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#2691296 - Yesterday at 03:16 PM Two very basic questions about jazz  
Joined: May 2001
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pianoloverus Offline
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pianoloverus  Offline
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New York City
1. Why are so many of the chords 7ths, 9ths,11ths, etc.?

2. Why is the rhythm so often in swing 8ths(sorry if I asked this one before)?

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#2691302 - Yesterday at 03:36 PM Re: Two very basic questions about jazz [Re: pianoloverus]  
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JazzyMac Online content
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JazzyMac  Online Content
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I just want to comment about how your title combined the words 'basic' and 'jazz'.

Oh, the oxymoron.

#2691305 - Yesterday at 03:52 PM Re: Two very basic questions about jazz [Re: pianoloverus]  
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emenelton Offline
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
1. Why are so many of the chords 7ths, 9ths,11ths, etc.?

2. Why is the rhythm so often in swing 8ths(sorry if I asked this one before)?



Thought I'd take a stab.

When you play through the circle of fifths in a jazz progression and you use:

3/7/9/13 or 7/3/13/9 instead of a more 'root' based voicing - from chord to chord only one or two voices change notes and then typically only a half or whole step each.

So you have two advantages: the chords have a nice colored warm sound and you don't have to move around so much.

#2691308 - Yesterday at 04:09 PM Re: Two very basic questions about jazz [Re: pianoloverus]  
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huaidongxi Online content
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huaidongxi  Online Content
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pianoloverus, your questions refer to one specific style or school of jazz improvisation, and directly relate to the bebop revolution and the contemporary schools that evolved from bebop.

the augmentation/diminishing of the basic triad opens up the harmonic possibilities, allows for more fluid changes and chromatic exploration between implied tone centers. (in basic harmony for example the dom. seventh can induce a modulation). the bebop pioneers in a manner of speaking multiplied modulations or quasi-modulations from the base composition. charlie parker studied early modern composers like stravinsky and debussy to see how they used chromaticism and polytonality. bill evans has an impressionist influence in his rootless voicings. re. #2, bebop evolved directly from swing, and retained its rhythmic foundations while also expanding the vocabulary.

the experts and musicologists are welcome to demolish my analysis, coming from a self taught improvisor and student of history.

#2691315 - Yesterday at 04:23 PM Re: Two very basic questions about jazz [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Nahum Offline
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Nahum  Offline
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Originally Posted by JazzyMac
I just want to comment about how your title combined the words 'basic' and 'jazz'.

Oh, the oxymoron.

No, this is not an oxymoron for a classical musician who wants to get to know jazz seriously; and there are more than two basic questions (in a more natural for jazz order):
1. Why such rhythm?
2. Why blues is involved?
3.Why such sound production ?
4.Why such chords?



Originally Posted by pianoloverus
1. Why are so many of the chords 7ths, 9ths,11ths, etc.?




1.Jazz is a product of the late 19th century, when the music of the late List, Wagner, Debussy, Satie, R. Strauss, Mahler already existed; where there was a process of emancipation of dissonance and even decay of tonality. It was not the desire of some crazy geniuses, but Zeitgeist. In the preceding to jazz genre of blues dissonant sounds were already outside of the traditions of classical harmony , as well as the blues scale itself. It is true that the harmony of early jazz was completely tonal, and was more like marches for military bands; however, the overall tone of the chords was much more dissonant, and development of harmony in jazz went very fast. Already in the late 1920s Bix Beyderbek's piano pieces sounded like a very late Debussy with an expressionistic flavor . As the son of emigrants from Germany, he was clearly familiar with modern German music for that time. Triad has become a persona non grata in jazz . Syncope, characteristic of jazz, is a dissonance in rhythm; and as such requires the support of dissonant harmony.





Last edited by Nahum; Yesterday at 04:33 PM.
#2691326 - Yesterday at 04:47 PM Re: Two very basic questions about jazz [Re: pianoloverus]  
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JazzPianoOnline Offline
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raleigh, nc
Scale degrees of 7 and below form the lower structure of a chord which determine it's quality (major7, minor7, etc.).

The upper structures (9, 11 and 13) serve to color the basic chord sound. Jazz is characterized by complex chords using lots of extensions (9s, 11s and 13s) that chromatically richen the sound.


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#2691327 - Yesterday at 04:53 PM Re: Two very basic questions about jazz [Re: pianoloverus]  
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emenelton Offline
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emenelton  Offline
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for example key of C major voiced high to low - you will see many shared tones as the progression moves


ii7_V9-13_I maj9_IVmaj9 #4

a____a____a____a

e____e____d____d

c____b____b____b

f_____f____e____e


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