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non diatonic harmony

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by Berme, May 15, 2001.

  1. Berme


    May 11, 2001
    i've already post this this thread in General Instruction, but i was thinking that a pro like you could give a more extended answer. can you talk about Modal Harmony, Polychords, Hybrid chords,modulations,Coltrane changes...and where we can use them?
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned

    Dec 11, 1999
    This is a huge topic that really requires years of study. I will try, my best to give you an overview but an internet forum can only go so far. It is also better to ask specific questions. i would urge you as you begin the study of these topics that you come back here with those questions. the absolute best resource for much of this information is Mark Levine's "Jazz Theory Book" published by Sher Music Co. Here we go - much of this info is from mark levine's book

    Modal Harmony is based more on scales than vertical harmony.Therefore a song like Miles Davis' "So What" is thought of as D dorian to Eb dorian rather than thought of as some kind of chord progression (II-V-I, etc.). As Levine says Modal Harmony "caused a seismic shift among Jazz Musicians, away from thinking vertically (the chord) and toward a more horizontal approach (the scale)

    Polychords are the imposition of one chord on top of another. This is often done with triads Cmaj/Dmaj. most polychords as well as hybrid chords (or slash chords - where there is a chord over a different bass nbote) can be analyzed within the norms of standard functional harmony. For example a Bbmaj/C chord can really be thought of as Bbsus9 chord. Often times it looking at the makeup of the chord and listening to its function can clear this up

    Modulations is the act of moving to a different key. In the pop days of Barry manilow and Whitney houston it could be to talk the end of the song up the half step, or in the case of 'tranes' Giant Steps it could be a key modulation every 2 measures. What we need to do here, again, is to get a good understanding of functional harmony, hear the key change and go with it. We need to develop our solos and bass lines with this concept in mind.

    Finally, I am not sure what you quite mean by Coltrane Changes. If you are referring to the art of reharmonizations and chord substititions, I would refer you to the Jazz Theory book.

    I hoped I was at least a little bit of help

  3. Berme


    May 11, 2001
    it has been a lot of help Michael, thank you very much. i know there are lots of books about harmony, but usually these questions are not very well explained (only mentioned as curiosities). i'll try to get a better book next time, probably the one you have recomended.
  4. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Check out Gary Willis' Harmony book.
    Neat stuff.

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