The Major Seven Flat Five Chord in Jazz Improvisation: 音楽理論

October 9, 2014

Daniel Schnee


The study of harmony on the piano is essential, especially if you want to expand your palette as a composer and improviser. Arpeggiation and scale/chord match- ing serve their purposes until you start repeating the same old tired, clichéd patterns over and over, or have no new ideas at all. Studying harmony as it appears on the piano gives you access to a colour palette and harmonic ideas that the woodwinds by their very nature don’t address.

One such idea, which completely floored me, was the “Sound” concept of jazz voicing introduced to me in college by Charlie Austin, a phenomenal jazz pianist and brilliant teacher from Edmonton, Alberta. Though this information had been around in one form or another for decades, and can be found in the styles of pianists Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, and McCoy Tyner, Austin’s conception and explanation of the Sound idea is unique, and…

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