I was experimenting and transcribing chords from different kinds of jazz pieces and I stumbled on a weird-sounding one. It had the notes of [Db - E - G - Bb - B - F - Bb] in this exact order on the keyboard.

I assume without the "natural B note" it would've been a Db°7(add b11). But with that "natural B note" added in there, I'm not sure how to define it. Is there a way to describe such a chord?

  • I agree, that B natural really sticks out. In the music, is the B natural actually a half step above the lower Bb, or is it an octave and half step above? I'm no jazz-head so to me, a chord with this much going on just passes into the realm of "I have no idea how to analyze it, I just know it sounds cool", and I would also look at it melodically instead of functionally. As in, it fits with other chords in terms of how each of several notes moves to and from the closest notes in the chords before and after it. – Todd Wilcox Jul 27 '16 at 14:17
  • The B natural note was a half step above the lower Bb in this one. – Eric Jul 27 '16 at 14:46
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    It does sound like some sort of variant of a diminished .seventh chord. I think it's important to note that these notes fit in perfectly to the half-whole octatonic scale. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octatonic_scale – Caleb Jul 27 '16 at 15:32
  • What are the chords before and after this one? This may shed some light on its function. – Martin Drautzburg Jul 27 '16 at 16:21
  • @MartinDrautzburg The chord that came BEFORE that chord was a D°7 (add b13). Then AFTER the chord was a Cmin7. Edit: The chord progression went something like this: Eb6 // Ebm6 // D°7 (add b13) // the odd chord // Cmin7. – Eric Jul 27 '16 at 18:53

From a not very modern point of view, I'd analyze it as a Bb minor and E minor superimposed on top of each other. They are a triton apart and thus generate a sense of movement or tension (it's very dissonant though not bad-sounding.) The justification would be the sound as the chord is resolved. In a more classical analysis, chords need not be Functional (as in marking something using functional harmony) but merely happen as the confluence of various lines (bass, melody, counter melodies, etc.)

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