andrewgp001
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
76 IQ
#1
Hi guys, I've got a problem to understand a harmony in Wayne Shorter's tune.

The main theme in this song is a simple blues (Cm7, Fm7), but when comes turnaround there are some things that I can't figure them out. According to Jamie Aebersold's realbook the turnaround chords are: F#-7(b5), F7(#11), E7+(#9), A7(#9) . I assume that the whole song before turnaround is in C minor. If we take into consideration modal scales, a Cm7 chord is on the I degree of the C natural minor scale, Fm7 is on the IV degree of the C minor(in Eb major scale there will be Cm7 on the VI, Fm7 on the II). Could you help me understand how those turnaround chords work over this song?

Thanks a lot!
Xiaoxi
Registered Luser
Join date: Nov 2007
2,744 IQ
#2
You have some flaws in your fundamental understanding of tonal harmony. Harmonies aren't dictated by scales or scale degrees. They're dictated by context, as in what comes before and after.

The F#-7b5 is a subdominant that would normally lead into B7. But in this case, you see F7, which is the substitute dominant for B7 because they both share the same tritone (D#/Eb - A).

Then, the F7, as a common convention, leads halfstep down to the E7 as a dominant motion. If you think in terms of B7, this also makes sense, as B7 is the direct dominant to E. The E7 then is a dominant for A7.

So this sequence is what's known as an extended chain of dominants.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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mattrusso
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2012
615 IQ
#3
Quote by Xiaoxi
You have some flaws in your fundamental understanding of tonal harmony. Harmonies aren't dictated by scales or scale degrees. They're dictated by context, as in what comes before and after.

The F#-7b5 is a subdominant that would normally lead into B7. But in this case, you see F7, which is the substitute dominant for B7 because they both share the same tritone (D#/Eb - A).

Then, the F7, as a common convention, leads halfstep down to the E7 as a dominant motion. If you think in terms of B7, this also makes sense, as B7 is the direct dominant to E. The E7 then is a dominant for A7.

So this sequence is what's known as an extended chain of dominants.


I would agree with this.

So if you're thinking in terms of chord scales, it'd be Locrian for the F#-7b5, Lydian b7 for the F7#11, and Altered or Symmetric Dominant (1/2-W Diminished) for the E7b5(#9) and the A7b5(#9).

Also make sure you take into account that the whole tune besides the turnaround is modal, not blues. The F-7 and C-7 chords are both Dorian (look at the melody!).
Last edited by mattrusso at Oct 18, 2012,
Xiaoxi
Registered Luser
Join date: Nov 2007
2,744 IQ
#4
Quote by mattrusso
I would agree with this.

So if you're thinking in terms of chord scales, it'd be Locrian for the F#-7b5, Lydian b7 for the F7#11, and Altered or Symmetric Dominant (1/2-W Diminished) for the E7b5(#9) and the A7b5(#9).

Sorry, but this is exactly the kind of thinking that is wrong and hence my sig. You don't approach each harmony as a separate entity requiring a separate scale. The human mind cannot process information like that.

From the F#-7b5 to F7 you're really just in the key of E minor because these are the ii-V's of E minor. Then the E7 to A7 is just in the key of D minor for the same reason. Of course this jumps abruptly back to C-7 instead of landing on D minor.

In short, this turnaround is all about modulating down whole steps: E minor, D minor, C minor.

There is no scale involved. There is only the practice of shifting your inner ear and sense of tonality, which then guides what you should play.

edit: I see that you're apparently in Berklee. I know that Harmony 1-4 tries to indoctrinate the whole chord-scale approach in everyone. Coming from someone who passed these courses with flying colors and have had a few years to really process them, I strongly believe that it's a harmful way of perceiving tonal harmony and does not help you in reality. You should do your best to take in the crap they're teaching and come up with the most compact way of thinking about it, because being able to name the appropriate chord scale for each chord is only useful in getting an A on the exams.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Last edited by Xiaoxi at Oct 18, 2012,
andrewgp001
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2009
76 IQ
#5
Thanks guys for your answers. I will check them out soon!
MikeDodge
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2009
349 IQ
#6
I have a pretty in-depth look at finding forward motion in this tune, and I show the Pat Martino chords for the turnaround, here: http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/footprints-some-forward-motion-concepts-t2.html

It will make you look at that progression differently for sure.