Don’t worry about chords until it sounds good. Think about the beginning and the end of the phrase and how you want to get from point A to point B.
Yesterday I made another blog post in my jazz composition blog, professorscosco.com. It’s another in a series about linear harmony, a really dry subject, but one that I believe is ignored in schools. Many writers I’ve heard recently are obsessed with chords and scales, and counterpoint is just in service of the chord progression. I like it when the lines are the chords, or maybe you can’t tell what the chords are. I’m finding that although it’s a little dull using my own music for demonstration (due to copyright restrictions and hubris), I’m compiling a body of examples that will…
The layering of chords, with inner roots and strong voice leading are an important part of linear harmony; it's a melodic way of writing with chords, and with apologies to Schoenberg and Debussy, a jazzy way to invoke what Schoenberg termed Klangfarbenmelodie, or "timbre-structures", or "sound-color-melody".
I have a jazz composition blog, ProfessorScoSco, and of course this one, which you are reading now. So I publish a post in the other one, now I’m compelled to tell the world about it here. I am definitely spending too much time on shameless self-promo, but I actually enjoy writing about music theory, probably because I love the sound of my own voice. Perhaps it’s therapeutic too – but I do recognize that most of the theory crap I learned in school is useless, and wasn’t applied to anything concrete. I have a series going on Linear Harmony,…
The first time I listened to "Hudson City Suite", the latest recording from pianist/composer Scott Healy, the music blew me away....one can hear the influence of Duke Ellington on the melodies and arrangements of Scott Healy but there is so much more to be heard in the voicings, the counterpoint and the inventive manner in which the composer writes for the sections of his talented ensemble. Positively smashing music
Richard B. Kamens - Step Tempest
The first time I listened to “Hudson City Suite“, the latest recording from pianist/composer Scott Healy, the music blew me away. Haven’t changed my opinion in the 4+ months the CD has been in rotation but am not sure why this review has taken so long (the word “laziness” comes to mind.) Healy, who worked in Conan O’Brien’s “show” band when he started at NBC and his subsequent move to TBS, admits to being greatly influenced by Duke Ellington. There are moments on the 9 tracks that make up the “..Suite” where one can notice that influence but what is…
Scott Healy and Glenn Alexander's "Northern Light" is one of those rare recordings that thankfully, after being buried for over twenty years, made its way out of the vault and into the light.
Ralph Miriello–Notes on Jazz
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…
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…