#1
I've thought about this a lot and it's always kind of puzzled me. With a dominant chord, you have your chord tones (root, third, 5th seventh), extensions (9, 11, 13) as well as altered tensions that provide a nice bit of color (#/b9, #/b 5). The only note remaining is the major 7th, which (so long as it occurs on an offbeat), can be utilized to great effect as a chromatic passing tone going from the root to b7.

Obviously this doesn't merely apply to dominant chords, any note in music can be employed over any chord type in certain contexts (Charlie Parker and Eric Dolphy were living proof of that). But it certainly is apparent that dominant chords are the most flexible in terms of alteration; it would be a bit trickier finding a way to justify the use of, say, a major 3rd over a minor 7 chord.

Just taking a stab at it, I'm guessing that the dominant function of the chord is what gives it its greater flexibility. I'm curious to hear what you guys have to say about it though, especially those of you more versed in classical music theory.
I couldn't think of a thing that I hope tomorrow brings
Last edited by thegloaming at Feb 21, 2012,
#2
Quote by thegloaming
Just taking a stab at it, I'm guessing that the dominant function of the chord is what gives it its greater flexibility.


honestly, you pretty much nailed it.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#3
Yep. Dominant is a free for all. It's the last stop before the resolution so almost anything is game so long as you can reel it back in effectively. The funny thing is that Jazz is where this really manifests itself. In Classical theory, at least relating to CPP...it's not that common to see tons of alterations on the V7.
Last edited by chronowarp at Feb 21, 2012,
#4
Quote by chronowarp
Yep. Dominant is a free for all. It's the last stop before the resolution so almost anything is game so long as you can reel it back in effectively. The funny thing is that Jazz is where this really manifests itself. In Classical theory, at least relating to CPP...it's not that common to see tons of alterations on the V7.

I dunno, you sure about that? I don't claim to be a guru of classical theory, but back when I was studying some of that music in harmony class, I remember that around the Romantic period it was becoming more prevalent. I distinctly remember the b9 being a sonority Beethoven favored quite a bit.
I couldn't think of a thing that I hope tomorrow brings
#5
Quote by chronowarp
In Classical theory, at least relating to CPP...it's not that common to see tons of alterations on the V7.


i disagree...even in some of bach's simplest preludes there are chords that would be considered, by today's standards, 7b9 chords.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#6
7b9 is a pretty basic alteration to a dom7 though. I can't recall any pre-impressionist piece I've seen with a functioning 7#5#9 or any other 7alt type of chord.

It's funny to look at that kind of stuff from a classical theoretical perspective, as it tends to relate exclusively back to a specific type of chord function & voice leading - sort of the distinct difference between Classical & Jazz theory.
Last edited by chronowarp at Feb 21, 2012,
#7
Quote by chronowarp
7b9 is a pretty basic alteration to a dom7 though. I can't recall any pre-impressionist piece I've seen with a functioning 7#5#9 or any other 7alt type of chord.


you're right. but i'm not talking ravel or debussy, beethoven or berlioz, even haydn or mozart. i'm talking bach.

Quote by chronowarp
It's funny to look at that kind of stuff from a classical theoretical perspective, as it tends to relate exclusively back to a specific type of chord function & voice leading - sort of the distinct difference between Classical & Jazz theory.


bingo. that's what it's all about. that's why i don't like jazz theory.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.