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Re: Lilypond and Jazz chords

From: Jean-Alexis Montignies
Subject: Re: Lilypond and Jazz chords
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2009 13:25:58 +0200

Le 10 juin 09 à 02:11, kzt a écrit :


You can find an example of a chord notated as 'phrygian' (well it's more a modal indication, but that's what the composer Gary Peacock intended) in the
lead sheet for Vignette.
More arguments for using names: Alt is much more easy to write and read, less
error prone than: 7.3-.5-.9-.11-.13-

So if Alt is always (or primarily) 7.3-.5-.9-.11-.13- we should add an alt modifier to LilyPond. Then, we could say c:alt, and get just what the composer intends. And then we should have the ChordNames context generate
Note that it's notated C7 Alt (or alt)

At least in the Real Books, the chord usually just says "C alt" on the chart. The structure of the alt chord is pretty variable and up for interpretation on the fly. Many times it's just played as a dominant 7b5b9.

I agree with Tim. It's up for players.
Assigning "7.3-.5-.9-.11-.13- " statically to the altered chord does not make sense to me.
It depends how you define the altered chord. For me it's the chord derived from the altered scale (7th mode of melodic minor). The alt chord is a logical choice for subV7, subV7/V, subV7/IV.

Of course a player will rarely play all the notes of the mode. Common voicings includes the ones with b5b9, b13b9, b13#9

BTW, is "3-" right? I guess "3-" is meant for "#9" but looks major 3rd is missing.

Right this is a trick because Lilypond won't accept #9 and b9 and the same time. Next trick is to use a b11 'as' a M3. I did that because of the limitations of Lilypond. Now we're discussing about how to do that better.

Why don't we just make "alt" available only for scoring? bad idea?
To me, score is important.  midi is not.

Right, Lilypond is really about engraving. Midi is a (probably useful) extra function but it should not be the aim. If I notate an Alt chord, I intend players to improvise over the altered scale, I intend compers to underlay this sound as well but not to play a cluster with all the scale chords :). If I render a midi file, I would choose one possible voicing for the Alt chord. So currently in Lilypond we can't do that: at the same time have a correct score and a correct midi track for the chords. This is not an issue for me because I'm not using the midi side. I guess the closest thing to jazz with lilypond for now is to have a separate track for the score and for the generated midi track (an arrangement for the chords).

- kzt


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