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Question about lead sheet notation

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Michael Case, Oct 11, 2003.


  1. When you see G7+9 in a lead sheet does that mean G7 with the 9th (A)? Or does it mean G7 with the sharp 9th (A#)? Just curious, cause I have seen many variations (G7(9) G7(#9) G7 9). I need to know this.
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. mpm

    mpm

    May 10, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Hi Mike,
    Usually the + means the note it preceeds is rasied (A#).
    Mike
     
  3. That's what I assumed, but was never sure. Thanks.
     
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    MOOSE THE MOOCH,

    This is a great subject. While what PMS told you was absolutely correct, there's more to the story than that. Typically, just about any dominant chord that has an altered 9th (raised or lowered) is open for substitution with a Dominant chord with the opposite type of altered 9th. i.e. - if you see a G7#9, most of the time a G7b9 will also work in the same spot. If I wasn't holding a fussy infant at the moment and typing with one hand, I'd go into more detail. As is, I'll have to try again later when the tragedy has died down a bit. :rolleyes: :D
     
  5. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Time to bust out the bass for a little solo "There Is No Greater Love" work.
     
  6. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I've only recently come to understand how a dominant chord is spelled, but should I also understand a dominant chord as the V chord in some progression?
     
  7. Perplexer

    Perplexer

    Sep 2, 2003
    I would guess that Chris would relate the chord to the altered dominant scale, which is built on the 7th degree of the melodic minor scale...

    the whole chord would be spelled:
    R b9 #9 3 b5 b13 b7

    striped down it's the Jimi Hendrix chord

    expanded, it's the Scribian chord.
     
  8. mpm

    mpm

    May 10, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Yep, "Purple Haze" more specifically. Also, even more srtiped down, R b3 5 b7, it's the V chord in "Louie Louie".
     
  9. Isn't R b3 5 b7 a minor?
     
  10. By definition, a dominant chord is a V chord. In the key of C Major, the dominant, or V chord, is G7. However, there is a plethora of ways to use a dominant chord so that it is not the V chord in a given key. One possibility is what's called a secondary dominant. In "Take The A Train", for example, the D7 in the 3rd bar is a secondary dominant of V, or "V7 of V".

    In a typical blues, the I, IV, V, and sometimes ii chords are all dominant chords (1,3,5 b7), but each takes on the individual function in the key depending on what the root is, and only the V chord is the actual dominant.

    Also, as noted in another post, a dominant chord can be minor. The derivation of the "minor v" is from the natural minor scale, wherein the flat 7th of the key is the flat 3rd of the v chord. This does not have as strong a pull to the tonic, however.
     
  11. mpm

    mpm

    May 10, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Yeah,it is. It was years before I found out it was supposed to sound like a raised 9, not a minor. By the way, if the + follows a note name, i.e., A+, the composer/copyist is usually asking for an A major triad with a raised 5, A C#, E#.
     
  12. This is one example of ambiguous notation which ought not to exist. The fact that you have to question what this means is reason enough. If the intention is to notate a sharp nine chord, then it should be specifically written G7(#9). This way there is no possibility of it being misconstrued. Is it so much more effort to write a sharp sign instead of a plus sign?

    The matter is further complicated when you consider that in theory, the plus sign is used to indicate an augmented triad. One might interpret G7+9 as G,B,D#,F,A. Not likely, but possible.

    In the absence of standardized chordal notation, we have to be aware of the different options and use our musical intuition to decipher and decide what is meant from time to time.
     
  13. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I'd call it the Steely Dan chord. I don't know much about Hendrix, but the "Purple Haze chord" is just a plain ol' E7#9 - whereas Steely Dan used to go for 7#5#9 quite a lot - the #5 being an important thing in defining it as 7alt chord.
     
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Actually, I don't relate the chord to that scale except insofar as to point out to students that the "Dim/W.T." (alt.) scale and the Dim. scale are what "Common Wisdom" jazz theory recommends - what I actually play will depend on the context of the tune, and these two scales usually sound pretty "artificial" to me, especially the #4 when the resolution chord is minor. Most times, I simply play what I'm hearing at that moment, but I have noticed that when I'm hearing a #9 in any situation, I'm usually hearing the b9 as an equally valid possibility as well.
     
  15. Perplexer

    Perplexer

    Sep 2, 2003
    That scale/chord relation was what I was taught, though I don't use it often. As a guitarist the scale came in handy, I even wrote a tune using it in the A section. And I seem to remember it being perfect to play over a bII7 chord going into a I chord.

    but I haven't found it usefull in bass soloing, it does sound artificial. And you're absolutley right, it should be in your ear, not in your theoritcial brain. the b9 I definetly hear, but I can hear the #11 as well, maybe just not in that situation.

    One other thing about the chord: my classical threory friend was going on about Scribian's "mystery" chord that he had discoverd working with the overtone series. Scribian became obssesed with it enough to write a whole body of work using it I looked at it and made the connection, oh that's the Jimi chord.

    I do love the chords' full construction. playing it as a two octave chord on the piano is sweet, or actually tense, but sweet.. maybe bitter sweet.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    No, no - Scriabin built his chords in fourths rather than thirds - nothing to do with overtones or Hendrix!! ;)
     
  17. Perplexer

    Perplexer

    Sep 2, 2003
    I am absolutely WRONG!!!

    that conversation must have ended up there somehow, but you're right they have no connection. Always good to dispell with misconceptions.

    I now have, more ar less:

    R 3 5 b7 R 9 #11

    is that your Scribian chord?

    But I am reading that it is based on the harmonic series, which I assume is the overtone series. Could be wrong.
     
  18. no
     
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    If I recall correctly, Scriabin's "Mystic" chord was really just a Lydian Dominant scale stacked in 4ths up from the root:

    C, F#, Bb, E, A, D

    I think you have to assume the presence of the 5th in the "scale", but if you are willing to do that, it's not too tough to see the relation to the overtone series. But as always (like BAD MONSOON), I could be wrong.
     
  20. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Cool. Is there some kind of cycle-of-fifths magic being displayed here too?