Well, I've been doing some thinking lately about altered chords, but to start out the question, I'm going to begin with a simpler question. I already know it sounds good, but I want to know why! Say, we have a simple V7 -> Imaj7 progression (I'm going to use jazz chords for this, since that is what I'm going to apply it to) in the key of C. We have G7 -> Cmaj7, meaning GBDF -> CEGB.

We all know there's a tritone in G7, namely B and F. My first question is, to what notes of the Cmaj7 do they resolve? My teacher said something in the lines of: 'The root becomes the fifth, the fifth becomes the root, the third becomes the seventh and the seventh becomes the third'. That means the G stays a G, the B stays a B, the D becomes a C and the F becomes an E. From the way I see it, those are the smallest movements to obtain in this progression, so in a way it's logic.

However, what if I'm going to the key of F# and use the G7 as a C#7 tritone substitution? Than we'd have G7 -> F#maj7 = GBDF -> F#A#C#E#. The theory of my teacher suddenly doesn't seem so great anymore.. So, second question: Is the answer of the first question valid when there are substitutions? For further chaos, if I change it do a deceptive cadence.. G7 -> Amin7 = GBDF -> ACEG. Same story again.. Or if we do a deceptive cadence with the tritone substitute? G7 -> D#min7 = GBDF -> D#F#A#C#. Oh noes, again! Maybe I should fire my teacher.

So basically we have four major outputs of the G7 chord, which are Am7, Cmaj7, F#maj7 and D#min7. As far as I can see, they don't have anything in common, not in all four chords at least. Could it perhaps be the intervallic relation or something like that?

So, halfway to the final question. What if I take a G7 and make it a G7b9, or a G9#5. Than we'd have an extra tritone in it, meaning more places to resolve to.

In the case of G7b9, we'd have GBDFAb, with tritone between the BF and DAb. So resolvable to the aforementioned four chords (Am7, Cmaj7, F#maj7 and D#min7) and four more, if my guess is right. D and Ab are the 3 and b7 in Bb7, so G7b9=Bb7? Also, Bb7 could resolve to Ebmaj7 and it's minor substitute Cmin7. Also, could be used as a tritone substitution to serve as E7, meaning it could resolve to Amaj7 and F#m7. This is another big thing.. When we line all those chords up, we get Am7, Amaj7, Cm7, Cmaj7, D#min7, D#maj7, F#min7 and F#maj7.

Could this be the work of the b9, which is available (example) in the harmonic minor, being mixed with the regular major scale? I know that dom7 chords can be used in harmonic minor, therefore going from G7 -> Cmin/maj7 (C harm minor) and the major scale would be used for the G7 -> Cmaj7. Ah, I could go on for hours about this, but I think, if you've red this far, you'll probably either die of confusion or be happy to explain.

My question is, can anybody explain this? In summary: Whereto does a dom7 chord resolve and if so, is it because of the tritone (which I'm guessing, because of the tritone substitution)? It's getting a bit over my head.. Free beers for anyone who solves (a part of) this
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Do you want the correct way to handle 7th to 7th voice leading, or do you want to know why your teachers method doesn't work for tritone substitution -- those are two distinct questions.

(That your teachers method isn't the correct way to handle 7th to 7th voice leading is completely irrelevant compared to the second question).
Quote by les_kris
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Any chord can be proceeded half or whole step away by its dominant. < I'll look the specifics up later I don't think thats how the statement originally was.
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Quote by Corwinoid
Do you want the correct way to handle 7th to 7th voice leading, or do you want to know why your teachers method doesn't work for tritone substitution -- those are two distinct questions.

If you want, please answer both questions
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The tritone in a dominant 7th chord is the scale degrees 7 and 4. The 7 resolves a half step up to the tonic and the 4 resolves down to the third. The two notes move towards each other. I assume this is the same for the tritone with the 9th. And because the tritone is the same distance apart if it were inverted, it can move in opposite ways.

So B and F would move to C and E and the D and Ab would go to G and E so that would work.

I don't know much about substitutions so I'll let Cor handle that.

Reading your post again, I don't think I helped that much.
Last edited by spoonfulofshred at Jun 8, 2006,
But it helped a bit, thanks a lot I always knew that the dominant chord could resolve to a lot of other chords, but I never knew why and now I'm a bit closer to understanding Thanks
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Firstly, your teachers method doesn't work because there's a different type of harmonic motion involved. Once you understand the types of harmonic voice leading in the sense of classes, it makes a lot more sense.

Firstly, you have root motion by fifth/fourth; normally you'd have one common tone between the two chords, it gets suspended into the new chords, the other voices move. That's how your teacher wants to handle this (and still manages to **** it up).

Second you've got root motion by 3rd/6th, where you have two common tones, and the odd voice out moves.

Finally you've got root motion by 2nd/7th, where there are none, and the situation needs to be treated with some care. (normally the voices all move contrary to the bass... that doesn't work in your case).

Whether or not the interval is perfect/diminished/augmented/major/minor doesn't matter, the voice leading still gets handled the same -- you'll notice that after a tritone sub, you're moving by minor second instead of by a perfect fifth -- the method for voice leading the system changes completely.

That's why your teacher's method breaks down after a tritone substitution (not that it was completely right in the first place, mind you).

I've got a little bit of work to finish up, then if I have time I'll explain 7th to 7th motion the way you want to use it.
Quote by les_kris
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Alright, I had to go to work... which probably works out to your benefit, because I wanted a head check on this anyway. The problem's about as simple as it seems, but I wanted to run it by a couple of collegues also; the consensus is pretty much to treat it how I'd intended to explain it.

That said, I'm going to give you two answers. The first is from a jazz perspective, and the second is from a classical perspective with a bit more explaination of why, what's going on, and how it works.

First answer: Ignore the fact that it's a tritone substitution, and handle the chord resolution normally. The b2 comes down to the tonic, the 5th is either omitted, or becomes a freetone, and the chord third becomes a freetone; you'll suspend the 7th into the major 7th.

Second answer: From a classical perspective, how we treat a 7th in a chord is that it always resolves down by step. Historically, the 7th isn't a tertiary tone, but is an induced tone. If you look at triadic resolution from V-I, you'll see that in some cases, one of the root doublings in V wants to move down by third to the chord third of I; this is nominally treated with a passing tone that just happens to be the chord 7th -- this is the 7ths origin historically, and why we always treat it as a tone that resolves downward (strongly enough so that in common practice it never moved upwards). This holds true regardless of whether or not the 3rd-7th creates a tritone; but the resolution when it does works out very nicely. Also, chord 7ths that resolve downward tend to sound nicer than chord 7ths that don't.

That said, tritone substition has been around a lot longer than jazz, and there's a trick that composers came up with to avoid this situation entirely. Namely the augmented 6th. You don't care about the +6th here, but I want to explain it to you, so that you can see what's happening better.

When you build a 7th on the minor second above the tonic, you have two problems, the first is that the m7 of the b2(V) chord wants to resolve down into a non-harmonic tone, and the second is that the m7 of the same is an alteration of the tonic (this is subtle, but it really is an issue, and it'll be an issue for you here).

Let's say we're doing this in C, so your bII7 chord is Db7 with the notes Db, F, Ab, and Cb. If you instead look at the Cb as being a B (+6th above the D), you can see that the B can remain and will become the maj7 for the C chord following it. This solves both of the classical problems, since you no longer have a 7th, and you no longer have a Cb to deal with.

More importantly to you though, is that building it as a 6th here allows you to see that you're hanging the B, and treating the rest of the chord normally. For a chord built on the m2 above the tonic, generally the other two tones are going to be free tones, resolving as they need to.

Ultimately either view accomplishes the same thing; the root will come down a minor second, the 7th will suspend, and the inside tones are free. My recommendation: omit the 5th from both chords.

--
I say the consensus was to handle it that way... I actually talked to three other people, another composer, our conductor, and our resident music genius. Both my conductor and my resident genius said what I'd already been thinking, but the other composer came up with an interesting idea. And, TBH, after checking it out, I like the way it works out.

You can treat the tritone substitution as only affecting the non-tritonal notes in the dominant, and then treat the tritone resolution normally. Such that, if we would normally have G-B-D-F for the V chord, it becomes Db-F-Ab-B. If you complete that chord, (with the 5th), and treat the tritone as if the chord were still a V chord resolving normally, then you can pick up the major 7th from Ab with a much more expected sound; this works especially well if B is the upper note in the harmony, and gives a better relation to the original V chord (as a substitution).
Quote by les_kris
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Thanks a lot I'm going to let that sink in for a while and try some things out. If I have any questions, I'll bother you again
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heya Elven, I'll get back to you later tonight and actually answer your questions

Cas-
hey bro, sorry for the wait. life and all.

anyways, I'll try and get this acorss the best I can to you. although, you already seem to have a solid grasp. you're just overloading yourself atm lol.

I apologize if this doesn't have a certain continuity, but I started this like 4 days ago and had to put it on hold and have gone back to it a couple of times since then.

Quote by elvenkindje
Well, I've been doing some thinking lately about altered chords, but to start out the question, I'm going to begin with a simpler question. Say, we have a simple V7 -> Imaj7 progression (I'm going to use jazz chords for this, since that is what I'm going to apply it to) in the key of C. We have G7 -> Cmaj7, meaning GBDF -> CEGB.

correct in the literal linear sense.

Quote by elvenkindje
We all know there's a tritone in G7, namely B and F. My first question is, to what notes of the Cmaj7 do they resolve? My teacher said something in the lines of: 'The root becomes the fifth, the fifth becomes the root, the third becomes the seventh and the seventh becomes the third'. That means the G stays a G, the B stays a B, the D becomes a C and the F becomes an E. From the way I see it, etc..etc.. logic.

first question: your teacher is spot on as far as the basic textbook premise goes. which is fine. you need to know that first. although, since the only things resolving are the B and F by half steps the actual answer to "what resolves" is B to C and F to E ... 1/2 step resolution.

very logical and very pleasing to the ear.

Quote by elvenkindje
However, what if I'm going to the key of F# and use the G7 as a C#7 tritone substitution? Than we'd have G7 -> F#maj7 = GBDF -> F#A#C#E#. The theory of my teacher suddenly doesn't seem so great anymore..

why not? the only difference is instead of two static notes and 2 1/2 step movements is now you have 1 static note and 3 half step movements. you still have 1/2 step resolutions which is strong as hell.

but I'd also like to point out that in the bass, if you're following the roots, you have chromatic motion; which is like 90% of the reason TT's and subs are used. we'll get into that in a bit.

Quote by elvenkindje
So, second question: Is the answer of the first question valid when there are substitutions?

well the first question was what notes in G7 resolve to Cmaj7 ... so, completely different question here .

but it still "leads" so yeah... it's valid.

Quote by elvenkindje
For further chaos, if I change it do a deceptive cadence.. G7 -> Amin7 = GBDF -> ACEG. Same story again.. Or if we do a deceptive cadence with the tritone substitute? G7 -> D#min7 = GBDF -> D#F#A#C#. Oh noes, again! Maybe I should fire my teacher.

lol, no, no need to fire your teacher.

first off.... it works fine in the sense of the deceptive. if you look, an Amin7 is the same as a Cmaj6 chord. as a Cmaj6 chord is commonly used as a replacement for a standard Cmaj7 chord, everything makes sense. you just need to look at things in relation to the voicing and not just notes on paper.

also... you're not going to tri-tone the actual resolution like you did in your example of G7 -> D#min7. The idea is to TT the V7 chord or any secondary dominant. mainly for two reasons 1. to spice it up 2. to create chromatic movement

Quote by elvenkindje
So basically we have four major outputs of the G7 chord, which are Am7, Cmaj7, F#maj7 and D#min7. As far as I can see, they don't have anything in common, not in all four chords at least. Could it perhaps be the intervallic relation or something like that?

sure they do [have something in relation] (cept the D#min7 cause that was just an incorrect assumption on your part)

Am7 and CMaj7 are very closely related.

Cmaj7 = Amin9
Amin7 = Cmaj6
Cmaj6 = commonly played when a Cmaj7 is called for

F#maj7 = I chord of the TT'd C#7 (which gives you G7)

so while the Am7 and the CM7 have common tones but not with the F#M7 they all have one thing in common, you can resolve via the G7 to all of them.

I think the D#min7 was what was really throwing you.

Quote by elvenkindje
So, halfway to the final question. What if I take a G7 and make it a G7b9, or a G9#5. Than we'd have an extra tritone in it, meaning more places to resolve to.

well, 7b9's are oft times played without the root, obviously not always since, for example

``````
---
-9--
-10--
-9--
-10--
---``````

is a very popular voicing.

however, a 7b9 chord is commonly just looked at and approached as being a dim7th played a half step above the root. i.e. G7b9 = Abdim7

G7b9 = G B D F Ab
Abdim7 = Ab B D F

and since the most oft dropped notes in jazz are the roots and 5ths (if it's an unaltered 5th) then alls an Ab°7th is, is a rootless G7b9 and vice versa. and if we know that dim7th chords are symetrical and that each inversion is the same thing (i.e. Abdim7 is Bdim7 is Ddim7 is Fdim7) then G7b9 = Bb7b9 = Db7b9 = E7b9.

so, as to your question, yes. once you go b9 on a chord then it can now resolve more places. a hell of a lot more if you consider tritoning and general secondary doms as well.

Quote by elvenkindje
In the case of G7b9, we'd have GBDFAb, with tritone between the BF and DAb. So resolvable to the aforementioned four chords (Am7, Cmaj7, F#maj7 and D#min7) and four more, if my guess is right. D and Ab are the 3 and b7 in Bb7, so G7b9=Bb7? Also, Bb7 could resolve to Ebmaj7 and it's minor substitute Cmin7. Also, could be used as a tritone substitution to serve as E7, meaning it could resolve to Amaj7 and F#m7. This is another big thing.. When we line all those chords up, we get Am7, Amaj7, Cm7, Cmaj7, D#min7, D#maj7, F#min7 and F#maj7.

hmm, ok, well, I broke up your post and started replying one by one so I guess I kind of answered this in the previous part.

but everything except your D#min7 assumption is correct.

Quote by elvenkindje
Could this be the work of the b9, which is available (example) in the harmonic minor, being mixed with the regular major scale? I know that dom7 chords can be used in harmonic minor, therefore going from G7 -> Cmin/maj7 (C harm minor) and the major scale would be used for the G7 -> Cmaj7. Ah, I could go on for hours about this, but I think, if you've red this far, you'll probably either die of confusion or be happy to explain.

well, those b9's are mainly used in a min ii-V7-i as opposed to a major ii-V7-I yes, because it is diatonic to the Harmonic minor scale. but they can just as easily be used in major scales if it's appropriate to your ears and is what you're looking for.

Quote by elvenkindje
My question is, can anybody explain this? In summary: Whereto does a dom7 chord resolve and if so, is it because of the tritone (which I'm guessing, because of the tritone substitution)? It's getting a bit over my head.. Free beers for anyone who solves (a part of) this

your question is a lot more than that lol.

here's the short of it man ... a V7 resolves up a 5th or down a fourth. you wanna throw in deceptives, then it also resolves a whole step up. you wanna throw in tritones, then it also resolves a half step down or down a third. you wanna start going all b9 it becomes ridiculous. at least for the purpose of this post.

it's because of a crap load of things. the main ones being the 3 and the b7 creating an unstable tri-tone within the chord, yes. reharm and sub options create other strong tendencies such as chromatic motion.

but, and here's the catch of it all... it all has to do with voicing. you can say "oh yeah dude, Dmin7 to D#alt to A min7" but if you play

``````
D-7 D#7#9 A-7
--------------
-6----5----5--
-5----4----5--
-3----3----5--
-5----4-------
------5-------

D7#9 = TT sub for G7``````

it's not gonna sound very strong... you got a stationary voice, a 1/2 step movement, a whole step and a 3rd down. now, I'm not one to say something can't work because voices move in an un academic way by no means. but some things just don't sound very convincing if you get my drift.

now, if you play something like
``````
D-7 D#7#9 A-7
--------------
-6----5----5--
-5----4----2--
-3----3----5--
-5----4----3--
--------------

D7#9 = TT sub for G7
A-7 = Cmaj6 (same thing)``````

then you have a strong ass resolve [well, stonger than the first anyways lol] (also considering the bass player is going to that A)

take a couple more examples... consider the b9 chord. like I said, a 7b9 chord is looked at as a dim7 a half step above the root of the dom7 and it's usually used to create some harmonic motion in a chromatic descent.

like, if you play, say ... Amin7b5 to G#dim to Gmin you're not going to go

``````
AØ   G7b9  G-
------------10-
-4----10----11-
-5----11----12-
-5----10----12-
------11----10-
-5-------------

G7b9 = TT sub for D7 with alt``````

cause the main reason you're going to use it is to create some descending chromatic motion. with what I just gave you, there's no continuity. remember you got Amin7b5 then a G7b9 which translates to a G#°7 then you're resolving to G ... so you want to work with that motion of A -> G# - > G

but even then, you wanna watch your voices. while getting that descending sound is awesome, even something like this will fail horribly

``````
AØ  G7b9  G-
------5----3--
-4---------3--
-5----5----3--
-5----4----5--
-----------5--
-5----4----3--

G7b9 = TT sub for D7 with alt``````

whereas something like

``````
AØ   G#°7   G-
-----------------
-4----3-5----3---
-5----4------5---
-5----3------7---
-----------------
-5----4------3---

G#°7 = G7b9 = TT sub for D7 with alt.

also, the E is thrown in there for some melodic fun up at the top.
which, also incinuates G°7b13 which is just a D7#9 TT'd in the
literal sense of just dropping the root down a tri-tone.``````

sounds kick ass.
simple tri-tone in C ?

`````` D-7 D#7#9 Cmaj7
--------------
-3----5----5--
-5----4----5--
-3----3----5--
------4-------
-5---------7--

D#7#9 = TT sub for G7``````

horrible...

whilest tasteful use of the same principles results in ...

`````` D-7 D#7#9 Cmaj7
-----------3--
-3----5----3--
-5----4----2--
-3----3----2--
-----------3--
-5----4----3--

D#7#9 = actual G#° with that added b13 I spoke of earlier.``````

awesome..

anyways, there's a million and one examples I could give you and this was some of the hardest stuff to really get a hold of in jazz for me because you're being presented a rule that only works if you use it in specific ways that you have to train yourself to do naturally via a shitload of trial and error.

my suggestion to you. and I hope you take it. take one rule and spend a month on it. just take the simple tri-tone sub shit and work on it. there's an assload of stuff you could try with JUST the one concept of "play the dom7 a tritone away" but you gotta remember to practice with the mindset of why it's used often, and simply put, that is to create additional tensions/spice and most often, to create chromatic descent in the bass.

once you have your head more than wrapped around it, then try for altered tones on the TT sub. once you got that, take a long time and start to explore the 7b9/°7 a whole step up relationship.

once you get going on this, alot of questions WILL come up, but you'll also begin to get into a kind of discovery where you'll figure out some of what you should do next and how you should explore it.

and remember, we're always here to help you in that discovery, so feel free to ask

Cas-