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#1284990 - 10/11/09 04:59 PM Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun
jazzwee Offline
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This thread could be fun as well as educational and focused on making music. Coming out of discussion between Studio Joe (Joe Whitehead) and myself in another thread, I thought it was a great idea to come up with ways of reharmonizing (basically coming up with a different chord progression) for the typical nursery rhymes. Nursery Rhymes are simple so it's within the reach of many here to play.

We will start off here with "Mary had a Little Lamb".

The requirements for this little exercise is that the melody must fit completely in the chord progression and must not be altered. There is no other rule as to what chords to use or rhythmic style. In a way it's like composition. But it's simple stuff.

There is no bar here for playing quality, we're just interested in your creativity.

As background to this nursery rhyhme, it is a typical I-IV-V tune, which in the key of C just uses the chords C, F and G.

This is for entertainment value only (and hopefully educational) so the main goal is to have fun. Feel free to ask us how we came up with the reharmonization although I can't guarantee that we will remember how we did it. smile
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#1284993 - 10/11/09 05:02 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Sounds like fun! I'll be joining in. smile
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#1284996 - 10/11/09 05:05 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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I will make the first submission. Although I had some general idea of what to play from noodling around for a few minutes, I have to say that I was just improvising as I went through it so I may not exactly remember what I did. Because I'm known here for being a jazz guy, at least this first try is not too bizarre smile

I may have cheated slightly in altering the melody. But if you play the same melody throughout, it will still fit, thus staying within the rule. Unfortunately, my "improvising" mentality always causes me to alter the melody.

http://www.box.net/shared/1zls7rx9b9
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#1285000 - 10/11/09 05:10 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jotur Offline
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One of my favorite ABF threads ever - tho not on reharmonizing necessarily:

Mary Had a Little Lamb

I'm looking forward to more.

Cathy
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#1285001 - 10/11/09 05:12 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jotur]
jotur Offline
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Cool, jazzwee -

Cathy
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#1285004 - 10/11/09 05:17 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jotur]
jazzwee Offline
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Darn, Cathy. We're not original. Oh well, this is not limited to "Mary..."
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#1285018 - 10/11/09 05:36 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
Studio Joe Offline
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If one breakes the rules of your requirement, will they be ostracized? For example variations on the principal melody? I have some ideas that involve a verse in a minor key which would require changinging ther original melody somewhat, but it would still be recognizable as "Mary Had a Little Lamb".

The original song as I remember it in my head uses only I and V (no IV). But another variation idea I have in mind changes the melody to include the IV chord.

I think requiring that "the melody must not be altered" stifles the creativity for delightful things one can do with this arrangement.


Edit: Oh I see you already broke the rule yourself while I was typing my post. So nevermind.


Edited by Studio Joe (10/11/09 05:41 PM)
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#1285021 - 10/11/09 05:45 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Studio Joe]
Riddler Offline
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Ok, here's mine:

http://www.box.net/shared/q5m1zu1mxg

Kinda fun!

Ed
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#1285023 - 10/11/09 05:45 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jotur Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Darn, Cathy. We're not original. Oh well, this is not limited to "Mary..."


Improvisation is, by definition, original smile

Cathy
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#1285034 - 10/11/09 05:54 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jotur]
jazzwee Offline
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Well Joe, if you open it up to just a recognizable melody we will truly open the doors smile No problem with me. At least in my first try, I purposely stifled myself by making sure the original melody still fits (though I didn't necessarily play it). It was quite limiting, I'd have to agree.

It's all fun so go for it.
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#1285038 - 10/11/09 05:59 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Riddler's is impressive. Can you tell us what the chords are?
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#1285039 - 10/11/09 06:00 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Riddler that was great! Pretty original. I'm sure each one of these will have a different feel. Some will be dark, mysterious, and perplexing...:)

This is going to be fun! Keep 'em coming.
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#1285052 - 10/11/09 06:27 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jotur Offline
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Ed, that was cool, too.

These have quite a different flavor so far (all 2 of you) than the earlier thread. I like!

Cathy
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#1285054 - 10/11/09 06:33 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jotur]
jazzwee Offline
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But Ed opened the door to jazz versions so now I can do that too smile
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#1285055 - 10/11/09 06:35 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jotur]
Studio Joe Offline
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Good Jazzwee and Riddler! Enjoyed 'em.

I'll have to wait for a warmer day to get out to the garage where my recording set-up is, then I'll submit my version. Meanwhile I have a piano in the house to practice on.
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#1285069 - 10/11/09 07:02 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Studio Joe]
mom3gram Offline
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This looks like a really fun thread, and I loved the old one that Cathy provided. Those "Mary's" were really cool! But, as a beginner who has been playing from the Alfred Book 1 for over a year, and has never improvised a thing, can you tell me how to get started doing that? I mean, I can sit down and plunk around until I get the melody, but then what do I do next? I'm sure there are other beginners who would love to know that too.
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#1285078 - 10/11/09 07:25 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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Here's the fun part Mom3gram, at the beginning stages, you can play ANY series of white notes on the LH and it will come out ok! The rest of us who are more advanced venture beyond white notes, but you certainly don't have to.

The melody notes...just plunk away at C, D and E (start at E). Can't be simpler than that.

Now there's a little music theory why this works but you can figure that out later AFTER you give it a try.
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#1285080 - 10/11/09 07:29 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
Riddler Offline
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TLT,

Here are the chords I used:

C D7 E7 F#7
Bb7 E7 A7 Eb7
F Bb#11
D7 Dbmaj7#11
Cmaj7#11

That #11 ending is a trick I just learned recently. Came in handy!

This thread is a cool idea. There's nothing I like better than finding a simple way to learn something complicated!

Ed
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#1285170 - 10/11/09 11:06 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Riddler]
FogVilleLad Offline
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mom3gram, learning to improvise is both the simplest and the most difficult thing to do. It's simple because all you have to do is play whatever comes into mind, it's difficult because conventional learning is all about doing things correctly.

While working your way thru Alfred's, you're using the left side of your brain. That's the rules side. What you've got to do is to access the right side. That's the creative side. Some of your best work will be done away from the piano. Just take a theme or part of a melody and hum or whistle or sing variations on it. For example, "Mary had a little lamb" or "fleece was white as snow." See what comes out when you start to have fun with it. After you've hummed or whistled or sung some variations, return to the piano and try to sound out your variations. (In this context, "variation" can also include "something completely different.")

At first, process is more important than result, so don't judge the results, just sound them out. Continue to do some of that every day. In effect you're teaching yourself to access your subconscious mind. The subconscious does not function in a linear fashion. You may get a lot or nothing at at first. But if you continue, you'll discover that you can access your creative side whenever you want to.

I don't have Level One handy. Does it get into 6th or 7th chords at all? If it doesn't, you might want to skip the reharmonization - or just try some inversions - and concentrate on the melody. A standard jazz form is A1, B, A2. Your improv would be the B. (There is a current jazz vocabulary - you'll see some of it in the responses to this thread - but building large vocabularies won't automatically transform people into writers.)

It may help to recall that Chopin loved to improvise when performing, that Beethoven would have friends over and regale them with his improvising, etc., etc. Actually more than a thousand years before the giants of Western music appeared, the Imperial Chinese wrote down rules for performing at court. Priority was given to the song, within the song priority was given to melody, and the soloist was expected - expected - to improvise. What is now accepted as normal is in fact a response to the exigencies of managing large symphony orchestras. So the content of traditional lessons is, in effect, teaching an aberration in the history of making music.

The whole point of accessing your creative side is to play *you.*











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#1285306 - 10/12/09 06:40 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: FogVilleLad]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Loc: Scotland
Thanks for those chords, Riddler. In a little while I might be brave enough to try them. For now I've started with something a little more basic, but which should satisfy most 3 year olds:

http://www.box.net/shared/qhz6uur7np

mom3gran - I do hope you will stay and experiment with us. Jazzwee will steer you in the right direction and you will be amazed at what you can achieve without music in front of you. Here I've done as jazzwee suggested - random while notes in the base, and I don't think it sounds all that bad:

http://www.box.net/shared/5t59plxa5u

The first thing I did when I sat at the piano today, I meant to go from a chord of C to F. But I wasn't awake, and my LH went to a G instead. So I accidentally played quite a juicy Gsus. Only thing is, I have no idea what to follow it with! smile
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#1285350 - 10/12/09 09:07 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
mom3gram Offline
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Thanks for the helpful hints, Jazzwee and FogVilleLad. I did try both "noodling" random notes in my LH, as well as random white note chords. It sounded "okay".

Then, what I did was to try it in various ways with chords that I have learned so far, which was easy because I'm using the key of C. So the C chord and the G7 chord sounded good, but I didn't like the F. I made a little "arrangement" using the C and the G7, and adding a couple of RH hand notes to the original melody. I guess mine would have to be called "Mary Had a Little-baby-lamb". Like Riddler said, it would satisfy a 3-year old, which is about where I feel my piano progress is sometimes anyway, so I was pretty proud of myself.

Now, I don't know if you all will let me continue to play with you, because I have no way at the moment to record anything. I have a DP, on which I can record a song, but my DP is on the first floor and my computer is on the second. Not sure if there is any way to get the sound from here to there, and I'm not very techie oriented.

But I will write out the "score" of my "piece" and send it to you. In the meantime, I've really enjoyed hearing what others have come up with.


UPDATE: I've written it out and scanned it. I put it on flickr and tried to upload it here, but it didn't work. I tried to send a link to the flickr page, but that didn't work either. I don't know how to send a pdf file. So if anyone really wants to see it, I could use some suggestions on how to get it on here.


Edited by mom3gram (10/12/09 10:15 AM)
Edit Reason: added to post
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#1285378 - 10/12/09 10:08 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
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Hi

Just in case we need any more renditions of Mary had a Little Lamb, mine is here:

http://www.box.net/shared/pxjbn009cc

Comments welcome.

Best wishes
Kevin

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#1285388 - 10/12/09 10:25 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
Studio Joe Offline
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Registered: 03/28/07
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Loc: Decatur, Texas
Originally Posted By: mom3gram

UPDATE: I've written it out and scanned it. I put it on flickr and tried to upload it here, but it didn't work. I tried to send a link to the flickr page, but that didn't work either. I don't know how to send a pdf file. So if anyone really wants to see it, I could use some suggestions on how to get it on here.


I got it to work by copying and pasting it in the browser address bar, but I deleted the final slash mark on the end of the link you posted.

Check your score again. I suspect you intended the low note in the RH part in the next to last measure to be C instead of D.
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#1285395 - 10/12/09 10:40 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Studio Joe]
mom3gram Offline
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Thanks, Joe, you are right about the C. I will fix it and then add the link without the /.
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#1285407 - 10/12/09 10:57 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
mom3gram Offline
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Okay, another try. Here is the corrected score for my very, very baby step version of "Mary..."

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22966243@N05/4004413989

And WHY doesn't it come up as a click-able link???


Edited by mom3gram (10/12/09 11:00 AM)
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#1285410 - 10/12/09 11:02 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Kevin - very interesting, again, I'm wondering what chords you're using there.

Mom3 - You mentioned you got on well with the C and the G7, but not the F chord. I'm wondering where you tried the F chord, because it can be very useful here. So, for example, in the first line 'Mary had', the 'had' is on note C. C is in the chord of F (F, A and C), so this is a good place to put an F chord. You can keep the whole lot with the chord of C, but going from C to F and then back again gives it a little more movement. Just a thought. smile

I'm also not that technically proficient. One thing I do have is a Zoom H2 for recording music (before that I used my mp3 player). I'm only mentioning this because a lot of people will be buying the new zoom recorder, and selling the old ones, if you're in the market for a recorder.
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#1285417 - 10/12/09 11:34 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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It's great what everyone is doing here. thumb I guarantee you will learn from this. Now try taking a bit more risk.

Now for those trying this, try this experiment. First of all, play it slowly enough so you can put at least one chord per melody note. You will find a little extra freedome here because there will be less possibility of a "wrong note" as anything can pass for a passing tone.

One the left hand, instead of just triads, or even seventh chords, try a pattern. Here's one to try.

1-3-4. (Example D F G). And move this pattern up and down the white notes. It will sound interesting.

Here's another to mix in a little of the black notes. Now this will not always work so it's a matter of experimentation here.

1-3-4# (Example D F G#).

There are reasons why these work (or not).
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#1285419 - 10/12/09 11:38 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Mom3Gram, here it is reposted for you.

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#1285427 - 10/12/09 11:57 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Just for educational comparisons, TLT's and Mom3Gram's versions are in the key of C.

My version, Riddler's and KevinB's leave the Key of C.

In my case, I used the keys of F, G, Cm, Ab, D. There's more keys when I do chromatic chords but I can't remember exactly what I did. smile. I ended mine on a "Tonic" (release chord) though I did it in minor (Cm).

Riddler's was more adventurous as he went for a sound with more "tension", something definitely preferred by Jazz types. I will make a post along those lines too. What was interesting was how Riddler did not end on a tonic but instead did it after the melody was finished (delayed release of tension).

BTW - when you want to leave a key, you use a lot of dominant chords and it sounds good doing it. Riddler posted his chords so you can see that he does do that.

If you listen to these versions, you will notice a sense of "Tension" with some harmonies, and there will be a pull to "Release" that tension. So most of us are drawn to leave the tune in completion with a return to a tonic. In this case some sort of non-dominant C chord. You will notice how this is also the last note of the melody.

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#1285440 - 10/12/09 12:23 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
kevinb Offline
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Registered: 09/18/09
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Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Kevin - very interesting, again, I'm wondering what chords you're using there.


Honestly, it's nothing clever. In case you're interested, here is the score:

http://www.box.net/shared/4lm7rhcved

The basic tune in the key of C calls for C, F, and G, and maybe D7. That's all I've used, but I've inverted them and added 6ths and 7ths to thicken up the sound. I've also put in some chromatic passing notes to smooth the transitions between some chords -- I haven't names these on the score because, even if they're real chords, they are harmonically irrelevant.

The `(G7)' in the score is the chord that `should' go in that position, since it leads from the D7 to the C. But I thought a rest sounded nicer than a wholly predictable progression smile




Edited by kevinb (10/12/09 12:30 PM)

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#1285441 - 10/12/09 12:26 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: kevinb]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
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I'm greatly enjoying this. Wonderful thread!

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#1285524 - 10/12/09 02:42 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: kevinb]
mom3gram Offline
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Loc: New Jersey
Thanks, Jazzwee, for posting my score.

You are all more advanced than I am, and I'm enjoying the different versions you've come up with. I will have to re-read this thread after I learn some more chords and some more theory. Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with.

In the meantime, I'm going to work on more variations with the little knowledge that I have. I probably won't post them unless I come up with something really interesting. I'm just going to play around with the three chords I know in each of the C, G, F, and A minor keys, and I may or may not change the basic melody, keeping it more or less recognizeable. I can have a lot of fun just doing that. I'm going to try it with some other nursery rhymes too.

Now I'm neglecting to practice my regular Alfred pieces to play around with "Mary Had a Little Lamb". And I thought I was way beyond that little tune. Go figure!

Oh, and Ten Left Thumbs, thanks. I have heard of the Zoom H2 from reading the threads about the recitals. That is on my ever growing wish list.
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#1285543 - 10/12/09 03:19 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
FogVilleLad Offline
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Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: mom3gram

In the meantime, I'm going to work on more variations with the little knowledge that I have. I can have a lot of fun just doing that. I'm going to try it with some other nursery rhymes too.

Now I'm neglecting to practice my regular Alfred pieces to play around with "Mary Had a Little Lamb".
Just keep going until that's what you wake up in the morning wanting to do. At that moment you will have entered the creative state of mind.

Re practicing, creativity and knowledge are both necessary. There will be times when you don't feel like doing any more variations or new rhymes. That's the time to get back into Alfred's. But if you feel a creative impulse when practicing, immediately go with it.

Ultimately the goal is to play you.

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#1285550 - 10/12/09 03:36 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: FogVilleLad]
jotur Offline
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Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5539
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
TLT - I liked your "random notes in the bass" version - just goes to show that if you're moving the bass there aren't any wrong notes laugh

kevinb - I liked this, too

mom3gram - that is so cool that you could write out what you were doing. I couldn't have done that until I'd been playing, oh, 30 years :\

Cathy
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#1285559 - 10/12/09 03:49 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jotur]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: jotur
TLT - I liked your "random notes in the bass" version - just goes to show that if you're moving the bass there aren't any wrong notes laugh


Thanks Cathy. I had to really try to disengage my brain, and not think 'theory' or 'chords' but just random notes. Even so, I think I finished up on C! smile

You joining in Cathy? wink

Now jazzwee, I've been trying out some different chords, but I'm a bit puzzled by your next guidance. As a rule, I don't put triads in the LH - I was taught just to put a bass note, with the chord in the RH. Not saying that's the only way to do it, just that that's my 'default' setting, and I don't like hearing chords low down.

Thinking about the pattern you give (1, 3, 4) is taking me away from what I was about to do, which is to change chords more often, and make them more 'exciting'. Hopefully I'll post soon.
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#1285575 - 10/12/09 04:09 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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Hey TLT, the "shape" I gave you is made to be played like a rootless LH voicing. Meaning it's played near middle C somewhere. All I'm trying to get everyone to do here is relax and have fun and bend the ear a little bit to thinking that there isn't a wrong note or a wrong chord.

This is actually something we're discussing in the Non-Classical section. You could move this pattern around in the LH almost as a counter melody. Again there are reasons why these work but here, we follow Gyro's advice and just play.

There's a time to learn the "why's" but only after we hear the effect. I'm giving everyone a set limit here since you're playing in the key of C on one pattern, and the other pattern, you're playing one note away from the key of C.

I could come up with some interesting stuff just with this, and there's nothing to be concerned about. There's a physicality to the instrument and this gives a little confidence beyond just following a score.

When I played what I played, I really had little idea what would come out other than the fact that I recognized common tones so I knew "safe havens", like staying away from the F# scale... or B scale. How did I know that? Simple. C,D and E are going to be in conflict with 2 or 3 of the melody notes. Other than that, you really have free rein.
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#1285584 - 10/12/09 04:21 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Er - I'm afraid, the more you say, the less I understand. smile

Except that we're following Gyro's advice...

Tell you what, if my husband ever gets off the TV, I'll post something. If it's too late, I'll need to wait until tomorrow.

Now, if I'd followed Gyro's advice and got a digital piano, I wouldn't be in this fix...
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#1285586 - 10/12/09 04:23 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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Originally Posted By: mom3gram
Thanks, Jazzwee, for posting my score.

You are all more advanced than I am, and I'm enjoying the different versions you've come up with. I will have to re-read this thread after I learn some more chords and some more theory. Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with.

In the meantime, I'm going to work on more variations with the little knowledge that I have. I probably won't post them unless I come up with something really interesting. I'm just going to play around with the three chords I know in each of the C, G, F, and A minor keys, and I may or may not change the basic melody, keeping it more or less recognizeable. I can have a lot of fun just doing that. I'm going to try it with some other nursery rhymes too.


Don't take this too seriously Mom3Gram smile There's no test or recital here. I'm just having everyone give it a try and experiment. It's a little bit of a confidence builder. I'm hoping you discover something and then we can discuss and hopefully learn.
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#1285591 - 10/12/09 04:27 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Er - I'm afraid, the more you say, the less I understand. smile

Except that we're following Gyro's advice...

Tell you what, if my husband ever gets off the TV, I'll post something. If it's too late, I'll need to wait until tomorrow.

Now, if I'd followed Gyro's advice and got a digital piano, I wouldn't be in this fix...


Maybe I'll just have to make more examples. smile

I know you're surprised to hear me follow advice from Gyro but everyone hesitates like this is some complex thing. It's a nursery rhyme. We can't mess up. This is not a jazz standard wink So in this particular case, he's right. A rare moment.

Gyro, why don't you post something and join us here?
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#1285631 - 10/12/09 05:40 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
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Another recording:

http://www.box.net/shared/6ch79vbm0i

Apologies for the sound quality, I had to play quietly.

Perhaps, jazzwee, you could explain a little more what you mean by this:

Quote:
One the left hand, instead of just triads, or even seventh chords, try a pattern. Here's one to try.

1-3-4. (Example D F G). And move this pattern up and down the white notes. It will sound interesting.


Do you mean that we play D F and G together or one-after-the-other, and what is the relationship with the chord in the RH? Or are there no chords in the RH?
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#1285644 - 10/12/09 06:02 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
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That was very pretty TLT! Now that was a great exercise in Dynamics wasn't it smile I had to pull out my earphones to hear it. Shows off your Grade 8 skills...

In answer to your question, the idea is that 1-3-4 is the chord. There is no other chord. So the RH is just playing the melody. Because it is a cluster, it should be played higher up register wise.

But of course, you can also play it as an inversion. The other combination uses one Altered tone (1-3-4#). It creates some nice sounding chords.

These two options will give chord options that have an interesting sound. You will notice that the 1-3-4 doesn't sound good on C and D as the first note. That's because the 4 conflicts so you use the 4# (which is the #11 that Riddler was using).

If you skip the melody, you could play the chords on the RH and the bass note on the LH. The point is that with experimentation, you will come up with stuff you never thought of.

This is just a couple of possible "shapes". It could be in reverse for example, like 1-2-4. and 1-2-4#, although this fits better in the RH. You don't even have to think about what the chords are, you just listen.
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#1285668 - 10/12/09 06:51 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
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http://www.box.net/shared/hyl88cv4rh

Ok here's mine I used 1-6-2-5 chords.

Serge
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#1285691 - 10/12/09 07:37 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Serge88]
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Sounded great Serge! I thought at the end that you were going to repeat it at a half step up smile
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#1285766 - 10/12/09 10:24 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
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I'm sort of with Ten Left Thumbs, in that the more you say the less I understand. No problem though - I got the important part, and that's to play around with it.

Cathy, when I first started learning to play, I copied some of my lesson pieces onto blank staff paper to see if it would help me to remember the notes on the staff. For the last month or so, I've been trying to pick out simple melodies by ear and write them down. I hadn't done Mary yet, because I already knew that melody. It seems that I remembered it from playing something called "Melody Bells" (a set of different colored bells made for children) when I was a kid. So this is just taking what I was already doing and kicking it up a few notches.
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#1285794 - 10/12/09 11:26 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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FUN REHARM

Nothing beats just listening. So this is what I'm talking about. I made a pattern, and the intervals are 1-5-7 and 1#-5-7. It's the same pattern as I was talking about previously but I inverted it so it works better as a LH voicing and it can be played in a lower register without getting muddy.

So put this pattern in your LH fingers in the scale of C as follows:
Pattern 1: F C E
Pattern 2: F# C E

Then playing the same melody of "Mary Had a Little Lamb", I just played these two patterns up and down a scale step at a time (alternating between the two patterns). In white keys, the pattern is very simple to move up the scale since the shape is exactly the same the whole way. I would be a little trickier in another key.

It sounds like this:

http://www.box.net/shared/gv0a46axyo

Now isn't that FUN OR WHAT?!!! grin

What chords where those? Who cares smile
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#1285796 - 10/12/09 11:31 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
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jazzwee - yes, that was fun smile

mom3gram - that's still cool -

serge - I loved it!

tlt - what a mournful sound! Did Mary lose her lamb? That was neat

Cathy
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#1285808 - 10/13/09 12:02 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jotur]
jazzwee Offline
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BTW - advanced side comment -- of course although I'm doing a "Gyro-like" exercise here (digging in as he says), that fact is, I know exactly what chords I was playing, which means I can repeat this in any key.

And depending on the register it is played, the pattern could represent multiple chords and be ambiguous in nature.

As you go lower down the registers, the bottom note of the chord begins to sound out as a clear root. This has to do with something in music theory called "overtones" and it is also why we tend to have a muddy sound in the lower registers so we spread the notes out more.

The alternating movement from a normal scale degree to an ALT chord provides chromatic voice leading which can be found in a lot of standards actually.

It's interesting stuff and I didn't plan this out. I just thought of it intellectually and then went to play it.
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#1285833 - 10/13/09 01:32 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
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Interesting stuff!

Ed
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#1285835 - 10/13/09 01:36 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
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Hey cool thread guys, I like to hear everyone's take and personal style! I will try and post one up soon, but I don't have a recording device at the moment. Actually, how do you all record your songs?

I borrowed my friend's MiniDisk, and then convert to mp3 on the computer. Do you have a mic hooked up to your comp and record direct?

If you want inspiration, here's Gabriela Montero doing her version of Happy Birthday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6Aa92cZToI

Not too bad if I say so myself!!

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#1286086 - 10/13/09 11:49 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee
That was very pretty TLT! Now that was a great exercise in Dynamics wasn't it smile



Sorry! That was ****** inaudible! help

This was the kind of thing I meant:

http://www.box.net/shared/40c5vk2z5a

As for the shape-thingy-forget-about-chords-approach, I gave this a go. This was 1, 3, 4 ascending then descending:

http://www.box.net/shared/46mhvrkk0v

Bit of a strange idea. It can throw up some interesting harmonies, but I'm not sure about using it as a strategy for playing. I did a few different things, occasional good sounds, but a few real clonkers.

Perhaps we can discuss this some more?
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#1286145 - 10/13/09 12:59 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
kevinb Offline
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Cool. What's the next exercise, teacher? wink

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#1286150 - 10/13/09 01:06 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
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You think it was a strange idea? Not to me. You sounded pretty jazzy there with what you did using the 1-3-4. But use my inversion as it can allow you go to lower and use more altered sounds (more jazzy).

Now 1-3-4 (or my inversion 1-5-7) doesn't always work, so that's why you have to use your ear as to when to use 1-3-4# (#1-5-7). I was just going chromatic with mine but if I moved it around the options and sounds are endless, and this is just one pattern.

With just this one "shape", we could come up with interesting reharmonizations of Christmas songs in the key of C. I may have to re-title this thread smile

The trick here is to not stay in one of these chords for long (no more than 2 beats) so the dissonance doesn't linger. If you listen to these (especially mine) you will almost hear this alternating tension and release.
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#1286251 - 10/13/09 03:26 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
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This is a fun thread. Can I join ? I am terrible at chords stuff. But here is my contribution. I think I used C and Dm.

http://www.box.net/shared/ppvcoc2u1x#

(and no it is not my playing grin, it is a generated midi. I am at work and can not try it on the keyboard)

TB
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#1286267 - 10/13/09 03:50 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: (Was)TrueBeginner]
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True Beginner, do you write the music for the 'on hold' part of my bank's telephone care-line? wink
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#1286314 - 10/13/09 05:29 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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TrueBeginner, that gave me quite a smile smile That was pretty peppy! The peppiest version so far smile

Well if you're terrible at chord stuff, this is the time to learn. Everyone can try out each other's approaches. Maybe you can show your chords here.
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#1286331 - 10/13/09 06:09 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jotur Offline
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True Beginner - that made me laugh - I loved it.

Cathy
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#1286337 - 10/13/09 06:21 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jotur]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Yes, True Beginner, that was great! smile

(Just wanted to make that clear, in case my comment above was a bit cheeky!)

This one was 1/5/7 alternate #1/5/7:

http://www.box.net/shared/9vxt3iddha

Yes, this is fun! smile

I wasn't sure, if I was supposed to sharpen a note, and the note was E, if I should really play and E# (aka F), but then I decided to just do whatever.
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#1286357 - 10/13/09 07:32 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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TLT, I had to smile on that one. That was truly experimental smile Basically what you got was a pallette of chords and then you can come up with any combination you want. Sometimes it will work out and sometimes not.

Some will come out weird no doubt. But some combinations will just work. Chromatic movement seems to work well so maybe do alternating patterns for a couple of chords.

I had a lot of fun with these patterns today. I was able to create some improvised music just moving around with this. It sounded great although I probably could not play it the same way each time. But it's not "Mary" so I didn't bother recording. Really fun though!

What these patterns do is mix between chords of the scale (1/5/7) with chords outside of the scale (#1/5/7) so you have to kind of alternate so the tension/dissonance gets a little bit of release by returning to the base key (C).

My favorite ones are the ones starting at F# (#11 voicing or suggests D7) and G# (b13 or suggests G7(b9) ). The Eb one is just a Cm. The Bb one is just a C7. The weirdest one is C# (suggests CMaj7(b9) or maybe a Db7(b5). I think that is the most dissonant so I avoided that except in passing.

As you can see, most of these chords aren't anything 'weird'. They're just out of the current key.

And yes, E# is just played with an F. The intervals change so it's really based on the notes of the scale.

BTW - I'm learning here too.
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#1286567 - 10/14/09 04:28 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
simon288 Offline
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Thought I'd have a go!
I deviated a bit from the melody but couldn't help it! I used
1,4,7,3,6,2,5,1 and threw in a diminished too.....

http://www.box.net/shared/fvhnebcpy0


Edited by simon288 (10/14/09 04:31 AM)
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#1286743 - 10/14/09 10:35 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: simon288]
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Simon that was great! A Ballad version smile Who would have thought of "Mary" as a ballad?

Good stuff being posted here. thumb

Later on I'll post a little discussion on scale degrees since everyone here seems to be familiar with IV-vii-iii-vi-ii-V-I (Circle of Fifths). We'll give it a little extra spin and maybe others can learn a bit about chords and music theory.
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#1286752 - 10/14/09 10:50 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
simon288 Offline
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Thanks Jazzwee had fun noodling with that last night!
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#1286763 - 10/14/09 11:03 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: simon288]
jotur Offline
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simon - that was cool! It would have made a great piece for late Fri night in a piano bar! smile

Cathy
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#1286775 - 10/14/09 11:28 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jotur]
simon288 Offline
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Thanks Cathy, I was in a relaxed mood!
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#1287015 - 10/14/09 05:03 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee

What these patterns do is mix between chords of the scale (1/5/7) with chords outside of the scale (#1/5/7) so you have to kind of alternate so the tension/dissonance gets a little bit of release by returning to the base key (C).



Why pick 1/5/7 (1/3/4)? Is this just at random, or is there some logic behind it?

I have several thoughts about this.

On the one hand, it's very interesting, and throws up some new harmonies.

On the other, I can't really see myself using it much, because my brain couldn't take it into another key.

Also, I'm not at the level where I can see what kind of chord is going to come out, predict the sound, and make adjustments to avoid a really bad clash. So I'm not going to 'perform' with this. I think it might be a different story for someone who's already well-versed in voicings and harmonies, and can make little decisions as they go along.

It would be interesting to hear the outcome from someone who genuinely knows nothing about theory. That would be the proof of the pudding! smile
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#1287029 - 10/14/09 05:18 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
Studio Joe Offline
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I recorded this today for my submission to the Mary improvs.

Mary-Variations


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#1287038 - 10/14/09 05:30 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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Why pick 1/5/7?

I just made that up actually (although there's some logic to selection - a major third interval and a 9th interval will hit some good combinations).

I could have said let's do 1/3/5/7 (which is awfully close), in which case we would be doing scale degrees of the C scale in seventh chords.

For an advanced person, what I showed has some inherent meaning, which is probably too much to get into in this thread. Maybe it's something to cover in the Jazz thread (discussion already occuring in the Non-Classical section).

For the beginner, it gives a comfort level to the "physicality" of the instrument and how it connects to scale degrees. Using the #1/5/7 pattern (and there are many many more possible patterns), shows how you can move away from the current key one note at a time and see how it sounds.

It allows a beginner to think about reharmonization and not be scared of chords, and after all, we already know the scales. This is just running through the scale.

It's easily applied to any key as the base pattern is just the seventh chord without the 3rd. It does have to be practiced since the intervals change with
each scale degree. It is indeed another layer of information for the advanced player, beyond normal voicings. But many advanced players use this.

Anyway, this thread is about reharmonization and it just provided one tool to reharmonize by ear just using the patterns I stated (without needing to initially understand the chords that back it up).
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#1287040 - 10/14/09 05:35 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Joe that was really neat! It was like a "Broadway" version smile Although I thought I heard everything from Ragtime, Broadway, and Pop. The modulation made it interesting too.

That was really creative and of course well executed. I know you like writing the score out so maybe you can post it for everyone.

Thanks for sharing that.

Such variation here. It's really fun!
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#1287047 - 10/14/09 05:40 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
Studio Joe Offline
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Thanks Jazzwee, I appreciate your comments.

I am working on the score, but it may be a few days before it's finished. It seems to take longer to write the score than it does to improvise a piece.
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#1287104 - 10/14/09 07:15 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Studio Joe]
mom3gram Offline
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I wanted to dance to that one, Joe!

Well, I tried the 134 and 134# chords a few times last night. I was a little awkward playing them, but I liked how it sounded - MOST of the time. I just don't remember which combinations I didn't like.

Since I have no way of recording, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. Besides, it wasn't anywhere as good as what I've been hearing here. :-) I'm bookmarking this thread so I can keep going back to it when it disappears.
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#1287107 - 10/14/09 07:18 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jotur Offline
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Joe, that was great fun smile

Cathy
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#1287160 - 10/14/09 09:01 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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Originally Posted By: mom3gram

Well, I tried the 134 and 134# chords a few times last night. I was a little awkward playing them, but I liked how it sounded - MOST of the time. I just don't remember which combinations I didn't like.

Since I have no way of recording, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. Besides, it wasn't anywhere as good as what I've been hearing here. :-) I'm bookmarking this thread so I can keep going back to it when it disappears.


mom3gram, I'm glad you tried it out. You can noodle Christmas carols and such this way as well. And if you write them down (the ones that sound good), you just did a reharmonization smile In this case, all you have to remember is the first note.

Now later in the thread, I re-arranged it into another inversion (1-5-7 and #1-5-7) which plays better on the LH. This one you can play lower. It's really the same thing but is what we call a more "open" voicing vs. a "clustered" voicing.

When we make chords in unusual forms (not the usual 1-3-5 and its inversions), we refer to it as a voicing.
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#1287188 - 10/14/09 09:59 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
mom3gram Offline
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Yes, I plan to try the 1-5-7 next.

Any suggestion as to which Christmas Carol would be the best to try this on? Jingle Bells?

I was wondering what "voicing" meant. :-)
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#1287225 - 10/14/09 11:22 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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Lesson 1 - Intro to Scale Degrees

I'm hoping more people will try this out and get excited about playing by ear. So for those less advanced, I'm going to write out a simple version, and then we'll go from here and maybe learn about some music theory.

This is called a "Lead Sheet". It gives the chords to use and the bars signify 4 beats. So if you see two chords in a bar, give each a count of 2 beats.

Lead Sheet - Mary Had A Little Lamb


| CMaj7 FMaj7| Mary had ..
| CMaj7 | Little lamb...
| G7 | Little lamb...
| CMaj7 |
| CMaj7 FMaj7 | Mary had ..
| CMaj7 | Little Lamb
| G7 | Whose Fleece...
| CMaj7 | Snow


Now all the notes in the above chords are all white notes and are in the key of C. I will teach you about something called "Scale Degrees". Starting with the first note of the scale (C), put your fingers on alternating notes.

So from the C Scale of C D E F G A B C

You will come up with:
C-E-G-B

Let's call this the 'I' chord or the first chord. Now if we use our same four fingers and move it up one step, keeping the same alternating notes, we come up with

D-F-A-C

and the next step is

E-G-B-D

etc.

Written out in sequence and with a Roman Numeral to identify it, the chords are as follows:

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7)
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7)
iii E-G-B-D (Em7)
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7)
V G-B-D-F (G7)
vi A-C-E-G (Am7)
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5)

Now what's interesting about this is that skipping alternate scale notes in any key will result in the same sequence of chords types REGARDLESS OF KEY. The first chord is always major, the next is minor, etc. And the first chord is always the first note of the scale and then one step after in sequence. So this is clear, music theorists show Major chords as Capitalized and minor chords as lower case.

Now Let's express the tune Mary had a Little Lamb in Roman numeral format:


| I IV| Mary had ..
| I | Little lamb...
| V | Little lamb...
| I |
| I IV | Mary had ..
| I | Little Lamb
| V | Whose Fleece...
| I | Snow


This short cut form shows that the tune uses I, IV and V chords in its regular form. Based on the scale degrees chart above, you will find that I and IV are always Major and the V chord is always a Dominant 7th.


Some posters have used other sequences like IV-vii-iii-vi-ii-V-I or portions thereof.

This is the circle of fifths order and is VERY common in many popular and jazz tunes.
IV-vii-iii-vi-ii-V-I. So when you see them refer to Roman numerals, then you will understand what they are talking about.

Changing Key

If you know Roman numerals, you can pretty much translate this tune to any key.
I IV V in the key of F are chords starting with FMaj7 CMaj7 D7.

So knowing the Roman numeral notation simplifies the understanding of chord progressions. Most tunes can be expressed using this.
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#1287239 - 10/14/09 11:44 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Intro to Fancy Voicings

This is an introduction to the more interesting chords used here. This is just basic introduction to "Voicings". it will show you how to make those lush sounds you hear in piano.

Again, I refer to our original discussion of Scale Degrees in the key of C as shown below.


Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7)
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7)
iii E-G-B-D (Em7)
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7)
V G-B-D-F (G7)
vi A-C-E-G (Am7)
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5)

Now we're going to change this. Instead of 4 notes, we will make it 5 notes per chord. The rule is the same, any additional note is added by skipping a note in between. So the chords will look like this now.


Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B-D (CMaj7(9) )
ii D-F-A-C-E (Dm7(9) )
iii E-G-B-D-F (Em7(9) )
IV F-A-C-E-G (FMaj7(9) )
V G-B-D-F-A (G7(9) )
vi A-C-E-G-B (Am7(9) )
vii B-D-F-A-C (Bm7b5(9) )


So now all of the chords have a little extra color note which is referred to as the "9th". It doesn't matter if you don't remember that. All you need to know is that you can add an extra alternating note to the original set of 4.

Now wait.

If you are playing the melody on the RH, you can't play these 5 notes as 1 chord. So I want you to visualize it this way as shown below. Think of the first note as a bass note that is separate from the other 4 notes. You can think of playing the bass note separate from the rest of the chord. Now notice that the chord following the bass note is actually a chord a third away in scale degrees. I will indicate the bass code and the chord implied by the next 4 notes.


Scale Degrees in C
I C / E-G-B-D (Em7)
ii D / F-A-C-E (FMaj7 )
iii E / G-B-D-F (G7)
IV F / A-C-E-G (Am7 )
V G / B-D-F-A (Bm7b5 )
vi A / C-E-G-B (CMaj7 )
vii B / D-F-A-C (Dm7 )

You don't need to know what chords I named the ones after the bass note but I just showed it there to show the interesting relationship (a little like Math).

If you play a chord without the bass note, it can apply to the original chord but without a "root", also referred to as a "rootless" voicing. Because of the ambiguity of the chord (for example, is it a CMaj7 or an Em7? ), it creates an interesting response in the listener and generates an extra tension.

Now when actually playing, often the bass note is played separately from the chord, like Stride. To have this make sense, I'm playing 'Mary' in an example link below. The first time around, I play it without the Bass note and you can hear it imply the Em7, Amy, and Bm7b5 chords. Then the second time around, I add the bass and instead of hearing the original chords, you now hear lush voicings.

Have fun with this. Remember this is just an introduction but it is enough to have people play any chord by ear.

http://www.box.net/shared/pq3krq4s55
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#1287249 - 10/14/09 11:59 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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Originally Posted By: mom3gram
Yes, I plan to try the 1-5-7 next.

Any suggestion as to which Christmas Carol would be the best to try this on? Jingle Bells?

I was wondering what "voicing" meant. :-)



BTW - that 1-5-7 and #1-5-7 is addicting. I could just on the piano and invent tunes and the RH just has to make any melody in the white notes. It's great for a little background piano since no one needs to know what you're playing smile

For Christmas Carols, you'll need to think of tunes that are I-IV-V. Jingle Bells, Silent Night, We Three Kings, O Christmas Tree, gosh there's so many.

There are several that follow the circle of fifths so you can fit them into the scale degrees I discuss above but they're not I/IV/V. Tunes like "White Christmas","Have Yourself a Merry Christmas".

Just stay away from the Jazz based ones like "Christmas Song - Chestnuts Roasting....". That one's more work, or some Vince Guaraldi tune.

We could change the title of the thread because this could go on an on and we can handle all the typical songs just using those 1/5/7 and #1/5/7. BTW - just so it's clear, I just invented that smile That's not from any book.

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#1287335 - 10/15/09 06:07 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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I've not had time to digest everything jazzwee's said here, but I just wanted to say I loved Joe's version 3hearts and I'm thrilled to bits the mom3gram tried it too! thumb It's a shame we can't hear how it turned out, but I'm glad you tried it anyway.
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#1287344 - 10/15/09 07:05 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: kevinb]
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Wow..this is a neat thread. I just love the jazz-type ones. Could someone do something that sounds a bit 'dark' too, if you know what I mean? I have the most amazing rendition of Jingle Bells on a Christmas CD. A really gothic sort of sound.

Keep these coming! wow
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#1287347 - 10/15/09 07:08 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
Studio Joe Offline
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TLT, I'm so glad you liked it. I was afraid that it wouldn't be recieved very well because I don't use the jazz chords that you all are studying.
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#1287361 - 10/15/09 07:45 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Studio Joe]
mom3gram Offline
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Wow! I have a lot of homework here! This should keep me busy for a while. Thanks, Jazzwee.

I've got a vacation coming up for 9 days, starting Tuesday. No piano access. But I will see what I can do before then and hope my brain retains some of it till I get back.

This is such a great thread!
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#1287385 - 10/15/09 08:40 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Studio Joe]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: Studio Joe
TLT, I'm so glad you liked it. I was afraid that it wouldn't be recieved very well because I don't use the jazz chords that you all are studying.


It's not what you play, it's the way that you play it! cool

There's a bit, where it does go 'darker', and I can just picture the villain in a Buster Keyton flick tying up the blond and leaving her on the train-tracks. smile

Why not re-post this in the October piano bar? It's been a bit quiet there these last few days.
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#1287406 - 10/15/09 09:12 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
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Thanks Jazzwee, your lessons help me a lot, please keep it going. I have been only figuring out the left hand by ear up to now, and your explanation is easier to understand than any book I read. thumb

TB
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#1287409 - 10/15/09 09:15 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
MiM Offline
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I'm enjoying this thread too, and I thought Jazzwee gave a very nice summary of chord construction. Very nice.

I would suggest to keep this thread more interesting is for everyone to strictly keep the melody and the timing accurate; otherwise, I think it gets more difficult to make sense of what's being done here. Another thing is to differentiate between chord styles and harmony... I think these are very different topics. Personally, I would like to learn more about chord styles (in this thread or somewhere else). I like to hear the same song (strictly the same song, note for note, proper timing, etc) using block chords, broken chords, ballad style, Alberti Bass, arpeggiated styles, and many others, and variations thereof.

Yet, this is all great to hear.
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#1287447 - 10/15/09 10:26 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: MiM]
jazzwee Offline
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I'm glad what I'm posting is of some use. I will keep expanding on it little by little.

Music In Me -- perhaps others can contribute those versions you talk about. I'm a jazz guy so I wouldn't be a good source stylistically speaking for some of the styles you mention. However, I can explain them theoretically.

I don't rehearse whatever music I've posted here. I record it in one or two takes so I can't perfect it. Hopefully, some more patient players will contribute what you are asking for.

But focus on what is being discussed here as related to learning to play by ear so perhaps the premise of note by note exactness is the wrong direction. There's a couple of lessons to be learned so far: (a) There are FEW wrong notes, (b) There's a physicality to the instrument and a few 'shapes' will get you a long way.

I'm trying to keep the audience here general. If people have deeper questions on more jazz related things, I recommend posting it on the jazz thread so this doesn't get too heavy.

I want to summarize what I thought were my original goals in starting this:

1. TEACH that Playing by Ear is easy, if you let go
2. There's no fixed rule to what should sound good (as creative posters have proven here).
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#1287498 - 10/15/09 11:33 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee

Lead Sheet - Mary Had A Little Lamb

[b]
| CMaj7 FMaj7| Mary had ..
| CMaj7 | Little lamb...
| G7 | Little lamb...
| CMaj7 |
| CMaj7 FMaj7 | Mary had ..
| CMaj7 | Little Lamb
| G7 | Whose Fleece...
| CMaj7 | Snow



Just because it is good practice for me, I've decided to do a recording of these, one step at a time. This might be useful for lurkers who are new to this, and it's certainly useful for me!

Maj7ths:
http://www.box.net/shared/75i4pu05uj
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#1287500 - 10/15/09 11:36 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Fancy voicings - maj7(9) rootless:
http://www.box.net/shared/7qn594ay5q

Pale imitation of jazzwee's stride version:
http://www.box.net/shared/sbn9ctz5kk

(Jazzwee, were those 9ths with 7ths or with 6ths?)
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#1287502 - 10/15/09 11:38 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
MiM Offline
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Incidentally, I don't agree with the no rules premise, a.k.a. Gyro's thesis. What you Jazzwee and everyone else have shown here is that there are very explicit rules one has to follow, else you'd just be banging left and right hoping to get something out of the instrument...don't expect much to come out! All of these chords, the way they are constructed, chord progressions, chord styles, etc., are the rules. Throwing in unusual and unanticipated chords might work but only rarely. Speaking for myself, I'm mostly interested in the rules for now, and later on I may consider breaking them. Cheers.
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#1287507 - 10/15/09 11:45 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: MiM]
jotur Offline
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TLT - thanks for those recordings! It was really interesting to listen to them all in a row and compare the different ways they made Mary sound.

Hm. No one's tried to make anything sound like Mary's lamb laugh

Cathy
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#1287535 - 10/15/09 12:23 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: MiM]
jazzwee Offline
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Originally Posted By: Music_in_Me
Incidentally, I don't agree with the no rules premise, a.k.a. Gyro's thesis. What you Jazzwee and everyone else have shown here is that there are very explicit rules one has to follow, else you'd just be banging left and right hoping to get something out of the instrument...don't expect much to come out! All of these chords, the way they are constructed, chord progressions, chord styles, etc., are the rules. Throwing in unusual and unanticipated chords might work but only rarely. Speaking for myself, I'm mostly interested in the rules for now, and later on I may consider breaking them. Cheers.


M_I_M, nothing wrong with that. Yes there are rules, so it is not random. I'm not exactly a big Gyro supporter (is anyone?), but he does present the other side. Jazz Pianist Kenny Werner often states, "There are no wrong notes" and so the concept isn't specific to Gyro. The answer is somewhere in between. You can learn the rules by trial and error. By putting some of these guides in here, I able to show that there is leeway.

For example, although I state the circle of fifths scale degrees in the Key of C, if you listen to the first two recordings I made, I clearly step away from the Key of C. But really I'm only ONE note away from the key of C. I arrived at that by a little experimentation.

Later on as we get more advanced with this, I can explain more rules that people will discover on their own. In my case, since I know the rules, I can jump start the experimentation. I know roughly where to look so coming out with new sounds takes only few tries.

But you may not have as much fun if I just laid out all the rules smile
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#1287544 - 10/15/09 12:36 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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TLT, you did great! I couldn't even play the stride one at regular tempo without practice. Let's just say it was a good practice of being in some Lounge and someone makes a request smile That's pretty much how I handled it.

The chords were just 9ths with 7ths. These are not the Jazz voicings. They're a little simpler. We will try those next and it will make it a little more complicated since there's no single shape for all the chords.
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#1287549 - 10/15/09 12:42 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Thanks, Cathy and jazzwee!

The stride one I found easiest to play. I confess I practiced the other two. But once my LH knew where it was going (for the rootless 9ths), it was easy (perhaps even easier) to put in the root also.

Baaaaa!
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#1287570 - 10/15/09 01:15 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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Well don't make me look too bad smile Everyone else is practicing and I'm just plunking along without any kind of preparation.

But maybe that's a good thing. It shows how automatic this can be. As I said, even my initial recording was done without much planning.
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#1287633 - 10/15/09 02:45 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: MiM]
(Was)TrueBeginner Offline
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Originally Posted By: Music_in_Me
Personally, I would like to learn more about chord styles (in this thread or somewhere else). I like to hear the same song (strictly the same song, note for note, proper timing, etc) using block chords, broken chords, ballad style, Alberti Bass, arpeggiated styles, and many others, and variations thereof.


Music_in_Me, I remember Seaside Lee posted several videos on this forum demonstrating different ways to play the same chords progression. I don't know if you have seen them.

TB
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#1287648 - 10/15/09 03:08 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: (Was)TrueBeginner]
MiM Offline
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Originally Posted By: TrueBeginner


Music_in_Me, I remember Seaside Lee posted several videos on this forum demonstrating different ways to play the same chords progression. I don't know if you have seen them.

TB

I haven't seen them. I will do a search, that sounds good.
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#1287697 - 10/15/09 04:21 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Well don't make me look too bad smile


Well I'm not sure a meagre vi-ii-V-I can make you look bad, but I'm willing to try:

http://www.box.net/shared/c0epee0r6m

smile
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#1287988 - 10/16/09 01:23 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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TLT, you're really learning how to use those circle of fifths! Bravo! thumb
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#1287993 - 10/16/09 01:51 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Looking to Reharmonize? Let's Start With the Basics

I want to just expand little by little on what I tried to explain earlier. There are many facets to this so I could go on and on until the topics get really complex. But in the meantime, we're still at the simple stage.

So first we started out with our normal seventh chords.

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7)
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7)
iii E-G-B-D (Em7)
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7)
V G-B-D-F (G7)
vi A-C-E-G (Am7)
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5)

Then we added another note to the end (called an Extension and specifically it is called the 9th extension).

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B-D (CMaj7(9) )
ii D-F-A-C-E (Dm7(9) )
iii E-G-B-D-F (Em7(9) )
IV F-A-C-E-G (FMaj7(9) )
V G-B-D-F-A (G7(9) )
vi A-C-E-G-B (Am7(9) )
vii B-D-F-A-C (Bm7b5(9) )


And then I proceeded to split the same chords into a bass and another chord.


Scale Degrees in C
I C / E-G-B-D (Em7)
ii D / F-A-C-E (FMaj7 )
iii E / G-B-D-F (G7)
IV F / A-C-E-G (Am7 )
V G / B-D-F-A (Bm7b5 )
vi A / C-E-G-B (CMaj7 )
vii B / D-F-A-C (Dm7 )

I just want to examine this more closely because this is one of easiest ideas to reharmonizing ever. Again there are tons of official "music theory" books that discuss this (classical theory) and you don't have to delve into it, but the main concept is that you can often find substitute chords by looking for COMMON TONES. Just by the geography of the notes, you will find as I show above that chords a THIRD away are often consonant.

So look closely at the last two scale degree charts above.

Scale Degrees in C
I CMaj7(9) contains (Em7)
ii Dm7(9) contains (FMaj7 )
iii Em7(9) contains (G7)
IV FMaj7(9) contains (Am7 )
V G7(9) contains (Bm7b5 )
vi Am7(9) contains (CMaj7 )
vii Bm7b5(9) contains (Dm7)

What can you see here? You can see that you can safely substitute a chord a THIRD UP. And that's exactly what we did here. If you don't play the Bass note to the I chord, it sounds like an Em7. However, depending on your melody note, likely the melody will imply C so there's this ambiguity that exists. Ambiguity creates tension and interest. Often you can release that tension by occasionally playing the bass note "C".

Another way of looking at this is that:

I = iii
ii = IV
iii = V
IV = vi
V = vii
vi = I
vii = ii

So you can see how you can substitute some chords for the other in a very safe way. Again, why is this acceptable? It is because these chords share common tones. The difference that cause the ambiguity is only one note. In this case, the BASS root note.

In Jazz, we utilize this concept a lot by not playing the root many times. We call it rootless voicings. So often, chords start on the 3rd of the chord and giving the exact same relationship shown above.

So in conclusion, Reharmonization Lesson 1: You can substitute a chord a THIRD AWAY (thinking here in roman numerals).

BTW this explains why many posters were able to use chords like IV, vii, iii, vi, ii, V, I in their reharmonizations. If you look at the chart above, you can find substitutes for I, IV, V. In fact, if you look closely you can find a substite going UP a third, or DOWN a third (do you get it? Just look for the I, IV and V to the left of the equal sign. Then do the same thing from the RIGHT side of the equal sign. Two possible substitutions). Again this all looks complicated but in reality it is simply finding the substitute chord a THIRD UP or a THIRD DOWN.

This kind of substitution, which is very basic, is what creates the circle of fifths and to simplify, most tunes can fit into the structure of scale degrees IV, vii, iii, vi, ii, V, I.

Try playing this sequence on the piano and you will hear a familiar sounding progression. Again several people followed that same progression here so at least we know it is well known.

But it isn't over. This is the most basic of harmonizations...

Music has a lot of symmetry have you noticed? So my teacher says Music is a lot like Math...
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#1288050 - 10/16/09 06:36 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
simon288 Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 99
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Great thread Jazzwee. You really do explain things very well.
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#1288056 - 10/16/09 07:11 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
mom3gram Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Looking to Reharmonize? Let's Start With the Basics

I want to just expand little by little on what I tried to explain earlier. There are many facets to this so I could go on and on until the topics get really complex. But in the meantime, we're still at the simple stage.

So first we started out with our normal seventh chords.

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7)
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7)
iii E-G-B-D (Em7)
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7)
V G-B-D-F (G7)
vi A-C-E-G (Am7)
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5)

Then we added another note to the end (called an Extension and specifically it is called the 9th extension).

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B-D (CMaj7(9) )
ii D-F-A-C-E (Dm7(9) )
iii E-G-B-D-F (Em7(9) )
IV F-A-C-E-G (FMaj7(9) )
V G-B-D-F-A (G7(9) )
vi A-C-E-G-B (Am7(9) )
vii B-D-F-A-C (Bm7b5(9) )


And then I proceeded to split the same chords into a bass and another chord.


Scale Degrees in C
I C / E-G-B-D (Em7)
ii D / F-A-C-E (FMaj7 )
iii E / G-B-D-F (G7)
IV F / A-C-E-G (Am7 )
V G / B-D-F-A (Bm7b5 )
vi A / C-E-G-B (CMaj7 )
vii B / D-F-A-C (Dm7 )

I just want to examine this more closely because this is one of easiest ideas to reharmonizing ever. Again there are tons of official "music theory" books that discuss this (classical theory) and you don't have to delve into it, but the main concept is that you can often find substitute chords by looking for COMMON TONES. Just by the geography of the notes, you will find as I show above that chords a THIRD away are often consonant.

So look closely at the last two scale degree charts above.

Scale Degrees in C
I CMaj7(9) contains (Em7)
ii Dm7(9) contains (FMaj7 )
iii Em7(9) contains (G7)
IV FMaj7(9) contains (Am7 )
V G7(9) contains (Bm7b5 )
vi Am7(9) contains (CMaj7 )
vii Bm7b5(9) contains (Dm7)

What can you see here? You can see that you can safely substitute a chord a THIRD UP. And that's exactly what we did here. If you don't play the Bass note to the I chord, it sounds like an Em7. However, depending on your melody note, likely the melody will imply C so there's this ambiguity that exists. Ambiguity creates tension and interest. Often you can release that tension by occasionally playing the bass note "C".

Another way of looking at this is that:

I = iii
ii = IV
iii = V
IV = vi
V = vii
vi = I
vii = ii

So you can see how you can substitute some chords for the other in a very safe way. Again, why is this acceptable? It is because these chords share common tones. The difference that cause the ambiguity is only one note. In this case, the BASS root note.

In Jazz, we utilize this concept a lot by not playing the root many times. We call it rootless voicings. So often, chords start on the 3rd of the chord and giving the exact same relationship shown above.

So in conclusion, Reharmonization Lesson 1: You can substitute a chord a THIRD AWAY (thinking here in roman numerals).

BTW this explains why many posters were able to use chords like IV, vii, iii, vi, ii, V, I in their reharmonizations. If you look at the chart above, you can find substitutes for I, IV, V. In fact, if you look closely you can find a substite going UP a third, or DOWN a third (do you get it? Just look for the I, IV and V to the left of the equal sign. Then do the same thing from the RIGHT side of the equal sign. Two possible substitutions). Again this all looks complicated but in reality it is simply finding the substitute chord a THIRD UP or a THIRD DOWN.

This kind of substitution, which is very basic, is what creates the circle of fifths and to simplify, most tunes can fit into the structure of scale degrees IV, vii, iii, vi, ii, V, I.

Try playing this sequence on the piano and you will hear a familiar sounding progression. Again several people followed that same progression here so at least we know it is well known.

But it isn't over. This is the most basic of harmonizations...

Music has a lot of symmetry have you noticed? So my teacher says Music is a lot like Math...


Okay, now you totally lost me. :-) But I'll get back to it eventually.
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#1288066 - 10/16/09 08:14 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Mom3 - did you try putting an F chord in - in beats 3 and 4 of the first bar? Then go back to a C chord for the second bar.

Try it both ways (C right through those two bars, or C-F-C) and decide which way you like it best. smile
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#1288088 - 10/16/09 09:21 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
Manndrew Offline
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Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 267
Loc: Massachusetts
Jazzwee,

As someone who doesn't have a lot of time to participate, but occasionally follows your threads, just let me say that it is exceptional that you are able to explain these musical ideas so clearly and that you have taken the time to do so. Excellent and very inspirational work.

Andy
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#1288147 - 10/16/09 10:42 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Manndrew]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Simon and Manndrew, thanks for such kind words. I'm glad what I post is useful. I do explain it differently and sometimes I wonder if it can be understood.

Mom3Gram, when you get back to it, tell me where I lost you and it will teach me to enhance the explanation.

There's more to follow here. This is sort of an endless topic and a bit different from the Jazz thread (although there are certainly connections).
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#1288383 - 10/16/09 06:02 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Loc: So. California
Backtracking on Scale Degrees

Maybe I went through Scale Degrees too fast as apparently not everything is clear. So I'll go through the 1st part of the explanation more slowly, then you can return to the lessons I already posted.

If you look at the keys of a piano, you will find an irregular pattern of black notes over the white notes. This has some implications which we will take advantage of.

We will look at the key of C and put our fingers on C E G B. Alternating White notes starting on C.

Got this so far? This is CMaj7.

Now move all 4 fingers to the right by one white note. So your fingers should be on D F A C. This is Dm7.

Next move all 4 fingers one more white note to the right. Now you will be on E G B D. This is Em7.

Now if you do this movement by a step you will create a sequence of chords as shown below.

1. C-E-G-B (CMaj7)
2. D-F-A-C (Dm7)
3. E-G-B-D (Em7)
4. F-A-C-E (FMaj7)
5. G-B-D-F (G7)
6. A-C-E-G (Am7)
7. B-D-F-A (Bm7b5)

Although all the chords appear to be symmetrical (same number of white notes and same alternating pattern, the intervals between each note actually changes since there could be a black key in between. Because of this, you actually create different chords when you move up the scale of C.

It does NOT do this:

1. CMaj7
2. DMaj7
3. EMaj7
4. FMaj7
5. GMaj7
6. AMaj7
7. BMaj7

It can't do that because the intervals are not the same (remember the black keys? Watch the black keys as you move this pattern up the white notes.

This pattern in music is fixed. If you go up the scale on any Key, the same sequence of chord types will appear, the first one being a Maj7 and the next one being a Minor7, etc.

The sequence of chords starting from the first note (C) in the key of C, are given a Roman Numeral to represent the order. Thus coming up with SCALE DEGREES. So here it is below with the Roman Numerals.

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7)
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7)
iii E-G-B-D (Em7)
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7)
V G-B-D-F (G7)
vi A-C-E-G (Am7)
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5)

So if someone says, I'm playing a song that's I, IV V, then you will play the chords below.


Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7)
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7)
iii E-G-B-D (Em7)
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7)
V G-B-D-F (G7)
vi A-C-E-G (Am7)
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5)

How do you translate this to any key? Just take the template below and put the first note of the scale in I, second note of the scale in ii, etc. until you get to vii.


Scale Degrees
I Maj7
ii m7
iii m7
IV Maj7
V 7
vi m7
vii m7b5)

Example: In the Key of F

Scale Degrees in F
I FMaj7
ii Gm7
iii Am7
IV BMaj7
V C7
vi Dm7
vii Em7b5)

Now why are scale degrees important? It's because most songs follow a specific sequence of scale degrees, the most common one being I-IV-V and the next most common is ii-V-I. Knowing this allows you compose some songs that will mimic popular tunes.
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#1288488 - 10/16/09 10:32 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
mom3gram Offline
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Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1133
Loc: New Jersey
Got it! At least the part about the scale degrees in C. I did learn how to do that (with only 3 keys in a chord), just didn't know what it was called.

For changing it to other keys, I'll have to print your post out and bring it downstairs to try it on my piano. Wish I had enough room to have the piano and the computer in the same room - or at least on the same floor. A laptop would be nice too. Santa???
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ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE


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#1288734 - 10/17/09 12:46 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Concept of Tension and Release - Part 1

Several have mentioned the need to understand how to make chord progressions using some rule or guideline. So I will introduce the ONLY rule that every successful composer has figured out in music.

It's all a balance of TENSION vs. RELEASE.

This goes back to early music theory and is a concept used in Classical music or modern music and that is to play with Tension and Release. Some chords are called "Tense" chords and some chords have a more settled feel which releases the tension.

This is no different than watching a movie. Even a horror flick goes through stages of slowly building tension and then pausing, and then peaking at some stage of extreme tension before resolution at the end of the movie. Well, it's funny that one might observe music following the same sort of pattern. Unrelenting tension without even moments of release will probably make you sweat fear in a movie. Probably not too enjoyable. Then there are degrees of suspense that some people prefer. Music is no different and probably this accounts for our difference in musical tastes.

You could even classify genres by some sort of tension level. Genres like Blues and Jazz tend to have more tension than let's say Nursery Rhyme music. It's amazing how all this can be explained by how the chords are voiced and how the progressions are laid out.

So enough with the background talk and back to specifics. Apparently, and I don't know if this is from training or a natural trait, people react to certain intervals differently.

Intervals and Tension Level

We perceive intervals of an Octave, a Perfect Fifth as indicating a settled feeling. Like it's not going anywhere.

In contrast, intervals containing a tritone interval (flatted fifth interval like C to F#) as the most unnerving. Musicians often joke that if you end a tune with this interval then you may not be able to sleep until you release it. In history, this was referred to as the "Devil's interval" and was banned from Church music in the middle ages (remember Church modes -- or the music they play in movies when you see a bunch of monks walking in a monastery? Think of the imagery there).

Anyway, this will be the framework from which we will examine what chord progressions work and what doesn't work.
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#1288749 - 10/17/09 01:15 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Concept of Tension and Release - Part 2

I keep going back to our Scale Degrees chart which is critical in understanding music. So by now you've seen this over and over.

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7)
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7)
iii E-G-B-D (Em7)
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7)
V G-B-D-F (G7)
vi A-C-E-G (Am7)
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5)

Of course in the key of C, it looks like an evenly laid pattern of alternating white notes. Luckily, there is a key of C that enables us to see things clearly. Now all of you learning piano know that playing a scale in the key of C isn't exactly the easiest (key of B is easier). But yet our teachers continue to teach us starting with the C scale. That's because Piano is such a symmetrical and visual instrument and the C scale proves that. All white notes (now try that with guitar... wink ).

Now I just want to alert you to some interesting occurences of intervals in the Scale Degrees chart. I alert you to four categories of intervals of interest. Perfect Fifth, Major Third, Minor Third, Tritone, Flatted Fifth.

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7) - Perfect Fifth, Major Third
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7) - Perfect Fifth, Minor Third
iii E-G-B-D (Em7) - Perfect Fifth, Minor Third
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7) - Perfect Fifth, Major Third
V G-B-D-F (G7) - Tritone
vi A-C-E-G (Am7) - Perfect Fifth, Minor Third
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5) - Flatted Fifth, Minor Third

Just for technical reference I will repeat the same chart but indicate the actual note intervals.

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G-B (CMaj7) - Perfect Fifth (C-G), Major Third (C-E)
ii D-F-A-C (Dm7) - Perfect Fifth(D-A), Minor Third (D-F)
iii E-G-B-D (Em7) - Perfect Fifth (E-B), Minor Third (E-G)
IV F-A-C-E (FMaj7) - Perfect Fifth (F-C), Major Third (F-A)
V G-B-D-F (G7) - Tritone (B-F)
vi A-C-E-G (Am7) - Perfect Fifth (A-E), Minor Third (A-C)
vii B-D-F-A (Bm7b5) - Flatted Fifth (B-F), Minor Third (B-D).

I've bolded the V chord above (G7 here) because it is the only one with the Tritone interval which is the most tense sounding in music. If one were to grade these in order of tension, it would be as follows:

Tension from Least to Most
1. Perfect Fifth, Major Third
2. Perfect Fifth, Minor Third
3. Flatted Fifth, Minor Third
4. Tritone

Note that I've ignored the seventh (7 and b7) interval here just for simplification. Based on what we are talking about, it doesn't really change the picture until you start including chords not in the above scale degrees.
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#1288772 - 10/17/09 01:45 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Concept of Tension and Release - Part 3

Now at this point, I haven't even mentioned the Circle of Fifths. In the Part 2 post, I was talking mostly about intervals and how intervals affect tension level. However the chord progressions themselves create another layer of tension and release even of the intervals were limited to triads as shown below. Notice that the only significant intervals here are Major Fifth, Major Third, Minor Third, Diminished (Flatted Fifth). There are no sevenths.

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G (CMaj)
ii D-F-A (Dm)
iii E-G-B (Em)
IV F-A-C (FMaj)
V G-B-D (G)
vi A-C-E (Am)
vii B-D-F (BDim)

But even with this some other relationship is apparent when playing Pop, Folk, and Rock music and some Classical. Varying levels of tension and release relate to the distance of the chord from the I chord (or Tonic). This music theory based progression deals with these labels.

Scale Degrees in C
I C-E-G (CMaj) - Tonic
ii D-F-A (Dm) - Supertonic
iii E-G-B (Em) - mediant
IV F-A-C (FMaj) - Subdominant
V G-B-D (G) - dominant
vi A-C-E (Am) - Submediant
vii B-D-F (BDim) - Leading tone

Based on this, a specified series of progressions sounds pleasing and I will reorganize the list to show what I mean.

Scale Degrees - Organized in the Circle of Fifths Progression
I C-E-G (CMaj) - Tonic
vii B-D-F (BDim) - Leading tone
IV F-A-C (FMaj) - Subdominant
iii E-G-B (Em) - mediant
vi A-C-E (Am) - Submediant
ii D-F-A (Dm) - Supertonic
V G-B-D (G) - dominant
I C-E-G (CMaj) - Tonic

Now I will not bore you with all the reasons why this is so in some complicated way except to simplify it with a single important relationship.

SUPERTONIC -> DOMINANT -> TONIC
BUILDUP -> TENSION -> RELEASE
ii-V-I (2-5-1)

Whoa!!!! Stop Jazzwee. You're all messed up! I only see one DOMINANT TO TONIC in the above list. It is only V to I!

Hold on to your hats boys and girls. Watch this:

Scale Degrees - Organized as ii-V-I's
IV F-A-C (FMaj) - 2
vii B-D-F (BDim) - 5
iii E-G-B (Em) - 1

iii E-G-B (Em) - 2
vi A-C-E (Am) - 5
ii D-F-A (Dm) - 1

ii D-F-A (Dm) - 2
V G-B-D (G) - 5
I C-E-G (CMaj) - 1

You don't believe me? Subtract the tonic from the preceeding chords and you will arrive at 2-5-1. So the Circle of Fifths is made up of 3 ii-V-I patterns.

This is such a common progression although it is not the only valid one, mainly because of a special relationship between the 2-5's when you use seventh chords. There is good voice leading. Since Pop/Rock/Folk doesn't use Seventh chords much (using triads instead), this is not a popular progression in those genres.

Instead, Pop/Rock/Folk uses:

SUBDOMINANT->DOMINANT->TONIC.
IV-V-I

And now we are back full circle to the original chords we used for "Mary Had A Little Lamb".

You will notice that many people (including myself), posted "Mary" versions using Seventh chords. This allowed us to use the ii-V-I (Circle of fifths) progressions as substitute chords.

So if you're trying to reharmonize a tune, you will get more chord choices if you use seventh chords (4 note scale degree chords).
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#1288782 - 10/17/09 02:15 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Posts: 7096
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Concept of Tension and Release - Summary

Now what was the point of the above discussions, which I'm sure is too advanced for many? The point is that to arrive at a good chord progression, whether for composing or reharmonizing nursery rhymes and Christmas Carols, one has to be able to mix in chords that have a good mix of tension and release.

|CMaj7 DMaj7 EMaj7 FMaj7|
is probably not too interesting for "Mary". These are all tonic chords (I chords). So there's no tension in the chords themselves both in the INTERVALS contained in the chords, and the POSITION of the chords.

|CMin7 DMin7 EMin7 FMin7|
will probably sound sad and droning. Like old Church music. But even Church music goes back to the Tonic. This one does not even end at the first chord. One other thing to note here is that Cmin7 and Fmin7 are in a different key from DMin7 and EMin7. You will not find them in the same circle of fifths.

|CMaj7 FMaj7 GMaj7 CMaj7|
This progression could be mildly interesting because of the chords themselves following a sort of I IV V I order. However, being Major Sevenths, the tension level is not built up since the GMaj7 also sounds like the I chord of the key of G. No real dominant.

Have you checked out the Blues? A blues progression will look like this:
|C7 F7 G7 C7|
So it is made up entirely of dominants. Each chord has a tritone interval. However the order of the chords follows the I-IV-V format so in one sense the V chord wants to go to some I chord in another key (high tension), but the underlying progression has some sort of release going from the G to the C (V to I) in the key of C. Now how's that for ambiguity? So blues is more tense than any typical I-IV-V progression.

So what's the rule then? What I'm saying is that it's all a matter of taste. The most popular tunes appear to be those that combine tension and release in some alternating manner and in varying degrees. So if you want to draw a bigger audience, then probably some V-I pattern is called for.

And my only MAJOR TIP is that the progression should be consistent with the MELODY.
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#1288820 - 10/17/09 03:58 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Posts: 3336
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Well jazzwee, you've certainly given us something to think about!

Another rendition:

http://www.box.net/shared/49lnt3fs0d

Anyone got any idea what happened in bar 5? All I know is the LH went F, F#, G. Apart from that, I think I understood what I did.
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#1288961 - 10/17/09 07:48 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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That was lovely TLT! I really liked it. When you went to the F# you implied a D7 so you can really hear that nice tension that wants to release to G.

You're always ahead of me. So far I have explained reharmonization within the same key. The next round is moving to a different key at least in passing tones at first. And that was what was happening when you were using that #1-5-7 pattern.

I showed the 1-5-7, #1-5-7 pattern to my teacher and he was impressed. smile Of course, I have a little music theory behind this and we'll tackle it in little bites from here, since it may get a little complicated from here.

Anyway, I'll let what I posted before simmer for a bit.
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#1289146 - 10/18/09 06:36 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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It was an implied D7, was it? Well, now I can feel clever that I know what to call it. smile

Anyone else stirring the pot?
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#1290002 - 10/19/09 05:12 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
knightplayer Offline
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Hi All
I've been stirring, but have just now caught up to the end of the thread and don't have the ability to record.
Simon288- that was a beautiful rendition of the tune.
Jazzwee- This is a really great thread. Thanks for putting it together.

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#1290086 - 10/19/09 07:33 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: knightplayer]
jazzwee Offline
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knightplayer, there's time to get your Zoom H2/H3. We'll be here. I figure we soon have to shift the thread to Holiday tunes/Christmas Carols. smile
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#1290354 - 10/20/09 06:52 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
elendil Offline
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Together with all the other stuff I'm practising (and all of the RL obligations), I don't have time to participate, but I'm following the thread for the theory behind it all.

It's great stuff.

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#1290361 - 10/20/09 07:03 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: elendil]
simon288 Offline
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Knightplayer, Thank you for your kind comments! And Jazzwee
Christmas carols have to be done as it's not long now! And again fantastic explanations here, thank you so much for taking the time smile
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#1291042 - 10/21/09 05:25 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: simon288]
angelas Offline
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Well, I tinkered around the other night and did this really cool 'dark' Mary had a little lamb'. Alas, I cannot record and share it, so here is a little ditty:

Mary had a little lamb, it ran into a pylon. Ten thousand volts went up it's arse and turned it's wool to nylon!

I've got more of those too...


Edited by angelas (10/21/09 05:26 AM)
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#1291756 - 10/22/09 10:32 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: angelas]
jazzwee Offline
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angelas, if you can't record, at least tell us what chords you used. That would be interesting to show.

Simon, start working on those Christmas carols smile We'll see what ideas everyone comes up with.
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#1293266 - 10/25/09 07:02 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
angelas Offline
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Holy cow...that's a good idea. I'll have a little tinker around and post what I came up with. Probably nothing really amazing...but sounded OK to me. I like the jazzed-up versions that have been recorded. What about someone recording a version of 'Jack and Jill'????
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#1293578 - 10/25/09 06:23 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: angelas]
jazzwee Offline
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Angelas, one thing that we haven't tried is trying to make the tune darker. I think we got it darker with all the jazz versions in minor. But I think it can get darker. It'll be interesting to see what you did.

I think to make it darker means really rethinking all the usual chords and leave the circle of fifths (I'm guessing using more obscure chords like minor/major and diminished). I have some ideas but I'm never actually tried it out. I guess it would also require playing in a lower register. It would be a challenge to figure out. Might be suitable for Halloween smile

Any takers?
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#1293587 - 10/25/09 06:34 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Make the tune minor? Makes a big difference because it all centres around the 3rd.
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#1293596 - 10/25/09 06:54 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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Actually, in my version I already made it minor but it's not scary dark because I could only do it in passing (the last chord). Also it requires some thinking because the third (major third) is part of the melody if in C. So it means that the chord used cannot have that "E" as the third. The minor 3rd will have to be some other note and the "E" will be some other part of the chord. You see why it's a challenge? In the other words, it cannot be a C scale.

The simpler the tune, the harder it is actually because you are limited by the melody.
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#1293782 - 10/26/09 04:37 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Sorry, I wasn't very clear. My point was that E is a major (wrong word), important part of the tune. So do we change the tune to start on an Eb? Or stick with the E but use minor harmonies?
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#1293789 - 10/26/09 05:00 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
Studio Joe Offline
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Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Sorry, I wasn't very clear. My point was that E is a major (wrong word), important part of the tune. So do we change the tune to start on an Eb? Or stick with the E but use minor harmonies?


TLT, listen to the last movement of my "Variations". It is in Cm and the first melody note (of this movement) is Eb.

Variations
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#1293924 - 10/26/09 10:42 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: ten left thumbs]
jazzwee Offline
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Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
Sorry, I wasn't very clear. My point was that E is a major (wrong word), important part of the tune. So do we change the tune to start on an Eb? Or stick with the E but use minor harmonies?


You can't deviate from the melody but who says that it has to be Cm (with an Eb)? The minor third can occur anywhere else in the chord.

For example, in Am, the E is ok. The minor comes from C. You have to think out of the box with this stuff. So the E is the 5th of the chord in this case. It could also be the 7th of the chord or the root. Thus you forget its original placement.

But the one thing you don't do is suddenly turn the E into an Eb. That's not reharmonization now since you've changed the underlying tune. Sometimes you can do that and make the song still recognizable but it's the easy way out to problem solving.

So theoretically (and simplistically) speaking, you can try out Am7, Dm7 and Em7 on those three melody notes of C,D, and E and the E will will not be out of place. I think it is simplistic to just use these chords though as there is no tension and release. Each of these chords are equally weighted.




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#1293932 - 10/26/09 10:49 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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In my 1st post, I used Eb on the final chord when the melody was C. So I was in major on the E melody note and then switched to minor when I got to C. That's another way of introducing the Eb. It's a "fake Cadence".

But it's not as dark as staying in minor the whole time though.
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#1301765 - 11/08/09 07:52 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: kevinb]
GPA Offline
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Jazzwee- Please go to my url where my question is posed:

http://www.box.net/shared/e012r2jc1j

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#1301771 - 11/08/09 08:14 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: GPA]
jazzwee Offline
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I saw that grandpa GPA and answered in the other thread (incorrectly at that).

But is there more context to this progression? F6 is itself a dominant so one would imagine it came from someplace else and the the F6 is an attempt to modulate to G (using a jump from one dominant to another dominant).

Usually I see tunes starting with a dominant like F6(9) in Blues. It just seems like this progression is in the middle of the tune.
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#1301782 - 11/08/09 08:37 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
GPA Offline
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Jazzwe

I didn't think I could copy direct from the book, or I would have.Yes, it dows look like a snippet of a tune in the key of F. I just don't understand what's written below the staff, that seems to allude to the key of C.

Do I dare copy the whole page without permission? If I could, the whole thing might be clearer to you.

http://www.box.net/shared/e012r2jc1j

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#1301804 - 11/08/09 09:35 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
mom3gram Offline
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I'm glad to see this thread come back to page 1 again. I've printed out a bunch of stuff to work on. Still don't have any way to post recordings, but I'm having fun playing around with this as a break from my lesson book pieces.

I'm going to try what I've learned with Jingle Bells too.

Maybe you can start a thread with Jingle Bells or other Christmas variations also.
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#1301812 - 11/08/09 09:47 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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GPA, I understand your copyright concerns. If you wish, you can show it to me privately and then we can discuss it publicly. If something is pertinent for all, we can kind of recreate the required information.

Reharmonization often requires context. But for a simple starter I think this thread has plenty of information and more to come.

Mom3Gram, I haven't given up on this thread yet. But I was a bit concerned that I load up with TOO MUCH information.

And now that the holidays are upon us shortly, hopefully Reharmonized holiday tunes will get posted too.
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#1301813 - 11/08/09 09:57 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
mom3gram Offline
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Oh yeah! Way too much information for me already, but I've bookmarked and I will grow into it.
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#1301819 - 11/08/09 10:07 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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Well we can always revert to non-serious reharms first smile
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#1302069 - 11/09/09 11:53 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
mom3gram Offline
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Jazzwee, somewhere at the beginning of this thread you asked if my Alfred book had covered 7th chords yet. Well, my Book 2 just came today, and it introduces 7th chords around page 90.....and I'm not done with Book 1 yet. Sigh!

I'm going to peek ahead and play with them a bit.
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#1302102 - 11/09/09 12:45 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
jazzwee Offline
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It's not that hard Mom3Gram smile Once you know your regular chords, 7th chords are a piece of cake. It does make you rethink fingering though.
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#1560232 - 11/18/10 02:20 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Someone just brought this thread up to my attention again. Some of the stuff here is really great for creating jazzy sounding Christmas songs.
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#1560542 - 11/19/10 01:57 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
rosa2009 Offline
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Jazzwee, How are you doing? Long time no see... actually I've been so busy that I have not had time to come into piano world too often.

I am glad you resurrected this thread. Didn't even know it existed before. It sure is great to create some jazzy sounding Christmas songs.

I've been working on Joy to the World Reharmonization.

You know how in Joy to the World, we can just play the following chords for the first line:

C G7 C G7 C

And instead of playing the above progression, I can do something like this for the introduction to lead into the song (using the same 1st line melody tones):

F Bdim7 Em7 Am7 Dm7 G7 C G7 ...then start the song with C then G7 C G7 .....


I know we can do the above because of the Circle movement of 2 5 1, but what is the explanation of being able to start with the F Chord instead of the C chord in songs that are in Key of C? Other than the fact that a C melody tone works for the F Chord and we can move via the circle, are there other more specific explanations to this as to why it works?

Rosa grin


Edited by rosa2009 (11/19/10 02:20 AM)

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#1560552 - 11/19/10 02:27 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Hey Rosa! Did you come up with this? I guess you have some jazzer blood in you then!

You've hit on some very common reharmonizations here surprisingly.

I haven't tried on the piano but for example Bdim7 = Bb7b9. So if you think of the F as a ii chord (i.e. a Min7) then it leads into the Bb7b9. (ii-V)

Now here's the other interesting thing. Bb7b9 is something called a diminished cycle substitution to G7b9 (meaning they are interchangeable). And G7 is frequently altered to G7b9.

Also instead of Em7 Am7 Dm7, that could actually have suggested Em7 A7 Dm7 G7 C which is 3 6 2 5 1 which is just extending the harmony of G7 using the circle of fifths.

The Am7 plays with the harmony a little bit instead of the A7. Vaguer but done a lot in modern jazz.

So there are pieces of this that take from reharmonizations that are typical. However your combinations here sound like fun.

I know what I'm saying here is complex but if you can retain the melody note, the different reharmonizations work and it's fun to just listen and see what you create. No one writes rules for this.

You should post what this reharm sounds like.

Back in the beginning here (I can't believe it's last year), you will see me refer to something called 1 5 7 alternating with 1# 5 7 that I came up with. Try it out! It's an easy way to reharmonize and the voicing is good too.
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#1560555 - 11/19/10 02:31 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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BTW - Rosa, I don't know if you know this, but you could play the Em7 Am7 Dm7 as Esus4, Asus4, Dsus4.

This could be played with something called quartal harmony (a stack of fourths). This is the basis of pentatonic playing in Jazz.

It's the basic harmony in the tune Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock.
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#1560567 - 11/19/10 04:13 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
rosa2009 Offline
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cool Jazzwee, your explanation is really kool:

Quote:
I haven't tried on the piano but for example Bdim7 = Bb7b9. So if you think of the F as a ii chord (i.e. a Min7) then it leads into the Bb7b9. (ii-V)


thumb
I never thought of it that way.

Now I also understand:

Quote:

Also instead of Em7 Am7 Dm7, that could actually have suggested Em7 A7 Dm7 G7 C which is 3 6 2 5 1 which is just extending the harmony of G7 using the circle of fifths.

The Am7 plays with the harmony a little bit instead of the A7. Vaguer but done a lot in modern jazz.




So my Chord progression is actually doing this:


Fm7 Bb7b9

ii7 V7

And then:

Em7 A7 Dm7 G7 C
3 6 2 5 1


So if I were to reharmonize this to the first line, the first melody tone C is actually harmonized with Fm7 and Bb7b9, is that right?

Because in my original version, I had the FM7 harmonizaing the C tone and then the the Bdim harmonizing the 2nd melody tone B.

When I have more time, I want to get back into your jazz threads and do more jazz improvisation and reharmonization. I see you have started an intermediate/advanced thread now, so I am a bit behind.

Thanks for helping me out.
Rosa


Edited by rosa2009 (11/19/10 04:14 AM)

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#1560710 - 11/19/10 10:56 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Rosa, yes that's why I'm saying...but all in theory as I didn't try it out on the piano.

It's fun to come up with theoretical explanations of how it works but in reality it's trial and error and the choices suggest new harmonies. Sometimes it's too far out and sometimes it sounds really cool.

It does seem to note that our ear looks for some connection between the chords no matter how lightly suggested. So F to Bb7b9 suggests a ii-V. But it could be suggesting a F7 Bb7, which is a common movement too (the Blues....).
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#1560880 - 11/19/10 05:28 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Just for fun, here's a short snippet of a Joy to World Reharm. Rosa, you should post yours too so we can see what it sounds like. This is very short and I didn't go far out or anything. It's still in the key of C. I just did this on the fly so I didn't plan it out or practice it.

http://www.box.net/shared/y39ghqvdie
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#1561047 - 11/20/10 12:38 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
rosa2009 Offline
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coolJazzwee, this is exciting trying out new sounds. You know, I am so used to playing this at church in Gospel style that the sounds are very predictable but I need to play like that for people to sing.

I'll try to record something and see what I come up with.

Rosa

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#1561060 - 11/20/10 01:45 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: rosa2009]
Mike A Offline
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Originally Posted By: rosa2009
You know how in Joy to the World, we can just play the following chords for the first line:

C G7 C G7 C

And instead of playing the above progression, I can do something like this for the introduction to lead into the song (using the same 1st line melody tones):

F Bdim7 Em7 Am7 Dm7 G7 C G7 ...then start the song with C then G7 C G7 .....


I know we can do the above because of the Circle movement of 2 5 1, but what is the explanation of being able to start with the F Chord instead of the C chord in songs that are in Key of C? Other than the fact that a C melody tone works for the F Chord and we can move via the circle, are there other more specific explanations to this as to why it works?



Hi Rosa,

I like that line. I would probably play the Bdim7 with F in the bass (as Fdim7 - same notes), although I think calling it Bdim7 more accurately reflects its function.

The F "works" here for this reason:

The Em7 is a tonic-function substitute, IIIm7 for I.

The Bdim7 that precedes it is functioning as an incomplete dominant, G7b9 (V7b9). So the Bdim7 - Em7 has the sound, and function, of V7b9-I (G7b9 - Cmaj7) in the key of C, with Bdim7 substituting for G7b9 and Em7 substituting for Cmaj7.

Preceding that with F makes perfect sense; it is subdominant, IV. So, functionally, what you have here is IV-V7b9-I (although in fact it's IV-VIIdim7-IIIm7). Because you're doing this quick IV-V-I move to a tonic-function chord in C (and immediately continuing the progression by cycle of fifths back to I), you don't get any confusion as to the key ... C, not F. Your ear tells you immediately that you're not in the key of F (also emphasized by the fact that the second melody note is B-natural).

Or at least that's the way I see it.

Cheers,
Mike

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#1561062 - 11/20/10 01:50 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
rosa2009 Offline
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Jazzwee.....I came up with this. I've lost my box.net account so I uploaded this onto my server.

http://www.pianotutorials.learnpianowithrosa.com/JoyReharm.mid

I actually did Fm/Bb7 as my starting chord. I combined both of these things.

Then I went onto Dm7 instead of 36251. Because I did that, I could not fit in the A7 at all.

This is my chord progression for the first line:

Bb7b9 Dm13 Em7sus Dm9 G7b9 C6/9 A7b9 D7b9 G7 Db7 C


On the LH, for Dm13 and Em7sus, I played quartals as you suggested.


Let me know what you think,

Rosa

Is Barb around do you know? I remember we used to be in your Autumn Leaves thread playing together.

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#1561063 - 11/20/10 02:02 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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There are so many ways to interpret this. When I actually played Rosa's changes, I heard it completely differently. To me, the F sounded like Am/F or an inversion of Am6.

The connection to the original chords makes more sense when one plays it. In Bdim7, B of course is the 3rd of G, D is the 5th of G, F is the b7 so that connects it strongly to the original G7, with the only difference being Ab. Thus is really is just an inversion of G7b9 / Bb7b9 / Db7b9 / E7b9

So when I made my version, I kind of took the idea of just making it minor sounding.
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#1561066 - 11/20/10 02:15 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Rosa, it sounds great! Reharms are wonderful. Even minor differences just make the familiar music sound fresh again. It's hard to overanalyze this stuff as it doesn't speak of how well it sounds when it is done.

But the analysis does help one to "copy".

Someone was teaching me a comping method by jazzer Kenny Werner. You might think this to be strange but he would comp the melody with any chord and the chords don't follow any rule other than the melody fits in it. So all these interesting ALT chords, and combinations come up. And it actually sounds very good. He's comping for Toots Thielemans if you care to look for the album.

Also, we haven't discussed voicings. Sometimes just a change in voicings makes you think it's a different chord. Like I was thinking of Am/F. Changing the bass root changes the character a lot even without actually reharming.

Another thought is just the vagueness of open voicings (like 3 note spread out voicings). Depending on what's in the root, it could suggest something completely differently yet it's easy to play. If you listen to what I played, it was just playing around with 3 note voicings like that. Easy to do.

BTW Rosa, Barb hasn't posted recently but I have a feeling that she lurks.
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#1561067 - 11/20/10 02:18 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
Mike A Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee
To me, the F sounded like Am/F or an inversion of Am6.


Am6 ... F#, not F

Am/F = Fmaj7

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#1561071 - 11/20/10 02:31 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Mike A]
jazzwee Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mike A
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
To me, the F sounded like Am/F or an inversion of Am6.


Am6 ... F#, not F

Am/F = Fmaj7


Yup. You're right. Good catch.
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#1561216 - 11/20/10 11:21 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Rosa, hard to think of this without a piano. It was so obvious what the minor sound was. I should have seen it immediately.

FMaj7 = Dm7(9)
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#1561264 - 11/20/10 01:28 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
casinitaly Offline


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Registered: 03/01/10
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Loc: Italy
I just saw this thread for the first time today... and I went right to page 1, Mary Had a Little Lamb.
Today I started NOODLING it smile lol......
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XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1561279 - 11/20/10 02:09 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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There you go! It's very freeing, isn't it? Rules can come a lot later!

If you do this to Christmas songs your audience will be impressed.
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#1561350 - 11/20/10 05:04 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
casinitaly Offline


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Registered: 03/01/10
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Loc: Italy
lol I started noodling my Christmas carols tonight, then came on line to see your message.
I think this might be addictive - ha ! as if I weren't already hooked on piano!
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XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1562089 - 11/22/10 12:20 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
jazzwee Offline
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Casinitaly, there's some little patterns I came up with at the beginning of this thread and I forgot about them already. So I just looked at it again and tried it and frankly, even with random choices or trial and error you could make an Christmas song sound good.

Just write down what you did so you can repeat it smile

There's actually sophisticated explanations why these work, but in the end, I don't think the theory matters. You've got 12 choices of patterns. It's not an infinite set.
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#1562106 - 11/22/10 01:05 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
casinitaly Offline


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Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5067
Loc: Italy
Thanks for the encouragement Jazzwee - I do have some basic theory knowledge, so I do "get" why some combos work,and how to "gestimate" when I'm not quite sure.

I tend to agree though,(especially for the moment) that the theory isn't the priority. For me this is an extra activity to help me get the feel of my piano, and in general just to help me get playing by ear (which I can do with one hand pretty well,but I REALLY want the left hand too!)

We'll see what develops! smile
_________________________
XVIII-XXXIV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2010287 - 01/06/13 10:22 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
Michael_99 Offline
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Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I am not sure yet how that was done, but it was very nice the way the melody was woven into the notes that were played. My ears liked the jazz sounds that I clicked
here and played http://www.box.net/shared/1zls7rx9b9

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#2010298 - 01/06/13 10:42 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: Michael_99]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
I am not sure yet how that was done, but it was very nice the way the melody was woven into the notes that were played. My ears liked the jazz sounds that I clicked
here and played http://www.box.net/shared/1zls7rx9b9



I don't remember what I did! LOL.
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#2010395 - 01/07/13 03:41 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: mom3gram]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Yes, there are. I couldn't have said it better.

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#2010958 - 01/08/13 02:39 AM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: kevinb]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Thanks, Kevin. I have copied it and will play it tomorrow when I am less tired. It looks exciting as a beginner and it lets me see what is happening.

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#2198082 - 12/15/13 04:52 PM Re: Nursery Rhymes Revisited: Reharmonization Fun [Re: jazzwee]
fingerbreaker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/09
Posts: 41
Oh my gosh, this thread was made for me but I didn't know it existed until now! Many years ago I put together a nursery rhyme medley with a jazzy flavor; finally recorded it to YouTube a few months ago:

http://youtu.be/boz_uFinr0o

Most of it isn't so much reharmonization as just playing the melodies in an upbeat fashion, but when it gets to Mary Had A Little Lamb at 3:09, I do unleash the jazz chords!

Hopefully better late than never!

-fingerbreaker

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