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altered tensions

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by chrismmc, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. This is a question I have had for many years,but hav'ent asked my teachers...
    When dealing with chord changes in a tune,do you automatically alter tensions when the chord is "borrowed" from another key?For example-if the key is Cmaj,and the chord is,say,F-,would the corresponding scale be F dorian?
    Thanks in advance! :confused:
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    It's more complicated than that, and at the same time, more simple. In order to answer that question, I'd need to know more information about the context of the "borrowed chord", which would determine a lot about how I heard that chord. Also, a lot would depend on how my fellow musicians were hearing the chord at the time, and who was "leading" ( I usually consider the person soloing to be the de facto "leader" at that point). Many times, different soloists will hear changes differently, and as an accompanist, my job is to make them sound good if possible.

    For instance, on the tune "Nardis", there's a guy in town who likes to play AMa7 on the first chord of the bridge. When he's soloing, I play AMa7. But when I'm soloing, I usually hear that harmony as minor, so that's what I play.

    In the case of your example, it's good to remember that minor chords are usually the same basic "minor" sound, with the 6th and 7th degrees of their corresponding "scale" (if you think that way) being able to go either way the band is hearing. When I'm playing a new tune that I'm still learning to hear, or if I'm unsure about what somebody might do, I'll usually play only the notes that I'm pretty sure won't get in the way...in the case of Fmi, that would be F, G, Ab, Bb, and C. "D" would be likely be the 6th of preference, and I'd just avoid any form of "E" whatsoever until I heard what the soloist was hearing, or play both in an ascending or descending line, which would still leave both options open.
  3. Thank you!I think you cleared it up for me...I was just refering to what is written on any chart-not anything specific...I guess I was asking if you alter the tensions automatically if the chord is not part of the key,or only if you are given a F-#13(in my example)- if the I uses an ionian scale...so if I understood your answer correctly,you are saying no,it is not implied-if it is not written,then you don't change anything...is that what you mean?