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symmetric harmony

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Howard K, Feb 25, 2004.


  1. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    A theory headed friend pointed me in the direction of this article on symmetric harmony, link below

    http://mashav.com/sha/The Language Of Modern Jazz Music/The Language Of Modern Jazz Music.htm

    So, after reading it, doing some thinking, and being astounded at what an amazing idea it is. I got round to listening to A Love Supreme again ...and I can actually him moving a melody through symmetric tonal centres.. I can actually hear it :)

    For me, this is a revelation!!

    That's all really, just thought I'd share :) The article is very good, although the written English isnt perfect, it's still clearly explained

    cheers
    H
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Howard,

    If anyone can tell me how to attach PDF files, I've got some related material I'd be happy to post on the subject.
     
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Sounds good to me. If you cant attach 'em, just email 'em :)

    My email address is in my profile.. I think?

    Actually, it's pay day and I need to get some Charlie Parker - any recommendations?
     
  4. link_cell

    link_cell

    Jul 22, 2014
    Chris,
    I just found this forum.
    I would really appreciate if you could send me the symmetry related pdfs.
    Im really interested in this subject!
    Thank you!
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    zombie thread kitten.png

    Wow, there's a blast from the past! Attaching a symmetrical reharm PDF for the first phrase of a blues in F, showing symmetrical reharms by every interval.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. link_cell

    link_cell

    Jul 22, 2014
    hum... braaains :D
    Thank you!
     
  7. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    That gave me a headache.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    To be honest, this stuff gives me a headache, too! That handout was something I was working on about 30 years ago in college. I use it these days in a graduate jazz theory class in a section on harmonic substitutions and superimpositions, along with Coltrane subs, line cliches, etc. The symmetrical subs shown are all "head games" in that they require a specific target for resolution, making them marginally interesting/useful for reharming progressions but not terribly valuable for improvisation. In the co-requisite improv class, where we actually play music instead of talking about it, the subject is approached differently: lots of players use chord sequences superimposed over sections of (usually static) harmony in improvisation, but don't always have a specific resolution mapped out beforehand; rather, a superimposed set of imaginary changes is started and outlined, and the player uses their ear to dovetail back to the regular changes when the time feels right. So while the study and practice of planned symmetrical reharms as listed on the sheet is of limited use, it can help students open the door to improvised possibilities for harmonic superimpositions on the fly.
     
  9. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    I find this stuff very interesting, as well. I did pound out a few of the lines on piano.

    It does open one's mind to a lot of possibilities. However, I do not plan on playing it in every key.
     
  10. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Seattle
    Dose this stuff actually sound good, or just "interesting"?
     
  11. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Neither. The audience has totally vacated after the 4th measure. And half the band has become lost.

    Ya know... If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
     
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Like most things, it sounds great when a great player does it, sort of okay when a sort of okay player does it, and not so good when a not so good player does it. In the class, we use examples as played by Coltrane, Michael Brecker, Kenny Barron, Fred Hersch, etc. As you might imagine, those sound pretty damn good!
     
  13. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Seattle
    Hah, fair point.