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Jazz Harmony by James Knapp

Revised Second Edition


Jazz Harmony
beings with dividing contemporary harmonic practice into three harmonic languages. It proceeds to identify the four-note chord rather than the triad as the basic harmonic unit. Each note of the four-note chord becomes a function that can be expressed by the note itself or by a replacement tone: root or 9th, etc. In this way, virtually any chord can be expressed by four tones. For example: C6, four tones; C9(+11), four tones.

Voice leading is explored, taking into consideration that in jazz, the bass is improvised and not composed, changing the whole concept of chord inversion.

Then the diatonic and melodic minor scales (modes) are presented.

Variable tones within each chord/scale complex are introduced, leading to the concept of Macrodiatonicism: the dynamic relationship of one chord to another.

Diminished scales, pentatonic scales, and blues scales are examined, followed by diatonic and chromatic relationships in Modal and Blues harmony.

Triadic harmony is revisited in the context of Jazz harmony. This is followed by an exhaustive look at slash chords and inversions.

Harmonic resolution is looked at from the Macrodiatonic aspect and from the relationship of Parent Scales. This is followed by a series of worksheets illustrating the resolving and non-resolving of the chords of one parent scale to another.

Next comes the Phrase, cadences, and cadential devices, followed by Melody: chord tones (stable and unstable), scale tones (stable and unstable), and chromatic tones. Also, accented tones and their effect on harmony. Then, non-chord tones: passing tones (singly and in groups, scalar and chromatic); auxiliary tones (or neighbor tones); reaching tones and escape tones; resolving scalar appogiaturas, chromatic appogiaturas, and double appogiaturas; anticipation and delay; and pentatonic melodies. Finally, there are a series of scale and arpeggio exercises.

Available from Common Tone Press, $20.

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Jazz Harmony
chapter list:

01. Three Harmonic Languages
02. Four Note Chords
03. Voicing Down
04. Replacement Tones
05. Name That Chord
06. Voice Leading
07. Scales 1 - Diatonic Modes
08. Scales 2 - Melodic Minor Modes
09. Four Note Chords, Seven Note Scales and Variable Tones
10. "Inside Choice" Macrodiatonicism
11. Diminished Scales
12. Pentatonic Scales
13. Blues Scales
14. Diatonic and Chromatic Relationships in Modal and Blues Harmony
15. Triadic Harmony
16. Slash Chords and Inversions
17. Harmonic Resolution 1 - Macrodiatonicism
18. Harmonic Resolution 2 – Parent Scales
19. Parent Scales Worksheets
20. The Phrase
21. Melody
22. Practice – Diatonic Modes
23. Practice – Melodic Minor Modes
24. Practice – Dimished Scales
25. Practice – Arpeggios and Scales

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