[LAU] Difference F7 and Fmaj

Dave Phillips dlphillips at woh.rr.com
Tue Aug 5 09:28:33 EDT 2008

Fons Adriaensen wrote:
> ... note that the way harmony is treated in the classical
> music and in the jazz traditions is not exactly the same. Not only
> the terminology and notation are different, but also some basic 
> concepts. It can be very confusing to do both at the same time.
> Also, going through the history of classical music, it's clear
> that "harmony" is a moving target. 
Yes, I realized after I sent that message that I should have mentioned 
the difference between jazz harmony texts and the more "classical" tomes.

More modern texts (Persichetti's book is a good example) present the 
notions of non-functional 7ths, melodic chording, clusters, chords by 
4ths, etc. Serial harmony is a whole other domain, and Elliott Carter's 
harmony book is yet another way of comprehending the possibilities of 
non-serial chromaticism (see also the theoretical writings by Stefan Wolpe).

The traditional approaches still apply, especially since the vast 
majority of music we hear is tonal/modal, with more or less clear 
harmonic functions and relationships. From my POV, most jazz harmony 
works on the same bases as traditional tonal harmony, but some truly new 
devices have been introduced that the classical texts do little to 
clarify. Indeed, harmony is a moving target, but its traditional basics 
are still fundamental to most of the music we hear today.



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