used these two chords without

detouring from the D minor, though on this occasion these chords (starting from the D7 in bar

31) are actually a cycle of fifths that resolve in the most unusual place:

Fig 6.23 Cont... (bars 29-32)

After the C9 one is expecting a resolution back to the relative major, but instead Arlen prefers

this uncommon resolution to a majorisation of the relative minor, almost like a Picardy third. In

this manner he surprises the listener all the way, by anticipating predictable movements and

detouring to consonant but unexpected detours.

Jimmy Van Heusen

The last piece of non-jazz composers I would like to mention is Jimmy Van Heusen's

Here's That Rainy Day.64 This piece contains very few non-diatonic chords (boxed numerals),

but some very dramatic modulations to distant keys.

Fig 6.24 Octatonic analysis of Van Heusen's Here's That Rainy Day (bars 1-4)

64 Jimmy Van Heusen, 'Here's That Rainy Day', New Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music Co.,
1988, copyright 1953), 138
301

The song begins in G major and immediately tonicises the descending 3rd degree. The

new key (Eb) is established via a V-I-IV. At this point the actual tonic key is still vague.

Fig 6.24 Cont... (bars 5-8)

We see a return to the tonic key using a II-V-I and this, interestingly enough, confirms G

as the tonic key. We then hear what appears to be a transition to the sub-dominant, but once

again it takes us to a distant key.

Fig 6.24 Cont... (bars 9-12)

Here we can see a clear modulation to the 4th degree. It is interesting to note that although

the first tonicisation was done to a major third below, this new one is to a minor third above, the

latter is actually the first degree of the former (Eb to Bb first degree).

Fig 6.24 Cont... (bars 13-16)


302

The last four bars of this section brings the key back home, confirming it as the tonic by

the use of a traditional turnaround at the end.

Fig 6.24 Cont... (bars 17-24)

The first eight bars of the B section repeat the same harmonic ideas as the A section, but

then Van Heusen surprises us by taking the initially expected path:

Fig 6.24 Cont... (bars 25-32)

Instead of modulating again to Bb (fourth degree), the second degree transition does actually

move to the IV. The piece remains in G major whilst creating harmonic movement by using most

diatonic chords (except VII). Finally an unresolved V/V takes us to a II-V-I to end the piece.
303

In conclusion, The popular song writers of the 20th century brought about a new and

remarkable sophistication to traditional harmony. Above we are able to see the change that took

place from 19th century popular music to 20th century connected via the intricacies of ragtime.

This background is essential to understanding the evolution of jazz harmony since, as seen in

earlier chapters, popular music played a major part in the influence of jazz development. The

most elemental aspect, besides form and structure, are certain harmonic movements that became

frameworks, such as II-V-I and turnarounds. These modern progressions replaced traditional

movements such as the complete cadence (IV-V-I) or the imperfect (I-IV-V). We also saw the

addition of modulations to remote keys; this would become ever so prominent in jazz

compositions, and subtle modal interchanges which would become the basis for styles such as

bebop. So now I would like to take a look at how jazz composers approached western harmony

and how they reinterpreted these sounds.


304

Chapter 7
The Standards

Jazz composers

Following on from the methods described at the beginning of chapter 6, below is the list of jazz

composers identified. The order is sorted chronologically by composer, and the pieces were

selected for their harmonic contribution at this stage in the thesis i.e. harmonies that are

particularly different from other pieces analysed thus far.

Duke Ellington 1899 – 19741

D Mood Indigo (1930)

D Sophisticated Lady (1932)

D In A Sentimental Mood (1935)

D Prelude To A Kiss (1938)

Billy Strayhorn 1915 – 19672

D Chelsea Bridge (1941)

D Lush Life (1949)

D Isfahan (1964)

Tadd Dameron 1917 – 19653

D Good Bait (1944)

1 A.H. Lawrence, Duke Ellington and his world: a biography (New York: Routledge, 2001), 1
2 David Hajdu, Lush Life: A Biography Of Billy Strayhorn (London: Granta Publications, 1998), 3
3 Charles C. Chaney, 'Tadd Dameron', Dameron-Damron Family Association, 2004, http://ddfa.org/taddamrn.html
(7th of September 2009).
305

D Hot House (1945)

D If You Could See Me now (1946)

D Lady Bird (1947)

Thelonious Monk 1917 – 19824

D Monk's Mood (1946)

Charlie Parker 1920 – 19555

D Moose The Mooche (1946)

Dizzy Gillespie 1917 – 19936

D Woody 'n You (1943)

John Coltrane 1926 – 19677

D Giant Steps (1960)

Antonio Carlos Jobim 1927 – 1994 8

D Girl From Ipanema (1963)

Wayne Shorter

D Night Dreamer (1964)

D E.S.P. (1965)

Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington is perhaps one of the most well-known figures of jazz history. His

influence spanned from the early days of jazz to post-bop. He recorded with giants as varied as

Louis Armstrong9 and John Coltrane,10 and his music is still played by contemporary musicians

4 Leslie Gourse, Straight No Chaser: The Life And Genius Of Thelonious Monk (USA: Schirmer Trade Books,
1997), 1
5 Carl Woideck, Charlie Parker: His Music And Life (USA, University Of Michigan, 1996), vii
6 Alyn Shipton, Groovin' High: The Life Of Dizzy Gillespie (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 6
7 Lewis Porter, John Coltrane: His Life And Music (USA: University Of Michigan, 1998), 1
8 Ruy Castro, Bossa Nova: The Story Of The Brazilian Music That Seduced The World (USA: A Cappella Books,
2000), 54
9 Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington, The Great Summit: The Master Takes (Roulette Jazz, 7243 5 24547 2 3,
2001) originally recorded in 1961.
10 Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane (Impulse, IA 9350-2 , 1962)
306

today. Ellington was not the first jazz composer but he certainly was the first internationally

recognized. He wrote over two thousand pieces of which many are still well-known and widely

played standards.11

The first piece I would like to cover is Mood Indigo.12 Written in 1930, this piece only

contains a tonicisation to the second degree but includes some rather uncommon modal

interchanges. The piece is also structured as ABCD which was rather unusual for the time.

Fig 7.1 Octatonic analysis of Ellington's Mood Indigo (bars 1-4)

The piece begins with a simple progression passing through an unresolved V/V.

Interesting to note is the minorisation of the dominant (or modal interchange to the first-degree

melodic minor) which is also emphasized in the melody.

Fig 7.1 Cont... (bars 5-8)

Bar 7 uses an interesting modal interchange on a tritone substitution. So far in this thesis

modal interchanges have been found altering predictable chords such as I, II and V. This is why

this example is so important, since it shows a modal interchange being used on a substitution.

The normal interpretation of this chord would have been the IV of B melodic minor, equivalent

11 A.H. Lawrence, Duke Ellington and his world: a biography (New York: Routledge, 2001), 451-64
12 Duke Ellington, Mood Indigo ( USA: EMI Mills Music Inc. 1931)
307

of a Bb7 altered. But because the melody contains the note A as well as the secondary Esus, the

closest possible mode that relates to both tonic and substitution would have to be A major. In this

manner this chord becomes both a tritone substitution and a chromatic transition.

This particular bar is often found in other versions as:13

In this version the melody moves to a Bb instead of an A.

This requires us to re-analyse the level of transition of this

chord because the V of A major cannot contain the note Bb.

Since this chord would traditionally be analysed as a tritone

substitution (IV of B melodic minor ) this particular melody seems to corroborate this chord as a

tritone substitution in its unaltered form.

Fig 7.1 Cont... (bars 9-12)

The piece continues in Ab major, in what I consider to be the B section, using previously

seen progressions. The intriguing chord here is the last one of the system, Gb7. Normally one

would be tempted to analyse this chord as IV of Db melodic minor , which is also a fourth

degree and has more in common with both the previous chord and the tonic key. But since B

major is also a fourth degree we must consider the B natural in the melody to be of some

influence. If an improviser was playing in the background, whilst someone else was playing the

melody, the wrong analysis of this chord could produce undesired results.

13 See Woody Herman, Jazz Casual: The Swinging Herd CD (Koch Jazz, 8562, 2002), track 7, originally recorded
in 1963-64
308

Fig 7.1 Cont... (bars 13-16)

The B section ends with the same melody and chords as the first eight bars of the A

section, producing an interesting and unusual sense of structure.

Fig 7.1 Cont... (bars 17-20)

The C section introduces a new motif using extensive chromatic approaches.

Fig 7.1 Cont... (bars 21-24)

In the penultimate bar of the C section we find again a modal interchange on the tritone

substitution. In this case the melody is drawing upon the flattened 6th and the 5th. The only two

chords that can contain this combination of notes are the III of C major or the V of A melodic

minor. I opted for C major here since a third degree transition sounds in closer relation to the

tonic key than the A melodic minor.


309

Fig 7.1 Cont... (bars 25-28)

The D section introduces another new motif whilst tonicising the second degree (Db), yet

it resolves to a modally interchanged I. At this point we are able to recognize this type of

substitution as a bluesy orientated sound, seen on many occasions before. Once again our

attention is called to the last chord of the above system. This chord, unlike the other E7 found

earlier in the piece, does not resolve to Eb7 but rather to Ab and hence cannot be considered a

tritone substitution. However, if one respells the notes in this bar it could suggest the V of an A

major since Cb=B, Ab=G# and the F could be the Q of A major. A major is a descending third

degree of Db and can be justified as a chromatic transition to the tonic key, hence it's the best

option.

Fig 7.1 Cont... (bars 29-32)

The piece concludes by repeating the same melody and chords as the first four bars of the

C section. It is important to consider that Ellington did not have any musical training and in fact

learned most of his skills as he went along from composers and musicians he met in casual

conversation. Since this is one of his earliest pieces, it is possible to consider these unusual

modal interchanges as simple whims of a composer who was not truly aware, at this stage of his
310

life, of all the harmonic intricacies used by his peers. This is also possibly the reason Ellington

became so ground-breaking, since experimentation was his only aid.

Two years later he wrote Sophisticated Lady,14 which illustrates a marvellous use of

chromatic transitions departing from different degrees. It also contains an unusual chromatic

modulation a semitone below the tonic key. The piece is structured AABA.

Fig 7.2 Octatonic analysis of Ellington's Sophisticated Lady (bars 1-4)

The piece begins on the II of Ab then detours to chord V of the fourth degree, which

descends chromatically on the V of Ab (the E7 could perhaps more appropriately be expressed as

Fb). In bar 4 we see another progression begin in what would normally be analysed as a V/IV,

but again descends chromatically this time taking it down to a V/II which resolves to a boxed II:

Fig 7.2 Cont... (bars 5-8)

This typical first degree transition of an unresolved V/V takes us back to the tonic via a II-V.

Interesting to note at this point is that these transitions are not isolated nor are they making direct

reference to diatonic chords, defying the very definition of a transition. But strictly speaking

they are also not drawing a tonicisation nor a modulation i.e. there is no insinuation of a new or

14 Duke Ellington, 'Sophisticated Lady', Real Jazz Book (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1998,
copyright 1932), 324-5
311

different key. Therefore, the assumption that these movements are transitions is only logical,

since the tonic key is not lost. The section ends on a II-V of II. The second A section repeats the

same idea as the first but ends slightly different:

Fig 7.2 Cont... (bars 13-16)

Bar 16 does not end on a II-V leading to II, but instead seems to suggest a II-V of VII or

perhaps iii of the first degree.

Fig 7.2 Cont... (bars 17-20)

Surprisingly the bridge finds us a semitone below the tonic key drawing upon common

diatonic chords plus a first degree transition acting as a hidden V/II. Consequently the movement

is that of a descending chromatic modulation. We may also note in bar 20 the use of Q in the

melody which might suggest Ellington's awareness of this possibility.


312

Fig 7.2 Cont... (bars 21-24)

The bridge concludes by modulating back to the tonic key via an intricate combination of

degree relations. On other occasions we have seen composers use common key degrees to join

sections in different keys. For example Ab major and G major have C major (third and second)

and B major (third and fourth) as common degrees, but Ellington prefers a much more radical

approach and links the bridge via a descending third degree which also happens to be the first

degree of the tonic key (Ab). The Cmin7 is the point of doubt since this chord is both VI of Eb

and iii of a Ab. But as explained earlier, analysis should always consider what has been heard

first and where it's heading second. The last A section repeats the same movements as the

previous two, thus it is not included.

In A Sentimental Mood,15 written in 1935, shows modal interchanges used in a minor key.

This piece is also structured AABA.

Fig 7.3 Octatonic analysis of Ellington's In A Sentimental Mood (bars 1-4)

The piece begins with an anacrusis drawing upon what appears to be an F major

pentatonic, but the first chords finds us on minor. Ellington then changes the voicing of I to
15 Duke Ellington, 'In A Sentimental Mood', Real Jazz Book (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1998,
copyright 1935), 176.
313

create a descending internal voice (the octave descending to major 7th, then to minor 7th). He then

proceeds to borrow the natural 6th from the first degree by means of a modal interchange. He

then moves to the IV and again borrows, this time from the second degree, to mimic the

harmonic behaviour of the first bar. A melodic second degree leads into the V of the tonic to

return to I. This particular chord (the Bb7) can also be interpreted as a tritone substitution of V/V

which gives the same scale result (F melodic minor ).

Fig 7.3 Cont... (bars 5-8)

The second half of the first A section returns to the tonic only to begin a modulation to

the relative major. Interestingly so, the chord initiating this is not the usual V/II, which would be

chord V of G minor (second-degree transition), but instead Ellington prefers the IV of A melodic

minor. He makes certain that this is heard clearly by sustaining the natural 9th for ¾ of the bar. As

we know the only two D7 to contain a natural 9th are V of G major (or III of E minor) and IV of

A melodic minor, the latter being far too removed from the hierarchy to be related to our current

key. Once the relative major is established he returns to the tonic key via a II-V. The second A

section is identical except for the modulation to the bridge:

Fig 7.3 Cont... (bars 13-16)


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Above we see the last four bars of the second A section. In the last bar we find yet again the start

of a very unusual modulation to the descending third degree. This would become in time one of

Ellington's trademarks.

Fig 7.3 Cont... (bars 17-16)

In the bridge (or B section) Ellington prefers to stay within a very conventional diatonic

progression, probably to effectively establish this unusual key shift. In the last two bars of the

section, bars 23-24, we see Ellington wasting no time and he leaps directly to a II-V back to the

relative major of the tonic key, which is a third degree from Db: No common key degrees or

common chords. But of course the surprise comes when the last A section begins and we find

ourselves abruptly back in minor:

Fig 7.3 Cont... (bars 25-26)

He achieves this perfectly because even though the modulation anticipated an F major, we also

expected a return to the A section in minor. In other words, Ellington is playing with what we

have heard as well as the expectation of a familiar song structure.


315

Increasingly more sophisticated is Prelude To A Kiss16 written in 1938. This tune includes

the same resources as the previous two tunes combined but taken to a higher level. It contains

large sequences of transition chords in which Ellington applies modal interchanges making the

key centre even more vague. The result is a rather chromatic sounding piece. Once again

Ellington utilises an AABA structure to frame the piece.

Fig 7.4 Octatonic analysis of Ellington’s Prelude To A Kiss (bars 1-2)

The tonic key is determined later in the piece but suffice to say it is in C major. The piece

begins with a conventional V/V which is then converted from its customary first degree (G

major) to its first degree melodic minor. Though it could be argued that this is simply a

chromatic passing note, the Bb in the melody does last a whole beat, ¼ of the length of the bar,

and is therefore long enough to mark a change of harmony. Just as we had in Mood Indigo, if

someone was improvising simultaneously whilst the melody was being played, the improviser

might find it useful to know that this scale can be played over this particular beat. In the next

chord Ellington uses both the natural 9th and flat 9th of G to continue the descending line. Then

we find what could be interpreted as a V/IV but in fact it's a tonicisation of the second degree.

This becomes more evident in the next few bars:

16 Duke Ellington, ‘Prelude To A Kiss’ (Miami, FL.: American Academy Of Music, Inc., copyright 1938 Publ.
1966)
316

Fig 7.4 Cont... (bars 3-4)

Here we see Ellington heading towards the relative minor of F and thus confirming that we have

changed key. One might take into consideration that the tonic C has not been established and

therefore it would appear that the piece is indeed in F major/D minor. This analysis works

whether it's the first or second time being heard, the logic being that the B9 has a much stronger

feel as a V/II (in D minor) than as a V/III (in C major). This supposition is reinforced by the

tonicisation to the second degree in the previous bar. If the B9 had appeared in the middle of a

diatonic progression in C major the analysis would be quite different.17 Resuming, the B9 is then

interchanged by a mode out of reach i.e. not within the hierarchy, but hypothetically still a fifth

degree melodic transition from C major.18 Then the V/V (E9) begins with a modal interchange

before it proceeds to the conventional one.19 The V finally resolves to the temporary relative

minor (D). Many would argue that the B9 and E9 belong to E major and A major respectively,

but then what would the solution be for the A7? A minorisation? Though this analysis provided

above might seem over-elaborate or too complicated, it does provide smooth connections

between chord whilst retaining the intention of the piece.

17 Since we have seen V/iii usually as a 7b9


18 Note: E melodic minor is the only mode to contain a B9 with a flattened 6th, thus no other analysis is possible.
19 The chord symbol does not apply to the second note (F) nevertheless we must assume a change of mode.
317

Fig 7.4 Cont... (bars 5-8)

The next eight bars move towards the tonic key in a conventional manner. I found one

objectionable chord symbol in this publication in bar 5: the G#dim is sounding at the same time

as the A in the melody, which I have not been able to find in any recording, so I must conclude

that it is an editorial error. This first A section ends with a V/II that leads into the D7 of the next

section. The second A repeats, as it is customary at this point, but finishes with a modulation to

the bridge (B section):

Fig 7.4 Cont... (bars 15-16)

As with the modulation in Sophisticated Lady, Ellington prefers the subtle secondary ii

which can be interpreted as a VII of the first degree, to produce a more closely related

connection.
318

Fig 7.4 Cont... (bars 17-18)

The bridge follows solely diatonic chords, but utilises the uncommon secondary ii which

is reinforced by the melody.

Fig 7.4 Cont... (bars 23-24)

The last two bars of the bridge begin an intricate modulation back to the tonic key. The

E7 comes after six bars of E major so the first impression is that of a V/IV, but the resolution is

towards an A7 which does not reference any chord in E major, consequently it must be a

modulation. Since the final resolution is to a Dmin7 which cannot be found anywhere in the

hierarchy of E major it is logical to conclude that it is a return to the tonic key and thus a V/II.

This is followed by a chromatic transition which ends in a tritone substitution of A7 that leads

into the opening D7 of the last A section.

In this manner Ellington became one of the most adventurous composer of his time. All

the pieces covered above were written in the 30s when such harmonic devises were both rare and

unusual in popular music.

Billy Strayhorn

Billy Strayhorn was Duke Ellington's ‘right hand’ for many years. We know, thanks to his
319

biography, that he was heavily influenced by Ellington. His music however pushed the limits of

jazz even further and the complexity of his music stands on its own.

The first piece I would like to cover is his 1941 composition entitled Chelsea Bridge.20

This exquisite tune is filled with harmonic exceptions and key shifts via unusual chords and

degrees. Like many of Ellington's songs this piece is structured AABA.

Fig 7.5 Octatonic analysis of Strayhorn’s Chelsea Bridge (intro plus bars 1-2)

The tonic key is Db which will become evident later in this section. The melody begins in

an anacrusis going up a Bb minor scale finishing on Q. The first two chords appear to be VI of

Db followed by a third degree melodic transition. There could be an inclination to analyse this

from the minor perspective, since the piece actually begins with an ascending minor scale.

However, by having a quick glance through the whole section one may easily notice that the

progression comes to a close on the Db major, and therefore all previous chords lead to this

point.

Fig 7.5 Cont... (Bars 3-6)

20 Billy Strayhorn, ‘Chelsea Bridge’, New Real Book, vol. 1 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co., 1988),
51
320

The next bar repeats the same harmonic movement compressed into one bar. This leads

into a V/II which initiates the final cadence to the tonic I.

Fig 7.5 Cont... (Bars 7-9)

As we can see above the first section ends with the same ascending minor scale to lead

into the second A. The second time around Strayhorn initiates a modulation to the fourth degree

to go to the bridge:

Fig 7.5 Cont... (Bars 10-13)

Similarly to Ellington's modulations, Strayhorn first establishes the new key by using

diatonic chords, but then in the second half of bar 12 he alters the V to begin a tonicisation of the

second degree.21 The reader might wonder why this is not considered to be a II-V of IV instead?

The answer is because this piece is particularly slow so the proportion of this movement feels

more like a tonicisation movement rather than a transition.

21 Alt. Of V stands for the incomplete process of a tritone substitution, see chapter 4 (tritone substitution).
321

Fig 7.5 Cont... (Bars 14-17)

The last four bars of the bridge show Strayhorn making the key centre quite vague. The A

major clearly feels like a I thanks to the II-V the previous bar, but the C7 is quite confusing. The

only C7 to be found relating to A major is a descending third degree which seems a bit abrupt

straight after a modulation/tonicisation. The next chord (Gmaj7) finds a fourth-degree transition

making the tonality even more uncertain. But then Strayhorn returns to F major in the form of a

II-V and thus justifies the analysis of C7. Looking back we can see that the bridge began on the

fourth degree of the tonic key (E major), then moved to a tonicisation of the second degree (A

major), then moved to a descending third degree (F major) and finally ends with a sudden leap to

Ab melodic minor. In the background this common key is more conventional than some of

Ellington's connections. Ab melodic minor is a sixth degree (m.m.) from F major and a third

degree (m.m.) from the tonic key.

The above score is surprisingly not the most commonly played version of this tune. In

most jam session and recordings one may find that the version below is more widely known.22

The subtle changes of chords are enough to dramatically change the analysis of the piece.

Fig 7.6 Octatonic analysis of Strayhorn’s Chelsea Bridge, alternate version (bars 1-2)

22 As found in: Aebersold vol 66 p. 4; Jazz Fake p 83; Book Of Blues p. 54


322

In this version we find the first few chords to be quite different and specific. We know

that an X7#11 can only exist as chord IV of a melodic minor scale, and from that we can gather

that the movement of the first two bars is a tone away. We know that a shift of a tone can be

found between second and third melodic minor degrees, from the perspective of a major key, or

third and fourth from the perspective of a minor key (see figure 4.4 and 4.5). Since there is no

reference to a minor key i.e. no cadences or dominants insinuating a minor resolution, the major

perspective seems more reasonable.

Fig 7.6 Cont... (bars 3-4)

As in the previous version the movement is repeated, compressed into one bar. From bar 4-7 it is

identical to the original version.

Fig 7.6 Cont... (bars 7-9)

In bar 8 we find another difference: the harmonization of the ascending scale. The C7

strikes us a V/iii, but since it descends chromatically to the V/II it is better to consider it a non-

diatonic VII. It is interesting to note that these chords are actually melodic minor transitions. The

last chord, Bb9, is evidently the V of Eb melodic minor, since the combination of the chord

symbol plus the melody can only exist in that scale. Consequently it makes sense to analyses the
323

previous two chords as the chromatic melodic minor equivalents. The second A section

modulates to the fourth degree as seen in the previous version.

Fig 7.6 Cont... (bars 10-9)

The last four bars of B also prove to be quite different. After resolving to A major it

modulates, unusually, down a tone. Not only is this not in the hierarchy but it is also a tritone

away from our tonic key. There are a few examples of standards that modulate down a tone, 23 but

in general it is quite rare. In bar 16 the II-V in F major is replaced by a G minor. This could be

either a minorisation or a first degree melodic minor, which I feel is closer in relation to G major

and the events that follow. The Db7#11 functions both as a chromatic transition from G melodic

minor, a tritone substitution of V/IV and a tritone substitution of the C7 leading back to the A

section.

Billy Strayhorn's Lush Life24 shows how exceptions can be pushed to the limit. This piece

is one of the most complex jazz standards available. It includes unusual modulations and modal

interchanges and constant transitions to remote keys. The overall harmony could be described as

chromatic tonal harmony. The piece is structured as verse and chorus. Most recorded versions

play the solos/improvisation solely on the latter.

23 For example Miles Davis' Tune Up and Solar.


24 Billy Strayhorn, ‘Lush Life’, The Jazz Bible Fakebook (WI, USA: Rob DuBoff (ed.), Hal Leonard Corporation,
2000), 130-1
324

Fig 7.7 Octatonic analysis of Strayhorn’s Lush Life (bars 1-2)

The tonic key of this piece is Db major. The harmony moves in contrary motion to the

melody interchanging between tonic and fourth degree melodic minor. The B7 could also belong

to the normal fourth degree (E major) but I feel the F# melodic minor suits the piece and the

continuation of the melody better.

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 3-4)

In the second half of bar 4 we see a tonicisation to the fourth degree which could justify

the previous B7 as belonging to E major, but I still believe the context is different and the F#

melodic minor flows better between the Db and the F in the melody.

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 5-6)

Strayhorn remains in E major for two more beats before returning to the tonic key by
325

means of a tritone substitution of V. Particularly interesting is the second chord of bar 6: at first

glance this would be analysed as another tritone substitution, but on closer inspection we find

that the melody has leapt to Bb and this note is not found in A melodic minor. I can only

speculate that this is perhaps a modal interchange of the tritone substitution, since the only scale

to host a 7th chord with a natural 9th and a flattened 6th is the V chord of a melodic minor scale. I

am left with the only option of assigning a G melodic minor as the mode that corresponds to this

chord, which interesting enough is in itself a tritone away from the tonic key.

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 15-18)

The third and final part of the verse moves quite differently from the first two. Strayhorn

prefers a stationary I but applies modal interchanges to create movement. A simple II-V in bar 18

breaks the monotony. Here the II of F melodic minor is used instead of the diatonic II, this might

easily mislead us into thinking that this is perhaps a modal minor (Dorian), but the flat 9 th in the

C7 seems to imply otherwise.


326

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 19-22)

The piece continues in the same fashion but after two bars we find ourselves in Dbmaj7,

which both anticipates a return to the tonic key and corroborates the F minor as 'natural' not

modal. This is confirmed again afterwards with a secondary q (also VII in F minor). The last five

bars, starting on bar 22 above, begin a modulation back to the tonic key preparing us for the

chorus.

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 23-24)

Strayhorn continues to hint a return to the tonic, but detours to unusual places. The A7 for

example can also be seen as a tritone substitution of V/V, but since it is not resolved its sixth

degree melodic transition analysis fits the event better.25


25 The chord symbol here appears incorrect. An A7alt. Would suit the function and the melody better, in which case
327

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 27-28)

The verse ends, as announced, in a II-V that leads into the chorus:

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 29-30)

The first two bars display a familiar progression: chord I to tritone substitution. But Strayhorn is

not done pushing the possibilities.

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 31-32)

Here we see a fourth degree transition done via what at first glance appears to be a

chromatic movement, but is C9 not acting as a tritone substitution of the V of B7? Furthermore,

the C9 has a natural 9th whereas the B7 has a flattened 9th so the chromatic motion is not

absolute.26 Finally the Gb in the melody confirms this chord as a C9#11, which we know can

only be IV of a melodic minor. Thus a very short tonicisation of the fourth degree explains this

movement.

it would be analysed as a second-degree melodic transition.


26 For chromatic harmony to occur all voices must move in parallel.
328

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 35-36)

Here we see a third degree tonicisation using a similar movement as before i.e. a tritone

substitution of V/V. And instead of returning to the tonic key he modulates to the fourth degree

(first degree of the tonic key).

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 37-38)

After resolving Strayhorn begins a series of modulations to unusual keys. The first one is

to a tritone away from Ab (D major).

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 39-40)

Then, similar to the second version of Chelsea Bridge, it modulates down a tone. Finally

it modulates up a semitone to return to the tonic key. As explained in the theory chapter,

modulations can be done to any key. They don't necessarily need to respect the hierarchy of
329

intervals as transitions do, but so far we have always encountered modulations that respect the

hierarchy even if it is to the unusual descending degrees. But this piece stands out as the

exception to the rule.

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 41-44)

The piece returns to familiar territory repeating the same chord progression as the

beginning of the chorus. The C9 here poses a particularly difficult chord to analyse: the Gb in the

melody suggests a C9#11, since the chord symbol C9 indicates a 5 th in the voicing. We know that

this combination of notes can only exist as chord IV of a melodic minor, we are consequently left

with the difficult task of relating G melodic minor to our tonic Db major. Earlier, in bar 31-32,

we saw Strayhorn doing a very brief tonicisation of the fourth degree which he anticipated with a

tritone substitution of V/V. The movement here is almost exactly the same but instead of

resolving to E major it lands on a Bb7(b9#5). We could speculate that Strayhorn intended to

deceive the listener by suggesting the same movement but then taking the progression elsewhere.

If that would be the case, then the analysis should reflect this and the scale family should be the

same as before.
330

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 45-46)

He then surprises us again with a fourth degree transition that sounds like the earlier

tonicisation. Then he returns to the tonic via a third degree transition disguised as a tritone

substitution, since A7#5 cannot be a IV of a melodic minor.

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 47-48)

In the next two bars we find a very unusual spelling for a II-V to B major which recalls

the first chapter’s reference to jazz musicians’ informal use of enharmonic notation. This is

followed by shift to a tone below which at this point has become less abrupt.

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 49-50)

He returns to the tonic key and repeats the aforementioned movement, but this time he

takes us to a very unusual ending:


331

Fig 7.7 Cont... (bars 51-52)

Instead of resolving the Ab7 to the tonic, he leaps to the fourth degree to draw what almost

sounds like a chromatic descent counterpointing the melody. The analysis here is not easy since

there are two strong sounds occurring simultaneously. The movement between the Eb7 and the

Dmaj7 feels like a chromatic shift (T.S. Of V to I), but on the other hand since the G9 (in C

major) is moving from a semitone below the tonic, retroactively the Dmaj7 feels like a shift from

a semitone above, and thus surrounding the tonic key chromatically from above and below.

Strayhorn plays a straight Gmaj (no 7th) in his Parisian recording27 which would suggest that

both Dmaj7 and G are in the same key a tritone away from the tonic. It is worth mentioning that

this particular ending has many variations depending on the recording, below are a few examples

proposed by other publishers.

Fig 7.8 Aebersold’s ending of Strayhorn’s Lush Life

Jamey Aebersold's version offers a simpler analysis: a descending chromatic transition

from the fourth degree. However, it also contains a rather odd modally interchanged tritone

substitution of V.28

27 Billy Strayhorn, Piano Passion (Storyville, STV1018404, 2007)


28 Jamey Aebersold, Billy Strayhorn (USA: Jamey Aebersold jazz Inc., 1995), 7-8
332

Fig 7.9 New Real Book’s ending of Strayhorn’s Lush Life

Above, from The New Real Book,29 is my personal favourite which moves in the same

direction as the melody but it is actually harmonizing the sharpened 9th. It ends by doing the

opposite of the original version and approaches the tonic from a semitone below and then above.

Though in the middle-ground it is actually a first degree transition followed by a tritone

substitution.

Finally Isfahan,30 written fifteen years later and credited to both Ellington and Strayhorn,

shows the harmonic evolution of these two great composers. Here they bring together all the

above concepts into a fascinating set of unpredictable progressions. The piece feels less

chromatic than Lush Life in the sense that the key centre remains consistent, but the sound is

very modern and the detours highly unconventional.

Fig 7.10 Octatonic analysis of Isfahan (bars 1-2)

The piece begins on the tonic I, then immediately leaps to the IV of the third degree

(analysed as VI from the tonic key perspective), followed by a V/II.

29 The New Real Book (Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music Co., CA, USA, 1988)
30 Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, ‘Isfahan’, The New Real Book volume two (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher
Music Co., 1991, copyright 1964), 160
333

Fig 7.10 Cont... (bars 3-4)

The boxed II is held for two bars, but the next chord is anticipated by the melody in the

last half of the second bar.

Fig 7.10 Cont... (bars 5-6)

The fourth degree here seems to be acting as a substitute of a tritone substitution of V/V.

But it detours to I melodic minor before heading for the diatonic V. In this manner Ellington and

Strayhorn have managed to remain in the same key and barely play any of the diatonic chords.

This section ends with the I being played for two bars and thus establishing the tonic key.

Fig 7.10 Cont... (bars 9-10)

The next section begins with a modulation to the relative minor of the first degree. Here

we see Ellington's influence by resolving to a modal interchange. It is also possible to consider F

melodic minor which is a first degree as well, but C minor seems to have more relation to the
334

events around it.

Fig 7.10 Cont... (bars 11-12)

In the next two bars we see one of Strayhorn's trademarks, though on this occasion the

modulation is up a tone instead of down. The movement could have had a II-V of II feeling, but

this is avoided by resolving to another modal interchange which parallels the previous two bars.

This is analysed as a tonicisation since the piece returns to F minor in the next bar:

Fig 7.10 Cont... (bars 13-14)

Here we see the rarely played VI of melodic minor acting as a modally interchanged II. This is

followed by a conventional minor dominant.

Fig 7.10 Cont... (bars 15-16)

The resolution is to a majorisation which initiates a series of chromatic transitions back to the

tonic key. This seems more influenced by Ellington, who prefers symmetric chromatic
335

movements, than Strayhorn and his intricate connections. The first six bars of the next section

are similar to the first six bars of the piece, but finish on a very unusual chord (bar 23):

Fig 7.10 Cont... (bars 21-24)

For context I've added the two bars preceding the resolution. As we saw above the Ab13

is leading back to I, or at least this is what we expect this time around. The chord symbol

indicates that the perfect fifth is present, but the chord also contains a sharp 11th and a flattened

9th. We know that chord IV of a melodic minor scale has a sharp 11th but not a flattened 9th, the

VII of a melodic minor on the other hand contains both the sharp 11th and flat 9th but not the

perfect 5th. We must then assume that we are dealing with a chord hosted diminished scale (half

tone/whole tone scale). Taking into consideration that this piece was written in 1964, and we

know that Russell's Lydian chromatic system had been around for at least a decade, it is not too

far-fetched to think that Ellington and Strayhorn were fully aware of the possibilities offered by

this scale. The actual recording of this song,31 by Ellington himself, shows the first alto holding

the sharp 11th while the baritone draws upon the root, 5th, minor 7th and both 9ths, flat and sharp.

This seems to confirm that this was the intended effect. Within the tonal context, this chord still

sounds like a modal interchange of a V/IV and this is precisely where it resolves to:

31 Duke Ellington, 'Isfahan', Far East Suite (Bluebird, 82876-55614-2, 2003)


336

Fig 7.10 Cont... (bars 25-26)

Particularly interesting here is the use of Q in the melody in bar 25. The C7 seems to suggest a

return to F minor, but in fact is heading towards the III of Db.

Fig 7.10 Cont... (bars 27-28)

Again we find a chord symbol suggesting diminished harmony, but in this case the 5 th is

not present in the recording. This would suggest an F7alt (VII of Gb melodic minor ) instead, but

since we know for certain that Ellington and Strayhorn were aware of diminished harmony, I

will respect the chord symbol in this publication and analyse it as diminished harmony.

Fig 7.10 Cont... (bars 29-32)


337

The piece ends with a simple progression back to I. The only thing worth noting is the

modal interchange in the second half of bar 30, the Ab9 with a #5 (more appropriately respelled

as b13) can only belong to the V of Db melodic minor.

In conclusion, Ellington and Strayhorn led the way for jazz composers. Their

compositions were heavily influenced by the mainstream song writers, especially concerning

form. But they took the music further and altered the conventional progressions using a vast

number of resources including chromatic shifts, modal interchanges and modulations to unusual

distances.

Tadd Dameron

Another important character in the history of jazz is Tadd Dameron. His style differs

somewhat from that of Ellington and Strayhorn and he is mainly known as a bebop composer.

His tunes are generally based on classic standards and then altered via modal interchanges to

give them the bebop flavour. For example Good Bait32 is based on the A section of Gershwin's I

Got Rhythm.

Fig 7.11 Octatonic analysis of Dameron’s Good Bait (bars 1-2)

The last chord above shows a conventional way of playing the V chord in bebop (utilising

the V of minor instead). Gershwin's version is simply diatonic I-VI-II-V.

Another example is Hot House,33 based on Porter's What Is this Thing Called Love.
32 Tadd Dameron, Count Basie, ‘Good Bait’, The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music
Co., 2000), 153
33 Tadd Dameron, ‘Hot House’, The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music Co., 2000),
165
338

Fig 7.12 Octatonic analysis of Dameron’s Hot House (bars 1-4)

In What Is this Thing Called Love the analysis is II-V of IV, Dameron treats this as a

straight II-V to F minor. This is probably due to the absence of the introductory verse that

establishes C as the tonic key. We can also see a common practice in bebop which is the

alteration of V, which is basically a modal interchange to the VII of a melodic minor scale. He

also substitutes the I minor chord for its equivalent melodic minor, as opposed to the IV of the

first degree, which is another common practice mentioned earlier by Levine. Many of Charlie

Parker’s compositions are also based on old standards and re-harmonized via modal

interchanges.34 This practice allowed boppers to experiment with new harmonies whilst using the

structure and tonal principles of established composers to make sense of the whole.35

But Dameron, like other bebop composers, didn't always base his compositions on other

standards, see for example his beautiful ballad If You Could See Me Now, where we can see

many of Ellington and Strayhorn's traits plus the extended bebop chromaticism. But perhaps

Dameron's greatest contribution to the jazz repertoire is a piece entitled Lady Bird.36 This tune

contains what is commonly known by jazz musicians as a Dameron turnaround’, though it is

34 Michael H. Goldsen (Publ.), Charlie Parker Omnibook (New York: Atlantic Music Corp., 1978).
35 See for example Moose The Mooche and Anthropology based on Gershwin's I got Rhythm. Ko Ko based on Ray
Noble's Cherokee. Ornithology based on Morgan Lewis' How High The Moon.
36 Tadd Dameron, ‘Lady Bird’, Real Jazz Book (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1998), 210
339

often mistakenly called a Coltrane turnaround.37 The piece is quite straightforward, only one

section with two endings, and contains some interesting tonicisations to remote keys.

Fig 7.13 Octatonic analysis of Dameron’s Lady Bird (bars 1-4)

The piece begins with a rhythmic pattern over C major tonic, then leaps to a tonicisation

of the fourth degree drawing an unresolved II-V.

Fig 7.13 Cont... (bars 5-8)

It returns to the tonic key and repeats the initial rhythmic motif. Then surprisingly it leaps
37 This is probably due to Coltrane's extensive use of substitutions around cycles of thirds. See Coltrane analysis
below.
340

to a descending third degree where he repeats the motif of bars 3-4, this time actually modulating

to a new temporal key:

Fig 7.13 Cont... (bars 9-12)

Here he introduces a variation of the first motif by means of chromatic movements between the

2nd and the root. Dameron then begins a return to the tonic key via the first degree. Normally this

would be interpreted as a II-V to G, but the pull towards the tonic makes these two chords

insinuate a II-V of the V of the Tonic (G7). Also worth mentioning is the chromatic movement

from the previous key, Dameron modulated to Ab major only to descend chromatically to G (first

degree of C) thus linking the tonic key in a clever but unusual way.

Fig 7.13 Cont... (bars 13-17)

The II-V of V remains unresolved and Dameron prefers a straight II-V back to the tonic.
341

The C# in the melody over the G7 might warrant a modal interchange analysis (IV of melodic

minor ), but since this piece is an up-tempo bebop I consider the passing note too brief to be of

any consequence. The possibility however remains open.

In the first ending (bar 15-16) we find the famous Dameron turnaround. In this version it

appears as a simple fourth degree transition followed by a descending third degree. This makes

sense since it is exactly the same shifts of key he made previously. But many versions contain a

slightly different variation of this chord, and in fact many jazz musicians might quote the

Dameron turnaround in one of these other versions. Aebersold, in his three publications of this

piece, has preferred this version:38

Fig 7.14 Aebersold’s version of a Dameron turnaround

Here we see a brief tonicisation to the descending third degree followed by a tritone substitution

of V. In the New Real Book39 we find a similar progression but it ends on an altered V instead of

a tritone substitution, which is practically the same. I have also encountered on many occasions

this turnaround played as a series of 7th chords, all but C, which is closer to what Coltrane did.

This is based on doing a tritone substitution of the bebop turnaround: Cmaj-A7-D7-G7

substituted by Cmaj-Eb7-Ab7-Db7.

To sum up, Dameron added a new turnaround’ which is now commonly used in practice

amongst jazz musicians. The Dameron turnaround now stands side by side with all the other

variations seen thus far and it is usual for jazz musicians to interchange them in the midst of an

improvisation from chorus to chorus.

38 Jamey Aebersold, vol. 36, Bebop & Beyond, (1985), 1; vol. 70, Killer Joe, (1996), 10; and vol. 99, Tadd
Dameron, (2002), 5 (USA: all published by Jamey Aebersold, Inc. ).
39 The New Real Book Vol. 1 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music Co., 1988), 177
342

Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk is by far the most idiosyncratic figure in the history of jazz. His music

is often described as angular and eccentric, but he was also one the pioneers of bebop. His

contributions spread over all elements of jazz. He revolutionized the approach of the rhythm

section, he introduced unusual re-harmonizations of the standard repertoire, and his

improvisations made as much use of silences as it did of melodic lines. He was also a minimalist

of comping, drawing a chord with as little as two notes at a time, achieved by studying which

notes needed to be sounded to produce the most effect. Finally, his sense of time and rhythm

revolutionized the approach to playing traditional structures such as the blues, AABAs, etc.40

Monk, by all accounts, was a bopper. His intention was to find new ways of expressing the music

he called jazz. Historically, he lived in the period where musicians started concerning themselves

with chords and scales.41 We know, from the many books on the history of jazz, that these

musicians did not have much formal training and instead the knowledge was acquired

collectively by the sharing of ideas. The approach in general was chordal, meaning the chord

itself and in isolation. Just as we saw with Dameron, modal interchange became the most widely

used resource in both playing and writing. The sound of bebop can be characterised as a

technique where I chords are interchanged for Lydians, V dominant chords altered or minorised,

etc. But Monk, unlike Dameron or Parker, wrote pieces that were not based on any standards. In

fact many of his pieces have unusual form and structure,42 not to mention such a degree of

harmonic complexity that these pieces still remain amongst the most challenging standards to

date. Perhaps one of the most representative of Monk's style is Monk's Mood written in 1946.43

This piece is structured AABA with two very different endings for both first and second sections.

The tonic key is quite difficult to decipher since it is barely heard, though by playing it the point

40 Alyn Shipton, A new history of jazz (London: Continuum, 2002),484-91


41 Leslie, Gourse, Straight No Chaser: The Life And Genius Of Thelonious Monk (USA: Schirmer Trade Books,
1997), 32-44
42 See for example Thelonious a thirty six bar structure where the four extra bars can be found in the bridge and
the last A section.
43 Thelonious Monk, ‘Monk's Mood’, New Real Book vol. 1 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music Co., 1988),
212-3
343

of resolution becomes clearer.

Fig 7.15 Octatonic analysis of Monk’s Mood (bars 1-2)

The piece begins with a II-V in Eb and then leaps to C major. In a sense this feels like a

majorisation of the relative minor. Interesting to note is the modal interchange of Bb7 to

diminished harmony. We know thanks to Barry Harris' teachings that diminished harmony was

quite a common device amongst bebop pianists.44

Fig 7.15 Cont... (bars 3-4)

In the next bar we find a DØ which could easily be interpreted as II of C minor, but this

uncertainty doesn't last long. The following chord (G7#11) draws upon the major 3 rd of C, in

other words a G13 sounds like a V of C major, not C minor. But Monk is not happy to give us

total certainty and interchanges to another mode: the diminished H/W analysis is purely

speculative, but we know of only two possible scales that contain this combination of notes 1. D

melodic minor and 2. the diminished H/W. Since the former has no relationship to C major (in

the hierarchy) and the latter has already been quoted in bar 2, then it is logical to conclude an

44 Howard Rees, The Barry Harris Workshop Video part 2 (Canada: Jazzworkshop Productions, 2005), 7
344

M.I. to diminished harmony. At this point we are feeling C major as the tonic key. Finally Monk

resolves melodically (the 5th to the root) but harmonically leaps to a descending third degree.

This is Monk's main trademark i.e. playing with the expectations of the listener and constantly

shifting to unusual places. He then begins a chromatic descent to slowly return to the tonic key.

Fig 7.15 Cont... (bars 5-6)

Here we find ourselves on a Bb7 from a diminished scale again, exemplified by the C#

and the E natural in the melody, moving chromatically to the III of F. Then he leaps to the III of

C, the rationalization is that the III of C has more in common with F (first degree-second degree

relation) than any other E7b9 in other scales, and because C is our tonic key the tendency is to

hear things that relate to it. The last chord is a bit of a mystery: up to now every chord we have

analysed is contained within the three scales: major/minor fundamental, melodic minor and

diminished H/W tone. But this chord is a 7th with both a natural 9th and an augmented 9th (#9 in

the melody). A possible explanation would be that Monk considered a melodic minor

fundamental, where Gb would be Q.45

45 Another piece that contains a chord that could be explained in this manner is Billy Strayhorn's Blood Count. The
first chord is a F7#9 and the melody is drawing the notes G-G#-B, therefore a C melodic minor with a Q.
345

Fig 7.15 Cont... (bars 7-8)

The first ending finds us back in the tonic key, thus justifying the previous chord as an

unusual tritone substitution of V/II. The last chord in the above system is the same one we saw in

the first bar of the piece. At this point I would like to speculate on Monk's use of this chord:

Earlier in this thesis we saw how a tritone substitution is actually the interchange of chord IV and

VII of a melodic minor scale. The substitution comes from the practice of altering the natural

dominant (modal interchange to the VII of a melodic minor) and then utilising its melodic

counterpart i.e. the IV chord. Diminished harmony (H/W tone scale) is symmetrical and offers a

similar interrelation between chords. The Bb7 above uses the following scale: Bb-B-C#-D-E-F-

G-Ab. From this we can construct a Bb triad, a Bb7, a Bb7b9, a Bb7#9, etc. But because of the

intervalic symmetry of the scale we can construct equivalent chords from the C#, E, G and any

of these chords would have the same symbol (X7#11,b9). So it is possible to conceive that all these

chords are interchangeable and therefore substitutions of each other. Consequently if a V chord

can be altered (via modal interchange) and then substituted by its melodic counterpart, the same

could be true of diminished harmony i.e. one should be able to modally interchange the V for a

diminished harmony and then substitute it for any of its equivalents. This practice is explained

by Barry Harris in terms of chord voicing and brief movements, but perhaps it's also a good

explanation of what is happening in this tune. If the Bb7 is a modal equivalent of G7 then

perhaps what Monk intended was a diminished substitution? e.g. Dmin7-Bb7-Cmaj7 also

referred to as Bartok substitution by Elliot.46 This is particularly practical in Monk's voicing

since the addition of the upper-structure (#11 and b9) allows for the same tritone as the G7.

46 John Elliot, Insights In Jazz: An Inside View Of Jazz Standard Chord Progressions (London: Jazzwise
Publications, 2009), 17
346

Fig 7.15 Cont... (bars 9-10)

In the second ending Monk takes a different route. On the surface it appears to be a

tritone substitution of V/V which moves to V and finishes on the descending third degree

transition. On close inspection we find that Monk alters the tritone substitution itself, though an

uncommon practice it works well because the altered tritone would belong to Bbb melodic minor

(or more practical A melodic minor) which is only a second degree melodic minor from the tonic

key C. The V is also substituted by the same modal interchange he used in the third bar of the

piece. We also see Monk drawing a very clear V-I in the melody to reinforce the unusual third

degree transition.

Fig 7.15 Cont... (bars 11-12)

The B section takes us to a second degree tonicisation which has been seen as early as

ragtime, but once again Monk gives it a special treatment: the key is insinuated by the movement

of IV and III joined together by the C in the bass, a combination which can only be found in F

major. The movement is long enough to be considered a tonicisation, despite the fact that the

tonic of this key is never played. The last chord in bar 12 introduces a chromatic descent to E

major.
347

Fig 7.15 Cont... (bars 13-14)

In the next two bars Monk offers us a temporal rest from the constant shifts. A simple II-

V-I, clearly drawing Q in the melody, proves to be the only point of smooth resolution in the

piece.

Fig 7.15 Cont... (bars 15-16)

In the next bar he initiates a very complex return to the tonic key. The insinuation here is

C minor but one needs to go forward and then back-track to understand why. The AØ could be

analysed as secondary ii of G major, this would be an ideal link between E major and the tonic C

major. So let’s put it aside for the time being. The next chord is an obvious tritone substitution of

V/V, the V here portrayed as secondary sus could belong to either major of minor, so could the

G#dim (q of major or bvi of minor). But the next chord is clearly a II of G minor since the

melody is drawing upon Eb and Bb and the chord AØ only appears as ii of G major, VI of A

melodic minor and II of G minor; the latter being the only one to contain these notes. Now we

may back-track and analyse the previous chords from this perspective. The last chord in bar 16 is

unquestionably a IV of C melodic minor.


348

Fig 7.15 Cont... (bars 17-18)

Bar 17 begins with IV of C minor and thus confirms my previous speculation. The

Ebmin7 on the other hand seems confusing. The first thought is that it is a fourth degree

transition from C minor, but looking ahead to the next bar we find ourselves back in the II of

tonic major. The sound is clearly a chromatic shift and looking back we realize that Ebmin7 can

also be the II of Db major. Consequently we may assume that Monk leapt down a tone to

connect back to the tonic major via a chromatic movement. The last chord is our previously seen

diminished substitution acting as a hidden V.

Fig 7.15 Cont... (bars 19-20)

The last section repeats the same harmony and melody as the second A section, ending on

the descending third degree (Dbmaj7).

Monk offers an interesting challenge to improvisers and analysts. His music is filled with

exceptions, unusual turns and shifts, unconventional substitutions and modal interchanges. He

plays with the listeners expectations by always playing from within the tradition and changing

the course when least expected. He is also a clear example of how boppers conceived harmony

and how scales and their interrelationship were the tools for creating the sound of this style of

jazz. But finally and most importantly he took on board the lessons learnt from the great ones
349

that preceded him and from there he invented, with others such as Parker and Gillespie, a

completely new approach to harmony.

Dizzy Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie is considered by many to be the catalyst that brought bebop together. He

was a trumpet virtuoso, an entertainer, an avant-gardist and a gifted composer. He not only

helped bring bebop to life but was also the first to explore jazz fusion with Latin-American

music.47 The following is one of his most played standards which shows a very different

approach to that of Monk, but in line with the philosophy and techniques used.

The piece is Woody 'n You, written in 1943.48 This piece shows the minor/major play that

boppers became known for. The structure is AABA and the tonic key is Db major.

Fig 7.16 Octatonic analysis of Gillespie’s Woody ‘n You (bars 1-4)

Initially it feels like a II-V in F minor, but since it moves to a II-V of Eb minor there is a

forward movement that sounds more like a variation of a turnaround.

47 John Fordham, Jazz (London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1993,) 112-3


48 John “Dizzy” Gillespie, ‘Woody 'n You’, The New Real Book vol. 2 ( CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music
Co., 1991), 436
350

Fig 7.16 Cont... (bars 5-8)

The next bar moves again to a II-V this time in Db minor, but finally resolves to I major.

Normally one would just consider this a majorisation, but somehow on second hearing one finds

that the series of II-Vs are actually referencing Db major. The reason for this is can be found in

the background analysis of the movement of keys. If we look at the series from the perspective

of their relative major we find that the movement is a first degree up to a second degree and

finally up to a fourth degree. So as Gillespie drives us away from the tonic key (Db major) the

more the tension grows and the greater the pull back to it, particularly on second hearing.

Furthermore, Gillespie is wise to choose chords that reference the tonic key i.e. the first set of II-

V sound as they are referencing the secondary iii, hence II-V of iii (II/iii-V/iii). The second set

sound like a typical II-V of II so we are surprised when Gillespie takes us to a minor II-V in the

next bar. Nevertheless the minor II-V feels like a modal interchange (minorisation) because what

we expect is a major, this is as much true the first time as it is the second time around. The

reasoning is that the II-V of iii already insinuated a tonic major. This, plus the background

movement ascending through the hierarchy, complement each other to create a most unusual

major progression.

Fig 7.16 Cont... (bars 9-12)


351

The bridge modulates to a common second degree with a minorisation (M.I. To fourth

degree) of the last dominant.

Fig 7.16 Cont... (bars 13-16)

The second part of the bridge modulates to the first degree. This is interesting since we

have always seen composers link keys after a modulation i.e. using common keys between the

temporal key and the tonic key. In this case Gillespie simply shifts down a tone from Gb to Ab

thus creating a reference to the degrees of the tonic key. This gives the bridge a sense of

tonicisations rather than modulations and should perhaps be re-analysed in this manner. The

piece ends by repeating the same ideas as the A section.

This type of shift can be found in many of Gillespie's tunes49 and seems to be one of his

trademarks. He treats modulations and tonicisations in such a way so as to always reference the

tonic key, this allows him to build over unusual chord progressions since the feel of the tonic is

never lost.

John Coltrane

One of the great giants of jazz is John Coltrane. It is said that he pushed the limits of what

could be done in music more than anybody. Coltrane's developments surpass the scope of this

thesis since he explored in tonality as much as he did in modal and atonal music, including free

improvisation. He first made his mark in tonal music, expanding the horizons further than the

boppers before him. His piece Moment's Notice, written in 1957, shows an extravagant use of

49 See for example Grooving High.


352

chromatic parallelisms anticipating every II-V by a another II-V a semitone below. He also

introduced improvising tritone substitutions to unusual chords, particularly turnarounds and

sometimes I chords. It became common practice for him to play a similar set to Dameron's

turnaround over tonic chords i.e. a series of movements by thirds which it has been speculated he

took from Slonimsky's thesaurus.50 This practice culminated in two major pieces, Giant Steps

and Countdown, which he composed for his album of the same name in 1959. 51 Below is the

analysis of the title track; which despite its simplistic use of brief and sudden

modulations/tonicisations, the actual movements of keys was quite new at the time.

Giant Steps52 has been linked with Rodger's Have You met Miss Jones as a source of

inspiration53 as well as his studies of Slonimsky's Thesaurus.54 The piece has one section and it

consists of 16 bars. I believe it beneficial to separate it into two, the trademark Giant steps

movement (the first seven bars) and the second part which consists of a series of II-V-I.

Fig 7.17 Octatonic analysis of Coltrane’s Giant Steps (bars 13-16)

The piece begins with a Bmaj7 followed by a sudden leap to a V-I in G. The reason we

assume Bmaj7 to be a I in B major, as opposed to a IV in F# major, is because at the very end of

the piece there is a II-V leading into it. We also have B major as a temporal key centre several

times in the piece. The leap to G major can be justified as a descending third degree tonicisation.

50 Jeff Bair, ‘Cyclic patterns in john coltrane’s melodic vocabulary as influenced by Nicolas Slonimsky’s Thesaurus
of scales and melodic patterns: an analysis of selected improvisations’, Doctoral thesis (University of North
Texas, August 2003), 57-108
51 John Coltrane, 'Giant Steps' and 'Countdown, Giant Steps (Atlantic Records London edition, LTZ-K 15197,
1959).
52 The Music of John Coltrane (Hal Leonard Corporation, USA, 1991) 44
53 David Demsey, [PhD], John Coltrane Plays Giant Steps (USA: Hal Leonard Corporation, 1996), 8
54 See: Pattern 286 and 646 in Nicolas Slonimsky, Thesaurus of Scales And Melodic Patterns (New York: Amsco
Publications, Schirmer Books, 1986) 40 and 88.
353

This is followed by another descending third degree V-I which takes us to Eb. Immediately

Coltrane breaks the temporal centre and draws a modulation to the third degree of Eb i.e. G

major.

Fig 7.17 Cont... (bars 4-7)

In the second half of this section we see Coltrane repeating the same third degree

tonicisations a minor 6th above, thus resolving in B major. This is followed by a II-V to the third

degree of B which is what I consider the beginning of the second section.

Fig 7.17 Cont... (bars 8-11)

Here we see Eb established as a tonic centre for the second time, immediately there is a

shift towards the third degree above (G major) and the again to the third degree of the latter:

Fig 7.17 Cont... (bars 12-15)


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He continues ascending one more time to arrive at Eb only to draw a II-V that leads back to the

top. Analytically speaking this piece is simple and easy to decipher, but the question most

students ask is what is the tonic key? This is where the octatonic system can help once again.

The keys are symmetrically a third apart, hence there is no rule of degrees that can be applied. 55

But the analytical difference between tonicisations and modulations is what gives us the solution.

The piece begins with a series of tonicisations a third degree apart, then we find ourselves with

Eb established as a temporal tonal centre for six beats. Coltrane then needs to modulate away

from it; it is not enough to tonicise a different key since Eb has lasted too long and its influence

as a reference would destroy Coltrane's intention of keys a third away. After he repeats the series

of tonicisations he establishes B major as a centre for six bars, at this point there is doubt. When

he modulates back to Eb major we find ourselves in what has began to feel as a tonic, we have

heard it established twice, this is followed again by a modulation proving that this is the only

way to get away from Eb and its influence as a reference point. In other words, if Coltrane didn't

use a modulation to clearly draw a new key, the chords succeeding Eb major would sound like

transitions. The modulations continue, but the return to Eb major in bars 13 and 14 prove to be

the final point of resolution and Coltrane is forced to use another II-V (modulation) to drag

himself away from this pull. In his recording Coltrane ends the piece on this chord, which might

corroborate Eb as the unavoidable tonic.

Antonio Carlos Jobim

Antonio Carlos Jobim might not be considered a jazz composer by some, but his music is

an important part of the jazz musician's repertoire. Co-creator of bossa nova, Jobim became

known in the American and jazz community through his collaboration with Stan Getz,56 another

one of jazz' giants. His name features widely in jazz real books with at least 89 appearances

amongst the books researched for this chapter. His most renowned piece is Girl From Ipanema

55 Each key is a third degree descending or ascending from the other hence no evident tonal centre.
56 Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto, featuring Antonio Carlos Jobim, Getz/Gilberto (Verve, 521 414-2, 1963)
355

(Garota De Ipanema) and it offers an insight into Jobim's technique and style, which is

remarkably different from other composers seen thus far.

This score presents the song as AABA with a short four bars introduction.57 The A section

is fairly standard consisting of a first degree transition and a tritone substitution, the tonic key is

F major. The bridge however, is more demonstrative of Jobim's style:

Fig 7.18 Octatonic analysis of Jobim’s Girl From Ipanema (bars 17-20)

The shift is from an Fmaj7 in the previous section to a Gbmaj7. The first temptation is to analyse

this as a chromatic modulation, but there are two reasons why this is not so:

1. The A section contains a series of tritone substitutions (Fmaj7-Gb7-Fmaj7) where the

note C is held during all three chords. This would seem to influence the first chord of the

bridge to be perceived as Gbmaj7(#11).

2. A chromatic shift is always harsh and the proximities of keys (hierarchy of intervals)

should take precedence i.e. if a chromatic shift is not explicit (symmetric) and an

alternative option exists within the hierarchy (including descending degrees) then the

latter would be the appropriate analysis.

The Cb9 suggests a fourth degree melodic transition, though it could also be a fourth degree (V

of E major) which would coincide with the next event.

57 Antonio Carlos Jobim, 'Garota De Ipanema/Girl From Ipanema' (London: MCA Music Ltd., 1963).
356

Fig 7.18 Cont... (bars 21-24)

The F#min9 clearly belongs to the fourth degree, but since F# (or Gb) was also the root

of the first chord, the feel is that of a minorisation. In other words this progression sounds more

like a Lydian progression which has become minorised to a Dorian. In any case the analysis of

fourth degree would still be appropriate for the two chords (Cb9-F#min9) since this would not

interfere with the melody.58 This is followed by an unresolved tritone substitution. At this point

the progression feels like it will resolve to C# minor or modulate to the relative major (E), but

Jobim uses the tritone substitution deceptively:

Fig 7.18 Cont... (bars 25-28)

However, this time we do see a clear chromatic modulation since the two bars in this system

parallel the previous two bars in every respect: the melody, the chords and the rhythm. Though

this time the tritone substitution leads into a modulation back to the tonic key (F):

58 The fact that most published versions contain the chord Cb9 as opposed to B9 would seem to suggest that Jobim,
or at least the publishers, intended this chord to be a IV of melodic minor.
357

Fig 7.18 Cont... (bars 29-34)

The A minor can be seen as a secondary v of D minor or secondary iii of F major. Possibly the

latter would be more appropriate since the secondary v of minor is rarely used. Here we also find

a V/II which has been modally interchanged for the symmetric H/W tone scale, this is obvious

due to the 5th, flat 9th and #11th in the voicing. This creates an unusual sound to a common

turnaround. The section ends with the same modal interchange over the V which returns to

Fmaj7 for the last section.

This bridge shows Jobim's more advance use of harmony, where tonal centres that relate

to the hierarchy are used but not established. In other words, there are a shifts of key which do

not draw upon tonic chords but their relation to the tonic key is still felt strongly thanks to the

relationship they have in terms of proximity. See for example his piece Triste where in bar 3 and

4 it shifts temporarily to a descending third degree tonicisation followed by descending third

degree melodic minor, all unresolved. This practice would seem to point the way jazz harmony

was and is heading, tonality remains a centre but more chords from distant keys are used to

create new and unexpected sounds.

Wayne Shorter

I would like to end with Wayne Shorter who is perhaps the most prominent composer of

modern jazz. Shorter's career covered everything from straight ahead’ with Miles Davis, to Rock
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and Funk fusions, free jazz, Latin jazz, electronics59 and is still today at the foreground of the

music's development.60

His tune Night Dreamer from 1964 is an excellent example of how jazz harmony was

evolving.61 This piece contains a clear tonic key (G major) but every other chord in the piece

belongs to another key or has been altered, including the I.

Fig 7.19 Octatonic analysis of Shorter’s Night Dreamer (Intro, bars 1-4)

It begins with an eight bar vamp introducing the tonic I and immediately leaping to a

third degree descending transition. This falls into a minorisation of V (V of G minor) which is

also a fourth degree transition, hence the analysis Bb major.

Fig 7.19 Cont... (bars 5-8)

The piece begins by drawing upon the same chords as the introduction. It is possible to

conceive that Shorter considered the third degree transition here as a form of tritone substitution

leading into V. But it is also interesting to note that the transition and the modal interchange are a

first degree apart from each other. In bar 7 we find what appears to be a modal interchange to the

59 Alyn Shipton, A new history of jazz (London: Continuum, 2002), 856-77


60 See for example his work: Wayne Shorter, Beyond The Sound Barrier (Verve, 000451802 , 2005)
61 Wayne Shorter, ‘Night Dreamer’, The New Real Book vol. 2 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music Co.,
1991, copyright 1964), 260
359

first degree, this is only suggested by the brief Bb in the melody so it could just be considered a

blue note or a chromatic approach to the 2nd.

Fig 7.19 Cont... (bars 9-12)

In bars 11-12 we find the most peculiar thing about this tune: it appears to be a tritone

substitution of the diatonic II-V. However, the length of the chords exercise a particular influence

on the tonic centre. Plus, we should also consider that this, under normal circumstances, looks

like a modulation. Similarly to Jobim’s work, we can observe that Shorter tonicises a key

without resolving it, but unlike his predecessors his choice of tonic centres is quite unusual.

Fig 7.19 Cont... (bars 13-16)

Bar 13 leaps to a fourth degree away from the new tonic centre, analysed here as bIII

since the movement is too brief to warrant a new key centre. This is also justified by the

chromatic movement in the next bar, which Shorter uses to link back to the tonic key i.e. the

E13sus and F13sus are both a fourth degree away from their respective tonic centres. Thus, the

abrupt shift to a tritone is now resolved back to the tonic key in a more gentle manner.
360

Fig 7.19 Cont... (bars 17-20)

From bars 17 to 20 Shorter returns to the same progression as the beginning, thus re-

establishing the G major as the tonic key.

Another Shorter piece worth mentioning is E.S.P.62 which demonstrates an even more

concealed tonic key. In fact, the tonic key (F major) seems to be confirmed only at the very end

of the piece.

Fig 7.20 Octatonic analysis of Shorter’s E.S.P. (bars 1-4)

The piece begins on chord VII of the first degree melodic minor which leads into I.

Though at this point it does not feel like a I.

Fig 7.20 Cont... (bars 5-8)

62 Wayne Shorter, ‘E.S.P.’, The New Real Book vol. 1 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music Co., 1991,
copyright 1965), 90
361

In bar 5 we return to the melodic first degree and we begin to suspect an A minor as a

tonic key. But Shorter prevents this confirmation by leaping to a second degree tonicisation.

Fig 7.20 Cont... (bars 9-12)

Shorter decides to stay on the second degree for two more bars by moving between the III

and the IV. The E7 seems to indicate a return to the tonic key, this could have been analysed as

normal first degree (III of C major) but it's unlikely since Shorter has drawn upon the melodic

minor first degree twice already. We return to Fmaj which still does not feel like a strong I

(tonic). The Ebmaj7 serves to lead into the first ending.

Fig 7.20 Cont... (bars 13-16)

Finally we begin to feel a sense of tonic centre. The first two chords seem to suggest a II-

V to the relative major of our suspected key (A minor-C major), but with the arrival of Gmin7

we retrospectively feel the G7 as an unresolved V/V. The last bar ends suggesting a tritone

substitution of V of F major, though in fact it is a descending third degree. This make the tonic a

bit more established.


362

Fig 7.20 Cont... (bars 17-20)

In the second ending however, Shorter takes a different path. Since F major feels more

like the tonic key by now, the Db9 strongly feels like an unresolved tritone substitution of V/V.

This is followed by a II (Gmin7) which insinuates the final cadence, but it is dramatically altered

by Shorter using a tritone substitution of a II-V (Gmin7>Dbmin7, C7>Gb7). This unusual

substitution leads finally into I and thus concludes the tonal cycle.

Shorter indubitably charted the way forward for jazz harmony. His use of a tonic

reference allowed multiple detours and unusual chord progressions to be created which were

held together by an underlying, sometimes hidden, tonic centre. A study of contemporary jazz

pieces might shed more light on this approach, but since jazz musicians think in term of scales it

is logical to assume that most pieces, excepting atonal, modal or free pieces, will have this

underlying bodily structure.

In summary, Jazz composers took much of their craft from the popular composers of the

time, but they added to the world of tonal harmony ingredients which were not used by the

mainstream. From as early as Ellington we were able to see the use of dramatic modal

interchanges which were only possible because the chord progressions were so familiar to

musicians and the general audience. We also observed how harmony evolved in terms of

degrees, from ragtime which stayed close to first and second degrees of the hierarchy of

intervals, to bebop constantly extending to third, fourths and melodic minor degrees. We also

observed the evolution of substitutions such as the tritone substitution of V, which was extended

to any V of another chord. We also see the Bartók substitution changing a V for an equivalent in
363

the H/W tone scale and whole cadences which were shifted a tritone away, not just the Vs.

Finally, and perhaps the most interesting development, is the shift to remote keys (both

ascending and descending) which are not resolved. Perhaps a better term for this would be the

extension of the transitions. In early compositions we saw how non-diatonic chords appeared in

the middle of diatonic progressions, over the decades these transitions became longer and more

frequent. Finally with Jobim and Shorter we see these transitions become the main body of a

piece and in Shorter's case the tonic key only an underlying reference. But no matter how far

each composer reached, the hierarchy of intervals and the principles of the octatonic system can

always be identified as an underlying logic.


364

Chapter 8
The great improvisers

In this chapter I would like to consider some of the main figures in jazz improvisation. The

intention is to show how the octatonic system can explain, decipher and help to understand the

analysis of jazz improvisation.

In order to illustrate the above I have included examples of improvisers in a

chronological order and selected solos to demonstrate different periods and approaches. The

improvisations analysed here have been selected to demonstrate a variety of points. I plan to

demonstrate that the method used for analysis in the previous chapters is compatible with what

musicians have played from early Dixieland to modern jazz.

Please note when reading this chapter that objects in parentheses (brackets) indicate

inconsistencies between the improviser and the rhythm section, and they suggest what I presume

the player was thinking in that particular moment. The melodic analysis is as described in the

analytical principles (chapter 4) i.e. the melodic tones are analysed in the perspective of the

chord over which they are sounding.

Early Improvisers

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong's solo over Maple Leaf Rag1 shows how early improvisers thought

about their solos. His approach is mostly diatonic, but we can already find the use of chromatic

passing notes. In general terms we could say the improvisation is based around the arpeggios,

1 My transcription: Kenneth Records, CKS 3412 (release date 2006) Louis Armstrong's 50 Hot Choruses (1927)
as recreated by Bent Persson, volumes 2-3 (Track 17)
365

we find no evident use of scales, modal interchanges or substitutions of any sort. The solo takes

place on the penultimate section, and we also find that it is in the same key as Joplin's version,

though the last four bars have been slightly simplified.

Fig 8.1 Octatonic analysis of Armstrong's solo on Maple Leaf Rag (bars 1-4)

The solo begins with a simple chromatic movement between the root R’ and the 2 nd, I

analysed it here as 'Q', though 'c' for chromatic is also correct. In the second bar Armstrong

continues drawing upon the same notes, but now they have become the 6th and 5th of the tonic

chord and the rhythmic pattern has doubled up.

Fig 8.1 Cont... (bars 5-8)

In bar 5 Armstrong continues the pattern, but in the second half of this bar we see what

appears to be an anticipation of the Db chord. This is not corroborated later hence the analysis of

'4'. In bars 7 and 8 he abandons the chromatic passing notes and focuses solely on permutations

of the triad.
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Fig 8.1 Cont... (bars 9-12)

In bar 9 we see the first non-diatonic chord and Armstrong reinforces this transition by

accentuating the most significantly different note: the D natural. In this manner he proves that he

knows exactly how to draw the chord changes so that the solo may stand on its own without the

help of a rhythm section. This is perhaps the most significant difference between jazz

improvisation and other forms of improvisation. In general jazz solos can stand on their own

without the aid of harmonic support and still be able to clearly delineate the harmonic sequence.

Many of Barry Harris' lessons consist of being able to recognize a song/piece simply from an

improvised line. In the bar 11 we see what could be interpreted as a delayed resolution: the

chromatic approach to F might suggest an approach to the 5th of Bb7. However, this is followed

by a Db which feels closer to the Ebmin7, since a minor 7th would have more relevance than a

sharpened 9th on a Bb7.

Fig 8.1 Cont... (bars 13-16)

Finally, bars 13-16, we find an Edim which is the only moment in the improvisation that

Armstrong seems to use scale notes. Then he returns to draw a Db6 as he did in the beginning

concluding the solo by playing the 5th and 6th of the II-V and finally the root of the tonic. Overall

a simple improvisation based around chords with some minor use of chromatics. Perhaps the
367

point of most interest is the Edim where we can see the scale analysis coinciding with what

Armstrong played.

Lester Young

Lester Young was one of the most significant tenor saxophonists of the swing era.

Commonly mentioned by modern players such as Charlie Parker and John Coltrane as their first

influence, his style could be described as minimalist and ethereal.2 Harmonically he is the

opposite of most players, he omits chords more often than he draws them, but he is also one of

the first improvisers to include such techniques as anticipations and modal interchanges, even if

on a very basic level.

This transcription is of Lady Be Good3 from 1936 and is regarded as one of the important

solos in jazz history. The score is for Bb tenor saxophone, hence it sounds a major 9th below

what is written.

Fig 8.2 Octatonic analysis of Young’s Lady Be Good (bars 1-4)

To begin we find a chromatic approach already introduced by Armstrong. In bar 2 it

appears that Young is omitting the D major and continues to draw the A, though in the last beat

he seems to be doing a modal interchange (though the G could also be interpreted as a blue

note). Just like Armstrong we see Young staying close to the arpeggios at all times.

2 John Fordham, Jazz (Canada: The Reader’s Digest Association Ltd., copyright by Dorling Kindersley Limited,
London, 1993), 106-7
3 Robert A. Luckey, PhD (transcribed and edited by), Lester Young Solos (USA: Olympia Music Publishing, L.A.,
1994), 12-4
368

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 5-8)

In bars 5 to 8 we find a few more interesting events. First he carries the motif from bar 5

all the way to bar 7, but he uses Q over the V chord thus insinuating a 7th flat 9th (E7b9). Also

worth mentioning is that Young, similarly to Armstrong, arpeggiates chord I (triad) as a 6th

chord.

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 9-12)

Here we find a more definite modal interchange, the rhythm section plays an A major

whilst Young clearly draws an A7. In the original score we saw Gershwin using this bluesy

interchange over the IV, but Lester prefers the I consequently hinting a V/IV. Nevertheless,

looking at bar 2 we notice that the D is not being drawn but rather an A6 again. He plays the 5 th,

then approaches the 3rd from one semitone above and one below (also known as encirclement),

and finishes by descending through the arpeggio. But since the rhythm section is playing the D,

what concerns us is the aural result of Young's thinking in addition to the harmony drawn by the

rhythm section, thus the analysis reflects the notes sounding against the chord being played.4

4 It should be pointed out that if this would be a study on Lester Young's style and approach, then the analysis
might be different.
369

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 13-16)

In bars 13-16 we find again an example of Young's constant omissions. In bar 14 he is

distinctly playing an A major pentatonic over the E7, thus not considering this arpeggio and its

leading tones (G# and D). In bar 15 Young holds the D long enough to be considered an

anticipation of Emin7, though I leave this open to interpretation.

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 21-24)

In the last four bars of the bridge Young draws the first degree tonicisation with authority

passing through most scale notes. Finally the last note on the last bar anticipates the arrival of

the tonic in the next section:

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 25-28)

Again he omits chord IV and in the last bar anticipates another omission i.e. two bars

anticipation:
370

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 29-32)

We can observe that the Bmin is not being played by Young and instead the E7 seems to resound

for most of the two bars. He ends the section by strongly drawing the dominant in the last bar

which leads him into the second chorus.

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 33-36)

In the second chorus we see Young getting busier and developing a motif for the first

three bars. Chord IV is felt this time, though not strongly, due to the 3rd being given some

relevance. In the last bar it is hard to say whether Young is anticipating the chord in the next bar

or simply omitting the A#dim.

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 37-40)

In bar 1 it would appear that Young was satisfied with simply playing the 5th of Bmin7

since he immediately proceeds to arpeggiate the E7, thus anticipating it for nearly a whole bar.

Again in the second half of bar 38 it is difficult to say whether Young is modally interchanging
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the E7 or anticipating a modally interchanged A7. Since the rhythm section is sounding an E7 at

this point I have to say that it is the E7 which is being altered, though a Lester Young analyst

might want to consider this question further.

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 41-44)

Lester repeats one of his trademarks which is the development of a motif over the barline

without much consideration to the chords themselves. However, he does utilise diatonic

common notes which allow him to omit the chords without sounding outside the harmony. In

other words, by observing the analysis above we see that the notes are the same for three bars,

but their function against the harmony changes according to the passing of the chords. In the

second half of the last bar he clearly anticipates the Bmin7 of bar 45.

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 45-48)

He also seems to anticipate the E7 for two beats. In bar 47 we see Lester applying the

blues interchange, though it also possible to consider that he is in fact anticipating the A7 for a

bar and a half.


372

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 49-52)

The second bridge shows Lester playing a IV to a secondary iv and ignoring the D#dim

played by the rhythm section. This is an interesting piece of evidence that perhaps proves that

musicians as early as Lester were considering Q and its possibilities within the tonal framework.

It also pioneers many of the techniques used later in the bebop era where musician draw more

chords than the ones being played.

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 53-56)

The last four bars of the bridge show Lester clearly delineating the chords again. What

particularly calls my attention here is the arpeggio in bar 56. From previous research I have done

on Lester Young I've found this substitution to be one of his trademarks i.e. and augmented triad

in place of a normal major dominant. This is also a resource that would become very common in

later decades.

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 57-60)


373

In the last A section we see Young returning to his trademark, this time the motif is

chromatic going between the 2nd to the root and the 6th to the 5th displacing the strong beat.

Fig 8.2 Cont... (bars 61-64)

In the second half of bar 62 we run into the same doubt as before: is this the anticipation

of an A7 or the minorisation of E7? I think in this particular case the sound of the A7 is quite

strong, but the melodic analysis reflects the sound against the E7, thus what we have here is a

sense of polytonality.

Overall, Young's approach is quite minimalist, few notes and many omissions of chords.

Nevertheless, he contributed to jazz improvisation subtle modal interchanges and introduced the

concept of anticipation.

Coleman Hawkins

Coleman Hawkins on the other hand, stands amongst the revolutionists of jazz

improvisation. As mentioned in earlier chapters it was Hawkins that began the approach of

thinking in terms of chords and more dramatic substitutions. The first historical piece where he

introduced this concept was Jerome Green's Body And Soul5 in 1939. This version is not like the

one played today or the one found in most real books, the chord progression being played by the

rhythm section is quite simple thus allowing Hawkins to add other chords (melodically) on top.

The piece is structured AABA and the tonic key is Db. The B section modulates to D major and

then C major. I've transposed the solo up an octave above to avoid using two clefs, therefore the

5 My transcription, source: Coleman Hawkins, The Complete Verve Master Takes (RCA, B000003G3, 1996),
track 4
374

sound is an octave lower than written.

Fig 8.3 Octatonic analysis of Hawkins’ solo on Body & Soul (bars 1-7)

The piece begins with a 4 bar piano introduction which sets and establishes the tonic key.

Hawkins begins by skilfully varying the original melody and then leads chromatically to the I.

The chords in brackets are my speculation of what he might have been thinking: the D7 is

justified in terms of a tritone substitution and the Eb7 as a chromatic approach to this one.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 8-11)

In bars 8-11 we find Hawkins departing from the melody using the chords as connecting

points. The melody is still present but ever more hidden. We can also appreciate Hawkins

rhythmic complexity which seems far more sophisticated than his earlier colleagues.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 12-15)

The first section ends with no surprises, carefully leading the bottom note (crotchets)
375

chromatically from Db to D, to Eb. On the V chord in bar 14 we can see Hawkins leading

chromatically again to the I, but whether he was thinking of D7 is open for debate. In my

opinion he is simply moving from the 2nd to Q, not necessarily another chord.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 16-18)

In the first bar he quotes the head’ again and at this point it would seem that he is using

the most relevant notes of the melody as leading lines. In this system we can also begin to

appreciate the use of scales more and their correlation to the octatonic analysis. There is little

room for debate since Hawkins is playing most of the notes that belong to the scale analysis.

Unfortunately he does not play them all, which would confirm that he actually thought in these

terms too.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 19-21)

In the penultimate bar of this section (bar 19) we see a clearer example of Hawkins

analytical skills. He decides to play a tritone substitution over the Ab7 but not only does he draw

the chord, he also utilises notes from the appropriate scale. The line leading from the chord in

brackets represents a delayed resolution. In the B section the piece modulates a semitone up and

Hawkins states this both melodically and harmonically.


376

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 22-23)

The B section proceeds smoothly without any alterations. Interesting is the secondary iv

that Hawkins so eloquently plays. One may wonder if he was thinking the possibility of a

secondary chord within the scale, thus aware of Q, or simply a chromatic passing note.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 24-26)

The first part of the bridge ends with a clever use of a common second degree. This

allows Green (the composer) to modulate to a tone down. Hawkins here plays enough notes over

the Ebdim to prove that this could not be a diminished scale (H/W tone) since G would not be

found in that scale.6 The same could be said of the Ebdim in the last bar. In this manner

composer and improviser seem to think alike, the closest relation between D major and C major

is G major which is a second degree away from both.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 27-28)

6 See argument in Chapter 2, Mark Levine's interpretation of diminished chords.


377

In the last two bars of the B section Green plays with the expectation that the II-V will be

resolved to Cmaj7 again, but this time he lands on C7. A good option since F major is a second

degree from C and a third degree from our tonic key (Db). However, Green’s mind is more

intricate than that, he descends chromatically to Gb where we can find the common V/II which

is the first chord of the last A section. Each chord is played for one beat by the rhythm section,

but Hawkins delays the arrival of V for one whole beat. Interesting is the use of Q (2m) on both

chords.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 29-30)

This last A section (of the first chorus) is particularly important since it seems to shape

the way future versions of this tune will be played. The Bb7 in brackets is suggested by

Hawkins, this has an effect of tonicising the II. Because we have already heard two A sections

where Ebmin7 was clearly a II we do not appreciate this now, but later versions will prove

otherwise (see next analysis).

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 31-33)

In the first beat of Db it is hard to tell whether Hawkins was delaying a tritone

substitution or is if it just a series of chromatic approaches: the note A could be conceived as an


378

unresolved chromatic which Hawkins then resolves to the Ab.7

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 34-36)

The section ends in a similar way to the second A, in fact Hawkins uses almost the exact

same line on his tritone substitution. He ends by drawing a B diminished which is a common

substitute for a 7th chord hence is not reflected in the analysis.8

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 37-39)

In the next chorus things start to take an interesting turn: first we find Hawkins drawing

the tritone substitution stronger than ever, violently sliding between the 5th and the root.

Dynamic indications here are not included because of space, but most of the solo has taken

course between mp and mf, at this point (beginning of the second chorus) Hawkins begins

blowing f to ff.

7 d.c. Stands for double chromatic approach.


8 The root is replaced by the flattened 9th thus allowing more connection points between V and I. Musicians don't
necessarily think 'diminished chord', but simply sharpen the root.
379

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 40-42)

Though he seems to have constantly omitted the Edim, here it becomes more apparent.

We also notice that he is ending all his lines on upbeats that, added to his louder dynamics,

generate tension which he continues to build up.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 43-44)

The end of the first A section (2nd chorus) we see the tritone substitution treated more

chromatically i.e. every note is then repeated a semitone down over Db.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 45-47)

The section continues diatonically with Hawkins staying within the chords, but he

continues to build up intensity.


380

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 48-50)

In this system we finally see Hawkins playing through the Edim using a scale. Again this

fits perfectly with the octatonic analysis.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 51-53)

In the second half of bar 51 we see him playing two chords over one: an Ab7 and a D7.

The A7 leading into the bridge feels a bit like a V of D melodic minor, because the chromatic

approach to F lands on the down beat. But I decided to leave this as a chromatic approach since

I have no evidence that improvisers at this stage had knowledge of melodic minor substitutions.

The bridge begins, as before, with Hawkins staying close to the chords.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 54-56)


381

This time around he plays the Gmin as a modal interchange.. One may wonder if

Hawkins was always conceiving this chord in this manner since the previous one (in the bridge

of the first chorus) did not have enough notes to speculate either way. He ends the first part of

the bridge by arpeggiating an Ebdim with a major 7th.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 57-59)

He delays the resolution to Dmin7 for a whole beat but then proceeds conventionally

through the chord changes. This is in anticipation of what is coming up in the next few bars,

where we see some of the more radical alterations Hawkins has to offer.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 60-62)

He begins the modulation back to the tonic key through a series of aggressive leaps,

anticipations and some odd substitutions. First we see him anticipating the B7, the note E in

brackets is hard to identify because of its uncertain pitch, E being the closest one. Hawkins then

appears to draw a II-V to the II and again displaces the resolution for a whole beat. He begins an

ascending line delineating the Eb, after which he follows with an E (bar 62). My supposition

here is that he was thinking a tritone substitution of V/II which would be E7 from B melodic
382

minor, this has an inherent sharp 11th which would explain all the events in the bar. Earlier we

saw Hawkins playing a Bb7 in this area, so perhaps this assumption is not far-fetched.

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 63-66)

He continues this ascending pattern adjusting it to fit the Db. Once more we see him

drawing the Edim delaying the resolution to the II. He brings the volume down for the last

phrase where he beautifully draws the F7 and its extensions (b9 and b13).

Fig 8.3 Cont... (bars 67-69)

He then draws an Ab7sus4b9, instead of an Ab7, and the rhythm section comes to a halt.

The chord symbols in the penultimate bar are mere speculation on my part since Hawkins is

playing on his own, but the arpeggios would seem to be implying this. Conceptually he is

approaching the II chromatically from above and then the tritone substitution aids to approach

the I in the same manner. Hawkins plays the root and 3rd of I and the rhythm section comes in

for a full resolution.

In summary, this is a remarkable leap from its predecessors. This solo paved the way

forward for jazz musicians and anticipated the bebop movement and its approach. Musicians
383

now had two options, they could improvise melodically i.e. from either the melody or a created

melody (a motif like Lester Young), or they could base themselves entirely on the chords and

introduce the variations from there. Although throughout the first chorus Hawkins kept making

reference to the melody, and furthermore, his improvised line followed the same architecture as

the original head, in the second chorus he departed completely from it and introduced a number

of variations based on the chords and substitutions of these.

Ben Webster

Let us take a moment to understand Hawkins’ influence. The following analysis is of the

same song five years later. The solo is by Ben Webster, another legendary tenor saxophonist who

played with Duke Ellington for many years,9 and in fact recorded with Hawkins himself in

1957.10 Of particular interest are the chord changes played by the rhythm section which

resemble many of Hawkins substitutions. The transcription is for a tenor saxophone and

therefore sounds a major 9th lower than written.

Fig 8.4 Octatonic analysis of Webster’s solo on Body & Soul (bars 1-3)

The first thing we notice is the addition of the V/II in the second half of the bar, just as

Hawkins had insinuated it many times in his solo. Then we find the rhythm section playing the

tritone substitution to I. We also find an added V at the end of bar 3. Webster, following in

Hawkins' footsteps, begins by quoting the melody and introducing variations based on this. We

find that he ignores the tritone substitution and instead plays a straight V.

9 Transcribed by Les Sabina, Ph.D. (published in Jazz UK, issue 72, Nov/Dec 2006), 28
10 Coleman Hawkins, Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster (Verve, 9884036, 2005).
384

Fig 8.4 Cont... (bars 4-6)

Bars 4-6 shows Webster's skilful drawing of the chords. He seems to stay well within the

conventional chords and scales with no unusual substitutions.

Fig 8.4 Cont... (bars 7-9)

In bar 7 Sabina transcribed Webster beginning his phrase on the natural 6 th of the chord.

After carefully listening to the recording (at 0:36) it seems to me that he is actually starting on

the Ab, which would be more logical within the analysis.11 In the second half of this bar we find

Webster's first substitution, excluding of course the earlier omission of the tritone substitution.

The modal interchange of the V to the fourth degree (or minorisation) was mentioned earlier as

one of the first commonly used devices used by improvisers prior to bebop. We also saw Lester

Young use this device in an arpeggio manner (augmented triad). In the next bar Webster seems

to draw an Eb7, but since this can be justified as a chromatic approach to the 6th I decided not to

over-analyse it. Nevertheless, the rhythm section then plays two 7th chords leading into chord II,

so it is possible that Webster was thinking 7th chords for the whole. If this were the case we

know that it could be analysed as a modal interchange to the second degree (Blues M.I.).

11 Source: Cozy Cole All Stars (SAVOY 501, S5413, 1944) track 4. Transcription begins at 0:15
385

Fig 8.4 Cont... (bars 10-12)

In the second half of bar 1 we see Webster conciliating the V chord with the tritone

substitution played by the rhythm section. Note that he is not thinking B melodic minor, instead

he simply arpeggiates both chords.

Fig 8.4 Cont... (bars 13-15)

In this system we find a peculiar modal interchange in bar 14. Is Webster thinking V of C

major here? If this is the case it would fall under a modal interchange to the descending fourth

degree, most unusual yet Webster makes it work.

Fig 8.4 Cont... (bars 16-18)

As seen before the bridge modulates a semitone up. Unlike Hawkins who stayed close to
386

the chords, Webster plays very chromatic here, approaching chord notes from as far as four

semitones away (bar 18).

Fig 8.4 Cont... (bars 19-21)

Here we find that this version contains quite different chords from the earlier one.

Hawkins version was simply I-V- I. In this version this has been substituted by a modern

variation of a turnaround. Webster draws this clearly though he omits the tritone substitution

once again. The common second degree, which connected the two parts of the bridge, has also

been omitted and instead we see a sudden leap to the new key a tone down.

Fig 8.4 Cont... (bars 22-24)

The bridge ends in the same manner as the earlier version, though we see Webster

defining these chords more clearly than Hawkins.


387

Fig 8.4 Cont... (bars 25-27)

In the last A section we see some more interesting events. On chord V Webster rests on

the sharpened 9th (augmented 2nd) and on chord II on the 6th. These are two sounds that are quite

modern for the time, but Webster voice-leads these notes all the way down to the 5 th of II thus

hiding the upper-structure effect that these notes posses. To be able to carry this out he is forced

to delay the Fmin for another beat and compresses the E7 in the last beat.

Fig 8.4 Cont... (bars 28-30)

In bar 28 we find Webster apparently ignoring the iii chord and drawing a I instead (Eb).

Furthermore, he appears to play a GbØ instead of the Gbdim played by the rhythm section. If

this was so the analysis would have to be a VII of G major (or A double flat) i.e. modal

interchange to the third degree, which would fit all the notes he is playing.

Fig 8.4 Cont... (bars 31-32)


388

The solo ends straightforwardly with Webster playing an ascending Eb major scale,

omitting Q, just before it takes off to a roaring double time.

We could definitely claim Hawkins' influence on the harmonic development of jazz

musicians. His famous solo on Body And Soul not only changed the way an improvisation could

be approached and conceptualised, but also how a piece could be re-harmonized to create more

improvisational possibilities.

Bebop

Now it’s time to look at bebop. Since the analyses become increasingly more difficult as we

move through the decades, I decided to look for improvisations over pieces previously analysed.

In this way the reader can use as a reference the original analysis and perhaps understand better

how the music evolved. In the analyses from this point forward it is essential to distinguish

elements in brackets from those that are not, since there are two levels of events happening. On

one hand we have substitutions, modal interchanges, etc. carried out by the rhythm section. On

another level we have soloists who sometimes take their own paths.

Charlie Parker

The following is a bebop version of Cole Porter's Love For Sale.12 The chord changes

contain several differences from the original. The solo is by Charlie Parker who also takes many

liberties over the chord sequence.

12 My transcription, source: Charlie Parker, ‘Love For Sale’, The Genius Of Charlie Parker, #5 - Charlie Parker
Plays Cole Porter (Verve, MGV, 8007, 1954) from 1:13-2:15
389

Fig 8.5 Octatonic analysis of Parker’s solo on Love For Sale (bars 1-3)

The piece begins like the original, whilst Parker clearly draws the majorisation of IV.

Then we find a common bebop substitution. The I minor is modally interchanged for the IV of

its first degree, this will become recurrent throughout the tune.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 4-6)

In bars 4-6 the rhythm section returns to the majorised IV as in the original score, but

Parker instead prefers the natural IV of Bb minor, thus ignoring the majorisation.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 7-9)


390

They both reunite over the modally interchanged I. The piece then begins to modulate to the

relative major which Parker draws using mostly scale notes.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 10-12)

In bars 10-12 we find a rather unusual modal interchange. When the rhythm section

resolves to I Parker decides to leap to the first degree melodic minor. Since this is also the scale

of the next chord he is basically achieving an anticipation of a whole bar. He is smart enough to

drop out over the Gb7 so that this effect can be felt strongly.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 13-15)

In bars 13-15 however, Parker plays an inexplicable substitution. The rhythm section

begins to modulate back to the relative minor via a II-V, but Parker distinctly draws a C minor

major 7th. Since there is no relation between Bb minor and C minor or melodic minor, I can only

presume that this was either a mistake or Parker was thinking of a different chord e.g. Cmin7 VI

of Eb major. In bar 14 he interchanges the traditional V for its melodic minor equivalent, this

makes me think that perhaps the modal interchange of I in the next bar might be to the first
391

degree melodic minor instead of F minor. Nevertheless there is no evidence of this so I remain

confident of my assumption.13

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 16-18)

The next A section begins in an identical manner. In bar 18 we see Parker making a point

that this is in fact IV of Bb major.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 19-21)

Above we see him reinforcing the interchange played by the rhythm section by

repeatedly playing the 6th.

13 Once again is worth mentioning that since both interpretations are first degrees, it is up to the improviser/analyst
to choose that which suits him/her best.
392

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 22-24)

In this case (bar 23) I am not so certain. The rhythm section clearly continues to

interchange the I, but Parker plays a minor 6th which implies an unaltered Bbmin. This note can

also be interpreted as a chromatic approach to the 5th, thus leaving this open for either

interpretation.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 25-27)

Again we see the modulation to the relative major and Parker drawing the chords using

mostly scale notes. This time he resolves to the I with the rhythm section.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 28-30)


393

In bar 28 we confirm that Parker also analyses this chord as a first degree melodic minor.

In bar 29 he seems to be drawing a melodic minor II-V, this would give us some clue as to what

he was thinking previously in the last four bars of the first A section: whilst the rhythm section

plays a conventional II-V of Bb minor, Parker appears to be thinking II-V of the melodic minor.

But in the last bar we see him articulating the conventional V.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 31-33)

The second A section ends with no surprises and we see the band and Parker beginning

the bridge by modulating to the relative major.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 34-36)

He continues diatonically with the rhythm section all the way to the I, but seems to omit

the Gb7. This omission is tied to a very unusual majorisation of the II-V of II. In Cole Porter's

version the Fmin7 was analysed as a diatonic iii and the Bb7 as the conventional V/II (III of Gb

major, second degree transition). Here however, Parker disrupts this by sustaining a G over both

chords. There are two possible interpretations here:


394

1. is that he visualized a major II-V, ignoring the fact that he was already heading to a II.

2. he was voice-leading a motif (see below). The intervalic combination played on the

first three beats of the previous bar would suggest that Parker is encircling his point of

resolution (Gb) from two semitones, one below and one above:

Fig 8.6 Parker’s encirclement of the resolution (bars 34-36)

Thus stating that Parker was perhaps unconcerned with the logical relations between chords and

keys at this particular point in the piece.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 37-39)

In bars 37-39 however, we find something that seems to support the first interpretation.

The rhythm section returns to chord II, but Parker is playing a major 7 th. This would suggest that

he was thinking of the next chord as an Ebmaj, therefore the major II-V would have been the

logical progression.
395

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 40-42)

The second part of the bridge modulates to the relative minor of the second degree. We

find Parker and the rhythm section back together drawing this change clearly. Parker's approach

to this II-V would seem to indicate that he was well aware of the conventional minor II-V and its

appropriate scale, thus confirming his previous approaches as conscious substitutions.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 43-45)

The rhythm section again interchanges the I minor for its first degree. Parker however

does not corroborate. In the original version we had the II/II and the V/II lasting for a whole bar

respectively. In this version we find the two chords compressed in one bar and then repeated

(below). Parker seems aware and plays the third and the sharp 9th (augmented 2nd) and resolves

to the 5th:
396

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 46-48)

The logical analysis for a V/II minor is chord IV of a fifth degree melodic minor scale (C7=G

melodic minor). In the original Cole Porter score we found the C7 to be altered (VII of melodic

minor), but in this instance we find that Parker does a modal interchange to the third degree of

the alteration i.e. F minor is a third degree from the Db. Most unusual, yet effective in

anticipating the II. However, in the next bar we find the rhythm section playing the II-V a

semitone above the expected (side-stepping). Parker completely dismisses this and instead

appears to be drawing the I. He rejoins the rhythm section on the tritone substitution of V.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 49-51)

We return to the last A section with Parker staying close to the chords. Once more he

seems to emphasize the nature of the Ebmaj7 by drawing on the augmented fourth.
397

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 52-54)

In this system we find him departing once again, this time by playing a modal

interchange to the second degree, thus conceptualizing the Ebmaj7 as a I.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 55-57)

Unlike the original version where Porter surprises us by remaining in the majorisation

and playing Bbmaj7, here the band goes back to Bbmin6. In the meanwhile Parker continues to

ignore the rhythm section and dismisses the modal interchange by playing the conventional

minor.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 58-61)


398

In bar 61 we find Parker's most dramatic idiosyncrasy. He completely ignores the CØ

and instead draws a V/V altered. This would become a common resource in more modern

improviser i.e. omitting a sounding chord for the dominant of the next one.

Fig 8.5 Cont... (bars 62-65)

He ends his solo by clearly delineating the V-I, though he appears to ignore the modal

substitution and instead plays the normal minor. Or perhaps he is conceptualizing it as a Bb

melodic minor.

Chet Baker

Chet Baker's solo on Have You Met Miss Jones14 shows us the extent to which boppers

substituted, delayed and anticipated the chords during an improvisation. As a reminder, this

piece is an AABA in F major with a bridge that modulates to third degrees in both directions.

Fig 8.7 Octatonic analysis of Baker’s solo on Have You Met Miss Jones (bars 1-3)

14 My transcription, source: Chet Baker, 'Have You Met Miss Jones', Smokin' With The Chet Baker Quintet
(Prestige, PR 7449, 1965) from 0:58 to 2:35.
399

The solo begins in the last two bars of the first chorus (last A section). Thanks to Baker's

scalar approach we can truly appreciate the reliability of this analytical system in practice. In the

pick-up line we see Baker playing an F major scale and then a common minorisation of the

dominant, seen since the swing era. He begins the first section (bar 3) descending a chromatic

pattern which he ties to the 3rd before continuing down the scale. The last note (D) ties in with

the flattened 9th of the next chord:

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 4-6)

The V/II is delayed for a beat and so is the II. The C7 seems to be minorised, though a

sharpened 9th is not sufficient to make this assertion. However, Baker clearly drew a minorised

C7 in the pick-up line, therefore we could assume this is the way he heard it.15

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 7-9)

In this system we see that Baker, just like Parker, feels free to omit chords or anticipate

them for as much as two beats.

15 It's worth reminding the reader that earlier in this thesis we spoke about Baker's complete musical illiteracy.
Consequently we know his approach was to play mostly by ear.
400

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 10-12)

He ends the first section with another minorisation and fluently continues drawing the

chords well into the second A section. Worth noting here is Baker's use of the Bb major scale,

over D7, starting on Q. Though it is possible to speculate that perhaps Baker heard a G minor

harmonic scale, we have yet to find evidence that truly proves the usage of a harmonic minor in

the jazz vocabulary.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 13-15)

The line continues for another two bars. Baker seems to delay the resolution to F by

holding the flattened 9th (minor 2nd) for another two beats. Another possible analytical

consideration for the C7 is a C H/W tone scale, which we know was known and used by

boppers. I say this since both altered 9ths are present as well as the natural 6th which is a

combination available in this scale. Perhaps it is simpler to think one scale over the chord rather

than a minorisation half way through. Nevertheless, I prefer unaltered scales in analyses unless

it is evidently something else.


401

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 19-21)

In the bridge Baker plays more simplistically, treading around common notes that allude

the change of key but don't necessarily define the harmonic movement.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 22-24)

He continues in the same manner, playing simple ideas that define the different keys i.e.

in bars 20-21 he played the note Ab which is not available in F, now he changes to D which is

not available in Gb. He ends the system by playing the note Bb which is common to D (Q note),

but also anticipates the 3rd of Gb where it resolves to.


402

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 25-30)

The return to the last A section (starting on Fmaj7 bar 27) finds Baker on familiar ground

again, and he sets off with quick runs between chords. He lands authoritatively on the 3rd of the

V/II and then anticipates chord II by nearly two beats. Baker shows us that he is well versed

with scales and that this is his main resource.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 31-33)

Here we may appreciate some of my earlier speculations about turnarounds. Though the

Amin7-D7 may look like a II-V it does not behave as such in this context. The Amin7, as

postulated by this system, is a secondary iii of F major, and this is exactly how Baker

approaches it. In the last bar he draws a D7, not played by the rhythm section, to anticipate the

final II-V.
403

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 34-36)

In the first A section of the second chorus (bar 35) he delays the arrival of the D7 for

three beats. Unfortunately this effect is lost by the speed of his line.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 37-39)

In bar 38 we find an unusual modal interchange. Over the C7 he appears to be playing a

G melodic minor scale, thus substituting V of F major for IV of G melodic minor. Although this

would be a possible interchange I do not believe this is what Baker had in mind. The Bb trumpet

does not go any lower than F# which makes me think that he simply ran out of range. I leave

this open for debate.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 40-42)

Again we see him delaying the resolution for a whole beat. In the last bar we find the
404

same arpeggio as that used by Lester Young i.e. the minorisation of V is drawn by an augmented

triad.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 43-45)

In bar 44 Baker plays a descending line from the minor 7th to the 7th an octave below.

This in fact would appear to be a G harmonic minor, though we could also interpret it as Bb

major with an omitted 5th.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 46-48)

Bars 46-48 offer nothing worth noting but I've added it for context.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 49-51)

As seen earlier the second A section ends with a modulation to the second degree. This
405

time Baker draws the progression in full. Also interesting is how he anticipates the II of the next

key for half a bar, thus creating a temporal polytonal (bi-tonal) event.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 52-54)

Baker proves that he is well aware of where he is in the bar and draws all the succeeding

chords clearly as they occur. He then minorises the A7 suggesting that he will resolve to the

Dmaj, but he does not:

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 55-57)

Instead he clearly draws the arpeggio a semitone below. Furthermore, when the rhythm section

begins the modulation to Gb, Baker plays the previously omitted Dmaj7 giving the feeling that

he is a bar behind the rest of the band. But again he surprises us by resolving impeccably to the

5th of Gb which he anticipates in conjunction with the rhythm section.


406

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 58-60)

The piece modulates back to F for the final A section. Again we see Baker delaying the

arrival of the D7.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 61-64)

In the turnaround, beginning on bar 63, we find a modal interchange not encountered in

musical examples thus far. Since Lester Young times the minorisation of a major dominant

became common, but the majorisation of a minor dominant is most unusual. Baker seems to be

aware of this and accordingly holds the note to make a point of it.

Fig 8.7 Cont... (bars 65-67)

He ends his solo by drawing a V/II (not played by the rhythm section) and then a better
407

example of the minorisation of V. I say this because here we do see him playing the natural 9th

before he alters them.

Baker is an excellent example of the bebop musician's approach to improvisation. It is

relevant to make the point that boppers improvised mostly over old standards. When they wrote

their own pieces they generally based them on older chord progression from other songs, as

stipulated in the previous chapter. But as jazz composition moved forward musicians became

more restricted and limited in their resourcefulness due to the complexity of the music.

John Coltrane

A great example is Coltrane's own solo over his piece Giant Steps.16 The speed and rapid

change of keys do not allow for any alterations or modal interchanges, in fact it appears that

Coltrane had many prepared lines which he uses repeatedly throughout his solo.17

Fig 8.8 Octatonic analysis of Coltrane's solo on Giant Steps (bars 16-18)

He begins with a pick-up line leading into the third chorus, after the head has been

played twice. Over the D7 we see a pattern that Coltrane uses in almost every take of the piece,18

R-2-3-5. Notice the precision with which Coltrane draws every chord.

16 Transcribed by: David Ramsey, John Coltrane plays Giant Steps (Milwaukee, USA: Hal Leonard Corporation,
1996), 50-5
17 I've transposed the transcription to concert key so as to be able to cross reference with the analysis in the
previous chapter.
18 Ramsey transcribed nine different takes, 96 choruses in total.
408

Fig 8.8 Cont... (bar 19-21)

He continues in the same manner, clearly delineating the change of key and the chords

played by the rhythm section.

Fig 8.8 Cont... (bar 22-24)

He plays mostly arpeggios and the R-2-3-5 pattern. Well into the second half of the

piece, Coltrane still does not allow himself to play anything outside of the stipulated harmony.

Fig 8.8 Cont... (bar 25-27)

We may also note the lack or rhythmic variation. At 288 bpm, with keys changing almost

every four beats, Coltrane obviously felt restricted to play as symmetrically as possible in order

not to lose the sound of the chord changes.


409

Fig 8.8 Cont... (bar 28-30)

Near the end of the first chorus we find the first anticipation (the 3 rd of F#) followed by

the R-2-3-5 pattern and then a descending chromatic line that ties in with the Fmin9.

Fig 8.8 Cont... (bar 31-33)

He ends the first chorus reiterating the R-2-3-5 pattern. In the first bar of the second

chorus we find one of the few occasion in which Coltrane dares to detour from the harmony. He

omits the Bmaj7 and seems to be anticipating the D7 for two beats.19

Fig 8.8 Cont... (bar 34-36)

19 He does this again in the fifth chorus.


410

In bar 36 we see a Lester Young type minorisation drawn by arpeggiating an augmented

triad. Suffice to say the rest of the solo continues in the same fashion. We find none of the usual

displacements or interchanges which have become habitual amongst boppers and modern jazz

musicians. The point is that Coltrane, like many other of his peers, might have felt the need to

stay close to the chord changes because of the unusual nature of the piece. But I also believe that

the complexity of the music had more to with it. Coltrane is renowned for playing 'outside' of

the written chords. For example bar 60 of his solo on I Could Write A Book:20

Fig 8.9 Octatonic analysis of Coltrane's solo on I Could Write A Book (bars 57-60)

The piece is in F major. First it appears that Coltrane is doing a modal interchange to the

second degree on the EØ, similar to Levine's suggestion, but this could also be interpreted as a

chromatic approach to the minor 7th of A7. Later in bar 60 (last bar above) we can clearly see

Coltrane playing a II-V a tritone away, whilst the rhythm section plays the diatonic II-V.

Coltrane's adventurous polytonal approach is covered extensively by Blair21 and needs no more

mention here. The importance of this is that it would appear that jazz improvisation began to

separate into two branches. One is the approach towards original material, where the

improvisation is less adventurous and soloists tend to play close to the original harmony without

any dramatic substitutions. Secondly is the approach to playing standards, particularly by

modern players, where substitutions, interchanges, omission, etc. become growingly more
20 Transcribed by: Mike McGowan, 'John Coltrane's solo on I Could Write A Book', Mike McGowan's Home
Page, 2007, http://mikemcgowan.org/PDF%20Transcriptions/%5BI%20Could%20Write%20A%20Book.pdf
(13th of September, 2009)
21 Jeff Bair, Cyclic patterns in John Coltrane melodic vocabulary as influenced by Nicolas Slonimsky’s thesaurus
of scales and melodic patterns: an analysis of selected improvisations (Doctoral thesis, University of North
Texas, August 2003)
411

complex.

Modern jazz

Herbie Hancock

To begin to understand this development I've chosen one of the easiest and simplest of

jazz standards: Autumn Leaves. This song has the advantage of being in only one scale, though it

modulates from the relative major to the relative minor, thus we can simplify the graphic by

removing most structural analysis.22 The solo is by Herbie Hancock from a 1963 live

recording.23 Since Hancock is the sole harmony provider non-diatonic chords are not marked

(boxed). Instead I've added the original chords of the song on top as a constant reference. Key

centres are also marked. The structure is AAB and the chord symbols are provided by Dobbins.24

Fig 8.10 Octatonic analysis of Hancock’s solo on Autumn Leaves (bars 1-3)

Hancock begins his solo harmonically25 playing the original chords. Anticipations are

22 In general I prefer to analyse this piece as IV-VII-III-VI-II-V-I in minor, since this is more representative of the
forward movement towards the closing resolution. Nevertheless, the analysis provided here seems favoured
amongst musicians and educators.
23 Transcribed by: Bill Dobbins, Herbie Hancock, Classic Jazz Compositions and Piano Solos ([no place of
publishing cited] Advance Music, 1992), 34-40
24 Chords in parentheses and other octatonic analytical markers are added by me.
25 Term used for describing an improvisation based on chords rather than melodies (melodically).
412

used constantly and we can observe harmonic chromatic approaches (side-stepping) e.g. the

chromatic approach to Bbmaj7 in bar 2.

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 4-6)

In bar 4 he begins introducing simple melodic ideas. He also introduces the first

substitution by altering the V of the relative minor. Though it could be argued that this is in fact

a tritone substitution, I tend to agree with Dobbins that this is a D7alt since we must consider the

bass line (not transcribed here) played by the bass player which is drawing a D.

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 7-9)

The first A section ends with the two bars of Gmin. Hancock remains faithful to the

original chords and begins the second A section (bar 9) improvising melodically.
413

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 10-12)

He begins building tension by harmonizing the major chords by 4ths. Yet, so far, he

remains diatonic.

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 13-15)

In bar 13 we find the second substitution. He replaces the II (AØ) for its melodic minor

equivalent. This is followed by the alteration of the V again where he rests on the augmented 4th

which he then, after a pause, resolves to the natural 2nd over the I minor. Notice how he voices

an Ab6 (left hand) and delays the arrival of Gmin7 for a beat and a half.
414

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 16-18)

The B section begins hypothetically on the AØ, though Dobbins does not make mention

of this. Again we find Hancock altering the D7 and voicing it as an Ab6, suggesting that perhaps

he is actually thinking of a tritone substitution.

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 19-21)

In bar 21 we find the first dramatic alteration. Hancock omits the II of Bb and instead

plays a V/V thus creating a harmonic anticipation. However, he does not utilise the traditional

V/V which would be the V of the first degree (F major), but rather the IV of G melodic minor,

which happens to be a second degree melodic minor from Bb and a first degree melodic minor

from G minor.
415

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 22-24)

In bar 22 Dobbins suggests an altered F7, but I believe this is just a minorisation: an

altered sound (VII of melodic minor) would require a flattened 5th or a sharpened 4th. Hancock's

line here does not have the same dramatic effect as the lines he has previously played over the

altered D7. In bar 23 he applies a first degree modal interchange, as suggested by Russell's

Lydian chromatic concept.26 In bar 24 I find another discrepancy: Dobbins suggests a II-V

(Bmin7-E7), but I see no evidence that Hancock is playing this. The melodic line could be

suggesting a Dmaj7 or perhaps a Bmin9 and the left hand voicing seems to reinforce this. As a

compromise I've analysed it as Bmin7 throughout the bar and ignored the E7 speculated by

Dobbins.

26 As a reminder, Russell's Lydian chromatic approach was officially published in 1953 and we know jazz
musicians in America were aware of his work even prior to the publication. Since the recording of this solo is
from 1963, we may presume that Hancock was well versed in this concept.
416

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 25-27)

In bars 25-26 we see Hancock substituting the minor II for a melodic minor equivalent.

This would perhaps explain why Dobbins thought of a II-V in the previous bar, suggesting that

Hancock was approaching this chord as a tonal centre. In the next bar (26) he seems to be

playing a tritone substitution once again instead of a D7alt. In the last bar (27) we may observe

the most dramatical alteration so far. After listening to the recording27 I was able to hear that the

bass player continues to play a G minor for the two bars. Hancock however, begins playing what

appears to be a Bb7alt, or a B melodic minor scale. At the same time he is voicing (in the left

hand) a Cmaj7 followed by a Bbmaj7. At this point it all seems inexplicable, but looking ahead

we find the solution:

27 Miles Davis, Miles Davis In Europe (Columbia, CS 8983, 1963) at 7:54


417

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 28-30)

In this system we notice that the line comes to a halt on the Eb, which is also substituted

but by a modal interchange to the second degree melodic minor. Looking at the events

retrospectively we realize that Hancock was definitely playing a Bb7alt (altered V of Eb). The

question remains as to what is the Cmaj7 and Bbmaj7 have to do with this harmonic

anticipation? The Cmaj7 and the Bbmaj7 could be voicings for Amin9 and Gmin9,28thus

harmonically drawing a II (M.I. to 1º m.m.) - I. Consequently, Hancock is producing an effective

polytonal passage (more on this in the next chapter). Suffice to say is that the melodic line

(right hand) draws an altered V of Eb, whilst the left hand plays a descending II-I (Gmin) which

leads into VI (Eb) as the original chords. Two hands, two routes, same destination.

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 31-33)

28 See: Mark Levine, The Jazz Piano Book (USA: Sher Music Co., 1989) 41-5
418

Hancock ends the first chorus by returning to the original chords. Notice how the Gmin7

is harmonized, as a Bbmaj7 voicing, which supports the previous speculation that Hancock was

indeed harmonizing a Gmin7 not a Bbmaj. The second chorus (bar 33) begins with the

introduction of a new motif, the ascending triplet ending on the accentuated two octaves of F.

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 34-36)

He delays the F7 for a beat and a half and then repeats the motif.

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 37-39)

In bar 38 we may observe a similar practice to Chet Baker: Hancock is initially playing

the normal D7 and altering it in the second half, which proves that he was in fact altering the

original and not simply considering it always a tritone substitution. In the last bar he omits the
419

resolution to the Gmin7 and instead seems to draw an altered V of the Cmin7 two bars away:

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 40-42)

He resolves smoothly to the Cmin7 thus confirming a two bar anticipation to this chord, this will

become a trademark of Hancock’s and many other modern improvisers i.e. thinking several bars

ahead and anticipating the chords via cadences or simply dominants creating a polytonal effect.

After this continues diatonically throughout the II-V.

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 43-45)

Once again he omits the resolution. Now Dobbins is suggesting a II-V in A major, as he

did previously. But this time we don't even have left hand harmony to corroborate this. The
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spelling of the notes is also unusual, if this is truly a II-V in A major why use flats? The arpeggio

itself insinuates a Dmaj7 (Ebbmaj7) or a Bmin9 (Cbmin7). I believe it's most likely the latter

since it appears to be a chromatic transition from the Bmin7 to the Bbmin7 in the next bar. In

bar 44 however he clearly draws an Ab major scale (no Q), thus stating a distinct II-V, which he

also harmonizes. What is unusual though is that the chromatic II-V is in major, whereas the next

II-V (bars 45-46) is in minor. So in terms of keys he is actually moving from a tone below, not a

semitone i.e. Ab is the relative major of F minor, a tone below the tonic G minor. Over the

Amin7 he appears to be playing the natural minor (Q included) instead of a II of G melodic

minor. In summary: in bar 43 he plays a Bmin9 which he uses to approach the next bar

chromatically. In bar 44 he detours a tone below to draw a II-V in major. In bar 45 he leaps to a

third degree (from Ab major/F minor). It is unlikely that Hancock thought of these relations in

the spur of the moment. What is more likely is that he was just thinking chromatic movements

and just happened to play unconnected keys. When analysing improvised music one must take

into account accidents.

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 46-48)

In this system we see him returning to the actual chords but only briefly. On beat two of

the second bar he begins a tritone substitution of V/V which he continues for two bars and a

half. This is not suggested by Dobbins.


421

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 49-51)

Here we find him resolving the Eb7 to the D7. Dobbins suggests a D7alt but Hancock

plays a perfect 5th as the last note of the bar, hence an unaltered V. He returns to the G minor for

two bars:

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 52-54)

Again we see him omitting the II and playing a V/V anticipating the next chord, this time

using the traditional first degree (V of F major). Then he alters the V, clearly drawing the Gb

melodic minor scale.


422

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 55-57)

Hancock resolves to the Bbmaj7 and follows with an unusual modal interchange to the

fourth degree melodic minor. This seem to work on two levels: the Eb melodic minor is the

same scale used for the D7alt, thus it insinuates a V of the tonal centre (G minor). On the other

hand we have seen how the primary IV can sometimes be exchanged for a secondary iv (minor)

which also contains a major 7th. Therefore, despite being an unusual interchange, the result is a

smooth transition that almost appears diatonic. On the Amin7 he applies another modal

interchange, this time to the first degree (iii of F major).

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 58-60)

In bar 59-60 we find an interesting progression being played instead of the Gmin.

Hancock plays an ascending pattern (3-6-R-7m) in a cycle of 5ths which leads into the Eb in the

next bar. Thus he is effectively anticipating the chord by two bars, but this time using multiple
423

chords instead of just an altered V or a II-V. Worth noting in bar 60 is the Gb in the left hand,

this would seem to imply a polytonal shift to Eb melodic minor since over the Bb7 we have a

natural 2 and a natural 6th. Then again, it could just be interpreted as a mistake on Hancock’s

part

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 61-63)

Here we find him once more interchanging the Eb for an Eb7. Normally one would be

inclined to analyse this as an unresolved tritone substitution of V/V (IV of Bb melodic minor),

but since Hancock was playing a cycle of 5ths it is only natural to assume that this was the point

of resolution he was targeting; I leave this open for debate.29 In the second half of bar 62 he

distinctly alters the D7, but Dobbins seems to omit this. He ends the second chorus with no more

detours or alterations.

29 The bar does not provide enough information to interpret it reliably either way.
424

Fig 8.10 Cont... (bars 64-66)

The solo continues for several choruses more, but I believe the point has been made. By

1960 jazz musicians were combining more and more substitutions, interchanges, omissions, etc.

We also learnt how musicians incorporated harmonic anticipation by approaching upcoming

chords, referencing them through V/x or other cadences that lead to them e.g. II-Vs. Though it

could be argued that Hancock took these liberties only because he was the sole harmonic

provider, evidence will show that these practices actually increased with time.

Joe Henderson

The next solo is by Joe Henderson from 1981.30 In this transcription we find the rhythm

section and Henderson himself departing from the original harmony on several occasions. The

piece is Take the “A” Train from 1941 written by Billy Strayhorn.31 Before proceeding with

Henderson's analysis I'd like to take a moment to look at this reduction of the original score.

30 Chaka Khan, Echoes Of An Era (Elektra Records, B000085MEZ, 1981-2), 3:59-4:43. My transcription.
31 Billy Strayhorn, ‘Take the “A” Train’, New Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music Co., 1988,
copyright 1941), 351-52
425

Fig 8.11 Octatonic analysis of Strayhorn’s Take the “A” train

The structure is AABA, the last bar of the last A section (not included above) ends on

C6. As we can see the tonic key is C major. We have one second degree melodic transition and a

brief modulation to the second degree on the bridge, overall a simple tune. In Henderson's

version we have two introductory choruses where we can hear the substitutions from the original

version. These new chords are also played during most of the solos. Chaka Khan (the singer)

takes the third chorus and sings an improvised variation of the original melody. Here we find the

rhythm section playing almost exactly the same chords as the above version. But it is on the fifth

chorus, when the trumpet player begins his improvisation, that the rhythm section returns to the

re-arranged chords. This new set of chord changes are also played during Henderson's solo and

are notated without brackets, since they seem to have been previously agreed amongst the

musicians.
426

Fig 8.12 Octatonic analysis of Henderson’s solo on Take the “A” train (bars 1-3)

Henderson begins subtly mentioning chord I and immediately begins an anticipation to

the next chord (D7), the Db7 is mere speculation, and then proceeds to alter the D7 . The rhythm

section plays the original D7 (IV of A melodic minor) thus creating a poly-modal effect.

Fig 8.12 Cont... (bars 4-6)

He continues the alteration all the way across until the change of chord. In bar 6, over the

G7, he prefers the G H/W tone scale instead of the diatonic V of C. He then appears to anticipate

a C minor which is played by the rhythm section in the next bar, this chord is not part of the

original version.

Fig 8.12 Cont... (bars 7-9)


427

On this occasion we find both the rhythm section and the soloist altering the original

chords. The Cmin is an unusual minorisation of I, as opposed to the more common minorisation

of V. Henderson departs and seems to draw an Fmin (IV of the minorised I) while the rhythm

section returns to the original II, thus a substitution of a substitution. Henderson joins back in

on the V (G7) and both resolve together on the anticipation of C. The next line is complex:

Henderson begins by playing a modal interchange to the first degree and then appears to be

playing a tritone substitution of the I. Theoretically this would have to be F#ma7 (I in F# major),

but it appears that what he is really playing is an F#7. He plays enough notes for us to realize

that it is a B major scale, so perhaps he was simply thinking of playing a semitone below the

actual key (chromatic substitution- side stepping).

Fig 8.12 Cont... (bars 10-12)

In bar 10 we notice how he alternates the Cmaj and F#7 before anticipating the D7,

which he alters once again. He then begins an ascending chromatic pattern which he carries

across two bars. There are some strange inconsistencies here: the chord symbols in brackets do

not necessarily express what Henderson was thinking but rather the effect these notes are

causing. Since he altered the D7 the feel is that of an ascending group of altered chords.

However, in beats 3 and 4 of the last bar he leaps a whole tone, thus not a chromatic transition.
428

Fig 8.12 Cont... (bars 13-15)

In the next bar we notice that he continues the same ascending pattern. So perhaps we

may hypothesise that Henderson either made a mistake, since this is a difficult line to improvise

on the saxophone, or that he miscalculated when his line would coincide with the chords played

by the rhythm section and thus adjusted the line to reach in time. In any case, he solves the

problem by playing a V/V to the V and consequently rejoining the rhythm section. In the last bar

he insinuates GØ which suggests that Henderson is already headed to the bridge.

Fig 8.12 Cont... (bars 16-18)

As we can see the rhythm section waits for the last two beats of the section to modulate

to F, Henderson however, began his modulation five beats before. In bar 2 of the B section

(Gb7) the band introduces a tritone substitution of V, which is played by all.


429

Fig 8.12 Cont... (bars 19-21)

They return to Fmaj7 and once again Henderson departs momentarily drawing a modal

interchange to the second degree. In bar 21 we find the re-arranged chord progression mentioned

at the beginning, these set of chords stand in for the original two bars of D7 and one of Dmin7

(continues below).

Fig 8.12 Cont... (bars 22-24)

It is interesting to note that this arrangement delays the resolution back to the tonic key

for three bars. The reason being that the original D7 (II) also works like an unresolved V/V

which was heard twice on the A sections. Also the proximity of D7 to the two keys: D7 (A

melodic minor) is a fifth degree melodic minor from F, but only a second from C. Therefore the

D7 creates an instant pull towards the tonic. The new arrangement, on the other hand, creates a

completely different scenario. The first chord, Dmaj7 IV of A major, is closer in relation to F

major (a third degree from F but a descending fourth to C). The next two (Bbmaj7/C - F6/Bb)

are obviously still in F major and the last two appear to be in Db, a descending third degree from
430

F and not in the hierarchy of C. Consequently they must descend a semitone to land on the V of

C (tonic key). In this manner the return to the tonic key is not felt until the last bar. Henderson

plays fluently through these chords only altering the more predictable V of the tonic key (G7),

corroborating what was said earlier about soloists interchanging and substituting standard chord

progressions but not original ones.

Fig 8.12 Cont... (bars 25-27)

In the next A section we find everybody returning to the traditional chords, including

Henderson who for the first time does not alter the D7. This approach seems like the perfect

contrast after the dramatic alterations of the previous section, the original piece is heard clearly

once again.

Fig 8.12 Cont... (bars 28-30)

Henderson continues drawing the changes without any alterations. Finally he minorises

the V in bar 30.


431

Fig 8.12 Cont... (bars 31-33)

The section ends with no more surprises except the V/II improvised by Henderson,

which is not played by the rhythm section. The alteration of the final V could also be interpreted

as a tritone substitution, since Henderson is drawing a Db major triad.

This solo is an excellent example of the modern jazz musician's approach. We observed

how both rhythm section and soloist can depart from the original chord progressions, sometimes

independently from each other. We also observed how pre-arranged substitutions (re-

harmonization) became a part of the reinterpretation of standards. These re-harmonizations are

treated like original tunes, where soloists and the harmonic support (bass, piano, etc.) draw them

clearly without any alterations. As mentioned by Bowtell in his study of Michael Brecker's

techniques 'Over more complex chord sequences he takes a different approach than over blues....

He will use the more obvious scale choices in order to emphasise the changes a bit more'. 32

Another good example are Hal Leonard transcriptions of Joe Lovano's solos.33 In this book we

find several original pieces plus many standards where we may contrast the approach between

unusual chords progressions and the alteration of predictable movements. An excellent study of

different substitutions that can be exercised by the rhythm section and the soloist simultaneously

can be found in the work by Lawn and Hellmer.34 This practice continues today with an

increasing level of complexity, sometimes on the borderline with free improvisation, see for

example Brad Mehldau's interpretation of The Way You Look Tonight35 or All the things you

32 Dan Bowtell, 'The Improvisation style of Michael Brecker', Dan Bowtell: Guitar and Music Service, 2005,
http://www.danbowtell.co.uk/lessons/breckerpres.pdf (25th of May 2008) PDF document page 8.
33 Hal Leonard, Artist Transcriptions: Joe Lovano (Milwaukee, USA: Hal Leonard Corporation, 1995)
34 Richard J. Lawn, Jeffrey L. Hellmer, Jazz Theory And Practice (USA: Alfred Publishing Co., 1996) 111-25
35 Brad Mehldau, 'The Way You Look Tonight', The Art of the Trio, Vol. 2: Live at the Village Vanguard (Warner
Bros / Wea, B0000062VD, 1998)
432

are36.

The interesting phenomenon that seems to occur with this approach is how the

independent substitutions, interchanges, etc. have allowed tonal music to evolve into a form of

polytonality. Since everybody in the band is focusing on the same tonic key but take different

paths, on many occasions the end result is that we hear two different keys acting simultaneously

e.g. Henderson's substitution of chord I where the rhythm section draws C major while

Henderson draws B major. The great jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck explored

polytonality actively through compositions, thus exposing musicians to the sound possibilities

this technique offered.37 We also learnt that Coltrane pursued polytonality by drawing added

chord progressions over existing ones. Finally George Russell is a big contributor with his

Lydian Chromatic approach, where alternative scales are suggested for the traditional chord

functions i.e. Lydian substitutes Ionian, Dorian substitutes Aeolian, etc. consequently what could

appropriately be called poly-modality.

In any case, the study of polytonality in jazz would merit a complete new research

project which would go beyond the scope of this thesis. What is important at this point is that

these new practices still fall under the analytical resources of the hierarchy of intervals and the

octatonic system. Degrees of tension can be explained in terms of relations between keys, from

the subtle first degree to the adventurous chromatic (semitone below or above). The evolution of

jazz harmony and/or improvisation seems to follow a logical extension into the higher relations

between keys. From Lester Young applying minorisations and up to second degree transitions, to

Henderson playing as far as a semitone below. The future of jazz harmony seems well mapped if

artists decide to continue this path.

36 Brad Mehldau, 'All The Things You Are', The Art Of The Trio, Vol. 4 - Back At The Vanguard (Warner Bros /
Wea, B00000JZMN, 1999)
37 Mark McFarland, ‘Dave Brubeck and Polytonal Jazz’, Jazz Perspectives, Volume 3, Issue 2 (August 2009), 153-
76
433

Part III:

Other applications
434

Chapter 9
Other applications of the octatonic system

As an analytical tool

Living in the globalization era professional composers today are required to write in many

different styles of music. From Rock music, to Jazz, Orchestral, Electronica, etc., plus on

occasions mimic or imitate (indigenous) ethnic music from remote parts of the world. In a

normal scenario, with deadlines to be met and juggling the many projects that one may have to

deal with, it would be an impossible task to study every style of music in its own tradition.

Consequently, the modern professional composer needs to have a tool that will decipher and

reveal the underlying framework of any musical style.

Below is an example of Beethoven's sonata No. 1 analysed using the analytical principles

discussed earlier in this thesis.

Fig 10.1 Octatonic analysis of Beethoven's Sonata Op. 2, No.1 (bars 1-6)

As with jazz analyses, the brackets below indicate the key of the piece/section. The

bracket above proposes the scale that the melody seems to be formed from. The chord symbols,
435

however, suggest the overall sounding harmony i.e. not necessarily the chords being played but

the chords being implied (see below). The voicings are also analysed since they are very

representative of the style i.e. not open voicings or voicings with extensions. A composer

attempting to mimic this style must take this into consideration.

Fig 10.1 Cont... (bars 7-12)

In bar 8 we do not have a C7 sound, but simply a C major triad. In bar 9 and 10 chord V

is changed to a secondary position (Cmin), but this also serves to anticipate the modulation

taking place in the next few bars. In my opinion this modulation begins on the Fmin, because the

Cmin (secondary V) still feels like it could return to C or C7 thus remaining in the key. Yet, the

Fmin preceded by the Cmin begins to create uncertainty. It would require another C or C7 to re-

establish the key centre.

Fig 10.1 Cont... (bars 13-18)

In this system we find the corroboration of the key change followed by a long sequence
of chords which seem to delay the 'absolute' establishment of the new key. I would like to
presume that Beethoven thought this possible since the new key (Ab major) is the relative major
436

of the tonic key and therefore does not require obvious establishment i.e. the Ab in bar 14 is
sufficient. Again we may notice that the chord symbols are simply expressing the insinuated
harmony as in the second half of bar 15 (Ddim) or bar 18 (Eb).

Fig 10.1 Cont... (bars 19-24)

In this system we observe that Beethoven persists on keeping us away from 'absolute'
resolution and to add to the tension (or lack of resolution) he relies heavily on Q as the starting
point to the melodic line. This is accompanied by a rapid movement of roots played in octave
intervals.
The piece continues with many more interesting events, but this is enough to show how

this method of analysis can be employed in a more universal approach.

To summarize, the first intention of this form of analysis is to provide as much melodic

and harmonic information as possible whilst retaining the full complexity of the music i.e.

without editing out ornaments or passing sections. There is still enough space to add another line

of harmonic functions which a composer might utilise as a framework of tension/release for a

piece in this style/genre. It is also worth noting that the note E is portrayed as Q, hence diatonic

and belonging to the scale and key according to this method, not as a chromaticism. The scale

analysis is useful since different styles of classical music use different scales for tonal centres

e.g. modal interchanges.1 In this manner, having the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic analysis

above, one may create a new piece of music that approximates the style of a Beethoven sonata.

Naturally, western music falls quite easily within this system due to common harmonic

and theoretical conceptions, but what of non-western music that belongs to a completely

different tradition? Below is an extract of a Turkish classical piece by Kemani Tatyos Efendi2
1 See for example works by Ravel or Debussy
2 As published by: Kontanis, Mavrothi, T., 'Rast', Oud Cafe, 2008, http://www.oudcafe.com/rast_lesson.htm (26th
437

analysed using the same approach.

Quite arbitrarily the scale is named G min Rast. On close inspection this scale is

reminiscent of a G melodic minor as taught by some classical schools.3 But the minor third (if we

could call it that) is actually a B quarter tone flat, hence the need for a different name. The tonic,

as it were, is middle G (second line) since the piece begins and ends there.

Fig 10.2 Octatonic analysis of Tatyos’ Rast Peervi (bars 1-4)

The analysis differs slightly from that of western music, though modal jazz would

possibly be analysed in a similar manner: first we do not have a key bracket, since the music is

modal it does not contain any type of harmonic modulations as we understand them i.e. in modal

music modulations are understood as changes of rhythm/structure or pitch centres (see below).

The actual pitches in this type of music remain unaltered.4 Second, there are no chord symbols as

such, but rather pitch centres. As I will explain more thoroughly below, the tension is acquired

by shifting the gravity or pull of the individual notes of the scale. In other words, the melodic

line resolves to different tones of the scale in very specific moments. Therefore, the brackets

above are actually indicating which note in the scale is acting as a point of resolution. The

Roman numerals are speculations of key centres that can be used to harmonise or westernise the

music e.g. adding a bass line or harmonic support (see appendix 6).

In the second bar it could be argued that D is not being emphasized, but perhaps my

westernised ears cannot help hearing a sense of V-I movement. In any case this would be open

of February 2010)
3 The F# is flattened when the melodic line is descending, but the E remains unaltered in either situation, hence
similar, not equal.
4 With the obvious exception of F# which changes to F when in a descending line.
438

for interpretation by the analyst. In the last beat of the last bar it becomes clearer that the centre

has shifted, since the melodic line actually ends on D and is followed by a rest.

Fig 10.2 Cont... (bars 5-7)

In this system we return to G as the centre. This would seem to imply that our first

section/statement consists of 7 bars.

Fig 10.2 Cont... (bars 8-10)

In the next section we clearly shift the tonal centre to B quarter-tone flat. We may notice

that the pitch-centre bracket indicates this but the Roman numeral says flat III. This is because it

refers to the degree in the scale and the tuning of this note is a separate consideration. More on

this below. One may also notice that the C bracket anticipates the 'landing' on the note C. I feel

this is an important point since the melodic direction should also be considered when intending

to mimic the melodic style of the genre. The composer must take this into consideration when

writing a piece in this style, and realise that the movement towards the key centres is insinuated

beforehand, just as chords in jazz are sometimes anticipated or insinuated before they sound.
439

Fig 10.2 Cont... (bars 11-13)

In this system we return to our 'tonic' followed by a centre shift to E. Again my western

ears could not avoid interpreting this as a modulation to the relative minor when I heard the

recording.5 Of course this is not so and I did not include it in the analysis.

Fig 10.2 Cont... (bars 14-16)

In the second bar here we hear the initial motif (from bar 1 of the piece) repeated slightly

differently. This time it takes a bit longer to reach centre D, but it does so directly i.e. does not

detour like the first time. This seems to insinuate the end of the section which interestingly

enough consists of 16 bars. I say interestingly because the melody and tonal centres land on the

fourth beat every time, implying that beat one is the beginning of the statement and thus must

end on beat four to allow a new statement to take place on the next bar/beat. This is quite

different from jazz where statements may start anywhere and usually end on the first beat.

5 Kudsi Erguner Ensemble,Works Of Kemani Tatyos Efendi, (Traditional Crossroads, B001HAGDZS, 1996) at
0:44
440

Fig 10.2 Cont... (bars 17-19)

In bar 17 we find a segno which would corroborate that this is indeed a new section. In

bar 19 we find the aforementioned F natural in a descending line. We may also notice that the

Roman numeral indicates the unusual number VIII, this is because the pitch centre is the octave

G, not the same as our tonic. We must consider this to be important in this type of music, since it

almost feels like a point of climax. We will also notice in the following bars (see below) that

there is a return to G (second line) before concluding the movement, thus this octave G (above

the staff) is not ‘tonic’.

Fig 10.2 Cont... (bars 20-22)

Again we find an unusual spelling in this bar: the Roman IX. This A does not have the

same impact or level of tension of the A a tone above the tonic. There is an evident 'pull' or yearn

for resolution towards the tonic that even my western ears can appreciate.

The second half of bar 21 begins with what feels like a cadence of some sort. Though the

notes do not appear to be long enough for the suggested pitch centres, I found the movement

strong enough to warrant the analysis since the movement so clearly returns us to the tonic (see

below).
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Fig 10.2 Cont... (bars 23-25)

The melodic progression continues all the way to bar 24 where it rapidly shifts from the

tonic to the octave, initiating a new descent towards the tonic.

Fig 10.2 Cont... (bars 26-27)

Here we observe that the pitch centre shifts to the unvisited F natural. We have had F# as

a centre but not F.

Fig 10.2 Cont... (bars 28-29)

The centre continues to descend now to E and then D using the same motif.

Fig 10.2 Cont... (bars 30-32)

Finally it arrives at the tonic G, quoting the same idea as the end of the first section.
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Some may argue that this analytical approach is quite biased and westernised, but I must

reiterate that it should be thought of as a tool for modern western composer to quickly access

concepts of structure, harmony and overall design of the music. It is not intended as a deep

ethnomusicological method of study. Nevertheless, this analysis has taught me considerable

information about a style which I knew nothing about before beginning:

1. I learned that its section consist of 16 bars, like so many jazz standards.

2. The point of melodic resolution is beat 4, except at the end of sections.

3. The melody can be organized in a scale similar to the melodic minor whose third is

flattened a quarter tone instead of a semitone. And the seventh ascends major but

descends minor.

4. The octave and the ninth do not behave in the same manner as their counterparts an

octave below. I was surprised to find that they created tension.

5. Tension and release are achieved by shifting the centre of melodic resolution, similar to

the way we shift bass notes in western music. In fact many of the movements move in

similar manner e.g. V-I, II-V-I, etc.

In an effort to understand more about this music and the accuracy of my analysis I investigated

how it is conceptualized by the practitioners and educators. My intermediary was Mavrothi T.

Kontanis,6 an American born from Greek parents who has devoted his life to playing and

educating oud and middle Eastern music throughout the world. He explains that Rast is a form of

Makam; a style or system of melody types in Turkish classical music.7 Rast is also the name of

the tonic pitch. Pitch centres are referred to as 'focal points8 and each pitch of the scale has its

own name. Thus confirming my suspicion that the octave is not the same as the tonic. The notes

do, however, have the same names when ascending or descending. Below is the graphic from his

website with the individual name of each note:

6 Mavrothi T. Kontanis, 'Biography', mavrothi t kontanis music, 2009, http://www.mtkontanis-music.com (2nd of


January 2010)
7 Dolmetsch Organisation, 'music dictionary : M – Ma' , Dolmetsch Online, 2000,
http://www.dolmetsch.com/defsm.htm (2nd of January 2010)
8 Mavrothi T. Kontanis, 'Rast', Oud Cafe, 2008, http://www.oudcafe.com/rast_lesson.htm (26th of February 2010)
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Fig 10.3 Pitch names in Makam accoridng to Mavrothi Kontanis

He explains:

Typically the movement will begin by revolving around the first (tonic - [rast]), often
falling to the lower fifth [yegah], and hinting up into the 'territory' of [neva], the
secondary focal point, and working back to the tonic. In the very beginning, the tonic will
often but not always be stressed a great deal. The next step is to the secondary focal
point, in which we revolve around [neva] and hint at the upper octave, usually without
ever resting there for too long.9

Surprisingly similar to my interpretation of the melodic movement. He continues to explain the

rest of the piece in the same manner i.e. referring to 'focal points', 'falling back on' or 'revolving'

around the notes. Basically the same interpretation but with different names. The rest of his

explanation is more stylistic and orientated to the tradition and the different forms of melodies

and their classifications which does not concern us in this specific analysis. The only experiment

left pending would be to compose a piece of music based on the analysis above and have

someone knowledgeable or native of this genre judge its merit.

In summary, the method of analysis proposed for the octatonic system may also be used

as a tool for deciphering other musical styles besides jazz. In cases where the theory does not

apply e.g. ethnic or untempered music, the method still provides an insight into some basics of

9 Kontanis, Oud Cafe.


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structural design which allow reproduction or a relative understanding of the mechanics of the

music.

As a compositional tool

One aspect of this method that seems quite useful is as a creative tool to find new harmonic

possibilities. By utilising the chart in appendix 3 one may create chord progressions that are

original, unusual, but still ‘tonal’. For example: in the same way that composers in the early half

of the 20th century used modal interchanges to embellish traditional diatonic chord progressions

(see for example Ellington's In a sentimental mood), we may utilise the same principles of voice

leading to find more unusual chord connections. To begin we choose a tonic key, say Eb major:

Fig 10.4 Eb major and its related keys

Tonic key Eb major


Common keys Bb major Ab major G major Gb major
B major C major

Now we may begin by writing the tonic chord and seeing which notes we can move to

convert it to an exclusive chord of one of its related keys. By exclusive I mean a chord that can

only belong to a specific scale i.e. it is not open for misinterpretation or it does not exist in

another key lower in the hierarchy.


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Fig 10.5 Movement of voices from Ebmaj7 to a chord in a related key

Figure 10.5 contains most possibilities of voice movements that convert the tonic chord

Eb into an exclusive chord from a related key. If we pick for example Gmaj7, thus moving to the

third degree, we may proceed in the same manner with this chord i.e. moving the voices to

convert it to another chord of the related keys of Eb. In this manner one may retain the reference

to the tonic chord even though the key is remote. Now this is particularly effective if the next key

is not related to the transitional key or is further away in the hierarchy than it is to the tonic key.

So for example after Gmaj7 we add Gbmaj7#5 which belongs to Bb major: Bb major is the first

degree of the tonic and fourth degree of G major, thus the pull will be stronger towards Eb than it

is to G. After doing this for a while one may use common chords, see appendix 4, to bring the

sequence back to the tonic. The final step is to compose a melody that will join all the chords
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coherently. This could be achieved by utilising a motif over the tonic chord which is then varied

over the different degrees:

Fig 10.6 Example of a piece written with related degrees

Bars 1-2 establish the tonic-key. Bars 3-4 tonicise the third degree and subtly change the

motif. Bars 5-6 descend to the first degree and again uses a small variation of the same motif.

Bars 7-8 ascend to the second degree and rests the melody before introducing a new motif. Bars

9-10 move to the rarely played descending fourth degree and introduces a new motif, this

coincides well with the dramatic change of harmony, almost implying a new path. Bars 11-12

utilise the same motif to return the piece to the tonic-key but via a secondary iv which resolves to

the I (Plagal variation). Chord q serves as a less obvious dominant to return to the top of the
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piece or to start an improvisation. Though this example is very simple, it illustrates how the

technique may be approached. The resulting harmonic sequence is only one of thousands of

permutations of degree connections: each degree can be organized in different sequences, up to

25 different combinations, and each degree offers eight primary chords and at least eighteen

secondary chords, most of which are not commonly used.

Another use is as a polytonal tool. Since degrees seem to have a sense of function against

a tonic key, for example Berlin’s use of the second degree as a sub-dominant section (see

analysis of Remember: fig 6.2), then perhaps they can also be used simultaneously with a tonic

key. The concept is not that far-fetched if we consider how jazz musicians use modal

interchanges and harmonic anticipations. This would basically be an extension of the same idea:

tension can be built by simultaneously drawing further degrees (third, fourth or descending) and

in the same manner resolve or appease the tension by drawing closer degrees (first and second).

Fig 10.7 Polytonal piece based on the octatonic system (bars 1-6)
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The piece reference tonic is C major, though more appropriately should be C/G major.

This poly-tonic centre is introduced in the first bar. The cellos, bass and violins II are playing or

drawing chord I of C major whilst the violas and violins I are playing/drawing chord V of G

major. In bars 2-4 we have what could be understood as a ‘first-degree transition’, in the sense

that the poly-tonic centre has shifted to base G (bass, cello and violins) whilst the viola proceeds

in B major (third degree of the first degree). Tension mounts even further in bars 5-6 where it

returns to the tonic C major whilst the violas change to the fourth degree of the tonic (Eb major).

Fig 10.7 Cont... (bars 7-11)

The section ends (bar 8) with violas and violins shifting to the second degree in bar 7,

thus reducing tension, and returning to the first degree to re-establish the C/G major tonic centre.

In the next bars (9-17), the woodwinds join in with melodies which hint at chords belonging to
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one key-centre or other.

Fig 10.7 Cont... (bars 12-14)


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Fig 10.7 Cont... (bars 15-17)

We may notice that the chord progression carried out by the string section does not

change. The woodwind and the brass however play a combination of both tonic centres, for
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example: in bar 12 the flute arpeggiates an Amin7 whilst the oboe arpeggiates a D#dim. The

clarinets harmonize both. In bar 13 things get more dramatic as we begin to hear three different

chords at once: the string sections continue with Dmin7/Bbmaj whilst the woodwind seem to be

drawing upon primary Q of Bb major. In bar 17 the resolution is achieved again when all

instruments return to either C or D as in the beginning.

This example is only the first draft of a theory that has yet to be tested. So far the

possibilities remain viable and the technique offers interesting sonorities that seem to have a

forward momentum as in normal tonal music. The technique does not introduce any new sounds,

but it does offer an alternative approach to designing a polytonal piece and perhaps, from a jazz

musician’s point of view, it facilitates the exploration of this type of music from a more familiar

framework.

As a musicological tool

From the beginning of this research, especially after relating the concept to the nature of physics

and the harmonic overtones, I have wondered how universal this approach might be. Would it

apply to all music? David Lucas Burge suggests that all pitches are distinctively different if we

hear them as colours,10 therefore B quarter-tone flat still sounds like a B just slightly flat or a Bb

slightly sharp. Particularly in jazz we are quite used to pitches that are slightly 'out of tune', most

of the time done on purpose for effect. From Louis Armstrong to Joe Lovano we find pitches

notated as C or F with an added commentary such as 'slightly flat' or 'raised'. Similarly to what

Burge says: 'Brown is still brown, whether is light brown or dark brown'.11 If we accept this to be

true, that an octave is still an octave even when slightly out of tune, then could it be that the

theories of the octatonic system could apply universally? What I mean by apply is that different

music reaches different levels of development within the theory i.e. not all music would be
10 David L. Burge, The Perfect Pitch Ear Training SuperCourse (USA: PerfectPitch.com, January 1, 2005) Disc 1
11 Ibid. Of course one could argue that a lighter brown is beige, but the point is understood.
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octatonic, some will be pentatonic, hexatonic, heptatonic, etc. But its basic construction could

still be explained using the principles of overtones and the hierarchy of intervals.

Before I began writing this thesis I put the theory to test by going back in history.

Arbitrarily I chose Wagner as my point of departure, though later on I analysed Ravel and

Debussy. I proceeded backwards through the major figures of classical history, since it was

impossible to cover them all, finally arriving at Bach. At this point I realised that it would be an

impossible task for one man to cover this much music as evidence of a theory and thus I

conformed by just devoting myself to the jazz period. Nevertheless, the research was done,

though only superficially, and it left me with the question: would it be possible to apply this

theory further back? And if so, to what point in history? Church modes and music from the

middle ages? And what happened before that? Did the church interfere with the 'natural'

development of harmony and melody? Or did they reinforce the hierarchy of intervals in their

quest for perfection?

There are claims that more ‘primitive’ music consists of less tones than more advanced

music,12 for example certain forms of ethnic music are mostly pentatonic. But I believe this is not

so, as recent archaeological findings would suggest. There is the eight or nine thousand year old

flute from China that plays eight notes and of which it is said 'its tonal scale is remarkably

similar to the Western eight-note, do-re-mi scale'13 and on the other hand there is the recently

discovered thirty five thousand year old flute from Germany that has only five holes. 14 This

would appear to be in reverse of music history and practice for the past few thousand years. The

point I am trying to make is that such claims do not have any type of evidence. What little we

know seems to point out that tones as such have been around for thousands of years in similar

organization, whether it was five or eight (allowing for slight pitch discrepancies). So perhaps

12 See Robert Fink arguments: Bob Fink, The Origin of Music (Canada: Greenwich Publishing, 1985).
13 Spencer P.M. Harrington, 'Oldest Musical Instruments Still Play a Tune', Archaeology, 1999 by the
Archaeological Institute of America, http://www.archaeology.org/9911/newsbriefs/flute.html (18 of March,
2010)
14 Pallab Ghosh, 'Oldest musical instrument found', BBC News, 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8117915.stm (18
of March, 2010)
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tonal organization is universal and music has developed differently from culture to culture due to

political/cultural intervention e.g. the church in Europe. It would be a fascinating research to

understand why in China they went from an eight tone system to a five tone.

Of course most of these questions might have to wait many years, until humanity has dug

up more flutes or other evidence that might indicate at what point things started to change. Then

again, these questions might never be answered.


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Conclusions and further research

Five years ago, when I began to experiment with overtones as a possible explanation of

scale formation, I was surprised to find how a hierarchical organization could mathematically

account for the arrangement of pitches within a family group. During the course of this research,

the theory became broader and seemed to explain more phenomena than I had originally

intended. Whether it is a mathematical coincidence or an underlying sense of structure that our

brains crave for is not for this piece of work to answer. However, as an educator and a

practitioner I find that the system provides me with a structure that is both logical and

chronological. The foundation of this theory, the hierarchy of intervals, serves equally in all

directions: from understanding the formation of scales, chords, keys and relationships to the

analysis of existing music. Exceptions are few and rare and in each case it is the music itself that

provides the answer. But providing the theory in itself is not enough: if the theory was correct,

then a historical exploration of music should reflect the same line of development. The evidence

showed that not only could this theory explain much of the current development of music, but

also that its future evolution seems to be drawing upon the same path i.e. higher into the

hierarchy.

There were some interesting revelations through the course of the analyses. Some things I

never found e.g. blues scales or other blue notes besides the flattened 7th. Others, like the modal

interchange to symmetric scales and the interchangeability of its chords, proved quite

enlightening. Particularly informative was to see how jazz composers blended ragtime and blues

with their contemporary popular music, resulting in a form of harmony that was based on

tradition but with its own idiosyncrasies. But by far the most important insight was my initial

speculation that an analytical system must be contextual and cannot be practical if it relies on

recipes. The historical exploration proved, above anything else, that chord progressions that
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appear to be the same can be substantially different depending on era, composer and the

surrounding circumstances. Even when examining pieces from the same decade, I found that

jazz musicians would often use modal interchanges to alter common chord progressions of the

time, thus creating new exotic sounds. The concept of primary and secondary chords, in addition

to boxed’ chords, opens up the mind and the ears to understand harmony more subtly. A chord

progression may look like a II-V-I, but on close inspection we find that it may be a iii- V/II -II.

These differences are not only important, but they are also the defining qualities that make a

piece of music sound in a particular manner. It is only through the understanding of the nuances

and the subtleties of harmony that an improviser/arranger can truly capture the spirit of a given

piece. A music theory that does not take this into consideration is flawed by its very nature.

By no means am I saying that the octatonic system is perfect. Through the five years of

its development it has changed considerably and still has much room for improvement. For

example the issue with melodic minor degrees: should first and second degrees be called

something different? In most analysis, I found that particularly the first-degree melodic minor

almost always functions as a modal interchange i.e. it retains the function of its equivalent chord

in the fundamental scale e.g. melodic minor parallelisms. There are also developments that

unfortunately did not follow the order of the hierarchy of intervals: the blues brought about a

modal interchange to the second degree (chord I and IV) decades before the modal interchange

to the first-degree was incorporated. During the bebop era the diminished (H/W tone) scale was

used vastly and one of its interchangeable chords also works as a tritone substitution, which

presents the analytical problem of choosing between melodic minor or the former when neither

is obvious e.g. no upper-structures or a melody passing through defining tones. As a completely

arbitrary decision I stated that H/W tone should only be used if it's clearly stated in the chord

symbol or melody. Thus, we always observe the historical order: if a chord exists in all three

scales, fundamental, melodic minor and H/W tone; then the analysis should always presume the

first unless evidence to the contrary. But what of more modern pieces? Should we presume that
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Monk always intended a normal fundamental V unless otherwise indicated? Or should we

always presume a H/W modal interchange since we know this was common usage at the time.

Furthermore, the evidence provided here is far from sufficient. For the purpose of

corroborating my statements, I analysed over sixty standards and about fifty solos from different

eras, of which I included only those that contributed a significant input. However, this is still not

an adequate sample of a hundred years of musical development e.g. some compositions by

Horace Silver provide an interesting use of tonicised melodic minor harmony. Another field

which was left uncovered in this thesis was classical music which influenced jazz or popular

song composers. For example Scott Joplin, Ellington, Parker; all of whom we know were

classical music enthusiasts or at least admirers, must have inevitably incorporated sounds from

the music they grew up with. This would also help to clarify the harmony gap that appears

between ragtime/blues and early standards. The research itself would appear quite simple since

most biographies touch upon this subject. However, the analysis of such music would be so large

as to require another complete volume.

In contrast to these limitations, several unforeseen applications came out of this model:

the analytical method, originally designed to be a graphic representation of harmonic events,

proved to be useful for analysing music outside the context of jazz. Additionally, the

relationships of keys, via the hierarchy of intervals, seems to aid in the treatment of polytonal

harmony. This idea was inspired by the advanced use of modal interchanges amongst later

composers and improvisers. Finally, it provided a linear explanation of the development of music

which could be utilised in education. Future work could parallel historical facts with octatonic

theory e.g. Pythagoras harmonic experiments and the hierarchy of intervals and/or Dunstable’s

addition of 3rds in harmony and the construction of diatonic triads.

These new ideas are all in their infancy and require more research and experimentation

before any claims can be exercised. I have personally put the analytical method to test in over a

hundred jazz tunes, around twenty popular songs, ten ethnic pieces and half a dozen classical
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compositions. It has provided me with the necessary information to replicate the style, but my

attempts still require an expert’s critique as to whether the genre has been successfully imitated.

An education system based on the octatonic model will require the discussion, research

and sharing of ideas with experienced educators which can input methodology beyond just that

of musical logic. Furthermore, if a truly comprehensible system is ever designed, it will also

need the cooperation of historians and musicologists that can validate or ascertain if these

concepts are theoretically applicable.

Finally, the two areas that most intrigue me are the future and the past: how far back in

music history can the octatonic system be applied? Allowing pitch tuning discrepancies, can it be

used to analysed most of western music? And secondly, can it be used as a tool for pursuing new

sonorities? The expansion of polytonality or a nonatonic system of organization? Perhaps there is

even space for a dodecaphonic hierarchical organization. These are areas of research I feel this

concept may extend to and are worth pursuing, both as an educator and as musician.
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Glossary
Altering (Alt.): Is a modal interchange practice which consists in changing a traditional 7th chord
(V of major or V of minor) for the equivalent VII of a melodic minor scale e.g. G7 V of C major
can be altered to become VII of Ab melodic minor.

Atonal: Lack of tonality. All chords and scale degrees are equal, there is no point of resolution or
tension.

Aug: Shorthand for augmented

Boppers: Musicians that play bebop. Normally musicians from 1940s-50s.

Bridge: Usually a middle section of a piece/song that departs completely from the other sections.

Chord changes: A harmonic progression. A series of chords in a tune. Usually use for referencing
tunes with the same chord progression e.g. Anthropology has the similar 'chord changes' as I Got
Rhythm.

Chord symbol: A shorthand spelling describing the quality of a chord. The notation is the root
followed by numerical or intervalic expressions e.g. a C major 7th with a sharpened 11th is
notated Cmaj7#11. Some chord symbols contain more unusual notations such as a D minor with a
minor 7th and a flattened 5th is sometimes notated as DØ.

Degree/s: Refers to the relationship of keys within the hierarchy of intervals e.g. a first degree is
the first interval in the hierarchy, a 5th.

Descending degree/s: Refers to the unusual shift to degrees of the hierarchy that are below the
tonic i.e. the descending third degree is a key a major 3rd below the tonic key, the descending
fourth degree is a key a minor 3rd below the tonic key. The first and second degrees are usually
omitted since they are the same as the normal ascending degrees.

Detour: Any departure from the tonic key e.g. a modulation or a tonicisation.

Diatonic: Notes or chords that belong to the scale.

Dim: Shorthand for diminished

Diminished substitution: A form of modal interchange consisting of replacing a normal 7th chord
for its equivalent in a diminished H/W tone scale.

Dominant: Refers to the function that certain diatonic chords have. They are the ultimate level of
tension and usually lead towards a resolution to a tonic chord.

First Degree: Refers to the relationship between the tonic key and the key found in the first
interval of the hierarchy of intervals e.g. G major is the first degree of C major.

Function: Refers to the level of tension that diatonic chords have within a tonal system.

Fundamental scale: An eight note scale either major or minor. (See major fundamental/minor
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fundamental)

Fundamental Harmony: The chord family built from the scale of the same name.

Head: Refers to the main melody of a piece e.g. the chorus not the verse.

Hierarchy or hierarchy of intervals: Refers to the theory that harmonic relations are based on the
intervalic properties of the overtone series. In order of relevance these are (omitting 8ve) perfect
5th, perfect 4th, major 3rd and minor 3rd.

H/W tone scale: Also known as the Stravinsky octatonic or diminished scale. This is a symmetric
scale constructed by a series of half tones and whole tones. This scale became widely used in the
bebop era.

Interchange: (See modal interchange)

Majorization: The act of changing a key to its equivalent major e.g. C minor to C major.

Major Dominant: The conventional V of I in a major key e.g. G7-Cmaj

Major Fundamental: Similar to the traditional major scale with an added semitone between the
5th and the 6th.

Melodic: In the context of this thesis is used as shorthand for melodic minor events e.g. melodic
transition, melodic degrees.

Melodic degrees: Refers to the relation between a key and harmonies deriving from melodic
minor scales. These relations are established by the hierarchy of intervals.

Melodic minor: Similar to a seven note major scale with the flattened 3rd. This scale contains its
own set of diatonic chords which are found widely in the standard jazz repertoire.

Melodic transition: (See melodic degrees and transition)

Melodic Tonicisation: (See melodic degrees and tonicisation)

M.I.: Modal interchange

Minorization: The act of changing a key to its equivalent minor e.g. C major to C minor.

Minor Dominant: The conventional V of I in a minor key e.g. G7-Cmin. Sometimes used for
expressing a modal interchange or a minorization of a V chord. For example when a musician
plays the G7 of a C minor in place of a G7 of C major in a cadence (Dmin7-G7#9-Cmaj)

Minor Fundamental: Similar to the traditional minor scale (Aeolian mode) with an added
semitone between the minor 7th and the 8ve.

Modal Interchange: The substitution of a chord from its rightful mode to an equivalent chord in
another key e.g. Dmin7 (II of C major) can be modally interchanged by Dmin7 (VI of F major).
There are many different types of modal interchanges of which the most common have their own
name: Tritone substitution, diminished substitution, majorization, minorization.
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Modulation: A clear and defined change of key. Normally achieved via the use of cadences. The
reference to the tonic key is usually lost.

m.m.: melodic minor.

Non-diatonic: A chord which does not belong to the scale of the key. e.g. In the key of C major
the D7 chord does not belong to the scale of C hence it is non-diatonic.

Open: Similar to Rubato. Usually a performance which seems devoided of time or structure e.g.
an open intro is played until the top of the piece is cued.

Overtone: the ascending harmonics found in every note in nature.

Pentatonic: A five note scale usually made from omitting the notes of a regular scale.

Pick-up line: Jazz term for an anacrusis.

Primary chords: The chords built from a scale by respecting the hierarchy of intervals and the
influence of overtones. The chords most commonly associated with a particular scale e.g. the
primary triads in C major are: Cmaj-Dmin-Emaj-Fmaj-Gmaj-Abaug-Bdim. Primary chords are
expressed with upper-case Roman numerals.

Polytonal: A style of music which consists of two or more keys functioning at the same time.

Q: The added note in the fundamental scale, also the chord built from it. The secondary chord is
expressed with a lower case Roman numeral e.g. in C major the Abdim is analysed as q.

Retroactive: Refers to how the impression of something which has passed is altered by the
experience of new events. In harmony a chord that might have given the impression of leading to
a specific place is then perceived different with the unfolding of new events. e.g. A V-I to major
followed by a II-V-I to the relative minor (G7-Cmaj7-BØ-E7-Amin). In the first instance we
perceive the I as tonic major, but after we hear the II-V-I to minor we retroactively remember the
first two as V/III-III or VII-III.

R.M.: relative minor.

Root: Refers to the basic note where a chord is constructed from, usually the bass note. e.g. the
root of Dmin7 is D.

Secondary Chords: The chords that can be built in a scale by using other notes than those in the
hierarchy e.g. In the scale of C major chord I primary is Cmaj a secondary chord would be
Csus4, Csus2 or Caug (using Q). Secondary chords are expressed with lower-case Roman
numerals.

Shift: An abrupt change of key or tonic without the use of modulation or relation between
degrees.

Side-stepping: the act of playing a semitone above or below a targeted chord. This can happen
over a sounding chord or in anticipation of a coming chord. Side-stepping can depart from the
chord, anticipate a chord or encircle a chord e.g. from above then below, then resolve or vice-
versa.
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Sub-tone: the theoretically descending harmonics found in every note.

Sub-dominant: Refers to the function of certain diatonic chords. By definition these are passing
chords and generate the need for movement.

Substitution: Refers to the replacement of one chord for another. (see modal interchange).

Tonic: Refers to chord I, the point of resolution within the scale.

Tonic Key: Refers to the main key of a piece. The overall final point where everything leads to.
A piece may be in many temporal keys but there's usually only one tonic key where all events
unfold to.

Tonicisation: A very short modulation or a passage that clearly establishes another temporal key.
As a principle a tonicisation must be short enough so that the reference of the tonic key is not
lost. In general a tonicisation is suggested by harmonic movements (more than one chord) in
another key e.g. II-V, unless the non-diatonic chord is of long duration.

Transition: A chord or chords that are not diatonic (Do not belong to the tonic scale). These are
chords that do not affect the reference to the key i.e. they are direct mention to diatonic chords as
in V/II, V/V, etc. or are passing chords between diatonic chords.

Tritone substitution: Is a form of modal interchange which consist of altering a 7th (making it the
VII of a melodic minor) chord and then inverting it for its melodic minor counterpart (IV of the
same melodic minor) e.g. G7-Cmaj the G7 becomes G7alt (VII of Ab melodic minor) and then
it's inverted to become Db7 (IV of Ab melodic minor) the result is Db7-Cmaj.

T.S.: Tritone substitution.

Upper-structure: These are notes in the scale which can be added on top of a normal chord to add
colour. Not all notes in the scale can be used and each chord has its own set of upper-structures
e.g. in C major the note F cannot be used as an upper-structure of chord I or VI, but it can be
used for III and Q.
462

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Joplin, Scott, 'The Stoptime Rag' (Jos. W. Stern, New York, 1910).

Joplin, Scott, 'Wall street rag' (Seminary Music Co., New York, 1908).

Joplin, Scott, 'Weeping Willow' ( Shattinger International Publications, USA, 1972).

Kern, Jerome, 'All The Things You Are' (Santa Monica, CA, T.B. Harms Company, 1939).

Kern, Jerome, 'I'm Old Fashioned' (CA, USA: T.B. Harms Company, 1942).

Lamb, Joseph, F., 'Ragtime Nightingale' (Stark Music Co., St. Louis, 1915).

Lamb, Joseph, F., 'Sensation' (Stark Music Printing & Publishing Co., New York & St. Louis,

1908).

Lamb, Joseph, F., 'The Lilliputian's Bazaar' (H.H. Sparks, USA, 1905)

Lennon, John, McCartney, Paul, 'Yesterday' (London: Northern Songs Ltd., 1965).

Luckey, Robert, A., [PhD[ (transcribed and edited by), Lester Young Solos (USA: Olympia

Music Publishing, L.A., 1994).

Maggio, Antonio, 'I Got The Blues' (A. Maggio, New Orleans, 1908).

Monk, Thelonious, 'Well You Needn't' (USA: Regent Music Corp. 1971).

Monk, Thelonious, ‘Monk's Mood’, New Real Book vol. 1 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher

Music Co., 1988), 212-3.

Montrose, Percy, 'Oh My Darling Clementine' (Oliver Ditson & Co., Boston, 1884).

Porter, Cole, 'I Love You', The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music

Co., 2000, copyright 1939 ).

Porter, Cole, 'I Love You', The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music

Co., 2000), 203-4.

Porter, Cole, 'Love For Sale', The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher Music

Co., 2000, copyright 1930).


478

Porter, Cole, 'Night And Day', The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher

Music Co., 2000), 325-6.

Porter, Cole, 'What Is This Thing Called Love', The Standards Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher

(ed.), Sher Music Co., 2000, copyright 1929); 517-8.

Porter, Cole, All Of You, The Standards Real Book (Sher Music Co., CA, USA, 2000, copyright

1954); 15-6.

Roberts, Jim, The Best Of Joe Henderson (Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp. 1996).

Rodgers, Richard, 'Lover', Real Jazz Book (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1998,

copyright 1932), 206-7.

Rodgers, Richard, ‘Have You Met Miss Jones’ (USA: Rodgers and Hart 1937 Chappell & Co.).

Sabina, Les [PhD], ‘Ben Webster’s Body & Soul’, Jazz UK, issue 72, (2006), 28.

Scott, James, 'A Summer Breeze' (Dumars Music Co., Missouri, USA, 1903).

Scott, James, 'Broadway Rag' (Stark Music and Co., St. Louis, 1922).

Scott, James, 'Frog Legs Rag' (John Stark & son., St Louis-New York, 1906).

Scott, James, 'Kansas City Rag' (Stark Music and Co., St. Louis-New York, 1907).

Shorter, Wayne, ‘E.S.P.’, The New Real Book vol. 1 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music

Co., 1991, copyright 1965), 90.

Shorter, Wayne, ‘Night Dreamer’, The New Real Book vol. 2 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher

Music Co., 1991, copyright 1964), 260.

Strayhorn, Billy, ‘Chelsea Bridge’, New Real Book, vol. 1 (CA, USA: Chuck Sher ed., Sher

Music Co., 1988).

Strayhorn, Billy, ‘Lush Life’, The Jazz Bible Fakebook (WI, USA: Rob DuBoff (ed.), Hal

Leonard Corporation, 2000).

Strayhorn, Billy, ‘Take The “A” Train’, (USA: Tempo Music, 1968).

Strayhorn, Billy, ‘Take the “A” Train’, New Real Book (CA, USA: Chuck Sher (ed.), Sher Music

Co., 1988, copyright 1941).


479

Van Heusen, Jimmy, 'Here's That Rainy Day', (Burke & Van Heusen, Inc. 1953).

Work, Henry, C., 'Grandfather's Clock' (C.M. Cady, New York, 1876).

Young, Victor, 'Stella By Starlight', Real Jazz Book (USA: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation,

1998, copyright 1944), 327.

Young, Victor, 'When I Fall In Love' ( USA: Victor Young Publications, Inc. 1952).

Discography

Armstrong, Louis, 'Heebie Jeebies', Jazz Legends (Columbia/Legacy, 1926).

Armstrong, Louis, Ellington, Duke, The Great Summit: The Master Takes (Roulette Jazz, 7243-

5-24547-2-3, 2001).

Baez, Joan, 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot', Essential/From The Heart (Polygram International,

B000006SNF, 1993).

Baker, Chet, 'Have You Met Miss Jones', Smokin' With The Chet Baker Quintet (Prestige, PR

7449, 1965).

Cash, Johnny, 'Amazing Grace', Cash - Ultimate Gospel (Columbia/Legacy, B00136M0KI,

2007).

Clapton, Eric, 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot', Time Pieces: The Best Of Eric Clapton (Universal,

B0002ZEUJ0, 2005).

Cole, Cozy, All Stars (SAVOY 501, S5413, 1944).

Collins, Judy, 'Amazing Grace', Amazing Grace (Delta , B0000C662K, 2009).

Coltrane, John, 'Naima', Giant Steps (Atlantic, 1959, SD-1311).

Coltrane, John, ‘Giant Steps’ & ‘Countdown’, Giant Steps (Atlantic Records London edition,

LTZ-K 15197, 1959).

Davis, Miles, 'Porgy And Bess' (Sony Jazz, 1997, B000024F6M).


480

Davis, Miles, Miles Davis In Europe (Columbia, CS 8983, 1963).

Deep River Plantations Singers, 'Roll, Jordan, Roll' (Document Records, B001W4N8XE, 1998).

Ellington, Duke, 'Isfahan', Far East Suite (Bluebird, 82876-55614-2, 2003).

Ellington, Duke, Coltrane, John, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane (Impulse, IA 9350-2 , 1962).

Fitzgerald, Ella, Armstrong, Louis, 'Porgy And Bess' (Universal Classics, 2008, B000VT2NH8).

Franklin, Aretha, 'Amazing Grace', Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings (Atlantic / Wea,

B00000IPY3, 1999).

Getz, Stan, Gilberto, Joao, Jobim, Antonio, Carlos, Getz/Gilberto (Verve, 521 414-2, 1963).

Hawkins, Coleman, Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster (Verve, 9884036, 2005).

Hawkins, Coleman, The Complete Verve Master Takes (RCA, B000003G3, 1996).

Henderson, Joe, 'Porgy And Bess' (Decca, Verve Music Group, 2009, B002NCUPBW).

Herman, Woody, Jazz Casual: The Swinging Herd CD (Koch Jazz, 8562, 2002).

Khan, Chaka, Echoes Of An Era (Elektra Records, B000085MEZ, 1981-2).

Kudsi Erguner Ensemble,Works Of Kemani Tatyos Efendi, (Traditional Crossroads,

B001HAGDZS, 1996).

Lalama, Ralph, 'Da-lama's Da-lemma', Momentum (Criss Cross Jazz, 1992).

Lloyd, Charles, ' Go Down Moses', Lift Every Voice (ECM, B00006L3GC, 2002).

May, Billy, 'The Little Brown Jug' Plays the Standards (EMI, B0001NIZ1M, 2004).

Mehldau, Brad, 'All The Things You Are', The Art Of The Trio, Vol. 4 - Back At The Vanguard

(Warner Bros / Wea, B00000JZMN, 1999).

Mehldau, Brad, 'The Way You Look Tonight', The Art of the Trio, Vol. 2: Live at the Village

Vanguard (Warner Bros / Wea, B0000062VD, 1998).

Miller, Glenn, 'The Little Brown Jug' The Best of Glenn Miller (Music Digital, B00000JX45,

2003).

Palmetto State Quartet, 'Roll, Jordan, Roll', When He Blessed My Soul, (Horizon Records,

B0012K7LNQ, 2001).
481

Papa Bue's Viking Jazzband, 'Roll Jordan Roll', The Hit Singles 1958-69 (Storyville Records,

B0013SD924, 2000).

Parker, Charlie, 'Bird Feathers', Charlie Parker: The gold Collection (EEC, Retro, R2CD 40-16,

1997).

Parker, Charlie, 'Blues For Alice', The Complete Verve Master Takes (USA, The Verve Music

Group /Universal Music Classics & Jazz, B001KO41FU, 2003).

Parker, Charlie, ‘Love For Sale’, The Genius Of Charlie Parker, #5 - Charlie Parker Plays Cole

Porter (Verve, MGV, 8007, 1954).

Persson, Bent, Louis Armstrong's 50 Hot Choruses (1927) , volumes 2-3 (Kenneth Records, CKS

3412, 2006).

Shorter, Wayne, Beyond The Sound Barrier (Verve, 000451802 , 2005).

Strayhorn, Billy, Piano Passion (Storyville, STV1018404, 2007).

The Fairfield Four, 'Roll, Jordan, Roll', Standing in the Safety Zone (Word Entertainment,

B000002LU0, 1992).

Tuskegee Institute Singers, 'Go Down Moses (B-15167-1)', 1914-1927: In Chronological Order

(Document Records, B000000JH8, 1997).


Appendix    
in major

Cmaj Dmin Emaj Fmaj Gmaj G#aug Amin Bdim


5 5 55
 5
555
G 55 555 E555 555 !55 E55
5
Csus2 Csus4 Caug Dsus2 Dsus4 Ddim Emin Esus4 Fmin Fsus2 Gsus2 Gsus4 G#dim Asus2 Asus4
5
 55
55 555 55 555 555 E555 555
G 55
5 555 E55
5
55
5 !555 5 !555 555 5
       

Gmaj Amin Bmaj Cmaj Dmaj Ebaug Emin F#dim


5 ! 55 5 5
55 55
5 !E55 5 !55 E55
 G 555 5 EE555

Gsus2 Gsus4 Gaug Asus2 Asus4 Adim Bmin Bsus4 Cmin Csus2 Dsus2 Dsus4 Ebdim Esus2 Esus4
5 5 5
5 555 55 55 555 E555 !E55 555

55 555 !555 555 !E555 !555
G 55 555 5
       

Dmaj Emin F#maj Gmaj Amaj Bbaug Bmin C#dim


E5 E5 E555

55 E555  55 ! 55
G E555 555 EEE555 5
Dsus2 Dsus4 Daug Esus2 Esus4 Edim F#min F#sus4 Gmin Gsus2 Asus2 Asus4 Bbdim Bsus2 Bsus4
5
 E555
55 !EE555 !555 555 55
5 55 555 E!E555 555
G 555 555 E555 E555 555 5
       

Amaj Bmin C#maj Dmaj Emaj G#dim


EFaug EF#min 5
5 E55 !EE555 E555 E 555 !555 E555 E 55
 G E55 5
Asus2 Asus4 Aaug Bsus2 Bsus4 Bdim C#min C#sus4 Dmin Dsus2 Esus2 Esus4 Fdim F#sus2 F#sus4
482

5 !55 !555 5 E555 555 !E555 EEE555 555



555 E!555 EE555 555 5 EE555 E555 55
G 55
       

Emaj F#min G#maj Amaj Bmaj Caug C#min Ebdim
E5 E5 E555
 G E555 EE555 !EE555 E555 EE555 ! 55 E 55

Esus2 Esus4 Eaug F#sus2 F#sus4 F#dim G#min G#sus4 Amin Asus2 Bsus2 Bsus4 Cdim C#sus2 C#sus4
5 E!E555 EEE555 E555
 EEE555 555 !55 EE555 E555 !555 55 EE555 555
G E555 555 E!555 5
       

Bmaj C#min Ebmaj Emaj F#maj Gaug G#min Bbdim

 G EE55 E5 !555 E!!555 EEE555


55
!5 EE555 !555
5 E 55
Bsus2 Bsus4 Baug C#sus2 C#sus4 C#dim Ebmin Ebsus4 Emin Esus2 F#sus2 F#sus4 Gdim G#sus2 G#sus4

 G E5 !55 555 555 !!!555 E555 EEE555 555 !555 EEE555 E555
E 55 555 E!555 EEE555 E555 5
       

F#maj G#min Bbmaj Bmaj C#maj


E Daug
5 Ebmin
555 !!Fdim
555

E5 !!555 EE555 !EE555 !E55
G EEE555 E 55
F#sus2 F#sus4 F#aug G#sus2 G#sus4 G#dim Bbmin Bbsus4 Bmin Bsus2 C#sus2 C#sus4 Ddim Ebsus2 Ebsus4
EEE555 E555 !!E555 !555 555
 EEE555 E555 !55 !555 555 !E555 E555
G EEE555 555 E!555 5
       

Gbmaj Abmin Bbmaj Bmaj Dbmaj Daug Fdim


5 5
Ebmin !!555
5 555 E!E555 55
 !55
!555 E!E555
G  55
Gbsus2 Gbsus4 Gbaug Absus2 Absus4 Abdim Bbmin Bbsus4 Bmin Bsus2 Dbsus2 Dbsus4 Ddim Ebsus2 Ebsus4
5 5 555 555  !55
!5 555 555
 55
555 555 !!555 555 !!E555 EE555
G  55 !555 !555
       
483

Dbmaj Ebmin Fmaj Gbmaj Abmaj Aaug Bbmin Cdim
5 5 555
 G 555 555 !555 555 555 !E55 55

Dbsus2 Dbsus4 Dbaug Ebsus2 Ebsus4 Ebdim Fmin Fsus4 Gbmin Gbsus2 Absus2 Absus4 Adim Bbsus2 Bbsus4
5 5
 555 55 55
!55 555 555 !555 555 555 !!555
G 555 555 5 555 555 !555
       

Abmaj Bbmin Cmaj Dbmaj Ebmaj Eaug Fmin Gdim


 55  55  555  555
5 !555 5 5 E!555
 G  55 555
Absus2 Absus4 Abaug Bbsus2 Bbsus4 Bbdim Cmin Csus4 Dbmin Dbsus2 Ebsus2 Ebsus4 Edim Fsus2 Fsus4
5 ! 55 5
5 5 555 555 !555 555 55 555 !5 55  555
 55
555 !555 555 !555
G 55
       

Ebmaj Fmin Gmaj Abmaj Bbmaj Baug Cmin Ddim


5 5 5 555  55
5
 G 555 4 555 !555  55 55 !55

Ebsus2 Ebsus4 Ebaug Fsus2 Fsus4 Fdim Gmin Gsus4 Abmin Absus2 Bbsus2 Bbsus4 Bdim Csus2 Csus4
5
 !55 55 555 555 !555 555 555 555 !555 55 555
G 555 555 5 5 555 !555
       

Bbmaj Cmin Dmaj Ebmaj Fmaj F#aug Gmin Adim

 5 555 5 555 55


5
G 55
5 555 E555  55 E55
Bbsus2 Bbsus4 Bbaug Csus2 Csus4 Cdim Dmin Dsus4 Ebmin Ebsus2 Fsus2 Fsus4 F#dim Gsus2 Gsus4

 55 !555 555 5 55
5 555
G 55 E55 555 555 555 !555 !555 555 5 E55
5 555 5
        
Fmaj Gmin Amaj Bbmaj Cmaj C#aug Dmin Edim
5 55 5 55  55
5
 55 5 E55 5
484

G 555 555 E555


Fsus2 Fsus4 Faug Gsus2 Gsus4 Gdim Amin Asus4 Bbmin Bbsus2 Csus2 Csus4 C#dim Dsus2 Dsus4
5 5 5 5

55 !555 !555 55 55 !555 555 E55 55 555
G 555 555 E555 5 !555 555
       
   
in minor
!
Cmin Ddim Ebmaj Fmin Gmaj Abmaj Bbmaj Baug
5 5
 G 55 55 5 555 !555 555 55 !55
5 5  55
Csus2 Csus4 Ebsus2 Ebsus4 Ebaug Fsus2 Fsus4 Fdim Gmin Gsus4 Abmin Absus2 Bbsus2 Bbsus4 Bdim
5 5
 55
55 555 555 !555 555 555 !55
G 55
5 555 555 555 !555 5 555 !555
       

Gmin Adim Bbmaj Cmin Dmaj Ebmaj Fmaj F#aug


 55 5
55 555 E555 5 !55 E555
 G 555 5 555
Gsus2 Gsus4 Bbsus2 Bbsus4 Bbaug Csus2 Csus4 Cdim Dmin Dsus4 Ebmin Ebsus2 Fsus2 Fsus4 F#dim
5  55 5 5
5 5 E55 55 !555 555 !555 !555 5 55 !555  555 E55
 55 555 5
G 55 555
       

Dmin Edim Fmaj Gmin Amaj Bbmaj Cmaj C#aug


5 5
 55 55 555 E555 55 !555 E55
G 555 5 5
Dsus2 Dsus4 Fsus2 Fsus4 Faug Gsus2 Gsus4 Gdim Amin Asus4 Bbmin Bbsus2 Csus2 Csus4 C#dim
!555 555 5

55 E55 55
5 !555 555 !555 !555 555 555 E55
G 555 555 5 555 5
       

Amin Bdim Cmaj Dmin Emaj Fmaj Gmaj G#aug


5
5
5 55 55 555 E 555 555 ! 55 E 55
 G 55 5 5
Asus2 Asus4 Csus2 Csus4 Caug Dsus2 Dsus4 Ddim Emin Esus4 Fmin Fsus2 Gsus2 Gsus4 G#dim
5 5 !555 555 5
5  55 ! 555 !555  555 55 E 55
485


555 555 555 E555 55 !555 5
G 55
       
"
Emin F#dim Gmaj Amin Bmaj Cmaj Dmaj Ebaug
5
55 E555 55
 G 555 E555
55
5
!555 EE555 5

Esus2 Esus4 Gsus2 Gsus4 Gaug Asus2 Asus4 Adim Bmin Bsus Cmin Csus2 Dsus2 Dsus4 Ebdim
!5 55 E55 555 5 !555 555 555
 G E555 555 555 555 55
5 55 555 5 5 !555 55
       

Bmin C#dim Dmaj Emin F#maj Gmaj Amaj Bbaug


5
  55
5 55 EEE555 !555 E555
G E55
5 E 55 E555 5
Bsus2 Bsus4 Dsus2 Dsus4 Daug Esus2 Esus4 Edim F#min F#sus4 Gmin Gsus2 Asus2 Asus4 Bbdim

 555
55 555 55 !555 555
G E5 55
5 555 E555 E!555 !555 5 !EE555 !555 5
E 55 555
       

F#min G#dim Amaj Bmin C#maj Dmaj Emaj


EFaug
5
5 E55 !EE555 E555 E 555 !55
 5
G EE555 E55 E555
F#sus2 F#sus4 Asus2 Asus4 Aaug Bsus2 Bsus4 Bdim C#min C#sus4 Dmin Dsus2 Esus2 Esus4 Fdim
5 E5 !555 555 E555 555 !555
 G EEE555 555 55 555 E!555 EE555 555 !555 E 55 E555

       

Gbmin Abdim Amaj Bmin Dbmaj Dmaj Emaj Faug


 55
5 E55 555 !E555 E 555 !5
 !!555 5
G  55 E555
Gbsus2 Gbsus4 Asus2 Asus4 Aaug Bsus2 Bsus4 Bdim Dbmin Dbsus4 Dmin Dsus2 Esus2 Esus4 Fdim
5 5 5 E555 555 !555

5 5 !555 !555 E555 EE555 555 !55
5 55 555 !!55 55
G  55 ! 55
       
486
$
Dbmin Ebdim Emaj Gbmin Abmaj Amaj Bmaj
Caug
5
 !555 5 !555 555 E!!555 EE555 !!55
G 555 !E55
Dbsus2 Dbsus4 Esus2 Esus4 Eaug Gbsus2 Gbsus4 Gbdim Abmin Absus4 Amin Asus2 Bsus2 Bsus4 Cdim
5 !555
 555 !555 !555 !555 555 !555 55 EE555 555
G 555 555 !E555 555 E555
       

Abmin Bbdim Bmaj Dbmin Ebmaj Emaj Gbmaj Gaug


! 55 !E 55  555 !! 555
5 !555 5 !5
 G !55 !555 E!E555
Absus2 Absus4 Bsus2 Bsus4 Baug Dbsus2 Dbsus4 Dbdim Ebm Ebsus4 Emin Esus2 Gbsus2 Gbsus4 Gdim
 55 !! 55 E 55 555 ! 555  555
5 555 555 !!555 5 555 !5 ! 5
 G 55
555 EE555 555 E555
       

Ebmin Fdim Gbmaj Abmin Bbmaj Bmaj Dbmaj Daug


5  55
5 !555
 !55
!555 555 !555 E!E555
G 555
Ebsus2 Ebsus4 Gbsus2 Gbsus4 Gbaug Absus2 Absus4 Abdim Bbmin Bbsus4 Bmin Bsus2 Dbsus2 Dbsus4 Ddim
555 555 !!555
 555
555 !555 !555 555 555 !!555 555 !!E555 E555
G 555 555
       

Bbmin Cdim Dbmaj Ebmin Fmaj Gbmaj Abmaj Aaug


5 5
 G  55 555 !555 555  55 !55
5 555 555
Bbsus2 Bbsus4 Dbsus2 Dbsus4 Dbaug Ebsus2 Ebsus4 Ebdim Fmin Fsus4 Gbmin Gbsus2 Absus2 Absus4 Adim
5
 5 555
!55 555 555 !555 555 555 ! 55
G 55
5 555 555 555 5  55 555 !555
       
*
Fmin Gdim Abmaj Bbmin Cmaj Dbmaj Ebmaj Eaug
5  55  55
!555 5 5 !555
 555 55
487

G 555 555
Fsus2 Fsus4 Absus2 Absus4 Abaug Bbsus2 Bbsus4 Bbdim Cmin Csus4 Dbmin Dbsus2 Ebsus2 Ebsus4 Edim
5 5  55
555 555 !555 555 55 555 !5
 55
555 555 !555 555 !555
G 555 555
       
Appendix Chords and their upper-structures

Cmaj (7,9,13) Dmin (7,9,11,13) E (7,b9,#9,b13) Fmaj (7,9,#11,13) G©aug (maj7,#9,#11,13) Amin (maj7, min7,9,11,) Bdim (min7,11,b13)
B± (11,b13)
 G55(7,b9,§9,13) 55 55
5 55 55
555 5 55' 55
'
55' E 55''
55
G 55'
'
5'
' E5'
'
' '
' '
' E' ' ' 5'
' ' '
'
       

Gmaj (7,9,13) Amin (7,9,11,13) B (7,b9,#9,b13) Cmaj (7,9,#11,13) D (7,b9,§9,13) D©aug (maj7,#9,#11,13) Emin(maj7, min7,9,11,) F©dim (min7,11,b13)
5 55 F©± (11,b13)
555 5  55 55 55 55
E
55' 5'
' E5'
'
'
555 55 55' E55' 5'
G ' ' ' 5'
' '
'
' E' ' '
' '
'
'
       

Dmaj (7,9,13) Emin (7,9,11,13) F©(7,b9,#9,b13) Gmaj(7,9,#11,13) A (7,b9,§9,13) B¨aug (maj7,#9,#11,13) Bmin (maj7, min7,9,11,) C©dim (min7,11,b13)
C©± (11,b13)
55  55
55 555
E 55
5' 55' 5 55
'
'
55'
'
55 55 55
GE '
' '
' E''
' ' ' 55' E55''
5'
'
' ' ' '
       

Amaj (7,9,13) Bmin (7,9,11,13) C©(7,b9,#9,b13) Dmaj (7,9,#11,13) E (7,b9,§9,13) Faug (maj7,#9,#11,13) F©min(maj7, min7,9,11,) G©dim (min7,11,b13)
! 55 G©± (11,b13)
55
55 555 55 55
EEE 55 555
5' 55' 55' E55' 5'
'
G 5' 5'
'
55'
E' '
' '
' !' ' '
' '
'
' ' '
      
488
Emaj (7,9,13) F©min (7,9,11,13) G© (7,b9,#9,b13) Amaj (7,9,#11,13) B (7,b9,§9,13) Caug (maj7,#9,#11,13) C©min(maj7, min7,9,11,) D©dim (min7,11,b13)
55 D©± (11,b13)
55 55 555 55 ! 55 55
EEEE 5' 55' 5 '
'
55 55
G '
' '
' E''
' ' 55
'
55' E55''
5'
'
'
' !' ' ' '
       

Bmaj (7,9,13) C©min (7,9,11,13) D© (7,b9,#9,b13) Emaj (7,9,#11,13) F© (7,b9,§9,13) Gaug (maj7,#9,#11,13) G©min (maj7, min7,9,11,) A©dim (min7,11,b13)
A©± (11,b13)
E 55 5 E 55
E 55 555 E 555 E 5555 E 555 E 5'
EE E55 EE55' 5' EE5'
'
E 55'
E' E' '
' EE' '
' E' '
G EE5''
' '
' EE'' ' '
       

C©maj (7,9,13) D©min (7,9,11,13) E© (7,b9,#9,b13) F©maj (7,9,#11,13) G©(7,b9,§9,13) Aaug (maj7,#9,#11,13) A©min (maj7, min7,9,11,) B©dim (min7,11,b13)
! 55 B©± (11,b13)
5 55
55 55
55 555 55 55 ! 55'5 5'
EEEE E 55 55' !5'
55'
' '
' !' '
' '
' '
'
G E E 5' '
' '
' '' ' '
       

F©maj (7,9,13) G©min (7,9,11,13) A© (7,b9,#9,b13) Bmaj (7,9,#11,13) C©(7,b9,§9,13) Daug (maj7,#9,#11,13) D©min (maj7, min7,9,11,) E©dim (min7,11,b13)
E©± (11,b13)
5 555 55
5 ! 55 55 5 55
EEEE E 55' 5' !'5' 555 5'
G E ' ' '
' ' 5' 55
'
'
55' !55'5
' '
'
'
' ' !' ' '
       

Fmaj (7,9,13) Gmin (7,9,11,13) A (7,b9,#9,b13) B¨maj (7,9,#11,13) C (7,b9,§9,13) D¨aug(maj7,#9,#11,13) Dmin (maj7, min7,9,11,) Edim (min7,11,b13)
E± (11,b13)
5 555 55
5  55 555 5 55
55' 5' '5' 555
 ' 5'
489

G ' ' ' 5' 55' 5' 55'5 '


' '
' '
' ' ' '
' '
       
B¨maj (7,9,13) Cmin (7,9,11,13) D (7,b9,#9,b13) E¨maj (7,9,#11,13) F (7,b9,§9,13) G¨aug (maj7,#9,#11,13) Gmin(maj7, min7,9,11,) Adim (min7,11,b13)
A± (11,b13)
55  55 55 55 55
 55 55 555 55 55 E55' 5'

G 5' 55'
E5''
55'
' '
'
' ' '
' '
' '
'
'
' '
' ' '
       

E¨maj (7,9,13) Fmin (7,9,11,13) G (7,b9,#9,b13) A¨maj (7,9,#11,13) B¨(7,b9,§9,13) C¨aug (maj7,#9,#11,13) Cmin(maj7, min7,9,11,) Ddim (min7,11,b13)
D± (11,b13)
5 555 55
5
555  55 55 55
 55 5' !5'
'
5'
'
555
G  ''
' '
' ' ' 55'
'
5' !55'
'
5'
'
'
' ' ' '
       

A¨maj (7,9,13) B¨min (7,9,11,13) C (7,b9,#9,b13) D¨maj (7,9,#11,13) E¨ (7,b9,§9,13) F¨aug (maj7,#9,#11,13) Fmin (maj7, min7,9,11,) Gdim (min7,11,b13)
 55 G± (11,b13)
55
55 55 55
 5 55 555 55 55 !55' 5'
G  55 55' 5 55'
' '
' ' '
' '
' '
'
'
'
' '
' !''
' ' '
       

D¨maj (7,9,13) E¨min (7,9,11,13) F (7,b9,#9,b13) G¨maj(7,9,#11,13) A¨ (7,b9,§9,13) Aaug(maj7,#9,#11,13) B¨min (maj7, min7,9,11,) Cdim (min7,11,b13)
! 55 C± (11,b13)
5 555 55 555 55 55
  5 5' 55'
!'
5'
' '
'
'
555 55
5'
G    5'
'
' '
' ' ' 5' !55'
' '
'
!' ' '
       

G¨maj (7,9,13) A¨min (7,9,11,13) B¨ (7,b9,#9,b13) C¨maj (7,9,#11,13) D¨(7,b9,§9,13) Daug (maj7,#9,#11,13) E¨min (maj7, min7,9,11,) Fdim (min7,11,b13)
F± (11,b13)
55 55 55 ! 55 55 55
 5 55'
'
55'
!'
55 55
555
5' !55' 5'
G   ''
' ' ' 55'
' '
' '
' '
'
' ' !' '
490

       
<>  @ \ ^
Appendix  `{ \| ^ ^ }

<€ <€ T.K. ‚    ! "

ƒ|
ƒ|

„| †|

„| ‡|

C major

‡ˆ‰Š ‹€€
Symmetric
‡‰ƒŠ‰Œ interchange „€€
Symmetric
‡€€
interchange

†€€

ƒ€€

ƒ€€
491
<>  @ \ ^
`{ \in ^ ^ }

<€ <€ T.K. ‚    ! "

Cin
C#in

F#inr Din

Fin Ein

A minor

ƒˆ‰Š A€€

‡‰ƒŠ‰Œ Symmetric C€€


Symmetric interchange
interchange E€€

<€€

‹‘€€

‰
492
Connecting chords
Appendix (Examples in C major)

Degrees to the tonic key:


 


I Cmaj IV Cmaj
I Cmaj7 IV Cmaj7
I Cmaj9 IV Cmaj9
i Csus2 iv Csus2
i Csus4 iv Csus4
ii Dsus4 v Dsus4
ii Dsus2 v Dsus2
iii Emin vi Emin
iii Emin7 vi Emin7
iii Esus4 vi Esus4
V Gmaj I Gmaj
v Gsus2 i Gsus2
v Gsus4 i Gsus4
VI Amin II Amin
VI Amin7 II Amin7
VI Amin9 II Amin9
vi Asus2 ii Asus2
vi Asus4 ii Asus4
493

 


I Cmaj V Cmaj
I Csus2 v Csus2
I Csus4 v Csus4
II Dmin VI Dmin
II Dmin7 VI Dmin7
II Dmin9 VI Dmin9
ii Dsus2 vi Dsus2
ii Dsus4 vi Dsus4
IV Fmaj I Fmaj
IV Fmaj7 I Fmaj7
IV Fmaj9 I Fmaj9
v Gsus2 ii Gsus2
v Gsus4 ii Gsus4
VI Amin iii Amin
VI Amin7 iii Amin7
vi Asus4 iii Asus4


 

i Caug Q Caug
III Emaj I Emaj
iii Esus4 I Esus4
Q Abaug iii Abaug
VI Amin iv Amin
494

 b

i Csus2 vi Csus2
i Csus4 vi Csus4
ii Ddim VII Ddim
ii DØ VII DØ
ii Ddim7 vii Ddim7
iv Fmin II Fmin
iv Fsus2 ii Fsus2
iv Fsus4 ii Fsus4
V Gmaj III Gmaj
V G7 III G7
v Gsus4 iii Gsus4
q Abmajb5 iv Abmajb5
q Abdim iv Abdim
q Abdim7 iv Abdim7
vii Bdim q Bdim
vii Bdim7 q Bdim7

 b

i Csus2 iii Csus2
i Csus4 iii Csus4
iii Eaug Q Eaug
iv Fmin II Fmin
iv Fsus2 ii Fsus2
Q Abaug i Abaug
495

 

II Dmin iv Dmin
III Emaj V Emaj
III E7 V E7
iv Fmajb5 q Fmajb5
iv Fdim q Fdim
iv Fdim7 q Fdim7
q G#dim vii G#dim

 




II Dmin II Dmin
II Dmin7 II Dmin7
IV Fmaj IV Fmaj
V Gmaj V Gmaj
V G7 V G7
v Gsus2 v Gsus2
v Gsus4 v Gsus4

 




I Caug III Caug
ii Dsus2 iv Dsus2
III Emaj V Emaj
III E7 V E7
VI Amin I Amin
VI Amin(maj7) I Amin(maj7)
496

 




I Cmaj IV Cmaj
I Csus2 IV Csus2
II Dsus2 v Dsus2
II Dsus4 v Dsus4
v Gsus2 i Gsus2
v Gsus4 i Gsus4
VI Amin II Amin
VI Amin7 II Amin7
vi Asus4 ii Asus4

 




I Cmaj V Cmaj
I Csus2 v Csus2
I Csus4 v Csus4
ii Ddim vi Ddim
ii Ddim7 vi Ddim7
ii DØ vi DØ
iii Eaug VII Eaug
iii E7#5 VII E7#5
iv Fmin I Fmin
iv Fmin(maj7) I Fmin(maj7)
iv Fsus2 i Fsus2
v Gsus4 ii Gsus4

 




iii Emin I Emin
iii Esus4 I Esus4
497

vi Asus4 iv Asus4

 b




ii Ddim VII Ddim
ii DØ VII DØ
iv Fmin II Fmin
iv Fmin7 II Fmin7
iv Abmajb5 iv Abmajb5

Connections between degrees:


 

i Gsus2 ii Gsus2
i Gsus4 ii Gsus4
II Amin iii Amin
II Amin7 iii Amin7
IV Cmaj V Cmaj
IV Csus2 v Csus2
IV Csus4 v Csus4
v Dsus2 vi Dsus2
v Dsus4 vi Dsus4

 

II Amin iv Amin
III B7 V B7
iii Bsus4 v Bsus4
IV Cmajb5 q Cmajb5
q D#dim VII D#dim
q D#dim7 VII D#dim7
vi Esus2 i Esus2
vi Esus4 i Esus4
498

vii F#dim ii F#dim


vii F#Ø ii F#Ø

 b

I Gmaj III Gmaj
i Gsus4 iii Gsus4
iii Baug Q Baug
iv Cmin VI Cmin
iv Csus2 vi Csus2
iv Csus4 vi Csus4
q Ebaug i Ebaug


 

III Amaj IV Amaj
iii Amin iv Amin




 




i Csus2 iv Csus2
ii Dsus4 v Dsus4
v Gsus2 i Gsus2
v Gsus4 i Gsus4




 




i Csus2 v Csus2
i Csus4 v Csus4
iv Fsus2 i Fsus2
v Gsus4 ii Gsus4




 




v Gaug III Gaug
VII Baug V Baug
499

1 Connections between second and fourth degrees are the same as first and second i.e. a tone apart. Connections between third and fourth are the same as third second and third i.e.
a semitone apart.
2 There are no connecting chords between first and second melodic minor degrees.




 




I Amin II Amin
i Asus4 ii Asus4
iii Cmajb5 iv Cmajb5
IV D7 V D7
iv Dsus2 v Dsus2
VI F#dim VII F#dim
VI F#Ø VII F#Ø




 




III Caug V Caug
V Eaug VIII Eaug




 b




iv Dmajb5 iv Dmajb5
VII G#majb5 (Abmajb5) VII Abmajb5 (G#majb5)




 




I Gmin II Gmin
i Gsus4 ii Gsus4
iii Bbmajb5 iv Bbmajb5
IV C7 V C7
VI EØ vii EØ

There are no connections between fourth and fifth or fifth and sixth melodic minor degrees.
500

3 There are no connecting chords between first and sixth melodic minor degrees.
4 Connections between second and fifth melodic minor degrees are the same as first and third i.e. a 5th apart.
5 Connections between third and fifth melodic minor degrees are the same as first and second i.e. a minor 3rd apart. Connections between third and sixth melodic minor degrees are
the same as first and fifth i.e. a major 3rd apart.
Appendix Table of substitutions
!" #     % % 

 

 

 

 

 

 &'( () "
$  ) "
Comments Lydian Blues Aug. Minorizatio Minor M.M. M.M. Lydian M.M. M.M. Dim. Lydian
n dom. minoriza Aug. dom. Dom. Dim. domin aug. Dom.
tion ant
I IV V Q VI III n/a I III IV V n/a VI I I
Comments V/V Tonici Diminished Majoriz M.M. M.M. M.M. Alt of Symm
replace sation ation parallelis Parallel. Diminis V/V etric
ment m of V/V hed. dim.
II V VI n/a VII n/a IV II n/a V VI n/a VII II n/a
Comments Tonici Aug. of Majoriz M.M. Alteratio
sation V/VI ation paralleli n of
of iii sm V/VI
III n/a n/a I n/a Q V n/a V n/a VII n/a n/a n/a n/a
Comments Tonici Minorizatio Tonicisa M.M. M.M.
sation n tion of parallelis paralleli
iv m sm
IV n/a I n/a II VI n/a IV n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Comments Minorizatio M.M. Dim. Lydian
n parallelis domin aug. Dom.
m ant
V n/a n/a n/a III n/a n/a V n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a I I
Comments Major Minorizatio Tonicisa Alteratio Lydian
ization n tion n aug. Dom.
501

Q n/a n/a III q I n/a n/a VII n/a III n/a IV n/a I
!" #     % % 

 

 

 

 

 

 &'( () "
$  ) "
Comments V/II Majoriz Diminish M.M. M.M. Lydian
ation ed paralleli Parallel aug. Dom
sm of V/II of V/II
VI II III n/a n/a n/a I VI I n/a n/a IV n/a n/a I
Comments Minorizatio Majoriz M.M. M.M. Possible Symm
n ation parallelis paralleli subs. Of etric
m sm V/iii dim.
VII n/a n/a n/a q n/a II VII II n/a n/a V n/a II or n/a
VII

Note: these substitutions are based on findings during this research or as suggested possibilities which retain the function of the original chord. For
example chord VII has a melodic minor parallelism on the first-degree (m.m.) from the major perspective, but also has a parallelism on the second-
degree (m.m.) if acting as II of the relative minor.
502
503

G min Rast
RAST PE’ERVI Kemani Tatyos
e = 196
E 
G  5 5 5 5 5 = 555 5 5 55 = 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 55


E ' B 5 ' B 5

I V I I V

E
G = 555 5 5 55  5 5
5 5  5 55555 5 5 5 5 5 55555
= 5E5 5 5 5 5 5 5


E B 5 ' '
'
I bIII

E 55 5 5 5 5 555555555555
G = 5  5555 555 5 5 5 5 5555555555

E 5 '
B B ' B
IV I

E 5  55555555
=
G 5 5 5 5 5 E5 5 =  5 5 5 5 5 5 5  5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
5

E B B B B ' B B
VI I V

E =$  5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 !5 5 5 5 5 E5 5
G 5 5 5 5 5 5

E ' B B B B
I V I V

E 3 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 !5 !5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
G E5 5 55 5 5 55 5

E B B B B 5 5 5 5 5
5 5 5
II V bIII II IV V bIII I II VII