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Re: To Dave Arnold & others: Jazz chords

From: Amelie Zapf
Subject: Re: To Dave Arnold & others: Jazz chords
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 00:47:22 +0200

Hi folks,

there's a topic coming up here: How to typeset jazz chords. I know there are
lots of philosophies, and I don't wanna hurt anyone's feelings about the whole
thing. I'd pretty much like to go with the "Old Real Book" standards and leave
out redundant bullshit ... sorry ... characters - like parentheses, for
example. I'd go with the plain old blank. So here's my proposal (working on that
for a comprehensive chord-names.scm (it's basically just working off all the
possible permutations that make sense):

1)      Denotation of maj7 as maj7 and not triangle (for easy reading)
2)      Sequence of intervals: (m) (6 or 7) 9 11 13 5 (sus4)
3)      Fifth denoted als +5 if standing alone, so that C(+5) doesn't get
        confused with C#(5) (parentheses only for clarity).
4)      If no alterations are present, the "in-between" pitches can be left
        out, as in C9 meaning C7 9 (of course, the 7th is flat by default).
5)      Notate everything if there is an alteration, C7 b9 #11 #5.
6)      No parentheses at all, spaces between added tones.
7)      On major and dominant chords, it is quietly assumed that there is no
        natural 11, so c:7.13 or c:13 leads to C13 typeset. Likewise, a chord
        with the  b13 won't have the natural 5.
8)      The flat 11 is stupid by default, as is the sharp 13.
9)      Added tones with no "in between" tones get an "add": Cadd9, Cmaj7 add13.
10)     C alt. I consider stupid, because vague. If wanted, I suggest a symbol
        "C arb.", meaning the bass plays a C, the rest plays whatever they want.

I hope to receive suggestions - let's get it good & unambiguous, help me out,


> I hope you like maj7 instead of triangle7, which is the product of some
> personage-without-a-clue from MENC. I cannot even imagine anything less
> legible.
> Please consider m7(b5) instead of m7b5, C9(b13) instead of C9b13, and
> Cmaj79(#11) or Cmaj9(#11).
> There is nothing wrong with Cmmaj7 either, but parentheses for the
> alterations list was advocated by the best music copyists, and that sold
> me.
> Of course Cmaj7(9, b5) is just plain wrong, because the 9th is not
> altered. I don't know how they ended up with that. Cmaj7(9)(b5) wouldn't
> bother me, but Cmaj9(b5) makes more sense to me.
> Not that I don't greatly prefer your chord-names.scm already. I've been
> doing other things, but I've got some bossanovas to set, and I can't
> imagine not having #11ths. (???) :-)
> I did not post this because I don't want to start up the people who
> *love* triangle7, etc.
> I sort of like the ball-on-a-stick m7(b5), but perhaps it's time is
> past. :-( You would know that, and I wouldn't. :-)
> -- 
> daveA (debian.user) ------------------------------------
>          %{         ars sine scientia nihil           %}
>          *---------------------------------------------*

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