27

The 'add' modifier is used if a note above the 7th is added to a triad, and if the lower tensions are not part of the chord. That's why there's a difference between a C9 and a C(add9) chord. The first has a (flat) 7th, the other one doesn't: C9 = C E G Bb D C(add9) = C E G D Another usage is to add notes that would otherwise replace another note, as is ...


19

There are acoustical reasons for not wanting close voicing in the lower register; in short, the upper harmonics muddy each other up and fog up the sound. But in my experience, C4 is a really high limit; I can think of tons of scores with thirds below C4. Every musical environment is different, and sometimes you might want that slightly muddy sound. But if ...


17

Anything over a 7th must contain that 7th, be it major 7th or minor (b) seventh. It's been well established that the 5th (perfect) can be dispensed with, as its sound is contained in the root note. For me, 9ths must have 1,3,7 and 9 - although if there's an instrument playing the root, such as a bass, it can be pared down to 3,7 and 9. Often in jazz, a four ...


16

TL;DR For pianists, play the X chord with the right hand and the Y bass note with the left hand. For guitar/bass bands: guitarist plays the X chord and bassist plays the Y bass note. (With thanks to @piiperiReinstateMonica) TOC There are three main parts to this answer that can be read independently of each other. What does it mean? (includes subsections ...


15

In the 19th century it was standard to have the first and second violins on opposite sides (i.e. the second violins would sit where the cellos now normally sit). This kind of voicing would give a sort of stereo panning effect. The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in the linked video has the second violins set up in the 19th century manner, but the effect is not ...


15

In general, when you only have a limited amount of voices and you need to leave out a note in a chord, the Perfect 5th is the first to go. A Perfect 5th doesn't typically add a lot of color to a chord and thus typically when playing a chord it's viewed as OK to omit without changing the nature of a chord. I will say for this specific chord, there's no reason ...


13

You cannot omit an altered fifth. In other words, you cannot omit the b5 from either a half-diminished chord or a diminished chord, or the #5 from an augmented chord. The omission of the 5th only works for unaltered fifths that are implied by the harmonic overtones of the root.


13

I discuss this conundrum in my book 'Musical Illusions and Phantom Words' (Oxford University Press, 2019). Apparently Artur Nikisch tried to persuade Tchaikovsky to amend his scoring. There's no question that the passage produces an illusion - at least for righthanders. I experienced it strongly when NOVA came to film my lab, and the UCSD Symphony played the ...


13

This vocal style comes from the American traditions of close harmony. As popular music (and the radio) came into being in the 20th century, it took influence from the styles of its times, just as any emerging style of music does. Looking back even further, the roots of this vocal style can be traced back to the 1800s and are likely also traceable to African ...


11

You're still holding the C root at the bottom, so calling it a C chord of some sort is justified. You eventually also hold E (not F), B flat, D, and A at the fermata signs, so calling it a C13 chord (which should contain C, E, B flat, and A at the very least) is also justified. The C13 chord symbol looks fine.


10

Yes, you generally double the 3rd of the chord. It's the chord note that is easier to resolve. Let's take this example in C major, a simple I bii V I: You can see that both the neapolitan chord and V use the note D (flat in the first chord, natural in the second one). This is usually considered a bad harmonic relationship (in two chords played next to each ...


10

Different voicings for different chords A different set of voicings, derived from the appropriate bebop scale, is used for each chord. Over the I chord, the voicings come from the major bebop scale and alternate between the major I6 and vii°7 chords. This is because the stable scale degrees (1, 3, 5, and 6) tend to sit on the downbeats, so we'll hear the ...


10

Sus is short for suspended. The 3rd of a chord - major or minor - isn't there any more. It has been replaced (usually temporarily) by either the 2nd or the 4th from the scale using the same root note. Thus - C major = CEG. C minor = CE♭G. Csus2 =CDG and Csus4 = CFG. There is actually the little-known fact that suspensions resolve downwards, which ...


9

Conventionally, the most often skipped notes in any remotely extended chord are the 5th and any degrees above the 7th that aren't included in the chord name. For example, V13 chords in classical music almost never contain the 9th or the 11th. One major exception to these conventions is the 11th chord, where the 11th and the 3rd often are assigned notes a ...


9

Closed vocings aren't bad, but you need to be aware of the register you are in no matter what you compose. In lower registers, having notes close together isn't always what you want. Specifically intervals that are supposed to have color like 3rds and 6ths both will sound "muddied" to most. Perfect internals typically don't observe this problem. This is also ...


9

Yes, you're right that in many genres of music pianists and guitarists have to spontaneously come up with parts based only on chord symbols (and hopefully also listening to other members of the band). This is called comping. Bass players typically also have to do this too; even if the bassline is written out in that piece that isn't always the case (and if ...


9

I agree with the answer and ideas provided by @Tim and would like to add a few of my own. The thing about group accompanying is unless the music is completely arranged you can’t predict what the other person is going to do so how could one play the same notes as the bass player? Held root notes will clash with anything linear the bass might play. The same ...


9

From a jazz perspective, whenever a chord symbol contains an upper extension like 9, 11, or 13, the 3rd and 7th are implied. Moreover, in jazz, the chord C7 has many well-known voicings, including Bb-D-E-A and Bb-D-E-G. So if a lead sheet goes to the trouble of writing C13 when C7 would suffice, then this usually implies that the 13th carries special ...


9

It is common to omit a note from a chord, especially on a guitar, where 3-4 note voicings commonly sound the best, and also it's not always convenient to play all notes. In many cases perfect fifth is a note that doesn't add much to the chord and it can be omitted as in this case. So yes, this is a perfectly valid voicing of E7 chord.


8

What are drop voicings? Drop voicings are formed by taking a close voicing and dropping certain notes one octave. A drop-n voicing drops the nth note, counting from the top, one octave. For example, a drop-2 voicing of a CMaj7 chord can be formed by starting with a close voicing C-E-G-B, i.e. a stack of thirds, and dropping the 2nd note from the top one ...


8

You do it step by step, first inserting "midway" chords somewhere in between, and then if you want, even more intermediate chords between those. Step by step. If you want to go through all of the given original chords and aren't allowed to change them (though why wouldn't you if you're messing with the chords to begin with), there are only two guiding ...


8

The chord pairs are used primarily to harmonize a melody that occurs on a single, static chord. The trick works really well when a melody walks up or down the bebop scale. There are two well-established versions. Using C as the root, they are: over CMaj, harmonize melody notes using these chords: CMaj6 - G7b9 (rootless) over Cmin, harmonize melody notes ...


8

You don't seem to have done anything that jdjazz suggested in his answer three years ago. It was a very good answer. As Laurence Payne says, you need to study, or at least play through, lots of piano music. You say you're playing jazz standards "with compact voicings in my left and melody in my right." So you only use one RH finger at a time? And all its ...


8

Well, they sound less dissonant for the reason that you said - that the frequencies of the harmonics in the group of notes sounding simultaneously clash less. This graph from https://sethares.engr.wisc.edu/consemi.html shows how pairs of sinewaves less than a minor third apart give an impression of 'roughness': However, having notes further apart doesn't ...


8

It is common to omit the 5th in a seventh chord. In the case of E7, that means leaving out the B. E is the root G♯ is the third B is the fifth D is the seventh Omitting the fifth is also commonly done in minor seventh and major seventh chords.


7

Omit the 11th. Next one to go is usually the 5th. Then the 9th. C makes it a C chord. E makes it major. B makes it a maj7. A makes it a 13th. In practice, the 13th may well be the melody note. Perhaps YOU don't have to play it. Likewise the root, if there's a bass player. Note that you MAY omit the 5th and 9th. You almost certainly SHOULD omit the ...


7

As a bass singer in an amateur SATB choir I think this is acceptable. I haven't played the notes, but going from the 4th note on a scale to the 5th (only an octave lower) and back to the 1st note is not uncommon. The key question is probably how well notes fit a given harmony in general and how well they fit the respective chords. Singing Bb C F in your ...


7

Yes, any seventh chord has inversions. No matter what chord quality, the seventh chords are inverted the same (actually, all chord qualities are inverted the same way). It's possible to invert ninth chords (and beyond), you just have to reconsider the method you use to produce inversions. The way most people learn inversions is by taking the bottom note of ...


7

I don't know the video, but normally one uses only 1 instance of each letter. Also (with exceptions), the best guess at a chord comes from considering the notes as stacked thirds. This would give A♭-C-E♭-G as the chord. This an A♭ major seventh. (The same as the OP G# major seventh.) (A G♯ major seventh would be G♯-B♯-D♯-F♯♯, not as easy to write though.) ...


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