#1
Hi,

For part of my AS course, I have to complete the accompaniment of a melody . 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?
Woffelz

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#3
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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#4
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?
Woffelz

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#5
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 at Feb 10, 2013,
#6
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?
#DTWD
#7
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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#8
Quote 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.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#9
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.
Last edited by cdgraves at Feb 11, 2013,
#11
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I'm a musician, a composer, and a theory nut. Pleased to meet you! Check out my websites and drop me a line.

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#13
Thanks for the help guys. Will return to this thread soon.
Woffelz

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