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So much for hating music theory. I did just finish a blog post at Professorscosco where I go on and on about linear harmony. Check it out! It’s got some cool graphics, like this: I don’t know (or care) if it’s the correct term, but what I call linear harmony involves forgetting what you know about chord “progression” and instead thinking about broader and less defined tonal movement. Tension and resolution happen (though not necessarily where you expect it)…and perhaps there is never a cadence, a ii-V, or even a tonic key center. Linear motion can imply sharp harmonic movement,…

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Twenty Years in the Vault: Scott Healy – Glenn Alexander Quartet’s Northern Light   For an album that has been stowed away in the vault for over twenty years Scott Healy and Glenn Alexander’s Northern Light  has a taut, modern sound and sensibility. This enjoyable recording was taped by these two talented musicians back in December of 1991, along with the tight and elastic rhythm section of Kermit Driscoll on bass and Jeff Hirshfield on drums. You would be hard pressed to believe it isn’t a current offering. After this quartet disbanded, Alexander went on to some of his own…

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A Confession…Music Theory Sucks

I need to get something off my chest: I hate music theory. Maybe hate is too strong a word. Don’t scientists consider a “theory” to be the highest order of proof? How can you prove music, and why would you try? This is a rambling preamble to an upcoming post on my jazz composition blog, Professorscosco. Music “theory” attempts to prove why things sound good, why chords work, why things that our ear naturally hears provide richness, gratification, tension, resolution, all the things that make music happen. But Bach didn’t know music “theory” (he invented the rules of 4-part choral-style…

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