[LAU] {Spam?} Re: [Fwd: Re: Lilypond and Jazz chords]

Grammostola Rosea rosea.grammostola at gmail.com
Sat May 30 08:28:36 EDT 2009

Atte André Jensen wrote:
> Carl D. Sorensen wrote:
>> Yes, this is what is needed.  But I have a reference for chord naming at
>> http://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory17.htm#namechords
>> If this is wrong, then corrections would be appreciated.
> That look pretty good, I disagree here and there (some small some 
> larger objections), but I like the fact that he includes the 
> sometimes-fighting-against-each-other-names (for instance some people 
> can spend hours discussing why "C5" is correct and "C(omit3)" is not).
> I think a complete, consistent definition of what names IMO are 
> considered good practice in Europe, would be the most useful to you. 
> Did you consider implementing several parallel naming conventions? I 
> think that would be best, since different people insist on a certain 
> name for a chord, and those "certain names" often fall in sets that 
> seems to be geographically oriented.
>> Note that for this part, I'm only concerned about the naming, not the
>> symbols. 
> What do you mean by "naming"?
>> I do see disagreement between what Dolmetsch says about C/E and what
>> Juergensen says:
>> <http://chrisjuergensen.com.hosting.domaindirect.com/chords_symbols_1.htm> 
> There's something fishy in his argumentation for C,D,G = Csus2. I 
> think he is wrong there.
>> Dolmetsch says the 5th in a C/E is below the C; Juergensen says it's 
>> above.
>> That's the only contradiction I've found so far.
> IMHO that's nonsense, sorry. Chord symbols don't translate into 
> voicings like that. Here and there there are rules, but that more like 
> good practices and people like Monk and Ellington breaks them all the 
> time. I actually don't see where any of the links you mentions claim 
> anything about the 5th being above or below the root?
> Actually that was one of the things I found odd the last time I looked 
> at lilypond (maybe it has changed): To get it to write the chord 
> cymbol C13 I had to write a big, fat chord that spelled like "C, E, G, 
> Bb, D, F, A" and sounds like... not so nice, I'm sorry. Nobody would 
> ever voice a C13 like that! A simple voicing would be C, E, Bb, D, A 
> (has to have C one octave below middle C) but there are endless other 
> possibilities.
>> Anyway, I'd welcome any corrections to these naming rules, or if you 
>> have
>> your own complete set of these rules already written out, I'd be 
>> happy with
>> that as well.
> As already mentioned, I think that a couple of well defined "systems" 
> or "logics" for chord names should be included, one fairly well 
> defined one that even has it's own name is Berklee, one that I'm not 
> too familiar with unfortunately.


Some people already responded to my call for better support for Jazz 
chord in Lilypond. Thanks! :)
I've also sent a message to the LAU mailinglist and found Atte Jensen 
willing to help.

Atte did follow the conservatorium of music in The Hague, the Jazz 
direction. So I think he can definitely be called an expert in this area 
and I'm glad he is willing to give some suggestions, support, assistance.

Maybe there is one other Jazz expert who has followed some kind of Jazz 
study. Maybe Carl, Atte and one other expert can form some sort of 'Jazz 
chords core group'.

Other people, who are mostly experienced musicians and Lilypond users, 
can help to join the discussion, state critical notes and make clear 
what is good for Lilypond users.

People who would like to help programming the stuff, could make that 
clear on the lilypond-user mailinglist. I think Carl can use some help 
on this.

People of the LAU mailinglist who like to join the discussion, I suggest 
you to subscribe to the lilypond user mailinglist (for a while).


It would be great if we could make Lilypond better suitable for 
Jazz/pop/light music! :)

Kind regards,


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