EXPLORING JAZZ ARRANGING
Using Garritan Jazz & Big Band
ONLINE INTERACTIVE EDITION
by Chuck Israels




Lesson 5 - Harmony (Continued)


Chord Voicing Guide:

These guidelines assume that the chords are voiced below the melody and they are designed to prevent minor 9ths between voices.
(Minor 9ths are acceptable between the root and the minor 9th and occasionally between the root and a major 7th that appears below it, but this is a delicate situation that requires careful handling.)



Those rules that prevent half steps and minor 9ths below the melody may be ignored if the operative voices are arranged abo ve the melody.
(Suppose the baritone saxophone has the melody and you need lush harmony. Some, or all, of the voices will necessarily appear above the baritone.)




Score References & Musical Examples Using JABB:


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When voicing for horns, voices or strings, there should be no half steps between the top two parts.
(There are exceptions to this but they are unusual and require care if the results are to be intelligible.)

Remember, nothing should be voiced below D, third line, bass clef except the root or 5th. (Except for special cluster effects.)

QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE ASKED:
  1. Following these principles creates inner voices that move down most of the time. Is this correct and, if so, what can I do to create opportunities for upward motion in inside voices?

    Yes, this is correct. There are limited opportunities for upward voice motion in inner voices.

    Here are a few:
    • Move voices upwards in the duration of one chord.
    • IV - I progressions (as opposed to V - I progressions) have upward motion in the inner voices. Experiment with these using different chord qualities.
    • When the bass line ascends by step the inner voices follow suit.
There are situations in which the 5th (normally omitted but, in this instance, a necessary element) rises chromatically to the sixth (or beyond). This can happen on a tonic chord (of the moment), major or minor. Examples are: “Make Someone Happy,” (major), or the way Bill Evans harmonized “Lover Man,” (minor).




Score References & Musical Examples Using JABB:


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The melodies in these examples do not accommodate the chromatic line in the harmony. It is only necessary that they do not conflict with it in any substantial way. If the chromatic line were to be integrated into the melody, in order to express the
entire harmonic idea in one line, it would be a better choice to omit it from the accompanying voices.

2. Do these rules mean that inner voices always move in stepwise motion? If so, what can I do to alleviate the monotony?

Yes, they usually do, but there are some ways to improve the situation. Remember, you can move voices within the span of one chord, and you can take advantage of root movement by thirds to move inner voices further than a second. You can
also use figures that skip past the target note and then approach it from the opposite direction (4, 2, #2, 3), use escape tones (5, 6, #4), and occasionally cross between adjacent voice leading lines, if the result is a strong chromatic line.


TYPES OF DOMINANT CHORDS:

Dominant chords fall into four main categories. The first group includes all dominant chords whose notes fall into the natural harmonic series; chords with the minor 7th degree that creates the tritone with the 3rd, and unaltered 5ths, 9ths, #11ths, and 13ths. Passing notes and color tones (the ones that complete the “chord scale”) for this type of chord come from the diatonic notes of the key in which the chord is normally found. In other words, the passing notes for a C7 are the diatonic notes in the key of
F. The one exception to this condition happens when the #11th is included, in which case F# replaces the F, creating a Lydian b7 scale.




Score References & Musical Examples Using JABB:


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The second type of dominant chord contains an unaltered 5th and an altered 9th. The passing notes and color tones for this type of chord come from the notes in two diminished 7th chords a whole step apart. This assembly of notes creates an 8-note (octatonic) scale alternating whole and half steps.






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The third type of dominant chord, those with altered 5ths combined with altered 9ths, can be treated as a special condition of the first type in which the passing tones come from the Lydian b7 scale a tritone away from the root of the chord. In other words, an altered C-dominant chord uses the notes from a Gb Lydian b7 scale. In many respects, these chords function the same way as a type 1 dominant whose root is a tritone away from the chord that would normally be used in that position – tritone substitute chords. Be careful when using tritone substitutes that the substitute chord is used in its unaltered (type 1) form, because altering the 5ths and/or 9ths of substitute chords makes them resemble the chord for which they are standing in, reducing the interesting effect of using the substitute chord.





Score References & Musical Examples Using JABB:


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The last type of dominant chord, (those with altered 5ths but unaltered 9ths or no 9ths), are based on the whole tone scale that includes the root of the chord.
Example 3-12




It’s a good idea to become familiar with these chords and the characteristic melodic patterns that suggest one or another of the chord types. Also, certain open voicing possibilities will begin to emerge as familiarity increases; upper structure triads a whole step above the root for the first type, superimposed diminished 7th chords for the second type, and upper structure triads built on the augmented 5th of the third type, are some that come quickly to mind.




Score References & Musical Examples Using JABB:


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