Certain introductions to jazz teach that one should think harmonically in terms of "chord-scales" - for instance, that "E-mixed-third-7b913" and "E octatonic starting on a half step" are equivalent in their usage. This is different from classical texts, where at any given point you have to keep track of both the prevailing scale and the prevailing chord. How do I know precisely when to use one approach and when to use another? Can the chords-and-scales-as-equivalent approach describe the idea of harmonic function as well as the two-structures approach? Can the two-structures approach handle chromaticism as well as the chord-scale-equivalence approach?
closed as unclear what you're asking by David Bowling, pro, ttw, Tim, MattPutnam Aug 26 '18 at 15:19
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Use the one you find most useful. I don't like the chord/scale description of harmony because much of what I write doesn't fit that description. Someone writing a more jazz-oriented type of music may find it more helpful.
You don't compose jazz. Jazz is what performers do to a piece of music you've composed. As a composer you'll be concerned with melody, harmony rhythm's textures, instrumentation... Jazz players will boil it all down to a chord sequence and do their own thing with it!