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Chord question (beginner)

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Norre, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Norre


    Jan 5, 2001
    Antwerp, Belgium

    Does aynone know what a C+7 chord is?
    Is it another notation for a C#7 or is it a C7 with a raised fifth?

  2. keebler


    Jan 19, 2006
    Charleston, IL
    Yes, I would read that as a C-augmented triad ( C, E, G#), with a dominant seventh (B-flat).

    Be prepared for people to write changes differently, everyone has their own shorthand. When all else fails, use your ears: listen to the other instruments as much as yourself, AND listen deeply to recordings to hear how certain musicians navigate these richer chord changes.

    Happy playing/listening!
  3. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Could be a Csus7 I suppose but keebler is probably right.
  4. definitely not a sus chord. The "+" implies a raised fifth, as stated above. Be warned that some fake books will notate a chord as a C+7 when they really mean C7b9b13, i.e. the dominant of a tonic minor. An example is the first chord to the bridge of Stella. Let your ear be your guide.
  5. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Cool, great to know. So + can be indicating an octave higher for the 5. I guess this is apparent mostly from the context of the text or what is playing.
  6. Norre


    Jan 5, 2001
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Thanks guys. I'm learning how to play "All the things you are" and was a bit confused by the C+7 in the 24th bar.
    It's a chord I didn't expect there and to me (and my lack of knowledge) makes no sense. Bar 21 -24 is like this:
    | F#-7 | B7 | Emaj7 | C+7 |
    By seeing the first 3 chords I'd think "E major scale/modes" but then there would be a C#-7 and not a C+7.
    It also isn't part of the Ab scale/modes following the C+7 (F-7,Bb-7,Eb7, etc ....) because then I would expect a C-7.
    So basically, the C+7 is one big mystery to me.

    Well, sometimes I think too much I guess :help:
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    What did meandering say? "...dominant of a tonic minor...", where's that chord pointing?
  8. Norre


    Jan 5, 2001
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Fm7! Nice :hyper:
    Somehow I must 've missed Meandering's comment. Sorry 'bout that. And thanks ;)
  9. BrBss


    Jul 9, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    Not an octave, a half-step. The "+" is a shorthand for "augmented".
  10. C+ is C augmented (C, E , G#)
    C+7 is C Augmented 7th ( C, E, G#, Bb)

    In the older fake books that +7 label is often used/mis-used to represent a 7(b13) sound.

    C7(b13) is C Dominant 7th, Flat 13, ( C, E, G, [opt. Db], Ab )

    The difference, when using chord fragments, is the melodic outlines we prefer to use... eg: in the tonic key: 2,#2, 3. or b3, 2, 1.

    The main key is that the 7(b13) chord has a natural 5th and a b13th, the +7 chord has a raised 5th and a natural 13th (used melodically).

    Books in other languages, like French or Italian might use familiar symbols in different ways. Hopefully they have a "table of chord symbols" in the front of the book. ;-)
  11. keebler


    Jan 19, 2006
    Charleston, IL
    In this case, the reason for the C+7 is the melody note. Most cats won't play C+7 except maybe on the head, they will probably just play C7 with some alterations (#9 b9 b13, etc.) thrown in for fun.
  12. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Many modern players will voice a C7 alt. ( C7#9 +5, for example) to accommodate the G#/Ab in the melody on the head, (and throughout the solo form, as well).

    C7 alt. is also commonly used in the "Charlie Parker Intro" (for ATTYA), which has evolved from the original version - ( Dbmin7/ C7#9), and is (now) usually based on these two chords:
    Db7alt/C7alt.( see YouTube ).

    Also, notice the number of "common/shared" notes that exist between the Emaj.7 #11, and the C7alt. (the last 2 bars of the bridge):

    Emaj7#11 : E, F#, G#, Bb, B, C#, D#, (E).
    C7alt. : C, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, Bb, (C).
    Only the "C & B natural" are not common to both chords.

    Also, too - chord/scale study is not meant to negate "listening/hearing". It is intended to enhance your understanding and hearing of what may or may not be happening "in the moment".

    Thanks for your time and interest.
  13. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member


    If the melodic material that occurs over the C7+5 is based on the "C Wholetone" scale, there is so much in common with the C7alt. scale, that there might only be some "friction/rub" surrounding the (9), D natural( Wholetone) vs. the (b9/#9),Db&Eb( Altered). If you were playing solo piano, you could simply voice only the 3&7 ( E and Bb), which would leave the choice of either the D natural or the Db/Eb, (or BOTH!), to minimize the "rub". Or, if voicing a C7alt.,( containing either/both the Db&Eb), you can just accept the "rub" of the D natural, as a (very) temporary tension.

    Regarding the Bruce Saunders quote : I've rarely found it helpful to have to "think" of a Db melodic minor while "hearing" a C7alt.
    I do understand the theoretical connection between the chord and the scale, but I tend to want to just "hear" the notes in relation to the ROOT of the chord. ( "once a bassist, always a bassist.."). So, ( on C7alt.), I think/hear the Db as the Flat9 in relation to the C, not as the Tonic of a Db melodic minor. ( If the chord was "Db minor major7", then, yes, I hear the Db as the Tonic of the melodic minor scale). It's always struck me as almost a "coincidence" that Db melodic minor "works" over C7alt. - (I sure the Theory Majors will correct me!). The C7alt., here, on ATTYA, also points/leads to the Fmin7, ( though it doesn't always have to...).

    Thanks for your time and interest.
  14. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    C7 altered is a dominant 7th chord that can contain both the b5/#5 ( or the #4/b13 - same thing). In the jazz world, we don't refer to it as a "split fifth" - we simply say that ( in C7 alt.), the notes F# and G# (from the altered scale), appear as part of the arpeggio that is created by "stacking/voicing " the notes of the C Altered scale ( C, Db, Eb, Enatural, F#, G#, Bb, C) - here is one common way to stack or voice the scale as a chord:

    (low ) C - then E, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb. ( note the "stacked perfect fourths" - the top 5 notes). I would name this chord :
    "C7, +5, #9, b9,#11".
    ( C7alt. is a "shorthand" version... It's just a personal preference).
    Music theory books always seem to show "root position" chords, which rarely appear in more modern music. ( My apologies to Phillip Glass....) The "voicing/ordering" of the arpeggio is another story...

    If this C7alt. is pointing/leaning towards Fminor, the bass note can move to a Gb/F#, before resolving to the Fminor. This movement of the bass note, is commonly referred to as a "Tritone Substitution", as the bass note moves a tritone ( an interval of a "b5th" ) before resolving down to the Fminor by a half-step, from above. The chord/voicing can remain unchanged - it sounds OK with either the C or Gb as the root.

    As to the whole-tone scale, here is Wayne Shorter's composition " Juju", in which the first 8 bars of the tune ( in 3/4), is a B7+5 Whole-Tone sound ( NOT a B7alt.):

    Beginning at the piano solo @1:00, the pianist plays almost exclusively "whole-tone" material each time through the form, during those first 8 bars.
    The bassist supports the tonality of the chord by playing lots of "root" (B), and occasionally an F ( there's the b5).

    Thanks for your time and interest.
  15. be careful about getting scaled out... for a standard like "all the things...", I would look for the scale/chord that best suits the melodic and harmonic situation. In that case it is a C7b9b13 (scale: C Db E F G Ab Bb).
  16. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

  17. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member


    Thanks for clarifying:

    I'm still trying to figure out your posting about a different chord - C7 alt.

    By the time I joined the discussion, the "C7+5" question had been answered (C,E,G#,Bb). I was attempting to address the tune "ATTYA", and what the OP might hear a modern pianist or guitarist play when "C7+5" is written, esp. in this particular tune.

    I think you've identified one of the difficulties here - " I think the problem is that we have too many abbreviations for the same chords in jazz."
    I was taught the following: naming a chord "C7+5", implies a "natural 9" ( because you have not "mentioned" or referred to the "9" , so it remains unchanged). A more exact way of naming this chord is "C7(9)+5, #11", which specifies both the 9 and #11, and would be a very "Whole-Tone" sound, based on the WT scale, much like the first 8 bars of "Juju", from a previous post. ( I would NOT name it "C7alt.", see below).

    I was also taught that the C altered scale, (C,Db,Eb,Gb,Ab,Bb,C), is a good fit when the chord is named "C7alt.", as this chord and scale contain all possible "alterations" of both the 9 and the 5 : b9/#9 , b5/+5. (or the "#11/b13" - there's the "too many abbreviations...." issue, again).
    This differs from the quote below : "An altered seventh chord is a seventh chord with one, or all, of its factors raised or lowered by a semitone (altered), for example the augmented seventh chord (7+ or 7+5) featuring a raised fifth (C7+5: CEG♯B♭)." ( Q: Where was this quote taken from?)

    IMHO - The presence of a single altered scale degree, does not make the chord an "altered" chord - it would be too vague and confusing. Which "altered" note(s) is/are being specified? Is it just the "b9/+5"? If so, the chord would then be "C7b9+5" ( not C7alt.). I try to be as specific as possible when writing chord names, using the numerical system - ex. "C7b9, #11, 13".
    Another way of looking at it is like the idea of being a "little bit pregnant"- you either are pregnant (altered) or your not(!). This is just the way I learned it. There may be other approaches and explanations.

    Finally, I meant to post this earlier, as it is an example of ATTYA, where the melodic material is always based on "C7alt."( b9/#9, b5/#5; not WT), each time in bar 24 of the form: @ 1:12, 1:47, 2:22, 2:55, 3:28, and (@ 5:12 there is just the chord C7#9).
    (Also - The Intro sounds like the "C7(9)+5 Whole Tone " to me @ 0:29, but my ears are not that quick!).

    Thanks for your time and interest (and civility).
  18. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member


    Like I said... - "There may be other approaches and explanations."

    Thanks for your time, interest, and civility.
  19. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    An interesting discussion that does an excellent job detailing how little agreement there is for musical lexicon. I have to add, at the end of the day, if it doesn't sound right to YOU, that's when it's wrong.
    One last point, I do think a composer can be clear about their intended harmony. Then, there's nothing wrong with a player ignoring that clarity if what they play is what they hear in their ear.
  20. The OP posted the question in the Music Theory subfora which doesn't specify whether this a Jazz Harmony question or a Classical Harmony question. If we are referring to a Jazz improvised situation then IMO, Chick's system is hardly an "other" approach or explanation for notation. We are supposed to be able to hear what's going on. We are supposed to be listening and interacting not buried in a chart. The first four notes of the chord in the chord symbols is just a take off point or guide. Just sayin'.

    EDIT- Whousedtoplay. Where is the part on how Chick notates Suspended chords? Did you leave that out?

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