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Old 02-10-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
Woffelz
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Jazz harmony?

Hi,

For part of my AS course, I have to complete the accompaniment of a melody [I have seven of these to do]. Two of them are jazz, but my teacher hasn't spent much time going over jazz harmony [but the classical harmony is all well and good]. Here is what I know [or at least what I think I know].

- Seventh chords, not triads, are the building blocks.
- Melodic minor [ascending] is used a lot.
- I can double thirds and sevenths, unlike in classical harmony.
- Diminished seventh chords are common.

That's all I know. What about voice leading, parallels etc?
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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What's the melody?
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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if your teacher did not go over jazz harmony, are you sure you are expected to use jazz harmony?

are we talking 4-part? if so, i can pretty much guarantee that you're not expected to use jazz harmony. 4-part jazz harmonization is essentially pointless -- the style itself is classical.

voiceleading in jazz should be as smooth as possible unless a disjointed effect is desired. parallels (and the fact you're even mentioning this pretty much screams to me 4-part) are not taken into consideration.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:50 PM   #4
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I don't have it yet, but would I be able to write an accompaniment to a simple melody with what's in the OP?
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:56 PM   #5
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You will need;

Knowledge of chord voicings in all inversions, harmonized to 7th degree
Voice leading
Knowledge of walking bass
Diatonic and chromatic harmony in major and minor keys
Secondary dominants (chromatic harmony)
Tritone substitution (chromatic harmony)
Turnarounds
ii-V approaches and minor ii-V approaches (chromatic harmony)
Chord extensions

Last edited by mdc : 02-10-2013 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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how many voices are you supposed to write for? and are you basically just kind of putting block chords in the horns to demonstrate knowledge of jazz harmony or are you supposed to write in an actual big band style?
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:05 PM   #7
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Jazz can be written for any number of instruments. Typically, if the ensemble is smaller, one instrument will carry the melody. Other melodic instruments will create a harmony part. Then the rhythm section comps chords behind them.

Big band arrangements use more of the rules found in traditional part writing, but, one does not need to adhere to them quite as strictly. I find that different sections in a jazz band are harmonized different. For example, the saxes are almost always moving in 3rds and 6ths. That is what their chords are built off of, but, they do account for voice leading. The brass, however, is often written in parallel motion.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angusman60
Jazz can be written for any number of instruments. Typically, if the ensemble is smaller, one instrument will carry the melody. Other melodic instruments will create a harmony part. Then the rhythm section comps chords behind them.

Big band arrangements use more of the rules found in traditional part writing, but, one does not need to adhere to them quite as strictly. I find that different sections in a jazz band are harmonized different. For example, the saxes are almost always moving in 3rds and 6ths. That is what their chords are built off of, but, they do account for voice leading. The brass, however, is often written in parallel motion.


an excellent observation -- i suggest you keep these things in mind, TS.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:04 AM   #9
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Use the 4 part texture as a harmonic reduction as if you were writing for big band horn/wind sections. Utilize altered chord tones on dominants for voice leading.

The ascending melodic minor is sort of a modal thing meant to encompass the range of melodic/improvisational conventions over dominant 7th chords. I would not apply this concept proscriptively; the pattern emerges naturally when you use altered dominants (b/# 5 and 9). Using altered tones as suspensions is an excellent approach.

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:36 AM   #10
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i love jazz music
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:15 AM   #11
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:59 PM   #12
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:18 PM   #13
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Thanks for the help guys. Will return to this thread soon.
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