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#1881963 - 04/18/12 08:32 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Exalted Wombat]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
I accompanied some old Music Hall songs this evening. There was a Cb chord in the printed copy of some song about a "German Band". It wasn't being a German 6th though.


Oompah! Oompah!

Cb chords, with or without extensions, abound. I am still wracking the old brain for that elusive Fb(7). Although it contradicts everything we know about string players' key preferences, I am certain that Charles Mingus used it several times, and the tune Good Bye, Pork Pie Hat simply comes to mind. (Eb minor BLUES, covering all the bases!(basses?)) I have been unable to find any definitive "original" showing a sketch or his notation.

Ed
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In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1881978 - 04/18/12 09:00 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Tango]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Gary D. - Your description of playing music off the page is true - that is the way it seems to me. I feel like I am in the score - it's a little world. No names just the blur of notation turned into sound that teems with ideas. I love that sensation. and it's funny when I play pieces I know pretty well, I focus mainly on the bass clef - it's like my right hand just handles its business on its own. The experience of playing classical pieces off the page is a unique thing for me. I am mainly working on sight reading and reeling in some pieces that I once knew, or should have known. I love doing it. Just my experience with it. So far as the blues R&B and rock stuff, I really never practice it at home, only when the bands have a rehearsal (except I need to work up a part for "FM"). I play that stuff just out of my head at the time - again very neat experience - that is the ultimate living in the moment. I can't get along without either experience - makes life worth living. To communicate the information we are discussing to the bands, I have to demonstrate what I want them to do in a way they'll understand. Bass player in one band was a woodwinds player in an Air Force band - the rest of them take some finesse. That's what is so interesting about this thread- I love theory discussions, but I also know that the main thing is to get the sound that works whatever you call it. Since I resigned from work and retired I can practice with enough time and energy. Life is good. smile


Edited by daviel (04/18/12 09:03 PM)
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David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1882229 - 04/19/12 08:55 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Tango]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
I see that you have mostly intepreted this as Fb(9). What about F(b9)? Do b9 chords get used? I just read something which said that a minor ninth is the most dissonant of dissonant intervals. (Not sure why it's more dissonant than a minor second, but maybe they were just considering large intervals.)
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#1882231 - 04/19/12 09:02 AM Fb9 chord [Re: PianoStudent88]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Hey PianoStudent88,

I wondered how long it would take you to check-in on one of your favorite subjects . . .

The missing-in-action Mr. Tango starts by asking how to spell, and construct an “Fb9” chord.

Immediately, Custard Apple and Studio Joe just ASSume the F(b9), and answer based on that ASSumption, and leave it at that.

JasperKeys is the first to recognize the ambiguity.

Daviel jumps in with one way of thinking about Fb (9).

I ask for clarification:
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Tango,

Do you see the confusion? In order to answer correctly, we need to know if you are referring to "F major with a flatted ninth" {F (b9)}, or "F-flat major with an added ninth" {Fb (9)}. These are two completely different chords, and would be used in drastically different settings.

What is the context in which you find this? What key are we in? What other chords immediately surround this one in question. More info, please . . .

As it turns out, I should not have bothered, but that is another story . . . . .

Tango, still watching his own thread at that point, responds:
Originally Posted By: Tango
Hello all.I apologize for not giving the key and progression of this blues song.This Fb9 chord is taken from the song,"Texas Flood" by Larry Davis and Joseph W. Scott .The song is in the key of Ab.The Fb9 is in the introductory measure #4.The blues progression is Ab,Db,Ab,Fb9,Eb9.

It is obvious that he is referring to Fb(9) for the following reasons:
[1] The key (Ab major), and the surrounding chords.
[2] It is a “down home” style blues. If it were a 1950s or 1960s rock-and-roll piece, then the F (b9) COULD work.
[3] The chromatically descending ninth chord a common structure in blue and jazz.
[4] Subsequent posts confirm the harmony and the style. Also that it might be common to tune the guitars a step or two lower for various reasons, which would have the effect of making “foreign” chords (like F9 in the key of A major) even MORE foreign.

I am certain your question about flatted ninth chords is, at least in part, a rhetorical one. The most common occurance is the dominant seventh chord with ninth in harmonic minor, where it occurs naturally.

As far as dissonance, as you know, it ALL depends on the surroundings. There may be a scientific reason for that position, involving the overtone series where the “beats” are more violent in a minor ninth - I really have no idea.
One of the most beautiful suspensions in the universe is 6 resolving to 5 in a minor key, with either tonic or the dominant in the bass! Key: {F minor}. Dominant flatted ninth chord{C + E + G + Bb + Db) >> resolving to Tonic chord {F + Ab + C }! Try it - you’ll like it!
Ed
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In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#1882244 - 04/19/12 09:24 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: PianoStudent88]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1203
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
I see that you have mostly intepreted this as Fb(9). What about F(b9)? Do b9 chords get used? I just read something which said that a minor ninth is the most dissonant of dissonant intervals. (Not sure why it's more dissonant than a minor second, but maybe they were just considering large intervals.)


Are you serious? :-)

Assuming you are, yes, the b9 chord is extremely common in all styles of music.

As well as the standard chord, every diminished 7th chord is essentially a dominant 7th(b9) chord with the root missing. There's a good one near the beginning of Bach's famous D minor toccata. C#, , G, Bb over a D root - now THERE's an interesting bunch of dissonances!

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#1882254 - 04/19/12 09:48 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Tango]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
I am serious. Well informed in some areas, and massively naive in others. And there I had only just finished reading this week about diminished and half-diminished chords and how to consider them as rootless ninths. In one ear and out the other, I guess. But what about flat ninth chords that include the root?

I've only just started to really grapple with extended chords and rootless chords, and it's all still really foreign to me.
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#1882259 - 04/19/12 10:00 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: PianoStudent88]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1203
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
But what about flat ninth chords that include the root?


Very common, both as a melody note and as colour within a dom7 type chord.

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#1882262 - 04/19/12 10:04 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Tango]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
Thanks, Exalted Wombat. I think if I've met these before, I've glazed over them as "note not in the harmony." Will have to start paying attention and naming them by interval.
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#1882267 - 04/19/12 10:08 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: PianoStudent88]
jjo Offline
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Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
Pianostudent88: In jazs, one of the most common uses of the b9 on a dominant chord is what we call the minor II-V-I. If you are playing a II-V-I sequence that will end on a minor chord, the norm is to play the flat 5 in the II (a half dimished chord)and the flat 9 on the dominant chord (it's the same note).

In addition, if you are playing with a bass player (or even not), you can do this with rootless chords. Here is a rootless voicing for a II-V-I to C minor, for left handed rootless chords that would accompnay your right handed improvisation.

From bottom up:
II: F Ab C D
V: F Ab B D#
I: Eb G A D (if you want the I to be a minor 6)

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#1882286 - 04/19/12 10:45 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: jjo]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: jjo

From bottom up:
II: F Ab C D
V: F Ab B D#
I: Eb G A D (if you want the I to be a minor 6)

I suppose it is not really my place to say, here, but I am not certain you are helping CLARIFY things by throwing in an AUGMENTED dominant with flatted ninth. With full and total respect to PianoStudent88, it is unlikely she will be playing with a bass and drummer in the next few weeks. She is asking about a flatted ninth chord, and about a minor ninth interval - not rootless chords and shells and dilutions. Those topics can, and should, all come much later.

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#1882310 - 04/19/12 11:27 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: LoPresti]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
With full and total respect to PianoStudent88, it is unlikely she will be playing with a bass and drummer in the next few weeks.

I'll get right on that wink .
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Ebaug(maj7)

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#1882426 - 04/19/12 02:34 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Exalted Wombat]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
I see that you have mostly intepreted this as Fb(9). What about F(b9)? Do b9 chords get used? I just read something which said that a minor ninth is the most dissonant of dissonant intervals. (Not sure why it's more dissonant than a minor second, but maybe they were just considering large intervals.)


Are you serious? :-)

Ah, you are assuming that students just know these things. Believe me, they don't. MY students do, sooner or later, because they are very important to me, and the flat 9 concept is terribly important in my teaching. I teach that a flat 9 chord is both a dominant 7 chord AND a fully diminished chord, all connected. We get to use the advantages of both. And I teach the the flat 9 chord, with the root removed, as a fully diminished, a "rootless flat 9" and a "dominant with a raised root".

So G B D F Ab is V7 plus an extra note (b9). Thus G7(b9) or G7-9

B D F Ab is a rootless G7-9. I have my students write "G7-9", in quotes. We agree that "" means that there is no root, but there COULD be.

Ab B D F = G7 with root raised (really (b2 which = b9). I have students write:

Ab B D F = G7 RR (raised root)= Ab dim7. This is to hammer on the function.

This all assumes the next chord will be C or Cm.

This happens EVERYWHERE. It is very common in Bach, but it's all over the place in 20th and 21st century non-classical music. smile
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#1882441 - 04/19/12 03:08 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Gary D.]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1203
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat

Are you serious? :-)

Ah, you are assuming that students just know these things.


No, not at all! It was just that after all the deep theoretical argument, such a basic question seemed almost humorous! No insult intended.

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#1882463 - 04/19/12 03:41 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Tango]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
Thank you for the replies! Although I have misplaced my bass and drummer, I am happy to know about rootless chords, raised roots, augmented fifths, rotating diminished chords, and (rootless) minor II V I progressions, because they open a window on the very wide vistas of what harmony can do. And yet all of these link up with the single idea of dominant chord progression, which is pretty amazing to me amidst what to me is still a great deal of complexity.
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#1882487 - 04/19/12 04:06 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: PianoStudent88]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1203
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Thank you for the replies! Although I have misplaced my bass and drummer, I am happy to know about rootless chords, raised roots, augmented fifths, rotating diminished chords, and (rootless) minor II V I progressions, because they open a window on the very wide vistas of what harmony can do. And yet all of these link up with the single idea of dominant chord progression, which is pretty amazing to me amidst what to me is still a great deal of complexity.


Homer Simpson has the right idea. It's all about "D'oh!" and the ways we get back there.

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#1882510 - 04/19/12 04:58 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Tango]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 646
Loc: Chicago
A bass and drummer is readily avaiable on an IPhone using the Real Books app! (I kid because I can seen from PianoStudent88's list of pieces that he's working on classical pieces.) If some day you want to try jazz, for better or worse, machines do a lot these days!

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#1882548 - 04/19/12 05:38 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Tango]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3183
Loc: Maine
Oh dear, I've been rumbled by my .sig as an interloper here in the non-classical domains. Here to steal your chord analysis and apply it to my classical music. smile .
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#1882557 - 04/19/12 05:55 PM Fb9 chord [Re: Tango]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Ok, Gang,

On the Forum, I have been reading for a few months now about the "rootless" chords, particularly "rootless" dominants. They are everywhere I look, and they seem to be in vogue, as if they were a new discovery. I recognize that I am opening up the flood gates here, but I am not certain I buy the idea.

Before all you experts jump on this, kindly read, and digest my reasoning.
Scenario A: I know from experience it is usually not necessary to play chord roots in a combo, where that function is typically covered by the double bass. In fact, attempting to do so often gets "muddy and messy". But to me, this implies that usually the root (or 5th) of each chord WILL be there, it is just that the piano does not need to play it.

Scenario B: As more extensions, or “color tones” are added to chords, the five-digit pianist runs out of fingers. So it is only logical that a thinking pianist will attempt to play the “most important” notes in any given chord, logically abandoning the ones of lesser importance. Frequently, with or without a double bass, the roots are the first to go. My ears are not convinced that those roots are as dispensable as many here seem to think.

Scenario C: I fully recognize the versatility of the diminished triad or diminished seventh. Just like an augmented triad, it can act as a pivot point between tonal centers. In this sense, applying or assigning a actual root removes much of its versatility.

Scenario D: While I would never argue that a diminished triad built, say, on the leading tone, can SERVE in place of a dominant seventh chord, it is not, in any theoretical sense equivalent to that chord built on the dominant NOTE. In a sense, it is a SUBSTITUTE for the dominant, not a dominant with it’s defining root missing. In the self-same manner that a ii7 can substitute as a IV in the major keys, the chords sound somewhat similar, but have important differences.

Finally, to the REAL STUFF - what we hear. With all the foregoing in mind, I submit that THE SOUND of F(b9) is not the same as A°7 , or any other inversion of the diminished seventh. The chord, by itself, sounds with a certain color that is lacking in the “rootless” version. And if it progresses to a chord built upon Bb, that root movement is a very powerful force that cannot be duplicated without that F.

OK - flood gates are wide open . . .
Ed
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#1882579 - 04/19/12 06:40 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: LoPresti]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1203
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
OK - flood gates are wide open . . .


Is there anything to argue about? No-one's disagreeing that the dim7 can act as a dominant toward 4 different key centres. It can be useful to imagine (or add) one of 4 different bass notes completing a dom7(b9) chord. Obviously the chord has a different flavour if this "root" is added.

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#1882580 - 04/19/12 06:42 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: jjo]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1203
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: jjo
A bass and drummer is readily avaiable on an IPhone using the Real Books app!


And, rather more flexibly, on a real computer running the venerable Band in a Box.

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#1882581 - 04/19/12 06:46 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: PianoStudent88]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1203
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Oh dear, I've been rumbled by my .sig as an interloper here in the non-classical domains. Here to steal your chord analysis and apply it to my classical music. smile .


Do you separate the two? How sad!

There's a strong history of improvisation in "classical" music. And a lot of commercial material is fully notated and intended to be played "as is".

(And performers take liberties with both :-)

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#1882589 - 04/19/12 06:58 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: LoPresti]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: LoPresti

Finally, to the REAL STUFF - what we hear. With all the foregoing in mind, I submit that THE SOUND of F(b9) is not the same as A°7 , or any other inversion of the diminished seventh.

Well, of COURSE not. That's the whole point. With a V7 chord, there is a very strong feeling of what is coming next, although "next" is not always where we anticipate it. But if you have an F7 chord, you are at least aware of it possibly going to Bb (or Bbm), and if Bb is the key and you are close to the end, there is nothing more. F7-9 is just an extension of that principle, and it is still driving towards Bb something.

With the diminished chord, it's about understanding why the composer or arranger or improviser chose it go where he went, and the function defines the spelling. It is, at first, a kind of reverse thinking. "We are here. How did we get there? How did s/he get there? smile

So there are very practical and useful reasons for associating the flat 9 chord with the diminshed chord that is the RESULT of leaving out the root. If I go to Cm using an Ab dim7 chord, it will not inform a student about why it was picked. But if I say, think this: Ab dim7 to G7 to C, then the logic becomes clear. Then, I can go backwards. What might come before C? G7. Okay. What chord might come before that, moving as little as possible? Ab dim7 is a logical answer, and the spelling will based on the flat 9 spelling. That's not the only way to get to the spelling, but it is the easiest way.

In other words, what is a classically trained musician going to write here: dim7 to Ab? There are many spellings. But if you think Eb7, then raise the root, you get Fb G Bb Db, thus G Bb Db Fb, thus Eb G Bb Db Fb. Once you absorb that, two things result.

1) You can choose NOT to use that spelling, for any of a million practical reasons.
2) If some geek comes along and tells you your enharmonic choice is WRONG, you can tie that geek up in his own geek-rules, explaining the logic behind the traditional rules, better than he understands them, then making a point that his blind adherence to said rules is not knowledge but ignorance. Is this necessary? In my world it is, because every time I give a student a practical solution to something, some wise-*** comes along and infers that I don't know my craft, when I do!

So I also teach that if we start with an F7-9 and understand the V to I principle, then realizing that the other, now traditionally labeled as a vii°7, still has a tendency to FUNCTION the same as a V7 chord. And this goes back to a link between the V and vii chord.

We don't need to talk about this at all if we are talking among ourselves. We are already there. But God help the poor students who read the explanations normally given in theory books. frown

When I teach the "rootless" concept, it is not mental masturbation. It is the result of years of attempting to break down something very complicated and difficult, for students, to the point that they can absorb it and use it. After that I don't care what they call these things! wink
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#1882624 - 04/19/12 07:44 PM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: jjo]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Here is a rootless voicing for a II-V-I to C minor, for left handed rootless chords that would accompnay your right handed improvisation.

I looked at what you wrote and said, "What?" Then I jumped, and it was clear.

For those who are not used to this thinking, here are some steps to get to where you went to:
Originally Posted By: jjo

II: F Ab C D

II: D F Ab C D becomes (D) F Ab C D. You are thinking Dm7-5, you invert, leave the D for the bass player.
Quote:

V: F Ab B D#

V: G B D F Ab becomes F ( G ) Ab B D becomes F ( G ) Ab B D#. Start with G7-9, then "color" the chord to G aug7-9. But for voicing, I would explain this chord as F7-5/G, and I would spell your D# as Eb.
Quote:

I: Eb G A D (if you want the I to be a minor 6)

I: C Eb G A D becomes ( C ) Eb G A D

For me that is a Cm6 add9.

So although I understand what you are getting at, I would do explain your progession this way:

Dm7 to Fm7-5/G to Cm6 add9. Then I would simply explain that you can leave out the roots, either for a spare sound (if you don't want them), or leave them for the bass player.

I would do this first, in a descriptive way, then get to the II V I function later.:)


Edited by Gary D. (04/19/12 07:48 PM)
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#1882705 - 04/19/12 10:28 PM Fb9 chord [Re: Exalted Wombat]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
Is there anything to argue about? . . . . . Obviously the chord has a different flavour if this "root" is added.


Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
. . . . . I submit that THE SOUND of F(b9) is not the same as A°7 , or any other inversion of the diminished seventh.

Well, of COURSE not. That's the whole point. With a V7 chord, there is a very strong feeling of what is coming next . . . . .
We don't need to talk about this at all if we are talking among ourselves. . . . . .When I teach the "rootless" concept, it is not mental masturbation. It is the result of years of attempting to break down something very complicated and difficult, for students, to the point that they can absorb it and use it. After that I don't care what they call these things! wink

Not wanting to put words in anyone’s month (or, more properly, put letters coming out of their keyboards), it appears that we generally agree that a true dominant seventh (or ninth), with its root in place, is different from what we are calling a “rootless” dominant seventh (or ninth). While the true dominant and the “rootless” dominant could function in the same capacity under certain circumstances, they sound different, and they are different on a theoretical level.

And Gary, if I have it correct, you are using the “rootless” concept as a tool to simplify teaching. Maybe as a way of categorizing or grouping chords that have a “leading tone tendency” (V, vii°, even ii°). As a student gains a more advanced understanding, you will then differentiate. Please feel free to correct if I am off the mark here.

Since at least a fair part of the brain trust has weighed-in on this, kindly indulge me with one further, follow-up question: If the “rootless” dominant is not, in fact, a dominant chord, then why doesn’t everyone (except students) call those things precisely what they are?
Ed
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#1882786 - 04/20/12 03:47 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Tango]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11808
Loc: Canada
When I started harmony theory, my books started with primary and secondary chords - the primary being I, IV and V, secondary being ii, iii, vi, viio, and the characteristics of each (major, minor etc.) Each chord was a unique thing. Then there were progressions and functions. The very first ones were I IV V, the V-I and I-V cadence. Also I vii°6 I6 as a tonic prolongation came very early.

The idea that a vii° chord is embedded in a V7 chord, or that C7 also contains a diminished chord seems more sophisticated to understand, than seeing a diminished chord as one distinct thing, and a seven chord as another distinct thing. I am seeing the "advanced understanding" in the reverse order, Ed.

It's like when I learned about ii, and IV, and they tended to toggle, and then there was this ii7, and the Eureka moment of seeing that the ii7 contained both. There are these changes of colour you can make by altering one note by a semitone - that chords are constantly in motion, and that they are like shape shifters. To me this is the more sophisticated concept, rather than the starting place. I'm thinking that if we can begin with some awareness of this, rather than starting with these fixed blobs as our first concept, it might be a handy thing to have.

(Don't know if I managed to make sense).

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#1882788 - 04/20/12 03:49 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
That makes complete sense to me. smile
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#1882801 - 04/20/12 04:51 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: LoPresti]
Exalted Wombat Offline
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Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1203
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Since at least a fair part of the brain trust has weighed-in on this, kindly indulge me with one further, follow-up question: If the “rootless” dominant is not, in fact, a dominant chord, then why doesn’t everyone (except students) call those things precisely what they are?


Work out what you mean by "dominant". It's about tensions. In G7 > C, B wants to resolve to C, F to E, G to C. Combine them all, we have something worthy of the name "dominant". I think we would agree the strongest tensions are the F and the B. Let them stand, add Db. Do we have G7b5, or Db7? Do we pin the chord down as one or the other by adding a bass note, or internal notes? Who cares? The F - B tritone resolves to E - C. The smoke is white. We have a dominant!

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#1882825 - 04/20/12 06:20 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: LoPresti]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Not wanting to put words in anyone’s month (or, more properly, put letters coming out of their keyboards), it appears that we generally agree that a true dominant seventh (or ninth), with its root in place, is different from what we are calling a “rootless” dominant seventh (or ninth).

Yes, I agree, BUT:

A V7, without a 5, is different. A V7, with all notes, is different when it is inverted. It is different when it is open-voiced. It is different when the root is in the bass but different notes are on top. And so on. The point becomes how many labeling differences do we want to make? When is it useful to group things as logically connected? That will be different for each musician.
Quote:

While the true dominant and the “rootless” dominant could function in the same capacity under certain circumstances, they sound different, and they are different on a theoretical level.

I could not disagree more strongly. "Function", to me, is about how two chords work together. It can be more than two chords. To me, these are all the same function:

F B to E C. In the key of C, this has a V to I sound to me. And if it is followed by B F to C E, that's really strong. In a duet, you only HAVE to notes. If that is not a function, I don't know what is.

In the same way, the tune "What's New" starts of with a dim7 chord. D dim7 to C, in the key of C. One person may throw in a G in the bass, so the bass line is very different then. But if you play G7/D to C, the sound is very close to D dim7 to C. I hear them as two "flavors" of the same thing. Are the different? Of course. But to my ear, raising that G to Ab is just more interesting. It gives chromatic movement.

Are we defining "function" in a very different way? smile
Quote:

And Gary, if I have it correct, you are using the “rootless” concept as a tool to simplify teaching.

No. I'm doing the opposite. Lets say, for instance, that a talented young musician hears a G dim7 moving to Bm. G Bb Db E to F# B D#. The sound is right, the instinct is right, but how should it be spelled? If it is linked to the dominant of B minor, and it is obvious that the V7 is F# A# C# E, then it is child's play to write that dim7 as G A# C# E to F# B D F#. It's also ridiculously simple to throw in roots in the bassline, F# to B, and then you have F#7-9 moving to Bm.

To me that's not simplifying. That's just smart thinking. From there you can learn to judge where a dim7 chord is going from its spelling. If that same G dim7 chord is spelled G Bb Db E, its a good bet that it is about to resolve to C or Cm.

What else? Any flat 9 chord is a fully diminished chord over a root that is 1/2 step below one of the notes in the dim chord. Now, should someone who has been playing and writing music for a very long time know these things, without thinking about them? Good question. I think these are pretty advanced concepts.

Here is why: my students will accurately identify dim7 chords, but when they resolve, they are not aware of the bigger picture. They don't think, for example, that you can go G dim7 to F#7 to Bm. If those three chords are all there, they see it, but if the middle chord is missing, they don't jump. I do. So I am teaching what I see/feel/hear. And when I am notating things, I fall back on such "simplifications", in a pinch, to check enharmonics.
Quote:

Maybe as a way of categorizing or grouping chords that have a “leading tone tendency” (V, vii°, even ii°). As a student gains a more advanced understanding, you will then differentiate. Please feel free to correct if I am off the mark here.

But Ed, I AM differentiating. Grouping logically does not mean ignoring differences. I don't like RNs because I see them as rigid and horribly limiting. By ii° I assume you mean something like D F Ab in the key of C minor. But this would be just a dim triad, if I am reading you correctly. There my mind says this: Ddim is one note away from D dim7, which is 1/2 step away from G7/D. If I use ANY of those chords and more to Cm, I hear a different flavor of dominant. Maybe you mean the same thing with "leading tone tendency", but why muddy the water with such complicated terms. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

I don't think it is just a student level thing to sense that there is a feeling of just having to resolve to a major or minor chord. It is a rather advanced thing to know that you are going to end on a Cm chord, complete with as many color tones as you wish to use. Knowing that a G7 can morph to G7-5 which will restack and respell to Db7-5 and that Db F G B is only 1/2 step away from D F G B, knowing that D F Ab B is similar, knowing that D F B can be used in place of D G B, knowing that you can keep that G B D F and ADD an Ab on top, this is what I call morphing.

I literally bust my *** to teach these ideas, and I wish someone had been around to do the same thing for me when I was a student! wink
Quote:

Since at least a fair part of the brain trust has weighed-in on this, kindly indulge me with one further, follow-up question: If the “rootless” dominant is not, in fact, a dominant chord, then why doesn’t everyone (except students) call those things precisely what they are?

Because music is more complicated than that. There aren't enough names to label everything with precise names. Names are not what things are. That's why they are names. We have notation for that (and even that only gets us close), or one superb musician simply passes on certain voicings and progressions that work like magic to another. In the end, all conventions fail. RNs fail, letters fail, anything fails. Neither you nor I can possibly talk about every possible voicing of every possible chord, or any subtle variation, chormatically. As long as thing remains fairly elementary, of course you can tell me not to play a flat 9 chord, just a diminished chord, or vice versa. But there will come a time if we are playing together when the choice of which "flavor" to use at any given moment will be beyond words, beyond labels and beyond specifics. That's where the bigger picture comes in. Otherwise music turns into something much like paint by numbers. In my opinion, of course. smile


Edited by Gary D. (04/20/12 06:25 AM)
Edit Reason: reason for not editing: too tired to correct typos
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#1882871 - 04/20/12 08:30 AM Fb9 chord [Re: keystring]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: keystring
. . . The idea that a vii° chord is embedded in a V7 chord, or that C7 also contains a diminished chord seems more sophisticated to understand, than seeing a diminished chord as one distinct thing, and a seven chord as another distinct thing. I am seeing the "advanced understanding" in the reverse order, Ed.

It's like when I learned about ii, and IV, and they tended to toggle, and then there was this ii7, and the Eureka moment of seeing that the ii7 contained both. . .

I am certainly not against revelation - quite the contrary! The more light-bulbs-switched-on moments we have, the better. I do not remember most of mine, but a certain one from many (MANY) years ago is still quite vivid: it was like an Epiphany - I “discovered” that an augmented seventh chord already contained most of the notes of a whole-tone scale. For weeks thereafter, I went around changing every dominant seventh to an augmented seventh, and playing a whole-tone scale over it. Now there is a prime example of a revelation gone bad!

Each of those inner relationships we see, and comprehend, makes us a more well-rounded musician, no doubt. I am simply attempting to understand how such an “insight”, like the fact that a D7 “contains” an F#° triad; then makes the theoretical LEAP to calling that F#° a “rootless” chord, spelled upon a note that is missing. Any thoughts on this?
Ed
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#1882896 - 04/20/12 09:21 AM Re: Fb9 chord [Re: Tango]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
I was actually addressing a different idea that you expressed, namely that the concept that chords are not fixed isolated entities is the less advanced thing which would *lead to* discovering that there is such a thing as a vii° chord and a V7 chord. I'm thinking that individual chords are pretty much in your face from the start. So in my mind the process would be the reverse.

About names - I dunno. I've picked up that there are two great divides: the "classical" musicians and the "non-classical" and that some aspects of music are different for the two as a generality. So some ways of naming and relating to music are different. And then even within the groups there will be some differences. So I'm also thinking that some people will have come into referring to "rootless dominants" because it reflects their reality. And I also thinking that the great divide is a mistake, but both aspects of music should exist for everyone rather than everyone huddling in his own respective corner. But I don't know what proportion of musicians use this term, and what proportion doesn't. Only that it seems to be well known in some corners (or this question wouldn't exist here).

Words are what I deal with in my work. I am forever dealing with terminology of people and what they mean by it. Words are an artificial means of trying to reflect reality and we fall short. I am thinking (hoping) that people call it "rootless" in order to reflect a reality they feel, rather than out of an inability to distinguish. When do terms clarify and when do they muddy the water? I don't know. I think maybe both. For me, the first time I heard it, it made me think and then find things. But that's a personal story.

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