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Chord Progressions - Some ideas V C V C each 16 bars, an example

#1 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:18 PM

I thought I would post some thoughts on how to think about chord progressions.
Let's start with a V C V C song, with 16 bars in the verse and 16 bars in the chorus.

VERSE
1 5/7 6 (4 5)
1 5/7 6 (4 5)
3 4 3 (4 5)
1 6 (4 5) 1

CHORUS
4 4 1 1
4 4 5 5
1 1+ 4 4mi
1 6 (4 5) 1

Some explanations.
A chord by itself, like 1 or 5, means 1 bar of that chord, in 4/4 in this case.
A slash specified a different bass note from the root.
So 5/7 is a five chord with the 7 of the scale in the bass.
The scale is the diatonic major scale. And the natural chord qualities are:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
CMa Dmi Emi FMa 5Dom 6mi 7dim

5Dom is G7, a dominant 7th chord in the key of C.
The + represents an augmented chord. As in 1+.
Two chords inside ( ) means each chord gets 2 beats of the 4 beat 4/4 bar.
A number by itself, as most are in this chart, means the chord is not altered.
So a 2 is a 2 minor. If you wanted a 2 major, you would have to write 2Ma,
Because that would be an alteration of the diatonic 2 chord, which is minor naturally.

It can be helpful to thiak about the chords in this song as a group of 4 bar chord progressions.
So the 1 5/7 6 (4 5) is one of the 4 bar chord progressions.

So say we wanted to alter this progression.
We could change some of the 4 bar phrases. Like so:

Here are some alternatives to choose from:
6 4 2 5
5 6 4 5
3 6 4 4mi

So we might change the song verse like so:

VERSE
1 5/7 6 (4 5)
3 6 4 5
6 4 2 5
1 6 (4 5) 1

You get the idea. You can mix and match up to a point.
One "rule" would be to have the first bar of the next phrase
start with a chord that is not the same as the last chord of the previous line.
So the 5 at the end of the 2nd phrase goes to a 6 on the next line.
And the 5 at the end of the 3rd phrase goes to a 1 at the start of the 4th phrase.

Just some thoughts on chord progressions.
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#2 User is offline   Stefan Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:38 AM

Using regular numbers instead of roman really confuses me... I cannot read this and know what's going on without translating it in my head. Sorry. Why make up your own system when there is a standard way of writing out chord progressions?

#3 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:26 AM

View PostStefan, on 22 August 2011 - 11:38 PM, said:

Using regular numbers instead of roman really confuses me... I cannot read this and know what's going on without translating it in my head. Sorry. Why make up your own system when there is a standard way of writing out chord progressions?


I think the arabic numbers are pretty simple. I don't mind using the roman numerals. It's not my own system. Many musicians use arabic numbers.
I'm not sure that V/vii is easier to understand than 5/7.

See this link for an example of arabic "numbers" representing chords in a professional setting.
http://www.premiergu...emystified.aspx

Don't be fooled by people calling this the Nashville Numbers System. The same idea is very common in most professional recording situations.

Here is the Wikipedia entry for the Nashville Numbers System:

Nashville notation

Main article: Nashville number system
-----------------------
Nashville notation or Nashville number system[2] is a method of writing, or sketching out, musical ideas, using numbers in place of chord names. For example, in the key of C major, the chord D minor 7 can be written as "dm7", "2m7", or "ii7".

In the key of C, C=1, D=2, E=3, and so on for all seven notes in the key. So, the chord progression C///F///G///C/// would correspond to 1///4///5///1/// in Nashville notation, while G///C///D///G/// in the key of G would also become 1///4///5///1///.

This method of notation allows musicians who are familiar with basic music theory to play the same song in any key.

--------------------
You can see they show both the roman numerals as an example, and the arabic numerals.
I don't like the 1/// type notation to indicate 4 beats of the 1 chord. I prefer what I was using, where a chord by itself is assumed to be 1 bar of that chord.

If you readk the Wikipedia info on chord symbols, you can see that there is much variation in the "standard" way of representing chords with symbols.

As simple as the example is that I posted, I thought that the arabic numbers were clear and easy to understand. The roman numberls would have worked also.

Is 1 6 2 5 really that hard to understand?
As opposed to I vi ii V?

To me, in examples this simple, both methods are clear, and easy to understand.

One last point, if you are talking to someone about chord progressions would you say,
"Let's play a capital Eye (I) lowercase vi (vi) lower case Eye Eye (ii) capital V"
Or would you say "Let's play a 1 6 2 5 progression?

Thanks for contributing to the topic.
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#4 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 09:35 AM

Talking/writing about music theory can be very confusing because there are so many ways it can be presented. There's even more than one way to use the Roman Numerals (with or without lower case).

Personally, I really enjoy seeing the different ways it can be explained, whether it's some standard way or from the mind of an individual. However, since this is an aural pursuit, it's almost all lost on me without accompanying sound or video files.

Yukon, is there any way you provide sound files for this? Even a cheesy MIDI file could go a long way toward illuminating your concepts.

I know how time consuming it can be to present this kind of info in differing forms, so I understand if this isn't a possibility.

#5 User is offline   Lazz Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 10:23 AM

Stefan said:

Using regular numbers instead of roman really confuses me... I cannot read this and know what's going on without translating it in my head. Sorry. Why make up your own system when there is a standard way of writing out chord progressions?

That's just one of the problems involved with the Nashville numbers system.
Nashville is an island where they speak an arcane dialect while the rest of the world follows a different set of conventions.

Nonetheless, it's great to see this misnamed ghetto getting a major increase in traffic, and it's great to have participation from somebody (Yukon) who my ears tell me has considerable musical literacy - alongside an obvious willingness to take time to share.
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The relation and balance of the two arts is a problem that has to be resolved anew in every song that is composed.”

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#6 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:25 AM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 23 August 2011 - 08:35 AM, said:

Talking/writing about music theory can be very confusing because there are so many ways it can be presented. There's even more than one way to use the Roman Numerals (with or without lower case).

Personally, I really enjoy seeing the different ways it can be explained, whether it's some standard way or from the mind of an individual. However, since this is an aural pursuit, it's almost all lost on me without accompanying sound or video files.

Yukon, is there any way you provide sound files for this? Even a cheesy MIDI file could go a long way toward illuminating your concepts.

I know how time consuming it can be to present this kind of info in differing forms, so I understand if this isn't a possibility.


Actually that progression is frpom a real song.
The song is called "Now I Know", by, I think Larie or Lara White. From the 1990s.
I purposely used a real song for the purpose you suggest. So people can hear the chords in action.
There are probably copyright issues with putting the actual song on a web site.
I can post a cheesy MIDI file :).

About the Nashville Number System. Let's not got over exercised about someone calling their method the Nashville Numbers System. The basic idea for all of the number systems is the same. And, as I point out in my other post on this, there are many variations on the numbers system. I recommend the Wikipedia secion on chord symbols.
It even mentions, for example, that Schopenaur, I think it was, used all CAPs when he wrote numbers. I think people who are reasonably bright, can grasp that I vi ii V or I VI II V , or 1 6 2 5 is basically the same.

How are the doing the numbers in your jazz composition course, Salley?

Just to explain to everyone, if they need ti hear it, the lowercase roman numerals indicate a minor or diminshed chord.
The upper case represent Major and Dominant Chords (Dom7, Dom9, etc.)

I hope we start discussing the chords progressions themselves soon, and not just the symbols :).

Thanks, Salley.
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#7 User is offline   Lazz Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:28 PM

Quote

There's even more than one way to use the Roman Numerals (with or without lower case).

That’s a pretty specious distinction, Salley.
If conversation is taking place about a II-V-I, for example, everyone will understand that the II is minor, that the V is dominant, and that the I is major.
If one is performing an analysis exercise, upper and lower case only has relevance if the work is being assessed by someone else who insists on that convention and marks accordingly.

Quote

One last point, if you are talking to someone about chord progressions would you say,
"Let's play a capital Eye (I) lowercase vi (vi) lower case Eye Eye (ii) capital V"
Or would you say "Let's play a 1 6 2 5 progression?

That also seems quite unnecessarily specious: I think we need to bear in mind that if we are talking to someone, rather than writing it down, both “1 6 2 5” and “I-VI-II-V” will be pronounced the same way.

Quote

If you readk the Wikipedia info on chord symbols, you can see that there is much variation in the "standard" way of representing chords with symbols.

Aaah, Wikipedia – what Jaron Lanier describes as a triumph of intellectual mob rule.

There is in truth a basic long-established and internationally-recognised style of nomenclature, of chord spelling, which is an accepted standard in the real professional world – in spite of some few minor localised variations. Similarly, it is also a long-established convention of traditional functional analysis that we use Roman numerals and not Arabic.

In the spirit of two of your statements elsewhere (“For the purpose of discussion is this forum…” it is sensible to use common terms & “I believe in being encouraging and supportive of writers, however, I also don't think we should misrepresent things to encourage them.”) – both of which make perfect sense to me - I believe there is considerable profit in following those recognised practices.

While we could indeed argue that the basic idea for all number systems is essentially the same, I am concerned that the practical implications of each are significantly different.

My first concern is that reliance on the Nashville system herds us towards the limitations of triadic thinking – which is perfectly fine for circumstances where triads are the basic operating currency – folk, country, and rock – and where progressions are more by rote and less by understanding - but which is severely limited in opportunities to make any progress beyond that. Which leads directly to the fundamental issue that it offers no heuristic value – i.e. that it provides no cumulative basis for making sense of the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of effective chord progressions within the world of standard functional harmony. It is a blind alley.

Few people here, as I have discovered, seem particularly interested in knowing much more though because regular old home-based triadic thinking serves people’s needs and purposes perfectly adequately for what they are doing. It is also why this section of the board and its predecessor earned such little traffic until your very welcome return.

From my perspective, it is tough to discuss progressions without first clarifying underlying assumptions about chord-generation, the chord-tones which that process reveals, the essential defining qualities of chords, and the idea of voice-leading. That way can illuminate how the basic VI-II-V-I works so neatly, for example, because of the easy movement between the 3rds and 7ths of each chord.

Quote

How are the doing the numbers in your jazz composition course, Salley?

I can’t help but fondly recall Salley’s one-time insistence to me that jazz musicians don’t use Roman numerals.
We do in fact use the Roman numerals of conventional functional harmony.
Hip Pocket Music

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and the second best to sing them"

Hillaire Belloc

“SONG is the joint art of words and music, two arts under emotional pressure coalescing into a third.
The relation and balance of the two arts is a problem that has to be resolved anew in every song that is composed.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica

#8 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:32 PM

View PostYukon, on 23 August 2011 - 05:25 PM, said:

I hope we start discussing the chords progressions themselves soon, and not just the symbols :).


I'd be interested, but I have to admit to having become a bit lost as to what the key point you're making is. I get lost in all the numbers and the explanations.

If we were to just use one key, it might help.

So, in C, we have 3 4 3 (4 5) .. or an Em, F, Em, (F, G7)

.. but that could be 6 4 2 5 .. or Am F Dm G7

Is your point that these could be alternative backing chords for the same melody?

I'm trying to get to the crux of what you want to communicate, and I'm not sure I'm getting it.
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#9 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:50 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 23 August 2011 - 12:32 PM, said:

View PostYukon, on 23 August 2011 - 05:25 PM, said:

I hope we start discussing the chords progressions themselves soon, and not just the symbols :).


I'd be interested, but I have to admit to having become a bit lost as to what the key point you're making is. I get lost in all the numbers and the explanations.

If we were to just use one key, it might help.

So, in C, we have 3 4 3 (4 5) .. or an Em, F, Em, (F, G7)

.. but that could be 6 4 2 5 .. or Am F Dm G7

Is your point that these could be alternative backing chords for the same melody?

I'm trying to get to the crux of what you want to communicate, and I'm not sure I'm getting it.


Thanks for the reply, Alistair.
One reason why you use numbers is they are the same in all keys.
So, as you correctly say above, 3 4 3 (4 5) is Em F Em (F G7) in C. It's Ami Bb Ami (Bb C7), in F, for example.

My point was to illustrate how one can think about coming up with a chord progression for your song. That you have the control to choose what chords you want, and I was showing a "method" to come up with chord changes.

Sorry for all the explanation :), hopefully we'll get beyond that. It's really pretty simple.
I wasn't thinking of a melody when I posted this. I wasn't trying to have different changes apply to the same melody.
I just wanted to help people, beginners in particular, get a handle on chords. It's not all that wierd and wild.

Popular songs mostly conform to pretty common patterns of chord changes. So I wouldn't call them "rules" but they should be informative to songwriters.

For example, a lot of songs repeat the first 4 bar chrod phrase as the 2nd phrase, then departs during the 3rd phrase, and sort of winds up in the forth phrase, like so:

1 6mi 4 5
1 6mi 4 5
6mi F 2mi 5
1 5 1 1

I'm thinking primarily of modern country here, but the same ideas apply to most music.
For example, that last 4 bar phrase above, the 1 5 1 1 is probably used in hundreds, if not thousands of country songs over the last 20 years. Sometimes there are variations like:

1 1 5 1
or
1 (1 5) 1 1
These, obviouly, are usually changed to conform to a melody.
There are also patterns in melodies :). I'd have to write a book to get it all in :).

I do want to discuss melody patterns, since we are in the Melody forum :).

Thanks for your interest, Alistair.
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#10 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:05 PM

View PostLazz, on 23 August 2011 - 12:28 PM, said:

Quote

There's even more than one way to use the Roman Numerals (with or without lower case).

That’s a pretty specious distinction, Salley.
If conversation is taking place about a II-V-I, for example, everyone will understand that the II is minor, that the V is dominant, and that the I is major.
If one is performing an analysis exercise, upper and lower case only has relevance if the work is being assessed by someone else who insists on that convention and marks accordingly.


Good post, Lazz. You're holding my feet to the fire :).
Ok, let's use roman numerals, and the uppercase/lowercase convention for Major/minor, etc..

As I keep saying here, let's not get all upset about the Nashville Number system. It is basically the same number system, it's just that it was in wide use in Nashville recording that that name came about.
My experience in country recording sessions, is that often, each musican writes his own numbers chart. And they can vary a lot, as you might imagine.

I don't remember is it was you, but someone asked how do you handle key changes in the Nashville Numbers system.
Using the song All The THings You Are as an example. A song with lots of key changes.
The answer is you handle it the same way you do in all numbers system, you specify a new key, like so:

Key C: ii V7 iii vi Key F: iii IV #IVdim I/5
Key G: vi IV II7 V7
You get the idea.
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#11 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:07 PM

OK, so far, so good (as in, I think I understand you). Bear with me.. I can be a little slow :)

So, are you saying that:

a ) you can use any chord in a given key (and it's good to know what those chords are, therefore!)

AND

b ) there are well-tried patterns for moving between these chords and these patterns can be useful .. for example, I V vi IV ..(axis of awesome.. woo!) .. there are some listed here, for anyone interested


OR.. is there something else that you are saying, but I'm not yet grasping?

I can kind of struggle theory to a degree, but it gives me a headache and it's slow progress, I'm afraid. Don't be afraid to talk to me like I'm 6 years old .. I'm quite willing to learn!
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#12 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:06 PM

View PostLazz, on 23 August 2011 - 12:28 PM, said:

Quote

There's even more than one way to use the Roman Numerals (with or without lower case).

That’s a pretty specious distinction, Salley.
If conversation is taking place about a II-V-I, for example, everyone will understand that the II is minor, that the V is dominant, and that the I is major.
If one is performing an analysis exercise, upper and lower case only has relevance if the work is being assessed by someone else who insists on that convention and marks accordingly.


Quote

I can’t help but fondly recall Salley’s one-time insistence to me that jazz musicians don’t use Roman numerals.
We do in fact use the Roman numerals of conventional functional harmony.


It is in Jazz that Roman Numerals are used in all upper case, and Classical that upper and lower case are used. These are not hard and fast rules, but general ones. I was also at the beginning of my journey in learning Jazz at the time, and the initial chord symbols I saw used were not numbers at all of any sort. My comments about Jazz not using Roman Numerals was in this context, but worded poorly at that time. The crux of my argument then is the same as now: there is more than one acceptable way to write chords and music notation depending on such variables as genre and culture. I do not make specious arguments.

I have no fond memories of our earlier discussions. This only brings back bad memories. I do not want a repetition of those times.

#13 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:15 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 23 August 2011 - 02:06 PM, said:

View PostLazz, on 23 August 2011 - 12:28 PM, said:

Quote

There's even more than one way to use the Roman Numerals (with or without lower case).

That’s a pretty specious distinction, Salley.
If conversation is taking place about a II-V-I, for example, everyone will understand that the II is minor, that the V is dominant, and that the I is major.
If one is performing an analysis exercise, upper and lower case only has relevance if the work is being assessed by someone else who insists on that convention and marks accordingly.


Quote

I can’t help but fondly recall Salley’s one-time insistence to me that jazz musicians don’t use Roman numerals.
We do in fact use the Roman numerals of conventional functional harmony.


It is in Jazz that Roman Numerals are used in all upper case, and Classical that upper and lower case are used. These are not hard and fast rules, but general ones. I was also at the beginning of my journey in learning Jazz at the time, and the initial chord symbols I saw used were not numbers at all of any sort. My comments about Jazz not using Roman Numerals was in this context, but worded poorly at that time. The crux of my argument then is the same as now: there is more than one acceptable way to write chords and music notation depending on such variables as genre and culture. I do not make specious arguments.

I have no fond memories of our earlier discussions. This only brings back bad memories. I do not want a repetition of those times.


As you mention, they are general rules.
John Mehegan, who at the time taught jazz improvisaion at Julliard, used upper and lower case and roman numerals.

The point I keep making is :), let's get beyond discussing the variations in number systems and move on to more substantive discussions about the chords themselves :).
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#14 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:20 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 23 August 2011 - 01:07 PM, said:

OK, so far, so good (as in, I think I understand you). Bear with me.. I can be a little slow :)

So, are you saying that:

a ) you can use any chord in a given key (and it's good to know what those chords are, therefore!)

AND

b ) there are well-tried patterns for moving between these chords and these patterns can be useful .. for example, I V vi IV ..(axis of awesome.. woo!) .. there are some listed here, for anyone interested


OR.. is there something else that you are saying, but I'm not yet grasping?

I can kind of struggle theory to a degree, but it gives me a headache and it's slow progress, I'm afraid. Don't be afraid to talk to me like I'm 6 years old .. I'm quite willing to learn!


You summazize it pretty well, actually, to the extent we have been discussing this.
In the John Megegan book I keep referring to, I need to buy another copy so I can post some stuff here, he has a vrery good chart of the common progressions. I'll check your link out later. In a hurry now.

Keep in mind, of course, that you can put these commjon progressions together in any order, and that you can modulate, etc.. also. That's where you get more uniqueness and variation. Although it should be said, that many great songs have been written that only use I IV and V, with perhaps a vi or ii or II7 thrown in.
You know that series of books that has music for all the songs but only uses 6 chords? That is a good example also.
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#15 User is offline   Scotto Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:24 PM

For the unwashed like me (googled to try and catch up) does this help get me in the ball park of the discussion?

http://www.ezfolk.co...hord-chart.html

I'll probably just follow along but wanted to make sure I was understanding things.

#16 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:35 PM

Yeah, as a fellow member of the great unwashed, that's the ball-park I'm standing on, too :)

Posted Image

Along with his description:

A "key" is a group of chords that sound good together. Making up songs can be as simple as picking a key from the chart, learning some or all of the chords in that key, and playing them however you feel like it. You can also substitute 6th 7th or 9th chords any time you want to, to change the sound or feel of your song. You may have noticed that I shaded the I, IV, and V chords in gray in the major keys. This is because those are the chords I love and use for playing blues.

.. so I'm ignoring the shading :)

Another way I look at it is that it's a bit like using a capo.. but without the capo! :lol:
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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:54 PM

Cool.

OK as I look at it the last song I put together was a I - V - VI - IV with a 7th on the V. It was a case where I liked the transition from I - V7th in another song and starting building on it and took it in another direction. Of course I didn't do it with this chart in mind but as I look at it this could be a fresh source of ideas. I was also working on no changes other than dynamics. It fascinates me that a song and musician can get so much range from just one progression. I listen to Feeling Alright by Joe Cocker and I'm blown away by the movement he get gets out of a simple C7 F7 on a piano. Looking at the chart that's a I - IV in the key of C ha ha...

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:55 PM

P.S. I know Dave Mason is the original but prefer the Cocker version... it swings...

#19 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 07:09 PM

View PostYukon, on 23 August 2011 - 10:25 AM, said:

How are the doing the numbers in your jazz composition course, Salley?



View PostYukon, on 23 August 2011 - 02:15 PM, said:

As you mention, they are general rules.
John Mehegan, who at the time taught jazz improvisaion at Julliard, used upper and lower case and roman numerals.

The point I keep making is :), let's get beyond discussing the variations in number systems and move on to more substantive discussions about the chords themselves :).


I'll wrap up my thoughts on how chord symbols are written in Jazz because it has changed over time, and those changes correspond somewhat with changes in the use/creation of chords themselves.

In the early days of jazz, Upper/Lower case Roman Numerals were used, the music was still easily recognizable in an identifiable key, following basic voice leading using a I-ii-V-I chord progression.

Over time, the Key the music was in was no longer stable, and the shape of certain chord progressions became important, such as the II-V-I turnaround. At this point, Upper Case Roman Numerals became common (the II chord is still minor). By now, the chords themselves were filled with Dominants. It's true that the II-V-I is still reminiscent of the classical cycle of fifths, but the shape of the progression of the II-V-I would appear and reappear in differing keys so quickly that one could say it wasn't even an actual modulation to a new key.

As Jazz music got more and more creative with developing new chords (minor 9ths, 13 chords, etc.), the use of Roman Numerals started falling by the wayside. Much of the Jazz music I've been studying doesn't use numbers, but uses symbols instead (ie: G7, Am, C9+6th). The exact notation of the symbols changes with each Jazz composer, as there has become many, many ways to write the same chord. The music itself may or may not follow any of the recognizable chord progression shapes or structures (such as AABA) known in Jazz from the past. Often times, the chord symbols may be completely missing from the printed sheet music, except for a specific soloist at a specific time. The sheet music might be highly composed, and look nothing like a lead sheet.

Granted, this has been pretty vague about specific chord progressions. But it shows the fluid nature of Jazz music. I have not intended this to sound like a linear evolution of the music, as the genre of Jazz is too fluid and inclusive of its past and other musical styles/genres.

Disclaimer: I am the first to say my knowledge of music is limited, as the study of music is like a vast ocean. I don't believe I will ever live long enough to become an expert, even in one particular genre. What I've written is my perspective on some of what I have learned about Jazz from some amazing Jazz musicians, theorists, and educators. It is not meant to be all inclusive, or the final word, or in conflict with other perspectives. I ask any reader to take it or leave it.

#20 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 07:15 PM

View PostScotto, on 23 August 2011 - 02:54 PM, said:

Cool.

OK as I look at it the last song I put together was a I - V - VI - IV with a 7th on the V. It was a case where I liked the transition from I - V7th in another song and starting building on it and took it in another direction. Of course I didn't do it with this chart in mind but as I look at it this could be a fresh source of ideas. I was also working on no changes other than dynamics. It fascinates me that a song and musician can get so much range from just one progression. I listen to Feeling Alright by Joe Cocker and I'm blown away by the movement he get gets out of a simple C7 F7 on a piano. Looking at the chart that's a I - IV in the key of C ha ha...


Yeah. You know I think what you're saying is that melody really trumps harmony in a way. You can have a great melody with the most simple harmony.
The George Strait song, Troubadour, has the 4 bar chord progression:
I vi IV I
That's it. The same 4 bar progression, over and over. Both verse and chorus.
This is also a good example of how the chorus can have the same chords as the verse and still work with a good melody.
By the way, George Strait's songs have always had melodies. Don't know why. Don't know who is responsible for that, but it's the case.
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#21 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 07:55 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 23 August 2011 - 06:09 PM, said:

View PostYukon, on 23 August 2011 - 10:25 AM, said:

How are the doing the numbers in your jazz composition course, Salley?



View PostYukon, on 23 August 2011 - 02:15 PM, said:

As you mention, they are general rules.
John Mehegan, who at the time taught jazz improvisaion at Julliard, used upper and lower case and roman numerals.

The point I keep making is :), let's get beyond discussing the variations in number systems and move on to more substantive discussions about the chords themselves :).


I'll wrap up my thoughts on how chord symbols are written in Jazz because it has changed over time, and those changes correspond somewhat with changes in the use/creation of chords themselves.

In the early days of jazz, Upper/Lower case Roman Numerals were used, the music was still easily recognizable in an identifiable key, following basic voice leading using a I-ii-V-I chord progression.

As Jazz music got more and more creative with developing new chords (minor 9ths, 13 chords, etc.), the use of Roman Numerals started falling by the wayside. Much of the Jazz music I've been studying doesn't use numbers, but uses symbols instead (ie: G7, Am, C9+6th). The exact notation of the symbols changes with each Jazz composer, as there has become many, many ways to write the same chord. The music itself may or may not follow any of the recognizable chord progression shapes or structures (such as AABA) known in Jazz from the past. Often times, the chord symbols may be completely missing from the printed sheet music, except for a specific soloist at a specific time. The sheet music might be highly composed, and look nothing like a lead sheet.


First, we can agree that chord symbols vary a lot, and evole some over time.
However, Mehegan's numbers included the most advanced chords that you speak of. Even by the 1960s the 9th, 11th and 13th chords were in wide use in jazz. And all of their many alterations.
In regard to the chord symbols like C Am7 FMaj7 G13, etc.., you will see those on any jazz, or other written chart. Numbers would not be as useful there.
My fondness for the numbers is that idea that it helps your ear, and mind, understand the chords within a diatonic context. When writing a chart/score, I would use the real chord names as well on the guitar, and perhaps piano part.

Mehegan also was big on the cycle of 5ths, which really all serious musicans and composers are. That is not a recent thing.
You can have tons of dominants and not abandon the numbers sytem, by the way.
The only time numvers really break down is in something like the 12 tone system. Or microtonal scale music.
Non diatonic music in general.

But moving on :). We should be dealing with mostly the very basic chords and symbols in this forum, so surely we can all unerstand what is happening.
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#22 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 08:39 PM

View PostYukon, on 23 August 2011 - 06:55 PM, said:

But moving on :). We should be dealing with mostly the very basic chords and symbols in this forum, so surely we can all unerstand what is happening.

This would be good, and maybe with some accompanying sound files. ;) :)

#23 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 09:25 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 23 August 2011 - 07:39 PM, said:

View PostYukon, on 23 August 2011 - 06:55 PM, said:

But moving on :). We should be dealing with mostly the very basic chords and symbols in this forum, so surely we can all unerstand what is happening.

This would be good, and maybe with some accompanying sound files. ;) :)


Your wish has come ture :).
Posted Image Just one man's opinion ...

#24 User is offline   Kenneth Bradshaw Icon

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 03:49 PM

I rarely say lets play 1,6,2,5. I usually ask "Does anyone know Heart and Soul?"

#25 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 05:28 PM

View PostKenneth Bradshaw, on 12 October 2011 - 02:49 PM, said:

I rarely say lets play 1,6,2,5. I usually ask "Does anyone know Heart and Soul?"


Humorous, but irrelevant. You should refer to 1 6 2 5 to be more correct and presice.
Some might play Heart and Soul as 1 6 4 5, for example.
I appreciate humor, but let's be clear to separate the humor from the actual musical question.
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