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Re: Lilypond and Jazz chords

From: Marc Hohl
Subject: Re: Lilypond and Jazz chords
Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2009 20:18:00 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090318)

Thomas schrieb:
I was just brainstorming, I don`t expect anybody to implement that :-)
... I just thought, if music (as long as it's not abstract) follows some basic principles, why this is not reflected in the chord naming sometimes.

Slash Chords are a good example ... they are a good, easily readable instruction what notes to play, but they don't reflect the harmonic function of the chord. I'm sure an illiterate gypsy guitarist could improvise very well over that Pat Martino song, because he recognizes the tonic or dominat character of that chord by ear... that is the underlying harmonic function ... although he shouldn't be able to do that, because slash chords are considered modern, sophisticated, difficult....

Lets say, that Martino song has a key and a tonic, and the harmony moves in a chain of fifth, half- and whole-tones towards oe away from that tonic, then the Dbmin/D very likely has a dominant or tonic finction within this chain (depending on the rest of this song) and could be named after this function ... but that would be more difficult to read probably.

Don't let me be misunderstood... thats just brainstorming about naming jazz chords in general (and how chord names sometimes obscure whats going on harmonically) ... to implement something like this would be very difficult, I guess ... I'm only starting to work with lilypond and didn't want to introduce overambitiuos goals. I think what you are planning to do is very valuable and does not need a deep discussion about harmony etc.
I think this is far from being implemented, but it is a nice idea to let
the computer do some kind of harmonic analysis to name a given
chord structure properly. And with the book from Pöhlert as a
starting point, this seems to be doable (at least Pöhlert tries to remove
as much mystery out of the jazz theory as possible).


"Tim McNamara" <address@hidden> schrieb im Newsbeitrag news:address@hidden
On Jun 1, 2009, at 4:13 AM, Tim Rowe wrote:

2009/6/1 Carl D. Sorensen <address@hidden>:

You are welcome to pursue this, if you are interested in it. It is not my
I think it shows the impossibility of what you are trying to achieve,
at least in the completely general case, although pushing the
boundaries closer to that general case is valuable of course. Beyond
trivial cases, a combination of notes does not have /a/ name, it has
many names depending on the musical context.  For jazz chords, the
chord notes and the chord names really need to be separated (perhaps
an optional name following the notes) unless the software can
understand the musical context better than a lot of musicians. Or just
stick with chord mode.
Particularly when entering the notes and the root is not the chord name. For example, a chord I saw in a Pat Martino chart would have included:

<d des fes aes>

which was written as Dbmin/D. I have no idea how one would make LilyPond properly interpret slash chords or compound chords from note entries. Rendering chords written as chord names (des2:m5/d) would of course be simpler.

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