Harmonic Time

November 20, 2012

Internalizing Musical Time, Groove and Mathematics

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Jimmy Raney’s Solo on ‘Double Image’

September 21, 2012

Scott Mercer takes a closer look at Jimmy Raney’s guitar solo on the track ‘Double Image’

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Bill Holman – Master Of Musical Unity

July 24, 2012

Focus Session: Examining Bill Holman’s “Quick Step”

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The African Origins of Jazz

March 28, 2012

Lee Evans examines rhythm, harmony, melody and timbre…

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Learning Swing via Afro-Cuban Style

January 9, 2012

If you want your ensemble to swing, look to Afro-Cuban styles to show the way.

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Another Color for Your Musical Palette: Principles of Twelve-Tone Writing

March 23, 2011

With a tip of the hat to Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It” (“Birds do it, bees do it”, etc.), Bird (Charlie Parker) never did it, nor did the B’s (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms) ever do it. Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern did it many times. And believe it or not, jazzmen Leonard Feather and […]

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Whatchamacallit – The Age of Ambiguity: An Apt Appellation

January 16, 2011

A Brief History Starting with the fifth century, every period in music history is identified by a specific name, except for the 20th century and beyond. The period stretching from roughly 400 to about 1400-50 is known today as the Medieval era also called the Middle Ages. The span from 1450 to 1600 is identified […]

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The Interchangeability of Modes

November 19, 2010

Although the diatonic modes differ from one another, when they share a common fundamental tone (C Dorian, C Phrygian, C Lydian, etc.) that tone acts as a powerful unifying force. It may even be said that when the modes share a common fundamental tone, that tone places the modes in the same tonality (feeling of […]

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Characteristic Mode Tone

September 24, 2010

All of the diatonic modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian) have distinguishing characteristics. Some have one especially distinctive tone. In order to best capture the unique sound of a particular mode in a musical composition, the mode’s fundamental tone (first note of the mode) and characteristically distinctive scale step should be emphasized. For […]

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Charting Songs

July 9, 2010

Learning jazz repertoire takes time, and it can be very helpful to have a way to organize what you’ve learned so you can better remember it. This is a method of documenting critical song information for reference in the practice room, or as an aid in rehearsals and performances. There are five components to document. […]

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