Bill Evans Harmony Musical Analysis

The Harmony of Bill Evans (2b)

The Harmony of Bill Evans (2b) PERI’S SCOPETHEMATIC ANALYSIS

In this article, I will analyze the thematic material of Bill’s tune, “Peri’s Scope.” My purpose will be to gain insight into the principles of good melody writing and, in Bill’s case, to get inside the creative mind of a genius as that mind organized, developed and evolved his compositions by following the dictates of what Schoenberg calls the “BASIC SHAPE,” the seed thought, the germ or idea that generates the entire piece.

Because I use in these articles a specific vocabulary when I discuss Bill’s thematic material, I think it best to define these terms before I begin the analysis.

MOTIF-an interval, harmony, and/or rhythm combining to produce memorable shapes or patterns; a motif appears continually throughout a piece; it is repeated. Repetition alone often gives rise to monotony, and monotony can only be overcome by variation.

VARIATION-a change in some of the less important features of the motif and the preserva­tions of some of the more important ones.
FIGURE-a smaller rhythmic and/ or melodic feature of the motif that is repeated throughout the piece. A dotted quarter followed by an eighth note is a rhythmic figure Bill uses continually in “Peri’s Scope.”
DIRECTIONAL TONES-the range and contour (high and low points) of the theme; the main pitches that outline the theme.
INVERSION-an ascending pattern that later descends, and vice versa.
AUGMENTATION-an increased time value according to a ratio (three eighth notes become triplets, etc.).

DIMINUTION-a decreased time value according to a ratio (eighth notes become sixteenth notes).
RETROGRADE-the theme or motif played, or repeated backwards.
BASIC SHAPE-usually the first idea which generates the whole piece.
PHRASE-a complete musical thought, like a sentence in English (in this piece, 8 meaSures).

Let’s look at EX. lA to lC (measures 1-2). This is the BASIC SHAPE. The melodic figures are one lonely eighth note, a “g” on the first beat, rhythmic space or silence for one and one-half beats, a descending four note scale pattern, 11 g” to II d,” and an ascending interval leap of a perfect fourth, 11 d” to II g.” The DIRECTIONAL TONES and range are easy to calculate, 11 g” down to “d,” back up to “g.” The range is a perfect fourth. These are the memorable melodic features of Motif 1. But it’s the rhythmic, syncopated figures (EX. lE) which give Motif 1 its uniqueness and announce that “Peri’s Scope” is a jazz composition! I have found six different ways to break down Motif 1 into FIGURES. Can you find more?


Motif 2 is a development and repetition of the melodic and rhythmic figures of Motif 1. Compare EX. 2A with my analysis in EX. 2C. Bill’s V ARIA TI ON of the four note scale pattern results in a broken scale pattern in thirds. The interval leap of a perfect fourth he expands to a perfect fifth; that is, he leaped from “d” to “a.” The syncopation he shifts to the “and-of” 4, measure 3, and again on the” and-of” 3, measure 4. This last syncopated note of motif 2 is” g,” the same pitch that begins “Peri’s Scope”! And it’s also an eighth note! The rhythmic silence or space in measure 4 lasts for two beats, the same amount of rhythmic space that separates Motif 1 from Motif 2. Are these relationships accidental? I don’t think so. There is an inner “logician” at work here, the mind of the composer. Oh, yes, the range of Motif 2 is one octave.

Then in measure 5, Bill offers another VARIATION in the rhythmic pattern of measure three by introducing sixteenth notes and·a quarter-note triplet for the first time (EX. 3A). His ear immediately picks up on the sixteenth notes, so we get more of them in the very next measure! (EX. 3B).

With all of this incredible melodic and rhythmic far (measures 1-6), the DIREC­TIONAL TONES hint at monotony. Why? They all hover around the pitcli “g”! What does Mr. Evans do? He lets the” composer” step in, and in measure 7 he writes not one, but two” g­sharps,” the first chromatic note of the piece (EX. 4). How does he rhythmically treat these “g-sharps”? By holding the first one for one and one-half beats and syncopating the second one. This is breathtaking. It is in this measure that Bill reveals to us that he is inwardly singing. How does he reveal this? By following the” g#s” with six beats of rhythmic space: silence! Now he is able to make a new breath. And that is precisely how we can identify the end of one phrase and the beginning of another. Measures 1-8 comprise phrase one; measures 9-16, phrase two; measures 17-24, phrase three.

The syncopated FIGURE in measure 7 is not unique. It reappears in measures 13-16, the second part of phrase two, where Bill the composer fully exploit it (EX. SA), as the climax or high point of “Peri’s Scope.” It is the dotted quarter note, however, that is secretly exploited by alternate syncopation, i.e. every other quarter note is placed on the” and” of the beat. To make this clear in my analysis, I have rewritten these FIGURES in 6 / 8 meter (EX. SB). Because of this rhythmic complexity, the inner “logician” tells Bill to narrow the range. Now he has the opportunity to create melodic FIGURES on the intei:vals of a Major 2nd, minor 2nd, minor 3rd, and Major 3rd (EX. SC).

See Ex. 6 and 7 for further analyses of Motifs 1 and 2.

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Bill Evans Harmony Musical Analysis

The Harmony of Bill Evans (3a) “Time remembered” Harmonic analysis

The Harmony of Bill Evans (3a) “TIME REMEMBEREDHARMONIC ANALYSIS (with sheet music)

“Time Remembered” must have emerged from very deep within the musical mind of Bill Evans or, as he might have put it, from the “universal mind.” It is a composition that harmonically pays homage to the Modal period in music history, the sixteenth century that gave birth to Palestrina, Byrd, Caccini, Morley, Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, and Schutz.

The harmonies and progressions of “Time Remembered” suggest four modes or scales that formed the basis of many of the works of that period: the Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Aeolian. The Bach chorales of the sevente_enth century mark the transition from Modality to Tonality (major/minor system). We then had to wait three hundred years for a reincarnation of the modes in the compositions of Debussy and Ravel.

Bill knew these two Impressionistic masters inside and out, and in “Time Remembered,” he has compressed within 26 measures four hundred years of musical evolution from Modality to Tonality to Impressionism.

The unique thing about “Time Remembered” is the inconspicuous absence of the dominant 7th chord and its derivatives, the half-diminished and the full-diminished. When Bill had eliminated these, he was left with only major and minor chords. For this reason, the piece sounds impressionistic and modal.

He has met the challenge of writing a tune with only two harmonic qualities by introducing unusual root movements and by exploiting the use of the upper partials (9, 11, 13) in the melody. Let’s look at EX. 1 in which I have reduced the original to four parts. The root is always in the bass” The 3rd, 5th, and 7th, however, are voiced in a variety of ways, according to the new voicing categories that I will explain shortly.

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The original Bill Evans score of “Time Remembered” (EX. 2) is one of Bill’s most complex contrapuntal scores-. It’s equal in difficulfyto Bach’s Five-Part Fugue in C-sharp from Book One of the Well-Tempered Clavier. To help you to achieve a better legato, I have written a set of fingerings. Also, you might have a look at the Fugue. It’s a good preparator.y piece for “Time Remembered.”.

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Now look at EX. 1 and listen for the harmonic qualities of Ma7 or m7; observe the voicings; feel them in your hands. Now visualize the 5th omitted. What’s left? The root, 3rd, and 7th, of course: the three-note concept. By adding the 5th to all the chords in “Time Remembered,” Bill has quadrupled the voicing possibilities.

He has also created five new voicing categories. The voicings in measures 1, 2, 6, 9, 15, 25, 26, and 29, I call category” A”: the root, 7th, 3rd, and 5th. In measures 5 (third beat only), 10 and 18, the voicing is root, 5th, 7th, and 3rd. Let’s call this category “B.” In measures 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, and 21, Bill voices the chords root, 5th, 3rd, and 7th. We’ll name these the “C” voicings. Next we read root, 3rd, 7th, and 5th in measures 11 and 24. This will be the “D” voicing category. Lastly, in measures 3, 4, 5 (first beat only), 22, and 23, Bill uses block voicings. This makes up our fifth category, the “E” voicings.

To make it easier to follow this analysis, I have rewritten and organized EX. 1 by voicing categories. Refer now to EX. 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, and 3E (bar numbers under EX. 3A-3E indicate which measure(s) contains the voicing category. For example, bars 1 & 15 are examples of” A” voicings, etc.).

I have also written out all inversions appropriate to each voicing category. Exhaust all possibilities! That’s my motto. Bill did. He spent hours and hours practicing these fundamental four-part voicings, in every category, in root position and all inversions, and in all keys, until they were “second nature.” Nobody else since Art Tatum has had such an enormous voicing vocabulary “in the fingers.” And Bill has surpassed Tatum in this department owing to his broader knowledge of classical music, especially the music of Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky.

Now I will analyze in detail measures 7 and 8 from the original score. See EX. 4. Bill has written an Eb Ma13th resolving up a fourth to Ab Ma13th. Can you see the basic four-part seventh chord voicings and categories hidden in these seven-part chords? Not yet? Then look at EX. 4A.

Here I have isolated the basic four parts from the upper partials. (This is what the harmonic reduction in EX. 1 is all about). It is now clear that both chords belong to the “C” voicing category (See EX. 3C). Separated in EX. 4A, the upper partials now look like major triads. But they also-belong to the Eb and Ab Ma7 chords as the 9th,+ 11th, and 13th. H€re’s a simple rule to follow: by visualizing major triads superimposed one whole step above Ma7ths, you will learn to play seven-part Ma13th chords quickly. Such practice is also the first step toward thinking in polytonal relationships.

Now look at EX. 5, SA, and SB. In these examples, I have placed the upper partials of the EbMa13th with the inversions. Further experimentation will reveal other possipilities. Then you can do what Bill did: at the piano transpose your experiments to all keys until they are “in the fingers.”

In EX. 6 and 6A, my analysis of measure 6 from Bill’s original score (see EX. 2) follows the same procedure as in EX. 4 through SB. Only this time I have chosen the minor chord quality, which in this measure is a Gm13th.

Analyze each measure of Bill’s score in a similar manner and you’ll complete the harmonic picture of “Time RememberecL” By a careful study of all tl:!e chorg categories in this article, you will now have a method by which to work out the analysis of all Bill’s original scores on your own. Continue to experiment with all the chord categories from EX. 3A through 3E by placing the 9th,+ 11th, and 13th within the voicing of the basic four-part 7th chords that I have written out for you in these examples.

In the final example (EX. 8), I have written a seven-part voicing arrangement of “Time Remembered” based on all the principles discussed above and in the “Peri’s Scope” articles. Examine each measure and try to separate the basic four-part voicing by writing it next to my seven-part realization. Analyze the chord voicing category. I have worked out the first three measures for you (EX. 8, measures 1- 3).

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Bill Evans Harmony Musical Analysis

The Harmony of Bill Evans (3b) “Time remembered” Modal analysis

The Harmony of Bill Evans (3b) “TIME REMEMBERED” – MODAL ANALYSIS (with sheet music)

This analysis totally ignores the harmonic progression composed by Bill, in order to observe the theme as a complete entity; one that doesn’t need harmony to prove its existence.

In the Modal period (pre-Bach), polyphony reigned supreme; harmony was accidental and therefore not a factor in determining the form or length of a composition. The theoretical basis derived from this period was the MODES or scales: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, MixoLydian, Aeolian, and Locrian, all beginning on the pitch “c.”

After Bach, the modes disappeared, or rather, were swallowed up, allowing for a synthesis which gave birth to the major/ minor system and a theory of harmony based on 12 major and 12 minor scales ( called scales to differentiate between the pre-Bach Modal period and the Tonal post-Bach era). This tonal period lasted roughly 300 years before a new and higher synthesis-Atonality-came into being.

When a synthesis is reached, it always inherits the previous period. Inherent in the Tonal system is the Modal system; inherent in the Atonal system are both the Modal and the Tonal systems. Bill Evans was born with this awareness, and through his study of the Schoenberg harmony, counterpoint, and compositional books, he created his wonderfully rich composi­tions, full of the past and present and achieving a new synthesis: the conscious merging of classical music with jazz.

There is a term coined by Gunther Schuller: “Third Stream Music.” It means the synthesis of two streams, classical and ja,zz, to produce a third stream. Bill Evans’ compositions are Third Stream, and the following analysis of “Time Remembered” is an attempt to prove that statement true.
Here are eight examples that break down the theme into eight phrases (the measure lengths are altered slightly for Part 1 ).

Each example show how the theme expresses a mode based on the gravity caused by the succession of tones in each phrase. The clue lies in the Directional Tones in each phrase. In EX. lA, our ear retains (remembers) the opening “f#” at the arrival of the last note “b,” and identifies these pitches as the dominant or 5th note (f#) and tonic (1st note) of the B Aeolian mode.

Bill Evans sheet music harmony

The rest of the pitches in this phrase support this conclusion. “C#” is the super-tonic note, “a” is the leading tone, “e” the sub-dominant, etc. The high point on the pitch “d” links up with the” f#” and “b” to form a tonic B minor triad, but I must not use that to support my conclusion, since I stated above that this analysis is linear (horizontal) and not chordal (vertical)!

Our ear does, however, group (link) tones to form chords because it’s almost impossible to forget our 20th century inheritance: harmony! I have therefore included an analysis of what our 20th century ear picks up chord-wise in each example.

Looking at EX. lA again, you’ll see that my ear groups these pitches vertically to form a V7, 1 V7 & I chord (F#m7, Em7 & Bm triad respectively). The modes are very slippery and our ear could very easily shift the tonic to the pitch” e,” giving us an E Dorian mode. This is obvious because both the B Aeolian and E Dorian contain the same pitches. In the latter instance, my ear picked up the Directional Tone” e” (low point, and linked it with the “b” in measure 4, plus the opening “f#,” pulling me gravitationally to the “e” as a tonic note).

In each of the following examples, you must sing (and/ or play) the phrase as written; then sing the analytical sections above and below; then sing the modes; then repeat and repeat until your ear gravitates toward the tonic of each mode. It is entirely with_ill !he realm of probability that you will arrive at other modal conclusions, but rememoer, it is the Directional Tones-the high and low point in each phrase-that will support my conclusion. I’ll stand firmly on all of them! Ultimately, it should be child’s play when you finally sit down with thiswonderful composi­tion, “Time Remembered.”

bill evans sheet music imatge-69

Bill Evans Trio – Waltz For Debby: The Complete Pescara Festival (1969).


01. Emily (Marcer/Mandel)…(00:00) 02.A Sleeping Bee (Arlen)…(05:43) 03.Alfie (Bacharach)…(10:44) 04.Who Can I Turn To? (Bricusse/Newley)…(16:15) 05.Very Early (Evans)…(22:15) 06.’Round About Midnight (Monk)…(27:09) 07.Autumn Leaves (Kosma)…(34:09) 08.Quiet Now (Evans)…(39:19) 09.Come Rain Or Come Shine (Arlen)…(44:49) 10.Nardis (Davis)…(49:56) 11.Waltz For Debby (Evans)…(56:52).

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Bill Evans Harmony Musical Analysis

The Harmony of Bill Evans (2a)

The Harmony of Bill Evans (2a) PERI’S SCOPEHARMONIC ANALYSIS

“Peri’s Scope” is a perfect model to initiate a discussion of two-handed piano voicing principles that are root oriented. There are three rules or directions to follow:

  1. Use the root, third and seventh under the melody;
  2. Omit the fifth of the chord;
  3. For added, optional color, add a ninth, eleventh, or thirteenth

Observe in all of the examples that the root is always the bass note and above the root you place the third, seventh, and melody. The voice leading alternates-EX. 1: R (root), 3rd, 7th leading to R, 7th, 10th in measures 1 and 2; or R, 10th, 7th leading to R, 7th, 10th in measure 3- depending upon the root movement. In this tune the root movement is mostly down a fifth ( or up a fourth, i.e. II-V, III-VI of measures 1 & 2). I call this the diatonic cycle of fifths, and since “Peri’s Scope” does not modulate to another key, I rate it as a very imaginative diatonic composition for that reason. Bill had a composer’s ear for variety and learned how to effectively use secondary dominants (see measures 7, 8, 14, 15, 16 & 20). This makes Peri’s Scope a challenge to the improviser. The challenge is unique because you meet the secondary dominants in different ways and in different parts of the phrase.

For example, in EX. 2 below, the IIIx (E secondary dominant seventh) lasts for two bars (7 & 8) and it’s the climax of the first phrase of the tune. It’s very sudden. It jumps out at us.

Bill Evans Harmony sheet music

E7 (Sec. Dom.) E7 FMa7

From Bar 1 to 6 all we heard were diatonic chords in C Major, then “boom!”, we’re hit with an E713 for two bars. A real surprise. Look at EX. 2 and see and hear the colors:1 .E713, then E7b13, then E7 and finally E7+ 11 !!

At the end of the second phrase ( also eight measures), EX. 3 measures 14, 15 & 16, we meet three secondary dominants in a row, B713 to E9+11 to A713!!! The alterations on the Illx at measure 15 begin to look and sound like its tritone substitute, a B flat dominant seventh +5. It is at this point the improviser has a choice to use one or the other: an E913 or Bb9+5. Here the progression becomes chromatic if you use the Bb9 and remains diatonic if you use the E911.

In this second phrase, measures 14-16, the improviser has a choice to think diatonically by using B7 to E7 to A7, or chromatically B7 to Bb7 to A7. A chromatic progression is one in which the root of the chord lies outside the key signature of the tune. All others are diatonic progressions.

Bill Evans Harmony sheet music

In phrase three, at bar 20 of the final e1ght measures (EX. 4), we meet a secondary dominant for one-half of the measure only. It is the Vlx (A7b13) again on the 3rd and 4th beats. In Bill’s improvisation in this measure he plays B-flats, revealing to us that the chord on the downbeat of measure 20 is an E minor 7bs, a III half-diminished. It is only implied in this arrangement. The symbol for half-diminished is 0. The symbol x stands for secondary dominant.

In EX. 5, we can see at a glance how imaginatively Bill used the secondary dominants in different parts of each phrase. Here’s a look at the phrases by measure -number. – It will give you a quick overview of whererhe secondary dominants occur.

EX. 5 Peri’s Scope

Phrase One (measure s 1-8)

When I teach tunes, especially Bill’s, I always analyze the phrase structure first, then the key changes, if any (modulation principles), and then the use of secondary dominants, how they resolve and their duration. For example, the A7′ sat measures 16 and 20 resolve to the D minor chord, and we can infer that it is borrowed from the region or scale of D minor, which is only one flat removed from C Major, the scale or key of “Peri’s Scope.” In other words, the A7 suggests the key, the scale or “the region of” D minor, which is very closely related to the tonic key of C Major. I include in my thinking the relative major keys when discussing minor key relationships and relative minor keys when discussing major keys.

This sounds confusing, I know, but as I analyze other compositions by Bill, you’ll begin to grasp the principles I’m trying to explain. In fact, if you pick up the Theory of Harmony by Arnold Schoenberg, you will find out where Bill learned these principles and you’ll be able to follow my explanations more intelligently.

Now go back and look at EX. 2, measures 8 & 9. The E7 at measure 8 resolves to an F Ma7 at measure 9. This E7 is borrowed from the scale of A minor, the relative minor of C Major, and it resolves deceptively, i.e. V to VI, or up a half step” as if” it were in the key of A minor. These are important considerations when studying this tune in terms of its horizontal or linear implications. We know that E7 is the dominant of A Major and A minor. But we probably wouldn’t improvise on an A major scale at this point for two reasons: 1) the chords surrounding the E7 do not suggest a progression in A major, and 2) the resolution at measure 9 would have to be to an F# m7, the VI of A major, a deceptive resolution in the key of A major!

Let’s get back to the voicing concepts. In EX. 2, measures 7 & 8, the voicing of the E7 is root, 7th, 10th (or 3rd), and in measure 9, the F Ma7 and G7 voicings are the same (R, 7th, 10th) because the root movement is stepwise, lllx to IV to V. When progressions move by steps (IV-V or 11-111, etc.), you can often move or lead the voices parallel. This makes for smoothness and clarity in the rendition of the tune. Any song will lend itself to this treatment. I call this the 3-note voicing concept and I learned it from Bill’s model, “Peri’s Scope.”

In EX. 3, measure 14, the B7 is voiced root, 7th, 10th resolving to E7. The E7 here is the only voicing in our model that has no root. Or does it? I think Bill meant Bb7+5 at this point (last beat of measure 14). The B-natural in the bass was supposed to be a B-flat but was delayed to the next bar, measure 15, second beat. What do you think? If you accept my analysis, then the voicing to the Bb7 is parallel -R, 7th, 10th-and the resolution from Bb7 to the A7 in measure 16 is also parallel-R, 7th, 10th. Here’s a look at these three chords in isolation (EX. 6). Play them!

In EX. 7, measure 11, we see another variation in Bill’s voicings, and a very simple one at that. He reduces the left hand voicing to two notes: Rand 7th on the downbeat (D m7) and then R, 3rd on the third beat (G 7), while the melody in the right hand is harmonized in thirds. This gives us relief from the five part voicings in phrase one. 11} later performam:es of this piece, Bill changed measure 12 to Gm 7, C7, suggesting that the middle phrase (phrase two, measures 9-16) can be heard as a modulation to the key of F Major, a very closely related key to C Major, one fifth down and one flat away from C Major.

These root-oriented 3-note voicing concepts formed the foundation of Bill’s early style and permeated his later playing as you will see in my analysis of tunes like “B Minor Waltz.”
In EX.8, measures 20 & 21, we observe more variety, the block chord voicing with melody on top and bottom. Bill knew his jazz piano history. I heard him play Boogie Woogie and Teddy Wilson styles in 1951. The block chord influences are from Milt Buckner and George Shearing.

And Bill even knew how to “sit” on the quarter note a la Lester Young at measure 19 to make it swing in the old style ( EX. 9). Listen to Lester Young’s solos on “Taxi War Dance” or “Blue Lester” with the Count Basie Orchestra for the quarter note swing “feel.”

Notice the Boogie Woogie influence in the left hand of measure 19, the ultimate in sophistica­tion. Bill truly “ingested” all the jazz styles of the past and they appear spontaneously in his writing and playing in extremely subtle ways. As a student of composition in the 50s, he “ingested” all the classical music of the past. In 1951 I heard him sightread, at the piano, the orchestral score to Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” Of course, Bill’s intuition is at play here; this is a welcome relief from all that rhythmic displacement, tension and syncopation in the previous phrase (EX. 10, measures 13-16.)

I have made EX. 10 easier to learn: Lets look at my voicing-arrangement (EX. 11) to explain what I mean. What I did was to notate in 6/8 what Bill notated as rhythmic displacement. I have subdivided the beat and createdrour measures in 6/8outofBill’s three measures in4/4.

Bill may have conceived of this tune diatonically but his use of rhythmic displacement in phrase two makes the tune unmanageable for a beginner in improvisation unless_he “evens out” those measures (see EX. 5, measures 13-16). Each phrase has wonderful variety of harmonic color (the addition of 9ths, 11 ths, and 13ths ), and unusual phrasing ‘· in the melody and in the piano voicings.

To conclude the article and at the same time offer you a recapitulation of the 3-note concept, here are two examples I use in teaching the Blues in F. In EX. 12, which you can analyze for yourself, you will see that I connect the chords by observing the voice leading rules explained earlier in this article. Analyze also EX. 13 and observe the addition of one color tone (9,11,13) above each of the 3-note voicings. (I make students write as many variations as possible using the color tones). Try singing “Billie’s Bounce” melody while playing examples 12 & 13; or “Blue Monk,” or have a friend play and improvise with you.

EX. 14 is the opening theme from the “Concertina for Strings and Piano,” third movement, titled “Resurrection,”orchestrated brilliantly by Jack Six and premiered in December 1980, in Plainfield, New Jersey, Bill’s hometown. The Concertina is dedicated to Bill’s memory. In “Resurrection” you have a 3-note voicing arrangement of this very simple theme and yet it still sounds complete and satisfying. Incidentally, in this third movement, the piano soloist is called upon to invent variations on this theme, therefore the 3-note setting in the exposition of the movement creates a clear and solid statement of the theme. Bill was a master at arranging the opening chorus so as to set the mood for the listener in a positive and clear manner.

The final example (EX. 15) is an illustration of a more elaborate method of study for “Peri’s Scope” and all of Bill’s tunes, and in fact any tune, and that is to arrange the progression in 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 parts in half-note chorale style. Bill would write out three or four examples like this and then practice them in all keys. For “Peri’s Scope,” I used the 3-note concept, adding a fourth part chosen by” ear,” but notice that the soprano or top note I have chosen suggests or outlines the melody shown in the top staff. This is a good first step to get “inside” the tune. In the articles that follow, I will show many other procedures.

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Musical Analysis Bill Evans Harmony

The Harmony of Bill Evans (Part 1 – Introduction)

Table of Contents

    The Harmony of Bill Evans (Part 1)

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    Composing is the highest calling for a musician. Performing, whether it be interpreting or improvising, always takes second place. The musician in the 20th century, compared to one in the 16th century, is in a unique position; at his disposal are the great compositions of the past 400 years. The inheritance is prodigious. Bach didn’t have Mozart or Beethoven; Mozart and Beethoven didn’t have Brahms or Schumann; Schumann and Brahms didn’t have Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Boulez, Stockhausen, Carter, Bernstein, Gershwin, Copland, Barber, Ellington, or Bill Evans.

    Jazz music is a players’ (improvisers’) art. The written or composed parts used in jazz performances are always subservient to the solo (improvised) sections. The Herman Herds are memorable because of the soloists (improvisers). Stan Getz’s solo on “Early Autumn” will far outlast the song itself, as will Lester Young’s solos with the Basie band, Ben Webster with Duke, Earl Hines, and Charlie Parker. Jazz is most exciting and exhilarating when played by a soloist, or in a duo, trio, quartet, or quintet setting.

    In order to fully develop as an improviser, the jazz musician, like the classical musician, must also play in large ensembles. But the real commitment and challenge that faces the jazz player comes when he is alone with his instrument. He must sit (or stand) with that instrument and improvise hour after hour, day after day, year after year, with NO LET UP!

    He or she must be convinced that there will always be a deeper level of creativity that has not yet been tapped. He or she must have the faith of Saints that these deeper levels will be reached, sometimes by leaps but mostly in upward spirals. He or she must sense, feel, and visualize a light shining inside the body and mind that grows ever brighter as each new level is mastered; and only when that light completely engulfs one during a performance will he or she know the meaning of Joy: a joy beyond description, one that will be felt by all, and that Joy shall be called MAGIC.

    Bill Evans had Magic. He was a Magician on the highest plane of consciousness. He knew all music; all 400 years. He chose to-develop and express his Magic through the art of jazz improvisation. He made a name for himself both as a soloist and with his trio. He was an interpreter of the American popular song. His improvisations were based on the Blues, Song Form, and Free Form structures. Historians and musicians have already acknowledged him as one of jazz’s great innovators, but it may be a while before they rank him as one of America’s great jazz composers.

    The purpose of these analytical essays on Evans’ compositions, including his standard repertoire, is threefold:

    1. to give the jazz musician and the enlightened public insight into the compositional process;
    2. to inspire jazz musicians and the enlightened public to play and learn his music; and
    3. to reveal the depth and richness of his compositions, for they are organic, and therefore complete. There is absolutely no need to change a note, chord, or rhythm in any of his works. Evans never wrote a tune, a melody, or a riff over someone else’s chord progression. He did not consider that the art of composing. Nor do I.

    A composer worthy of the name conceives and hears ideas in his mind’s ear. These ideas will eventually be worked out on manuscript paper. A composer worthy of the name knows how to work these ideas on paper through a complete study of harmony, counterpoint, analysis, compositional forms, arranging, and orchestration. A composer worthy of the name is constantly developing and cultivating his sensitivity to the inner creative impulses so as to recognize them when they arrive. Then he/ she takes-makes!-the time to think, sketch, write, and experiment on manuscript paper so the ideas will find outer form. The composer worthy of the name then completes these sketches and experiments info full-blown composi­tions. A man I nominate worthy of the name COMPOSER, is Bill Evans.

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    by Sean Petrahn

    The shelves of all the major book stores house at least one volume devoted to the evolution of jazz, this uniquely American folk phenomenon. I will not attempt, therefore, to create a curriculum that necessarily complements or parallels the importance and influence of the leading figures of each era in jazz found in the history books. Rather, I shall boil it down to two major talents.

    The evolution of jazz from 1890 to 1980 can be summed up in the music of two pianists: Art Tatum and Bill Evans. They are the towering figures who will outlast, historically, the Jelly Roll Mortons, the Duke Ellingtons, the Bud Powells, and even the Lennie Tristanos.

    That is to say, in the year 2080, only these two names need be mentioned in a jazz history course, because they were the synthesis of all that came before and all that will ever come after. Both men absorbed the innovations of not only the lesser piano talents (mentioned above), but also of the horn players: the Armstrongs, the Beiderbeckes, the Prezes, the Birds, the Zoots, the Getzs, and the Coltranes, those other interesting yet inevitably lower talents who forged the melodic paths of the jazz improvised line. Art Tatum and, more so, Bill Evans, also absorbed the music of the Western classical world, from Bach to Schoenberg, and any analysis of their styles must bring this to the fore.

    What is it that makes jazz different from Western classical music? The answer is deceptively plain and simple. Jazz is almost totally improvised, while classical music is almost totally written down.

    Classical music is a composer’s art: even the greatest geniuses and fastest­working composers in history-Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioacchino Rossini, Franz Schubert, Frederic Chopin, Hector Berlioz, Richard Strauss-took hours, days, or weeks to compose even so much as one minute’s worth of music. And this is even true of those composers (Bach, Mozart, Chopin) who were known as great improvisers. Very little of their improvisations actually made it into their finished, published works; there was always some finishing or refining process that took place before their’-work went to the publisher.

    Jazz, conversely, developed as an improviser’s art. Despite the fact that there have been some very clever jazz composers and arrangers who formulated, in advance, introductions, main themes, bridges, and codas-Morton, Ellington, Eddie Sauter, George Handy, Thelonious Monk, and Charles Mingus spring immediately to mind-the principal interest in a jazz performance is not the pre-arranged formalities, any more than it is in a classical performance.

    The central crux of the listening experience is the manner in which themes are interwoven or developed. In classical music, this development is written down, while in jazz, it is improvised. There is no editing when you improvise; there is constant editing when you compose. In jazz, then, it takes exactly one minute to create one minute’s worth of music … and therein lies the excitement, the danger, of playing jazz as opposed to playing classical music.

    Despite this difference, there is ( aside from the fact that both utilize Wes tern musical forms and tonalities) one great similarity between the two musics. One learns to compose by imitating the best composers; one learns to improvise by imitating the best jazz improvisers. In other words, the quality of the present in music is always dependent, to some degree, on the quality of the past. It is implicit in this dictum that one learns how to p lay one’s instrument in a virtuoso manner, before one can imitate Art Tatum or Bill Evans. One must be able to read (play) the masterworks before one can learn composition. In this light what, then, is the proper curriculum for the jazz student? Should there be a curriculum at all? Well, yes and no.

    Let’s take a brief comparative historical look at Western music.

    Jazz began when classical music had exhausted itself, circa 1910 – 1913; and if we isolate the elements of music (melody, harmony, and rhythm), we can-by comparison, analogy, and metaphor-gain a clearer picture of what I’m saying.

    The modal (1100 – 1600 A.D.), tonal (1600 -1900 A.D.), arrd atonal (1900 – present) periods in Western music are arbitrary divisions that define and classify the way composers think, and organize their music. Each period created a synthesis of the previous one, and therefore generated more complex structures and vocabularies. This does not mean that I adhere totally to the Kantian principle of evolution, i.e., that for each new stage or period there is a logical progression into the next, therefore, making it more complex. The motets of Gesualdo (modal period) were more complex than, say, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (end of the tonal era).

    I like to think of each stage in musical evolution not as “progress” but as an unfolding gradually, layer by layer, of the total musical universe. A synthesis does create new problems in form, but also new possibilities.

    A composer living today has, indeed, much more to absorb and learn than one who lived in the 16th century, and therefore has greater demands placed on his artistic integrity in order to avoid rewriting the past. At the same time, however, he also has an enormous repertory from which to draw his inspiration. Each composer taps into a layer of the musical universe. The greater the genius, the clearer he translates his vision, and the greater demands he makes on the interpreter and listener.

    The jazz improviser is limited by his technique. There is not one fraction of a second hesitation while improvising, otherwise he loses the “flow.” It is a myth to think that an improviser hears internally more than he can play. It’s always the other way around: you only create ideas that can be executed with precision; otherwise, you would stutter and stammer, hopelessly. NO mistakes are made when one improvises this way: mistakes mean that you are not hearing an idea internally. The hand is the medium of the message.

    The secret is that you only play what you can conceive in your mind’s ear on the spur of the moment. Then improvising is easy, and technical development becomes the means to a greater end … and that greater end is ease, subtlety and eloquence in your playing.

    The jazz curriculum is divided into three stages:


    Each stage parallels the classifications mentioned above-modal, tonal, and atonal-with regard to the evolution of classkal-music. The Blues Form is modal, the Song Form is tonal, and the Free Form is atonal. This may appear an oversimplification, but categories and labels are necessary_when one decides to teach such a vast area of musical thought. I like to think of each stage as paralleling the history of the human race, from instinctive to-intellectual to the stage yet to come, intuitive.

    The student of jazz becomes reacquainted with this long process through the Blues Form (Instinctive), i.e. playing from the “gut” or solar plexus center. The Song Form engages the Intellect. This stage is more concerned with structure, key relationships, and harmony. The study of the Free Form (Intuitive) stage always comes last.

    The student, at this stage, should be a master improviser, his or her knowledge of the past now sunken into the unconscious mind, its function slightly analogous to a main-frame computer that stores billions of bits of information about a subject and its related topics (and subtopics, and subdivisions of subtopics).

    The student must then go through this experience, or rather process, from instinct to intellect to intuition, of improvising at each stage in the curriculum. For example, 1) he must try to improvise on the very basic blues structure-twelve bars, three scales, three chords-and in 4/ 4 meter, totally by instinct, i.e., “feeling his way through,” playing and making up melodies that sound good to him; 2) he must consciously learn and memorize the modes that can be applied to this basic twelve-bar structure, and on which he can experiment. This stage (and every stage) must be accompanied by listening to, and singing along with, the recordings of the improvisers playing the blues.

    This is eartraining and must also include the singing of the modes. 3) He must then “feel” and “know” that what was learned and memorized in Step 2 is second nature and fully absorbed by the unconscious. (I agree with Carl Jung that the unconscious mind is just as active, and probably more so than the conscious mind, and therefore continually digesting the information and readying it for use by the intuitive mind.) It is, in fact, in the unconscious mind that we develop understanding and wisdom. The sense or feeling of “second nature” cannot be defined, yet one knows it when it “arrives.”

    And you know it through your playing. At the intuitive level of improvising, one has the feeling that one is NOT doing the playing; that someone else has taken over your mind, and is using YOUR hands to make music.

    Bill Evans Master Class by Dave Frank

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    Musical Analysis Jazz & Blues Music


    Exercises Developed from Excerpts of a Keith Jarrett Improvisation on All The Things You Are“.

    Jazz educators tell students that transcribing solos will help them learn to improvise. It will certainly improve their ears if they are trying to hear the relationships of pitches in a phrase. It will do little to help their ears if they are using software to move the solo note by note and hunt and peck to find that note.

    Students often ask what they should do with the solos after transcribing them. Should they learn it note for note matching articulations. I can imagine this would be very helpful. But has playing non-jazz etudes and pieces note for note with correct style helped them with improvisation? Students who focus just on memorizing other’s work, whether it is jazz solos or classical pieces are typically the least prepared to improvise, even though they may have very well developed technique on their instruments.

    In order to improvise, one must get into the thinking behind the notes. That is difficult when dealing with memorizing a 128 measure solo. It might be easier when breaking apart shorter excerpts from that solo. One of my primarily classically trained students transcribed the first 36 measures of a Keith Jarrett improvisation over the chord changes to All the Things You Are from YouTube. She can probably sight read it at tempo, but is unable to improvise using the vocabulary.

    I suggested taking excerpts; breaking them down, applying them several places in the progression, finding ways to connect these excerpts, and through this process, develop vocabulary. Attention should be paid to appropriate jazz phrasing, articulations, accents and good time feel.


    Jarrett plays this simple line in the first measure of the form. It clearly lines up with the chord – a 5- 3-1 arpeggio idea with one passing tone, which could be expressed as a 5-3-2-1 pattern.

    Apply this fragment to the entire progression (only the first eight measures are shown). As the pattern becomes more familiar, try different rhythmic variations.

    Here is a line from m.2. It could be described as a descending arpeggio (7-5-3-1) with one pickup note or leading tone, and one passing tone.

    Apply this idea to the entire progression. Some rhythmic variations and displacements can disguise the repeated pattern and make it sound more organic.

    Jarrett plays this 3-5-7-9 arpeggio in m.4. In the tune itself, this chord is played as a major 7 chord.

    This is a very good exercise for connecting all the chords using a 3-5-7-9 arpeggio. These arpeggios can ascend, as in mm.1-2. Eventually, you will run out of range on your instrument. A solution is to invert the arpeggios as in mm.3, 5, and 7. Repeat the exercise exchanging where you play ascending or inverted arpeggios. Several kinds of rhythmic variations can be applied, including anticipation and delayed resolutions. This exercise follows outline no. 1 (see discussion below).

    Apply this arpeggio idea to the progression. Some of these excerpts may be too active to be played in every measure. It is a good idea to practice them in alternating measures. This reinforces a sense of stop and go in your phrasing. The example below plays the line in the odd measures and comes to rest on the 3rd in the even measures. (The connection of this idea resolving to the 3rd of the next chord is outline no. 2, discussed below.)

    Now play the 3rd in the odd measures with the line in the even measures.

    Jarrett’s line from mm.11-12 can be reduced to a simple line that connects the thirds of each chord. Jarrett also plays a 3-5-7-9 arpeggio that connects the octave leap from G to F. (This is outline no. 1, discussed below.)

    Practice the line for alternating measures as shown in the previous exercises. Odd to Even:

    Even to Odd:


    There are three common lines found in music from the Baroque period to the present. They may appear with out embellishment or may be highly figured. (I have written a book that deals exclusively with these structures: Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony, Hal Leonard, Inc.)

    Outline No. 1 connects the 3rd of one chord down to the 3rd of the next.

    Outline No. 2 begins with an ascending 1-3-5 arpeggio and the 7th resolves to the 3rd of the next chord.

    Outline No. 3 begins with a descending 5-3-1 arpeggio and the 7th resolves to the 3rd of the next chord.

    The three outlines are shown below for a G7 to C progression. The outlines are used anytime the chords progress down a fifth. Almost the entire progression for this piece is based on chords resolving down a fifth, so these basic outlines will be essential vocabulary.

    OutlineNo.1 OutlineNo.2 Outline No.3

    Jarrett strings two outlines together in mm.13-15. It is interesting to hear how Jarrett’s rhythmic displacement creates interest, but it is better to begin practicing them as they line up with the chords. When the lines become more familiar, experiment with displacement (both octave and rhythmic) and with various levels of embellishment.

    Jarrett Line Basic Outline No. 2 & No. 1

    Outline No. 2 applied to the progression using alternating measures.

    Even too odd:

    Jarrett Outline No. 1 Basic Outline No. 1

    Jarrett outline no. 1 idea sequenced through the progression using alternating measures. Odd to Even:

    Even to Odd:

    Jarrett plays a 3-5-7-9 arpeggio in m.17 followed by outline no. 2 in m.18.

    It may be easier to see as shown belowb. In the second setting below, a Bb replaces the An in the descending arpeggio over the D7. The B is more colorful and suggests chromatic voice-leading from the B .

    The basic 3-5-7-9 arpeggios are followed by outline no. 3 in the exercise below. A very basic shape is shown on the top line. The bottom line is more embellished and rhythmically interesting and may represent how it might be in an improvised solo. It is important to be able to play the basic shapes before attempting to embellish them.

    This exercise is the reverse of the previous one. This one begins with outline no. 3 followed by a 3- 5-7-9 arpeggio. The basic shapes are shown on the top line and more embellished and rhythmically active lines are shown on the bottom.


    Jarrett plays a simple triad shape in m.23. The basic idea is 3-5-1. Jarrett uses a neighbor tone group before playing the E.

    Upper neighbor tones are usually diatonic and lower neighbor tones are chromatic. A simple 3-5-1 arpeggio is sequenced below for the progression.

    Jarrett uses another 3-5-1 arpeggio in m.35, but begins with a neighbor tone group around the 3rd.

    Apply this idea to the progression. As it becomes more familiar, try other rhythmic placements of the line.

    The two neighbor tone groups could be combined in numerous other ways over any basic triad shape. Jarrett used a neighbor tone group around the root in m.23 and around the 3rd in m.35. The exercise below combines those groups and applies them to the progression.


    Jarrett plays an interesting embellishbmebnt #of outline no. 1 in mm.24-25. Jarrett’s embellishment calls.

    Basic Outline No. 1Shape Jarrett’s Embellishment

    This line is also useful resolving to major and may be applied to any of the V7 – I cadences in the progression.

    Writers keep journals. Jazz improvisers and composers should keep notebooks of simple and embellished lines as a way of cataloging, fostering and keeping track of creative growth. All of these exercises can be transposed and used in other standard jazz progressions. Many of these exercises can be combined with one another in interesting ways. (For instance, try using one of the triad patterns with neighbor tone groupings to lead to the altered dominant line, then using another variation of the triad pattern when resolving to the I or i chord.)

    All of these lines in Jarrett’s improvisation can be found in many other jazz solos, yet we can recognize his solos as uniquely Jarrett. As you internalize these common lines your own unique way of putting them together will emerge. Keep the metronome on and keep practicing!

    Find Keith Jarrett sheet music transcriptions in our Library.

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    JAZZ IMPROVISATION sheet music pdf

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    J.S. Bach Musical Analysis

    The Creative Development of Johann Sebastian Bach (1695-1717) Vol. I and II

    Table of Contents
    • The Creative Development of Johann Sebastian Bach Volumes I (1695-1717) and II (1717-1750) with ebooks and sheet music (available in our online Sheet Music Library
    • J. S. BACH short biography:
    • Bach’s music

    The Creative Development of Johann Sebastian Bach Volumes I (1695-1717) and II (1717-1750) with ebooks and sheet music (available in our online Sheet Music Library

    This book gives an account of the individual works of one of the greatest composers. The first volume of a two-volume study of the music of J. S. Bach covers the earlier part of his composing career, 1695-1717. By studying the music chronologically a coherent picture of the composer’s creative development emerges, drawing together all the strands of the individual repertoires (e.g. the cantatas, the organ music, the keyboard music).

    The volume is divided into two parts, covering the early works and the mature Weimar compositions respectively. Each part deals with four categories of composition in turn: large-scale keyboard works; preludes, fantasias, and fugues; organ chorales; and cantatas. Within each category, the discussion is prefaced by a list of the works to be considered, together with details of their original titles, catalogue numbers, and earliest sources. The study is thus usable as a handbook on Bach’s works as well as a connected study of his creative development.

    As indicated by the subtitle Music to Delight the Spirit, borrowed from Bach’s own title-pages, Richard Jones draws attention to another important aspect of the book: not only is it a study of style and technique but a work of criticism, an analytical evaluation of Bach’s music and an appreciation of its extraordinary qualities.

    It also takes account of the remarkable advances in Bach scholarship that have been made over the last 50 years, including the many studies that have appeared relating to various aspects of Bach’s early music, such as the varied influences to which he was subjected and the problematic issues of dating and authenticity that arise. In doing so, it attempts to build up a coherent picture of his development as a creative artist, helping us to understand what distinguishes Bach’s mature music from his early works and from the music of his predecessors and contemporaries. Hence we learn why it is that his later works are instantly recognizable as ‘Bachian’.

    In the second of this study of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, taking into account the vast increase in our knowledge of the composer due to the Bach scholarship of the last sixty years, Richard Jones presents a vivid and in some respects radically new picture of his creative development during the Cöthen (1717-23) and Leipzig years (1723-50). The approach is, as far as possible, chronological and analytical, but the author has also tried to make the book readable so that it may be accessible to music lovers and amateur performers as well as to students, scholars, and professional musicians.

    There are many good biographies of Bach, but this is the first, fully-comprehensive, in-depth study of his music making it indispensable for those who want to study specific pieces or learn how he developed as a composer.

    J. S. BACH short biography:

    Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he is generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

    The Bach family already counted several composers when Johann Sebastian was born as the last child of a city musician in Eisenach. After being orphaned at age 10, he lived for five years with his eldest brother Johann Christoph, after which he continued his musical formation in Lüneburg. From 1703 he was back in Thuringia, working as a musician for Protestant churches in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen and, for longer stretches of time, at courts in Weimar, where he expanded his organ repertory, and Köthen, where he was mostly engaged with chamber music.

    From 1723 he was employed as Thomaskantor (cantor at St. Thomas) in Leipzig. He composed music for the principal Lutheran churches of the city, and for its university’s student ensemble Collegium Musicum.

    Bach’s music

    From 1726 he published some of his keyboard and organ music. In Leipzig, as had happened during some of his earlier positions, he had difficult relations with his employer, a situation that was little remedied when he was granted the title of court composer by his sovereign, Augustus, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, in 1736. In the last decades of his life he reworked and extended many of his earlier compositions. He died of complications after eye surgery in 1750 at the age of 65.

    Bach enriched established German styles through his mastery of counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and his adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach’s compositions include hundreds of cantatas, both sacred and secular. He composed Latin church music, Passions, oratorios, and motets. He often adopted Lutheran hymns, not only in his larger vocal works, but for instance also in his four-part chorales and his sacred songs. He wrote extensively for organ and for other keyboard instruments. He composed concertos, for instance for violin and for harpsichord, and suites, as chamber music as well as for orchestra. Many of his works employ the genres of canon and fugue.

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    Throughout the 18th century Bach was primarily valued as an organist, while his keyboard music, such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, was appreciated for its didactic qualities. The 19th century saw the publication of some major Bach biographies, and by the end of that century all of his known music had been printed. Dissemination of scholarship on the composer continued through periodicals (and later also websites) exclusively devoted to him, and other publications such as the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV, a numbered catalogue of his works) and new critical editions of his compositions.

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    His music was further popularised through a multitude of arrangements, including, for instance, the Air on the G String, and of recordings, such as three different box sets with complete performances of the composer’s oeuvre marking the 250th anniversary of his death.

    THE BEST OF BACH Johann Sebastian Bach 1. Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046 Allegro (00:00) Adagio (4:43) Allegro (9:10) 2. Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048 Allegro (13:40) Allegro assai (19:11) Allegro (24:05) 3. Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049 Presto (31:42) Andante (36:37) Affettuoso (39:32) 4. Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 Allegro (45:02) 5. Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060 Allegro (50:38) Largo (54:59) Allegro (59:32)

    6. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: Menuet (1:02:35) 7. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068: Air on the G String (1:05:35) 8. Cantata BWV 147: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (1:10:07) 9. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 (1:13:32) 10. Harpsichord Invention No. 1 in C major, BWV 772 (1:22:23) 11. Harpsichord Invention No 8 in F major, BWV 779 (1:23:43) 12. Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: Badinerie (1:24:42) 13. Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach: Minuet in G major, BWV Ahn. 114 (1:27:24) 14. Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach: Musette in D major, BWV Anh.126 (1:28:59)

    15. Violin Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006: Bourée (1:30:06) 16. Sonata for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord, BWV 1028 (1:31:48) 17. Concerto in D minor, BWV 1059: 2nd Movt. (1:35:44) 18. Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010: Courante (1:38:54) 19. Cello Suite No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012: Gavotte (1:42:32) 20. Cello Suite No. 6 in D major BWV 1012: Prelude (1:46:42)

    Musical Analysis Jazz & Blues Music Keith Jarrett - The Art of Improvisation

    Keith Jarrett’s improvisional style in solo concerts

    Keith Jarrett’s improvisional style in solo concerts

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    You can’t keep things totally naked and totally free without there becoming some sort of method. I think if you talk to free players they’ll often try to justify their oeuvre over the years, if it’s all free, with some sort of methodology, and I’m not sure that that’s possible if it’s free. . . . But if you do it too often, [and] I can attest to this from solo concerts, architectures build themselves up over time, and they’re harder and harder to work around, and my challenge in solo concerts was . . . not to come up with good music I had come up with before.

    Keith Jarrett, interview by Alyn Shipton, BBC Radio 3, broadcast April 30, 2005, as part of a Jazz File series of programs on Keith Jarrett.

    In many of the contexts in which improvisation is practiced, it can be said—to borrow a phrase from Nicholas Cook—to be ‘‘relational.’’ Jazz musicians often talk of improvising ‘‘on’’ or ‘‘over’’ the form of a piece or ‘‘the changes,’’ and thus conceive of the act of improvisation in relation to pre-determined structures. This point holds true most especially for jazz which is dependent on song or blues forms, and there have been many analytical studies of improvisation as practiced in relation to such forms. But there is a substantial amount of music in the jazz tradition in which improvisation is not so strictly determined in relation to song structures and chord sequences.

    Such music ranges from the work of musicians associated with the free jazz movement (Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and Cecil Taylor, for example), to other slightly more contemporary examples (Anthony Braxton or John Zorn, for instance). In such contexts, it is not that there is an absence of compositional organization, but rather that improvisation is conceived to be less determined by traditional formal structures than in what might be called the conventional bebop model.

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    In this article, we’ll explore one such non-conventional context, pianist Keith Jarrett’s solo improvised concerts. While Jarrett himself has claimed that his improvisations avoid any structural planning, we examine a sense in which they employ certain stylistic models, or simply ‘‘styles.’’ This is not to suggest that there is anything pre-planned in these performances, but rather that the ‘‘architectures’’ which Jarrett talks of in the epigraph quotation above may come to function similarly to compositional organization. More specifically, Jarrett’s varied employments of ‘‘styles’’ provide parameters within which improvisation can be practiced.

    These architectures consist not only of a number of different styles, but also a large-scale progression through a sequence of particular styles, a device that also has important expressive implications. The epigraph comments by Jarrett also point to another aspect of improvisation in this context, which is a tension that exists between the natural tendency for repetition and the idea of improvisation as the province of the ‘‘unique.’’

    Improvisation is concerned with creation at the moment, and so improvisations are regarded as singular products of their moment of creation. Jarrett articulates a desire to avoid the architectures of which he talks, but he also acknowledges the power they can come to hold for the improviser. This suggests that improvisers may employ strategies which
    attempt to counteract these tendencies towards repetition.

    This interpretation is suggested by John Corbett, who views the idea of risk as an inherent condition in free improvisation, suggesting that improvisers play in order to ‘‘risk the unknown.’’

    While we’ll explore some architectural devices of Jarrett’s solo impros, we’ll also examine an instance which might be understood as an attempt to work against those structures, perhaps testifying to this aesthetic of risk.

    Keith Jarrett began performing solo piano concerts in 1972. Many commentators have seen this venture as representing the adoption of an epic perspective into jazz. This reading can be seen, for instance, in the writings of TedGioia, who characterized Jarrett’s solo piano concerts as ‘‘titanic improvisations.’’ Similarly, Frank Tirro thought these performances were emblematic of a ‘‘grandiose dimension’’ in jazz. Jarrett was certainly
    not the only musician pursuing such a course. As Gernot Blume has discussed, Anthony Braxton had released a number of solo saxophone recordings by 1972, and pianist Cecil Taylor had even begun performing solo concerts in the late 1960s.

    In addition, over the space of a year between 1971 and 1972, the German ECM label recorded albums of solo piano music by Jarrett, Paul Bley, and Chick Corea. The result of Jarrett’s session, Facing You, has often been described as a kind of blueprint for the solo concerts. If the scale of Jarrett’s concerts—in which he would improvise an entire performance of solo piano music—seemed to tend towards the epic, the German ECM label’s releases of recordings of these performances signalled a correspondingly weighty undertaking.

    The first release, Solo Concerts (1973), was spaced across three LPs, while the ten LPs of the Sun Bear Concerts (1976) provoked charges of egotism in some quarters.

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    In terms of his artistic aesthetics, Jarrett’s solo concerts were intimately linked to many contemporary avant-garde performance ideals. The ‘‘new thing’’ associated with musicians like John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, and Ornette Coleman during the 1960s, was a philosophy as much as a musical style. The religious ideals which Coltrane and many other musicians espoused drew their roots not only from a rekindling of the sense of black identity which was an integral part of 1960s black politics, but also from the ideals of the counterculture.

    This upsurge in religious rhetoric had essential ties to music making. The result of the connection musicians made between spiritual ideals and music resulted in a conceptualization of performance as a spiritual quest. One of the most famous models of this concept is found articulated through John Coltrane’s seminal 1964 recording, A Love Supreme.

    The way in which Jarrett articulated his aesthetic stance in the liner notes to the first recorded solo concert releases from 1973 establishes a direct connection to this ideology: ‘‘I don’t believe that I can create, but that I can be a channel for the Creative. We do believe in the Creator, and so in reality this is His album through me to you, with as little in between as possible on this media-conscious earth.’’

    While couched in terms typical of those used by many jazz musicians of the time, this creative philosophy has in Jarrett’s case found a very particular dramatic manifestation in the solo concerts. At these events, Jarrett often lectured audiences on the risks involved in this creative endeavor, the result of which contributed much to the dramatic spectacle of these performances.

    The extended scale of the solo performances is directly related to this creative aesthetic, especially through the manner in which the process of improvisation is itself foregrounded in the performances. In Jarrett’s case, the idea of extended form is a consequence of predicating the entire musical ethos of such performances on the unhindered obeyance of the improvisatory process.

    That is to say, the solo concerts extend the kinds of ideals of self-actualization and spiritual quest present in free jazz, while making such extended performances a virtue through which the very process of creation takes center stage. It is from this particular perspective that we want to consider Jarrett’s solo piano improvisations, a context in which the whole cultural import of improvisation comes to take center stage.

    Styles in the Solo Concerts

    Not so long ago, pianists used to fit comfortably into bags. You either played funk or you played free, right-handed ‘‘trumpet’’ style or locked-hand block chords. Keith Jarrett does all these things.

    Bob Palmer, Rolling Stone, 197217

    As the above assessment of Keith Jarrett’s 1972 solo piano album, Facing You, suggests, when Jarrett emerged as a major voice on the jazz scene towards the end of the 1960s, his individuality was perceived to stem from the manner in which his voice incorporated many diverse facets of the jazz vocabulary. This notion of Jarrett as the musician who speaks in different musical dialects has emerged as one of the most important themes in writings on the pianist.

    A prime example can be seen in the work of the musicologist Gernot Blume, who describes Jarrett as a musician who ‘‘traverses a wide musical terrain in pursuit of a variety of styles, traditions and forms of expression.’’ Nowhere is this theme more prominent in both critical and scholarly writings on Jarrett than in relation to the solo concerts. David Ake’s recent discussion of Jarrett serves as a good illustration.

    In his 2002 book, Jazz Cultures, Ake talks of the ‘‘distinct categories’’ which can be heard in the solo concerts, including ‘‘a seamless blend of quasi-Romantic rhapsodies, diatonic folk-like passages, ‘free’ counterpoint, angular atonality, extended techniques (plucking or strumming the piano strings, striking the frame, etc.), and protracted ostinatos.’’

    This kind of description of Jarrett’s performances extends throughout reviews of the solo concerts. For example, in 1982, the critic John Fordham noted that Jarrett’s ‘‘favorite devices are rolling gospelly figures over which the right-hand swerves and wreathes, harp-like slow pieces, baroque semi-classical interludes and—on this occasion—such a trancelike
    flight into soul music that you felt he was about to ascend into the tastefully stripped pine roof of the hall.’’20 Similarly, in 1977, the critic Richard Williams claimed that Jarrett was ‘‘the most consonant of players and his unbroken episodic ramblings consist in the main of extemporised ballad melodies which flirt with preciousness, hard-hammered sequences derived from black church music (rhythmically vivacious but harmonically tedious).’’

    While the sheer diversity of the reference points cited here is inevitably of interest, what is of particular note is the way in which the language used imbues the styles mentioned with a structural significance. There are ‘‘pieces’’ and ‘‘interludes,’’ terms that have a structural significance. These writers clearly hear styles as instantiated in identifiable passages of music, which form constituent parts of the improvisations.

    Jarrett’s improvisations appear to inhabit a musical world which can be mapped out in terms of specific stylistic reference points. Gernot Blume’s view of this aspect of Jarrett’s music is worth quoting here, since it identifies the sense in which Jarrett’s improvisations seem to listeners to invoke convention:

    Jarrett recreates a set of repeatable procedures and formulaic practices that reinstate the effects of idiomatic delineations. He has to create a style out of his mélange of styles to communicate to his audiences within an identifiable conceptual framework. Such a framework of conventions instills in the listener a feeling of familiarity with Jarrett’s music, an element of recognition and understanding of his structural devices and artistic prerogatives. (Blume, Musical Practices, 114–15)

    Understanding Jarrett’s improvisations seems to necessitate understanding the conventions and styles which Blume refers to, essentially identifying a series of reference points from which to map out the territory within which Jarrett operates.

    In many ways, this is a surprisingly traditional approach. In fact, it is little different from Leonard Ratner’s theory of musical topics in the Viennese Classical tradition. Harold Powers has described this concept of musical topics in the following manner:

    Each topic either implies or characterizes a recognizable feature of music from a particular social context. The topics are terminological tags naming kinds and manners of music familiar to a particular society of musical consumers. They are the verbal equivalents for items in a musical vocabulary.

    Harold Powers, ‘‘ReadingMozart’s Music: Text and Topic, Syntax and Sense,’’ Current Musicology 57 (Spring 1995), 5–44.)

    From this perspective, those descriptions of Jarrett’s playing make absolute sense; they identify commonly understood elements in Jarrett’s musical language and label them in stylistic terms, much as the topics which Ratner found in the music of Mozart and Haydn. Just as the ‘‘manners’’ of music that Ratner identified formed constituent parts of a compositional language, so Jarrett’s styles are constituent parts of the language which he brings to these improvisations. Topical theory also points out that these topics, or styles, can prove to be the very things through which music means— or, rather, the nuts and bolts of an expressive language.

    Jarrett’s improvisations have meaning because so much of his music is heard as a reference to other musics. Two qualifications are necessary at this point before proceeding any further. First, the styles we want to consider reflect my work on a specific period of Jarrett’s recordings, namely those made in 1973 and released on the LP Solo Concerts. It is unrealistic to imagine that Jarrett’s playing would not have developed over a number of years, but we do not examine these developments in this limited article. Second, it is not my intention to attempt an exhaustive classification of Jarrett’s improvisations into a series of different styles.

    Part of the reason we adopt the term ‘‘style’’ rather than ‘‘topic’’ has to do with how such classes can be identified in a piece of music. Much of the application of topical theory to music of the eighteenth century has been able to specify very clear-cut divisions between the presentation of different topics. However, in Jarrett’s music this is simply not the case, as will become clear in the following discussion where we identify and explore three particular styles.

    Ballad Style

    The term ‘‘ballad’’ has a very distinct meaning in jazz aside from its connotations in terms of other musical traditions. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz describes a ballad as ‘‘a slow sentimental lovesong . . . [T]hey are performed at a relaxed tempo, in a soft intimate style, and lack the rhythmic drive and intensity of four-beat jazz. The word is often used, loosely, of any slow piece, regardless of its form, style, or subject matter.’’

    (Robert Witmer, ‘‘Ballad,’’ in The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, ed. Barry Kernfeld (London: Macmillan Press, 1988; reprint, New York: St. Martin, 1995), 55–56.)

    As this definition suggests, jazz musicians generally take a rather different approach to a ballad than to an up-tempo piece. By definition, ballads lack the propulsive swing feel of a faster tune. At the same time, melodicism also plays a particularly important role. Many jazz musicians additionally place an emphasis on empathizing with the sentiment of the lyrics of the original song when playing a ballad.

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    The musical extract in Example 1 comes from the opening of the 1973 Bremen concert, as released on Jarrett’s Solo Concerts album.

    One of the most immediately distinctive features of a Jarrett ballad is seen in the piano figuration, in which the melodic line in the right-hand part is supported by broken-chord and arpeggiated figures in the left. The left-hand figures never settle into one particular figurative pattern, but instead shift between a number of different types of formations.

    A Jarrett ballad also has a distinct rhythmic approach, drawing in part on the kind of rhythmic license granted to musicians playing a ballad in a group context, or perhaps the sort of approach a pianist would take in improvising a solo introduction. Ballad passages are full of rubato playing, whereby the length of the beat expands and contracts to create a subtle sense of ebb and flow. Rubato is not employed to give particular poignancy to phrase endings or cadential points, but rather permeates the
    entire passage.

    This sense of flexible time also applies to the harmonic motion in this case. In performances of a jazz standard with a rhythm section, the chord changes generally move at a regular rate, usually in measures or half-measures. In a Jarrett solo ballad though, the rate of change varies subtly; there is a continual expansion and contraction of the period between each change in Example 1, resulting in a fluid harmonic rhythm.

    A ballad also inhabits a very particular kind of world, one that is distinguished by largely familiar and conventional types of short-term harmonic progressions. There are many ii-V or ii-V-I patterns, harmonic building blocks, which are a formative part of the jazz language. On a larger scale, Jarrett’s ballad passages avoid establishing a tonal center, always breaking off to move in a new direction as soon as any cadential
    inference might be drawn.

    In Example 1, for instance, the opening A minor chord (with a phrygian inflection—a distinctive Jarrett trait) functions as the starting point for a series of harmonic excursions, which foray ever further away from the point of departure.

    Thus, the first segment moves through a ii-V-I progression to B-flat at bar 6, and then back onto A minor at bars 8-9. The following passage moves further afield, through C major, and then a sequence of descending progressions lead through flat keys (E-flat and D-flat) onto C, and then quite suddenly onto A-flat. While this opening A minor chord serves an important function as a launching point for these harmonic excursions, it never acts as a tonic key in a functional sense.

    It is evident from Jarrett’s solo concert recordings that ballad passages seem to play a particular role at the opening of improvisations, and this also has expressive implications. Given what we have called the foregrounding of improvisation at the heart of the spectacle of the solo concerts, ballad passages seem to represent the opening of an improvisation in a very specific way.

    These harmonic excursions we have referred to, and the particular way in which a ballad circles around certain diatonic areas while abstaining from establishing a tonic, are all musical features which performative enact the process of improvisation. As listeners, we are drawn to hear such musical features as indicative of the creative process; the gradual unfolding of a
    ballad represents, for example, an improviser gradually constructing a musical world in which to work. The key term here is ‘‘representation.’’

    We are not trying to suggest in any literal phenomenological sense that we can gain access to the process of improvisation through the music, but rather that we hear a certain representation of that process in the music.
    Folk Ballad Style While we located the Jarrett ballad style in terms of certain precedents in the jazz tradition, the style that we term a ‘‘folk ballad’’ indicates the extent to which the musical language of the solo concerts extends its generic reference points rather wider. With a folk ballad passage, there is a certain convergence between Jarrett’s language and the genre of folk-rock prevalent during the 1960s, as exemplified particularly by the music of Bob Dylan.

    As Gernot Blume has discussed, the nature of this influence is nowhere clearer than on Jarrett’s 1968 album Restoration Ruin, which was an attempt (although a rather unsuccessful one) to present his multi-instrumental talents in a context much closer to that of singer/songwriter than jazz musician.

    As Blume points out, in this process, Jarrett has notably absorbed
    influences from specific music styles into his own voice. Folk ballad episodes are characterized by a particular kind of piano figuration,
    consisting generally of arpeggio-like, broken-chord patterns in the left hand, usually employing roots, fifths, and sometimes tenths as well. This kind of left-hand pattern is very much redolent of piano figuration from the classical repertoire, but equally it can be heard as analogous to a guitarist’s arpeggiated chordal strumming.

    Unlike a ballad, this type of figuration is coupled to a steady pulse, resulting in a feel of straight eighth notes. Folk ballad passages take a very different harmonic approach from Jarrett’s ballad passages, employing diatonic triads free from the extensions and alterations typical of ballad style. Example 2 shows the opening of a folk ballad episode from the Lausanne concert, with the establishment of left-hand figuration coupled to a sequential harmonic motion: B-flat major – C major – D minor – C major.

    This particular harmonic pattern is one which occurs again and again in the solo concerts, with the distinctive trait being a sequential move from a major chord to the minor chord a third above, or vice versa. Also, typical for a folk ballad passage is that while B-flat is established as the ‘‘home’’ chord, the modality is actually F major, something which becomes clearer later in the passage.

    Jarrett jazz sheet music

    Much like a ballad passage, there is always a strong emphasis on melody in a folk ballad episode, but the sense of phrasing is quite different. The regularity of the underlying harmonic motion (in contrast to that in a ballad passage) is matched by a melodic approach which stresses working out a simple melodic idea. In this instance, bars 2 and 3 of the excerpt are played as two separate but neatly matched phrases, with the following two bars comprising an answering phrase doubled in length.

    While later on in the passage, Jarrett spins the music off into harmonic and figurative patterns more expansive than this opening, the strong impression of order given by the establishment of this passage contrasts sharply to the ballad style.

    In the context of the solo concert from which it comes, this particular folk ballad passage follows on from a ballad passage which has lasted some four minutes. By placing the folk ballad after this exploratory opening ballad passage, an expressive significance becomes clear. We have suggested that the ballad episodes that so typically open a Jarrett improvisation express a gradual unfolding, which in many ways mirrors our sense as listeners of the improvisatory process; the growth in confidence and increasing assurance with which musical risks are taken.

    In his study of the late music of Beethoven, Robert Hatten suggests that topics in the classical tradition can articulate dramatic oppositions, and he focuses in particular on the idea of ‘‘expressive genre.’’ As he describes them, these genres are ‘‘based on . . . [and] move through, broad expressive states oppositionally defined as topics in the classical style.’’

    In other words, expressive effect arises from the juxtaposition of topics, and the progression from one to another. The progression from ballad to folk ballad style is what might be called an expressive genre in Hatten’s terminology. It marks out a change in musical state, from what might loosely be described as unstable to stable.

    This progression is one which is particularly characteristic of Jarrett’s solo concerts and seems to constitute a long-term strategy, whether borne of habit or careful planning.

    Blues Vamp Style

    Jarrett is well known for employing one particular type of stylistic passage in his solo concert performances: long vamp-driven sequences. Vamp passages have none of the more conventional harmonic or rhythmic progressions typically found in a Jarrett ballad. This vamp-based aspect of Jarrett’s conception is one which surfaces in a whole variety of musical contexts beyond the solo concerts, and his use of this texture extends from his time with Charles Lloyd towards the end of the 1960s, through
    groups now known as the ‘‘American’’ and ‘‘European’’ bands, to his longstanding trio with Jack DeJohnette and Gary Peacock. Blues vamps are one particular subset of the wider category of ostinato passages as they occur in the solo concerts.

    These passages are vamp-driven, while containing strong blues stylistics through dominant-seventh harmonies and other typical blues inflections (flattened third and fifth degrees, for instance). The other subtypes of ostinato passage tend towards either diatonic or other kinds of modal configurations, both types of which are also evidenced on these 1973 recordings.

    We use the term ‘‘vamp’’ instead of ostinato for a particular reason. While there is generally some form of repeated figure used in these passages, Jarrett varies such figures extensively, and they can take a number of different forms while still retaining a recognizable identity. The vamps that Jarrett employs in these passages exemplify a particular aspect of his playing, namely the ability to generate a strong rhythmic momentum by creating a texture of sometimes three or more distinct voices.

    In the instance shown in Example 3, the vamp consists of an F-C7 progression, moving every half bar, and this progression is retained throughout this passage. The lower right-hand part generally works within the pentatonic grouping C-D-E-G-A, while the left hand quickly develops a distinct rhythm which counterpoints the motion in the right hand. In passages such as this one, the rhythmic feel Jarrett employs is much closer to a straight feel than a triplet-based swing approach.

    keith jarrett jazz transcription sheet music

    The criticism most commonly levelled at the vamp-based aspects of Jarrett’s playing hinges on a kind of stasis texture in which little seems to change. In a 1977 review, for example, Richard Williams remarked that Jarrett’s improvisations included ‘‘lengthy spells during which inspiration deserts him, and he merely toys with a simple vamp until a new idea arrives.’’

    These kinds of criticisms center on absence, and primarily on an absence of harmonic development and rhythmic variety. As much as anything, Williams’s comments betray a rather antiquated and narrow aesthetic notion of music. What is explicit in Williams’s case is the idea that musical stasis equates in some way to a stasis in the creative process. The logical
    conclusion of such an argument might seem to be that the rate of development of new ideas in an improvisation can be taken as a sure indicator of the level of inspiration at which the performer is operating.

    This view is hardly an acceptable way of evaluating improvisation. As we’ll suggest, blues vamp passages in the solo concerts can be understood as expressive in a much richer sense than Williams’s comments might suggest.
    The essential quality to these passages in the solo concerts is ‘‘groove.’’ We use the term groove here as indicative not only of a certain kind of musical phenomenon (repeated patterns rhythmically articulated in such a way as to create a strong forward momentum) but of a physical, bodily experience.

    This physical attachment is easily seen by watching musicians playing almost any groove-based music, and by observing the wide variety of ways in which groove is expressed physically in the experience of music, whether through dancing or tapping of feet. Steven Feld talks of how ‘‘getting into the groove also describes a feelingful participation, a positive
    physical and emotional attachment. . . . A groove is a comfortable place to be.’’

    In her 1996 book, Saying Something: Jazz Improvisation and Interaction, Ingrid Monson talks of the emotional and interpersonal aspects of the way jazz musicians talk about groove. She draws specific attention to the idea that playing in the groove is almost like letting the music ‘‘play itself.’’

    In his performances, Jarrett’s body tends to reinforce this idea of groove as physically-grounded, through motions which may articulate pulse (the tapping of feet, sometimes against the sustain pedal of the instrument) or may instead seem to represent the experience of the performer (standing up from the piano stool). In the latter case, these physical gestures can be
    viewed as outward manifestations of interior states. We have discussed these aspects of Jarrett’s playing at length elsewhere, suggesting that they are crucial to the expressive effect of his music.

    Understood in this sense, a vamp passage in Jarrett’s music may be static harmonically, and apparently show little of the onward momentum and
    exploration of a ballad, but the groove enacts a physical engagement between improviser and music. Indeed, it specifically expresses a quality of exhilaration.

    Conformity and Transgression: Hearing the Improvised

    So far we have explored some patterns in Jarrett’s solo improvisations which may be akin to the architectures mentioned in the epigraph quotation at the outset of this article. One particular architecture is of concern here—that is, the progression of styles which forms an expressive genre in the sense we indicated earlier. This particular progression occurs in many of the solo concert recordings, although not always in quite the same form as in the Lausanne concert, which we’ll discuss here. In the first part of the Lausanne concert, this progression moves from a ballad passage at the outset, through a folk ballad episode (which we discussed briefly above in Example 2), and then into a blues vamp passage (my Example 3 above).

    This is naturally a reductive kind of description, and certainly the musical trajectory is not quite as linear as this might imply. When expressive considerations are taken into account, this progression through styles represents a move from harmonic/rhythmic uncertainty towards the stability and affirmation of the groove.

    The moment in this improvisation which particularly interests me lies just after the end of that progression; the move from the blues vamp into a more open rhapsodictype section. While a groove may be expressive of a kind of physically-grounded exhilaration, it also has clear musical boundaries. Harmonic and rhythmic stability creates expectations; it creates a very clear sense of what the normative is. Any musical element which does not fall within these normative boundaries will be highly
    marked, and heard as somehow ‘‘outside.’’

    For the improviser, this can mean that a groove such as this blues vamp may be hard to break out of, specifically because of the expectations that it creates. Does the improviser simply stop and abandon the groove, or does he attempt to gradually subvert or transform a part of the texture in order to effect a transition of sorts? For the listener, the presence of these boundaries may actually heighten the expectation of change after a time; they may come to speculate on the potential difficulty of effecting a move away from this area.

    As shown in Example 4, at 99 390 (some two-plus minutes into the vamp passage), the left hand starts playing ascending scales in octaves, with the use of a little sustain pedal blurring the texture. While the vamp is based on F and C chords, this ascending line employs an F Lydian mode. The result is that the sharpened fourth degree (B natural) in this line clashes with the B-flats which sometimes appear in the vamp.

    This ascending line also disrupts the vamp in rhythmic terms. The bass line has a kind of stuttering effect, created by the distance between each step changing between a dotted eighth note and a quarter note. The dotted eighth division is the more used of the two, while the right hand retains a quarter-note division of the 4/4 bar. This device creates a kind of temporal dissonance, as if the two hands are playing at different speeds. The disruption of the groove seems to cause the whole vamp passage to disintegrate.

    This effect becomes particularly obvious as the right-hand patterns begin to fragment into isolated chords and single notes. After some time, these patterns settle into a dotted eighth-note division (towards the end of Example 4), which aligns to the tempo being articulated in the left hand. It is as if this rhythmic conflict is settled in favor of the dotted eighth-note pulse. Even from this point onwards, the direction seems unsure. A little later, the right-hand lines become blurred with the use of the sustain pedal as the notes meld into a wash of sound.

    There is an obvious musical tension in this passage between the rhythmic and harmonic function of the left-hand lines and the vamp figures in the right hand. In terms of the normative musical strategies of Jarrett’s vamp style, this left-hand line stands out as decidedly other. It challenges the harmonic and rhythmic primacy of the vamp by confrontation, rupturing the figuration of the ostinato.

    The musical implications of this intrusion seem considerable; the left-hand lines derail the whole momentum of the groove, resulting in the disintegration of the musical fabric. The drama of this particular passage stems from more than just the musical effect of this clash between the two parts. Those left-hand lines represent a physical intrusion into the music.

    In contrast to the rest of the blues vamp where the left hand remains in
    essentially the same position over the keyboard, it now moves in a completely different way, ascending and descending in irregular cycles. Those continuing octave ascents threaten to encroach on the very territory still guarded by the right hand. The key point is this: at this moment, the improviser is heard to intrude into the musical discourse, forcing the improvisation in a new direction by disrupting the rhythmic momentum of the vamp.

    jarrett jazz sheet music

    This example represents what we’re going to call a moment of ‘‘transgression.’’ The transgression is a breaking of the normative expectations of the vamp. This device is heard as a clear and intentional disruption to the flow of the music. It is a kind of dramatic rhetorical gesture in which the scaffolding that holds the music together is
    dismantled, or rather swept deliberately aside. This gesture might be understood to represent what the critic John Corbett calls a quest for ‘‘reterritory,’’ or, rather, a deliberate courting of the unknown by rejecting the familiar. The result is that at this moment the presence of the improviser comes to the foreground.

    In other words, the musical intrusion of the left hand into the vamp functions as a sign of the intrusion of the improviser into the music. This is significant in a number of respects. First, in the solo concerts, Jarrett encourages the audience to make a considerable investment in the performance, emphasizing their role as participants and not just observers. Jarrett has often emphasized that this investment relates to the risks he
    takes when performing in this context.

    Second, there is the ideology out of which the solo concerts come. As explained earlier, this ideology leans towards a romanticized conception of performance as motivated by an external, higher source of inspiration. Taken in this way, the presence of the improviser in the music at this
    point accentuates the aesthetic of risk, and it points attention away from a
    romanticized conception of improvisation, towards a more physically-grounded performer-centred one. Indeed, this might even be considered as a kind of ‘‘breaking of the spell’’; the presence of the improviser at this moment shatters any illusions that this music exists beyond the physical body that produces it.

    We suggested that the analysis of Jarrett’s solo improvisations and their
    underlying architecture might involve the identification of the fundamental stylistic templates which he appears to draw on. These templates seem to function as something akin to what Jeff Pressing calls ‘‘referents,’’ as they serve to provide parameters which guide the generation of music.

    By using styles in recognizable figuration and progressions, Jarrett sets up patterns which not only create expressive effects, but which can then be transgressed in order to convey the taking of risk. Because of a performance context in which the spectacle of improvisation takes center stage, this music is heard to be improvised, and is heard as a reflection of the creative process itself.

    For this reason, moments of transgression may have particular dramatic impact and are likely to be perceived as representing Jarrett leaving behind the familiar in favor of the unknown. In order to study forms of improvised music such as this, it is perhaps necessary to construct an analytical strategy which is capable of dealing both with conformance and digression, and to recognize the expressive effects that music like this can have.

    Keith Jarrett – Tokyo Solo 2002 Encores

    Musical Analysis Did you know?

    APPROACHING PIAZZOLLA’S MUSIC: an analysis of his music and composition styles (2/2)

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    Milonga del ángel

    As for Soledad, Milonga del ángel has the milonga rhythm as a basis more or less throughout the entire piece. Except for the middle section, the primary melody is repeatedly presented.

    Consequently, the element that is processed is not the melody; instead, it is of more interest to study the contexts of which the melody is placed.

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    The articulations between the sections are characterised by a continuous flow, and there is no dominant chord that prepare for their arrival; however, the sections are still smoothly merged.

    The first primary section (P) establishes the harmonic environment and presents the primary melody twice. Furthermore, the secondary section (S) starts with modulating sequences and then continues with a part that is reminiscent of P. The last section is more or less a recurrence of the first section, although with a more refined environment. As with Soledad, it
    is possible to read the large scale structure as an ABA structure. In fact, these two milongas are rather similar in large and middle scales respectively.

    In the introduction (O), the motivic chord gesture that opens every subsection, except for T and 2T, is presented. Letting this gesture end the O subsection smoothly merges the O and P subsections; thus, the subsections overlap each other.

    The changes of key areas between subsections enter without fifth motions in the bass line. Instead, the changes are characterized by ascending chromatic motion. Either it is only the melody that is moving, or it is both the melody and the bass line. The bass line’s gesture is probably derived from the arrastre gesture and therefore I define this kind of key change for as ‘change of key area by arrastre’.

    With a single bar gesture as basis, the primary melody is present almost the entire piece through. While preparing for the melody’s arrival by establishing an atmosphere, the introduction also presents a motivic gesture that is frequently recurrent throughout the piece.

    In P and P2, the same process continues, though in different keys, and in P1 and P3 it is slightly accustomed. Remains of the primary melody is also to be found in the S(P) subsection. Just like in Soledad, there is a large amount of ‘jazzy’ II-V-I chord progressions in minor mode; altered fifths and ninths are used frequently. Except for T and 2T, the bass line is pending, moving in fifths or moving in descending motion. In the following illustration, notice how the usage of reinterpretation of the chord in bar four (C#7b9/B to E13b9no1/B) enables an immediate transfer to Am.

    Just as in Libertango, the melody is moving in triads when the bass line is pending; it seems like the melody is active when the bass line is passive, and the melody is passive when the bass line is active. As the illustration shows, the melody is a descending motion from the second to the fifth note in the scale. Linked together with an arppegio, the structural motive
    (D B A G F#) is presented at the beginning and at the end.

    Unlike the other subsections, T is a more rhythmical passage where two tresillo rhythms and the mordent rhythm confront each other in sequences. P1 and S(P) may be smoothly merged without T though, especially since they end with the same note. Perhaps it is not satisfying defining this passage as a transition; hence, it might rather be defined as an excursion or as sequenced tonicizations (to make it more graphically, I have excluded the chords in the illustration).

    The similiarities between Soledad and Milonga del ángel are quite recognisable: e.g. the ‘jazzy’ chords; frequent mordents; accompaniment gestures; lyrical melody; and naturally the milonga rhythm that saturates them. A major disparity though, is the way the change of key areas are realised; in Soledad by descending chromatic motion with pedal, and in Milonga del ángel by ascending chromatic motion. In the latter case though, the gesture is implemented just before the new key arrives; in the former case, there is a preparation that lasts for several bars and it is not that clear where the new key enters.

    Just as Soledad, Milonga del ángel has an ABA-structure and with the milonga rhythm as basis it is characterised by long note values, ‘jazzy’ chord progressions and change of key area by arrastre. Throughout the piece, the primary melody is located in different environments regarding harmony, tempo and instrumentation.

    Fuga y misterio

    In the same manner as for Fugata, I prefer to analyse Fuga y misterio as three sections: fugue exposition; middle section with melody and accompaniment; and a closing coda-section, which differs from the first two sections.

    Covering half the piece, the first section (P) is a fugue exposition in four parts, which through a large-scale fifth motion changes key from E-minor to G-minor.

    The secondary section (S) presents a contrasting theme that is accompanied by a chord progression that is derived from the fugue theme. Leading back to the primary theme, this section reveals the chord progression that has been hinted in the exposition. The last section (K) is a slow cantabile passage where a new melody theme is presented. While the fugue exposition (P) has a polyphonic texture, the other sections have a texture of ‘melody and accompaniment’. Though every section is in minor, the two first sections are a little ‘edgier’ due to the augmented fourth (or the jazz blue note) that is exposed already from the beginning. The large-scale structure can be read as an ABC-structure.

    In the fugue exposition, which is characterized by a rhythmical contrapuntal texture, there are strong accented rhythms. Short note values are predominating. Just as in Fugata, the most frequent surface rhythm of the fugue theme is tresillo 1. The key change between these subsections is realized by transforming the tonic chord into a dominant (e.g Em E7 Am).

    Thus, unlike the exposition in Fugata, there is no preparation of the new dominant. In the following illustration, notice how the last bar of the fugue theme is a diminished variation of the two first bars.

    Reaching G-minor, the exposition is accomplished and the key of the secondary subsections (Em) is introduced without preparation; the only gesture that indicates E-minor is an ascending diatonic bass line (B C# D#). With the marcato base as a basis, the secondary subsection presents a contrasting melody that is characterized by mordents and harmonic
    intervals such as the diminished 10th and the added 11th, which serves as top notes in chords.

    The last secondary subsection is a recurrence of the fugue theme, presented in a homophonic environment though. As pointed out earlier, the last subsection (K) is a cantabile passage that differs quite a lot from the other passages. It is slower, have longer note values, and it is the
    first time in the piece that there is a descending bass line in crotchets present.

    The fugue exposition is rather similar to the one in Fugata, especially regarding the treatment of gestures, counterpoint and change of key areas; it is rather clear to see Piazzolla’s influences from the inventions of Bach. Notice also how the usage of instrumental rubato automatically implies that tresillo rhythms are accented.

    The melody has typically stepwise motion or motion as skips, which reaches chord notes.

    Similar to Fugata, this applies to all fugue parts. The most common intervals in parallel motion are thirds and sixths. In contrast to Fugata’s chord progression, which is based on a descending bass line, the chord progression in Fuga y misterio is instead based on II-V-I progressions. With a cycle of fifth as a basis, the II-V-I sequences implies tonicization; Bm-E7-Am Am-D7-G instead of E7-Am-D7-G.72 The first subsection of S is a more homophonic passage where the secondary melody is harmonized with block technique.

    As pointed out earlier, the chord progressions are rather similar to the progressions in the exposition’s first eight bars, though with altered chords similar to the ‘jazzy’ one’s used in Soledad and Milonga del ángel. In the first four bars, which are rather static due to its harmony based on primary chords, the low notes in the bass line is reached through octave leaps. This implies an accentuation that enhances the static state. As in e.g. Fuga, there are also several percussive gestures produced by dissonant chords.

    Due to its different style regarding tempo, harmony and melody, the last subsection has a completely different character. The most significant characteristics are the descending bass line and the 9-8 appoggiaturas that are exposed in the melody. Implemented as sequences, the chord progression is rather similar to the one that is to be found in the primary subsection of Soledad.

    The very last bars are a descending chromatic gesture presented by diminished seventh chords, though with the tonic pedal as bass note. Ending with a B7b9 (without root note though), these last four bars functions as codetta. The gesture may be regarded as a T-DD-s progression, which is similar to the motivic chord gesture in Libertango.

    Fuga y misterio has a structure similar to the one found in Fugata: A fugue exposition as a start; melody and accompaniment in the middle; and a closing section that is rather different than the other two. There is no key change between sections (but the key changes within sections though), and the harmony is characterized by chord progressions with primary chords
    and fifth motions by tonicization sequences.


    This chapter will give emphasize techniques and musical events that are, in a general perspective, mutual to the compositions that have been analysed. As suggested of LaRue, I have chosen to categorise the characteristics of Piazzolla’s music that I have found into four categories: harmony; melody; rhythm; and structure (I prefer using structure as a category instead of growth). The sketches and the tables are not exact rules of how Piazzolla’s music functions; they are rather to regard as suggestions how to relate to his composition style.

    The change of key areas may be categorised into two main categories: maintaining the key or entering a new key. As pointed out in chapter 1.5, LaRue defines this as ornamental modulation and structural modulation respectively. The techniques, which are to be found in both categories above, I define as ‘tonicization’ and ‘descending chromatics with pedal’.
    Thus, they are used for both purposes. The following illustration shows my suggestion on how to regard the tonicization technique.

    The latter one is concerning the relation between a descending chromatic motion and its pedal accompaniment in the end of subsection. Unlike the tonicization technique, this procedure does not include any intermediate tonic states; there is either no change of key area at all, or the passage has the aim to modulate. It seems like when a new key is going to be established the pedal is fading out before the new dominant chord (this is not the case in the K-section of Fugata though). When the key is maintained the pedal keeps on going, and it seems like it frequently has a role of a dominant. In its simplicity, it may be illustrated as follows:

    Additionally, Piazzolla also changes key without preparation by implementing the arrastre gesture74 (as described in Milonga del ángel). As pointed out in Soledad, two techniques are sometimes combined.
    There are three characteristics regarding melody that I want to point out. The first one I define as ‘ostinato gestures’, which are rhythmical patterns based on tresillo rhythm 4 and 7.

    Frequently subordinated the main melody though, they contribute to the melodic tension by exposing characteristic intervals (e.g chord notes like b9, #5 and 13).

    The second one, which describes the relation between the top voice and the bass line, I have chosen to define as ‘uniform ambitus’. It seems like when the bass line is pending, the top voice has a more active role; it moves in arpeggios and repeatedly presents an immanent chord progression. Consequently, when the bass line is more active the melody’s ambitus decreases.

    The third characteristic regarding melody is the melodic motion. Applicable in small dimensions, when descending, the melody tends to have a stepwise, often chromatic, motion.

    Furthermore, when ascending it tends to move in leaps or in arpeggios; consequently, there are also neighbor notes implicated.

    Two common large-scale structures that the analysed pieces share are the ABA-structure and the ABC-structure; ABA in the milongas, and ABC in the fugues.

    As pointed out earlier, Piazzolla freely uses the tresillo rhythm and its shifts. In addition to the original rhythm, which is the most common, it seems like the second, the fourth and the seventh shift are the most common rhythms that are based on the tresillo. Particularly clear in
    Fugata, the tresillo rhythm is also to be found in large-scale patterns. In this piece, the tresillo rhythm is carefully distributed which makes the ABC-structure mathematically equal to 3:3:2.

    Piazzolla’s sheet music available for download from our Library.

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    APPROACHING PIAZZOLLA’S MUSIC: an analysis of his music and composition styles (1)

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    Libertango (Piano solo) – Astor Piazzolla con partitura (sheet music)

    Did you know? Musical Analysis

    APPROACHING PIAZZOLLA’S MUSIC: an analysis of his music and composition styles (1/2)

    Table of Contents

      APPROACHING PIAZZOLLA’S MUSIC: an analysis of his music and composition styles (1/2)

      1. Astor Piazzolla. Introduction.

      Astor Piazzolla was born 1921 in Mar del plata, a town south of Buenos Aires, where he lived his first two years. Due to various circumstances, his family moved to New York where Astor spent most of his childhood. His parents, who had emigrated from Italy, worked hard for their living in New York. Vicente, Astor’s father, loved the traditional tango music of Argentina and when Astor was eight years old, hoping that his son someday would be a tango musician, he gave him a bandoneon1 for his birthday. Astor did not fancy the traditional tango at all, but he enjoyed classical music though.

      One day he heard someone of the neighbours practicing the piano; a concert pianist had moved into an apartment and was now practising music that fascinated Astor:

      “At that age I didn’t know who Bach was, but I felt as if I had been hypnotized. It is one of the great mysteries of my life. I don’t know if it was Johann Sebastian Bach or one of his sons. I believe I have bought all Bach’s recorded works, but I could never find that music again. That pianist practiced nine hours a day: three hours of technique in the morning, three hours of Bach in the afternoon, and three at night, trying out repertoire for his concerts. He was Hungarian. His name was Béla Wilda, and soon he became my teacher.”

      As his teacher, Béla Wilda introduced classical music in Astor’s life and he helped out adapting Bach’s music to the bandoneon. Occasionally, Astor played bandoneon at school and soon he became popular; he had a great talent and playing the bandoneon was quite rare in New York back then. At this time he met the famous actor and tango singer Carlos Gardel, and because of his talent, he began to accompany Gardel at some presentations.

      Astor learned some tangos and he also participated in a Gardel movie. In 1936 the Piazzolla family moved back to Mar del plata and at this time Astor hade a new great musical discovery; it was a tango orchestra he heard on the radio. This inspired him deeply and in 1938 he moves, all by him self, to Buenos Aires to be a tango musician. After some years of playing in different tango orchestras he starts playing in one of the most coveted orchestra; the orchestra of Anibal Troilo. After a while Astor become the arranger of the orchestra and in the meantime he is studying composition for Alberto Ginastera.

      In the late 40’s Astor starts his own orchestra and by impulses from the classical music he develops his own style. All the while he continues to study composition and he also studies piano and orchestra conducting, and in 1953 he wins first prize in a composition contest that takes him to a one-year trip to Paris.

      With the famous pedagogue Nadia Boulangier as teacher he is studying counterpoint, harmony, and pastiche composition. She told him that everything he brought to her was well done but she couldn’t find the true Piazzolla in his works. Astor had not told her that he was a tango musician; knowing her poise in the world of classical music made him ashamed of his past:

      “Nadia looked into my eyes and asked me to play one of my tangos at the piano. So I confessed to her that I played the bandoneon; I told her she shouldn’t expect a good piano player because I wasn’t. She insisted, ”It doesn’t matter, Astor, play your tango.” And I started out with ”Triunfal”. When I finished, Nadia took my hands in hers and with that english of hers, so sweet, she said, ”Astor, this is beautiful. I like it a lot. Here is the true Piazzolla – do not ever leave him.” It was the great revelation of my musical life.”

      This was the great break point for him, and when returned from his study period with Nadia Boulangier in Paris he formed his Buenos Aires Octet, and it was at this time he started to develop his own composition style for real. By growing up in New York and Buenos Aires, he was influenced by the Blues and the Tango. As a result, combining this with inspiration from Bach (whose inventions he learned from Belá Wilda) and Stravinsky, he led the tango into a new era. With influences from classical music Piazzolla used techniques that were not traditional in tango music. He applied a contrapuntal way of thinking and expanded the formal structures of tango music by processing thematic material.

      From Bach’s legacy for example, he used the fugue technique, layered voices, sequences and pedal lines as compositional tools. Influenced by Bartok, Stravinsky and Ravel, he applied extended harmonies and orchestration techniques that were not in traditional tango music.7 Piazzolla collaborated with various ensembles where he explored the expression of his style, and the musicians he worked with often contributed their personal performance style. These contributions turn out to be significant components of Piazzolla’s style.

      2. Some characteristics of Piazzolla’s style

      According to Quin Link, an essential rhythmic pattern that became Piazzolla’s hallmark is the tresillo. The basic structure of this rhythm is 3+3+2 and it originates from the song tradition milonga canción where it has 3+1+2+2 as structure. The latter one is also known as the milonga rhythm, the habanera rhythm, or the rumba rhythm. The surface rhythm in Piazzolla’s music is often accentuated with the tresillo or its variants obtained by shifts. By shifting it in stages eight various rhythms is created where some of them are more common than others. Furthermore, these rhythmic cells can be paired together across two or more measures and form a 2:3 feeling, for instance 133333.

      As expected, several of the characteristics in this style are derived from the traditional tango. Some of them, like the tresillo, are more frequent than others. One that is applied repeatedly as well is the marcato technique. It is a melody line in steady crotchets, typically played by the piano and the double bass. The marcato technique provides a foundation in rhythmic terms.

      However, it also has an important harmonic function similar to the walking bass line in jazz. Additionally, an essential rhythmical pattern in the idiom is the arrastre, which is an upbeat gesture that originates from when the bandoneon opens its bellows before a downbeat. The arrastre is imitated by the piano as an ascending scale and by the strings as a slide.2 To resemble a percussive effect, the piano’s arrastre is performed as an indefinite series of notes.

      Astor Piazzolla sheet music partitura

      Piazzolla applied the percussive gestures that had been common in traditional tango in his compositions. Effects like: lija(sandpaper); golpe(knock); látigo(whip); perro(dog); and tambor(snare drum) were often performed by the violin and occur frequently in his style. One further percussive technique is the strappato that often is played by the double base, and the strongly accented rhythmical patterns that the piano often reproduces in a percussive way.

      In Instrumental Rubato and Phrase Structure in Astor Piazzolla’s Music, Kutnowski analyses the phrase structure in Piazzolla’s music, and detects a technique that he defines as instrumental rubato. It concerns the rhythmic transformations a melody endures when it rushes towards the end of a phrase faster than required or expected. He argues that this technique origins from the song tradition in tango, in particular from the singer Carlos Gardel.

      The rubato was usually improvised by the singer. Consequently, when played simultaneously by several instruments, it had to be notated in the score. Furthermore, Kutnowski describes the phrase structure in Piazzolla’s music as an overlapping technique , where the last measure of a phrase at the same time is the first measure of the next phrase. Additionally, he argues that it creates a feeling of continuity.

      3. Libertango. Analysis.

      Published in 1974, Libertango is probably one of the most well known compositions of Piazzolla’s voluminous music catalogue. Many artists have recorded it; Gracie Jones, for instance, had a successful hit with it in the eighties (with lyrics in English) and YoYo Ma played it on his Grammy Award winning album Soul of the tango.

      There are many versions of this piece, however, I have chosen to analyse the arrangement that I believe represent the most common one. Libertango is a piece in four beat with an ABA- structure. By being present in the bass line the entire piece though; the tresillo rhythm indeed saturates the piece. With the bass line as a foundation, the piece is characterised of an ostinato gesture and various melodies that are combined in a contrapuntal way.

      The primary sections have a chord progression based on a pedal bass line and a bass line in descending motion. As a contrast, the secondary section’s chord progression is based on a fifth motion with tonicization.

      Accordingly, the harmony is overall based on regular II-V-I progressions in minor mode, and besides the short ornamental modulations that the tonicizations represent, there is no change of key area whatsoever. The primary sections reminds actually of a jazz chorus; with some variations, it is repeated over and over.

      The first subsection starts with presenting the ostinato gesture and the bass line, which rhythmically complete each other due to their accentuated rhythms; the latter has the tresillo no 1 and the former has no 7. As for the introduction subsection in Milonga del ángel, this subsection establishes the environment and is waiting for the melody to arrive.

      Astor Piazzolla sheet music partitura

      By being present the entire piece and due to their rhythmical features, the ostinato and the bass line provide the backbone of Libertango. The melodies that are added one by one as a new subsection enters, consists mainly of long note values; consequently, they form a kind of complementary to the rhythmical backbone. Although not as clear as for the bass line, the melodies have a descending motion.

      Consequently, the tonicization sequences in S are the only passage where the overall descending motion is abandoned for a moment. The bass line in the primary subsections may be defined as either pending or descending. As a complement to the bass line’s motion, it seems like the melody has a more active role when the bass line is pending; and vice versa, the melody is pending when the bass line is descending.

      Astor Piazzolla sheet music partitura

      As the illustration shows, the melodies move as triads while the bass line is pending. This implies that the motivic chord progression (t DD D), characteristic for Piazzolla’s music, is clarified. When the bass line descends, it is more or less the same chord progression; however, it is now the bass notes that clarify the chords. While the chord progression in P is based on this motivic chord progression, the chord progression in S is instead a cycle of fifths that is prolonged by tonicization. Correspondingly, this technique may be characteristic for Piazzola’s music.

      Astor Piazzolla sheet music partitura

      As illustrated above, the sequence starts by transforming the subdominant (Dm) into a temporary tonic. It is then given the role as a supertonic (Dm7b5) in relation to the new temporary tonic (C).

      (Next Post: “Milonga del Angel” and “Fuga y Misterio” and Summary)

      Piazzolla’s sheet music available for download from our Library.

      Best songs of Astor Piazzolla.


      Astor Piazzolla – Adiós Nonino Astor Piazzolla – Tristeza De Un Doble ‘A’ ( 08:04 ) Astor Piazzolla — Ave Maria ( 15:18 ) Astor Piazzolla — Bíyuya ( 20:58 ) Astor Piazzolla — Buenos Aires Hora Cero ( 27:10 ) Astor Piazzolla — Chin Chin ( 32:43 ) Astor Piazzolla — El Penultimo ( 39:11 ) Astor Piazzolla — Escualo ( 44:44 ) Astor Piazzolla — Fuga Y Misterio ( 48:07 ) Astor Piazzolla — Oblivion ( 51:25 ) Astor Piazzolla — Jeanne Y Paul ( 54:58 ) Astor Piazzolla — Libertango ( 59:10 ) Nuevos Aires — Balada para un Loco ( 01:03:20 )

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