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Dm7b5 preferred over Dø

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ryco, Jun 28, 2008.


  1. boonefiddler

    boonefiddler

    Oct 12, 2006
    Central Iowa
    I think that the ø7 symbol comes from a "classical" theory background, where the chords are analyzed using Roman numerals and the symbols are placed underneath the bass note of the chord. Originally developed from Baroque era (1600-1750) Basso Continuo, where a keyboard player and a bass instrument had just one piece of music to share, only the bass line was written out. Using the numbers and symbols under the bass note, the keyboard players would improvise right hand chords above the bass note in a stylistically appropriate way. Many times the harmony moves very quickly in this type of music, maybe a chord change every quarter or even every eighth note. When doing analysis in theory classes, there is often not much room to indicate the all chords in a measure. In G major, for example, the chord built on the 7th note of the scale would be indicated in classical theory as viiø7. If the 3rd of the chord was in the bas, it would be viiø65 (the 6 and 5 are actually written vertically, like a fraction.) This is still a big symbol, but F#m7b5/A is a long chord symbol that would mean the same thing. The slashes in classical harmony are used for secondary dominants, so they don't use them for bass note indications. I believe these symbols are used in analysis because of the function of certain chords in each key, for example, the V-I relationship.

    In jazz, the harmony often moves away from the original key signature, and the Roman numerals don't make as much sense in many tunes. And although the harmony sometimes does move quickly, a lot standards have 1 or 2 chord changes in each bar at most. Many players, of course, use substitutions and make more chords than are indicated on the chart, but the purpose of jazz chord symbols is to make them as readable as possible. I do think the m7b5 is a better symbol to use on a jazz/pop chart, written above the melody. Easier to read, IMHO, and better suited to the way that jazz harmony moves, with all the ii-V-I going on in many different keys in the same song, like All The Things You Are is a good example.

    I am an orchestra director in a public school (27 years) with a masters degree and I teach HS music theory as well. I also play bass in a jazz/pop combo on the side. I try to teach my students both methods of identifying chords, and I probably talk more jazz/pop than my college theory professors would approve of, but I think it is all important stuff to know.

    Also - I am always wanting to learn more, so please, if I have indicated anything above that you think is wrong or needs improvement, reply with your suggestions. My goal is to find the best way to teach kids about music, so I welcome any help from anywhere I can get it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. onlyclave

    onlyclave

    Oct 28, 2005
    Seattle
    Double augmented, eh? Well you learn something new everyday.

    Aside from being academic, have you ever seen anything like that in the wild? It's almost like a Great Dane/Chihuahua mix dog.
     
  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Of course, it is not practical. But the name comes from the fact that the interval between G and B is a third. No matter if it's major, minor, augmented, diminished... there's a third between G and B. Sticking to that rule is the first step to name the interval properly. The second step is looking at the semitones, 6 in this case (From Gb to B#). But I can't name the interval "fourth" or "fifth" since already know that it's a third, and that third must be augmented twice to reach that distance. So that's why it's called a double augmented third. Totally academic and impractical, but that's the "right" way of thinking of it.
     
  4. onlyclave

    onlyclave

    Oct 28, 2005
    Seattle
    How about "Diminished Prime"

    or Cx - Dbb?

    ;)
     
  5. HaVIC5

    HaVIC5

    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Haha, that's a triply diminished second. Good times.
     
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Exactly. ;) :cool:
     
  7. DocBop

    DocBop

    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    No, no, it's the Augminished fourth only playable after laying the entrails of goat on your drummers snare at midnight.
     
  8. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    Thanks much! Just trying to understand! :)
    OK for you. Since HaVIC gets to go non-diatonic and mutedeity gets to talk about Augmented chords, here's this I posted awhile back because I kind of agree with mute's idea that Augmented chords should have M7s:
    In Key of C starting with B Locrian (half dim), to E Phrygian (nat min w/ b2), to A Aeolian (nat min), D Dorian (nat min w/ #6), G Mixolydian (Dom 7), Ionian (nat Maj), F Lydian (Maj w/#4).

    So I thought what if I kept going "around the horn" from F to Bb. and came up with another Lydian:

    Bb Lydian: Bb C D E F G A = another Lydian!

    Eb = an Aug (R M3 A5) #4 = Eb F G A B C D, so "major" it winds up in the Aug realm, features a H W H (A5 > M6 > M7 > "R").
    Also third mode of Melodic Minor scale; Eb Lydian Augmented.

    Ab = an Aug #2 (keeping the #4 as well) = Ab B C D E F G, the first interval is a step and a half from "R" to the #2.
    1 1/2 semi-tones is good enough for Harmonic Minor (m6>M7) so really doesn't set a precedent.

    Db = Aug (#2 #4 #6 (enharmonic b7)) = Db E F G A B C, features a HH between #6 > M7 > "R" (sixth would be an A6?)

    Gb = Aug (#2 #4 #6 #3 (A3?) = Gb A B C D E F = C (A4) sounds like b5, #3 (B) sounds like sus4.
    Bluesy with #2 an enharm b3, and HH (A6 M7) sounds like blues scale's featured P4 b5 P5

    Cb = well now it's into an enharmonic of Locrian because Cb is enharm of B so that tone is taken - unless you wanted a 6 tone scale that negates the root. Cb D E F G A B/Cb. No root = no Key of C.

    So dim to min to Dom to Maj to a slew of Augments that get so Augmented they wind up turning diminished. Interesting
     
  9. Your chain of reasoning is irrelevant. This is not like physics, where we can hypothesize and experiment and prove things. The terms used in music theory are derived from the actual practice of making music, and the notations used by those actual practitioners. In the real world that symbol has a well defined and unambiguous meaning. No amount of arguing the elegance of a theory is going to trump the actual conventions used by real musicians in the real world. G+7 is spelled G-B-D#-F. period.
     
  10. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    No argument from me, bud. Nothing to prove - just observation.
    If I see G+7, it gets a F natural.

    It's not about physics. It's about phun.
     
  11. HaVIC5

    HaVIC5

    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Well, like with any theory, you can hypothesize things, same with music theory. If there is no real world application of your system, you can put it into practice with your own music and own composition, that's the beauty of it. Schoenberg did that on a very broad scale, but jazz improvisers do it all the time too, Coltrane especially. Ryco wasn't proving anything, he was just making an observation of an operation to a diatonic system. Relavent or useful? Perhaps not, but to same, maybe.
     
  12. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    Of course we can say that for anything. C to D### is a triple sharp 2nd, for example. It's funny but you don't really read what I say and then unwittingly make my case for me. Unless I spoonfeed you you think I pose these questions because I am confused. I'm not confused at all.

    Let us revise so that we know where we are at with this discussion. The debate I believe is about whether there is any ambiguity with the notation of the chord "Aug7". While I am of the belief that probably the most common interpretation of that chord would be to play it with a m7 I am pretty sure that there are those that might interpret it other wise.

    My intent was initially to find some kind of logic behind analysing how we interpret reading the placement of the 7th degree in a tetrad. For example, if we read that major and minor triads have unaltered 7s attached we assume that the 7th is minor. If we see a diminished triad with a seven we assume it's a diminished 7. So far you might think it follows that the way the 7th is written is based on the 5th of the triad. P5 → m7 , d5 → d7, in other words the 7th is assumed to be a m3 from the 5th. By the way I wasn't asking in that post why you would have a bb7 in a dim7 chord. I was discussing the logic of why it is written the way it is, following on from what I have just said here.

    If you were to follow that logic you would come to the conclusion that the term Aug7 means that you have a M7 when the 5th is augmented. That would give uniformity to the way that 7th chords are named.

    You might even argue that makes more sense using tertian harmony because in a diatonic context you are not going to find a d3 interval, which is what you have to assume you have if you are going to say that Aug7 is tertian and has a m7. Yes, it is possible to have a bb3 in a tertian context, but the assumption, as I was alluding to with my comment about suspended chords, is that it is not tertian, otherwise they would be called (bb3) or (#3) chords respectively.

    Now I am sure that most people will see Aug7 as having a m7, it follows the assumption that an unaltered 7 written on a tetrad is minor. This just means that we are assuming that the case with a dim7 chord is an exception.

    I'm not even trying to argue that it should be otherwise. As I said I am discussing the logic behind the naming of the chords. I personally think it is more logical that the term Aug7 should mean a M7, but the norm is that it is taken to mean a m7 so there is no point changing convention at this stage if you put a chart in front of someone with Aug7 and they are going to play it with a b7.

    As to the ambiguity of it all. I have pretty much always written augmented chords as Maj7(#5) or AugMaj7 for augmented major and 7(#5) for augmented minor, anyway.
     
  13. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    We have our share of jazz idiots here, to be sure.
     
  14. HaVIC5

    HaVIC5

    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    True, true. I don't think anybody will argue that 7(#5) and maj7(#5) are ambiguous. I personally use those symbols, because nobody will have any misunderstanding, at least those with any experience.
     
  15. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    I know where you are going with that one and it proves that Lydian is the true major scale. I'm not going to go into the whole thing just at this point though.
     
  16. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    Gee, who asked Mr fun to this party?

    Actually music is physics. Playing music is only one aspect of it. It would be a sad sad world if everyone went around saying, well let's not think outside of convention, it never works in the "real world".
     
  17. Whatever pal, the fact of the matter is this: you provided some straight up wrong information. Upon being corrected you launched in to some long winded explanation of why, real world usage be damned,. you should be correct. Along the way you managed to throw in a casual dismissal of the jazz community.

    You spend a lot of time talking about how much of an authority on these matters you are, this thread makes me doubt that very much. Not that you were wrong about something, we all make mistakes. I am just surprised that anyone who posits themselves an authority and a scholar is getting their information from some random, hack website.

    Man up and admit you spoke without having any idea what you were talking about.
     
  18. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    Oh boy. Pull your horns in. Nothing I said here was wrong. My reference to that site wasn't to prove or disprove any point it was only to show there there are some people that will read that chord as having a M7 and therefore it led me to questioning the reasoning behind the name of the chord. Try reading what I write before you go off on these insulting rants trying to make me look stupid, believe me it's not me that looks stupid with these emotional outbursts about "whatever".

    This isn't about me being right or wrong it's about discussing the logic behind how 7th chords are named. As for dismissing the jazz "community", (lets all define ourselves as a social group by playing ii V I progressions) all I said was that music theory and notation wasn't invented by it. Sorry if you believe it is, but Jazz music isn't the definitive application of theory. Your arguments are looking less intellectual and more like a desperate defence of your inferiority complex. "Whatever".

    I did in an earlier post say, since you are obviously selectively reading what I post, that I was a bit unsure about what the Aug7 spelling denotes since I use either Maj7(#5) or 7(#5) when dealing with tetrads that have an augmented triad. Obviously you ignored this.

    I'm not going to get into this with you any more so any more of this "man up" nonsense and I'll just ignore you.

    By the way I don't talk about how much of an authority I am about anything. If that is your perception, it might be for a reason though.
     

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