Chords


Whole-Tone Harmony Part I

Imagine your instrument lost exactly half of its notes, and specifically every alternate one. It might make sense to say you now had an instrument turned not in 12-TET but in 6-TET. In a society that only had such instruments, which harmonies would be available to them?

The "Rite of Spring chord" and some variations

Since shifting most of my attention from guitar to piano, I've been enjoying (among other things) the ability to play two kinds of chord: those with lots of notes and those with notes that are close together. In this post we look at a family of 7- and 8-note voicings (guitarists may be able to apply these by dropping some notes or, of course, by playing with someone else).

Chords from Harmonic Major

Harmonic Major is sometimes said to be the "missing" member of the group of common heptatonic scales, the others being Major, Melodic Minor and Harmonic Minor. Whatever the value of this claim, it has some interesting chords in it.

Chords from Superaugmented

The scale I call Superaugmented is a major scale with every note sharpened that can be sharpened. It's like a major scale shifted up a semitone and then slightly adjusted. It seems to come up a lot on this blog whenever I do some of those "all the possible ways to do X with Y" posts so I though it might be worth pulling some chords out of it.

Good Chord Books

Maybe one day I'll write my own big book of chords, but chords are much harder than scales so until that day I thought it might be useful to make a list of useful things that are out there.

A Quick Bitonal Trick

Here's a kind of cheap trick using coscales, because sometimes you just want a good sound without having to work through reams of stuff to get it.

What Does "Building New Harmonic Vocabulary" Mean?

For a while here I've been publishing page after page of chords, which is something I hardly ever used to do. It's probably time for an explanation.

Scriabin's "Extase" Chord and Some Relatives

Early twentieth century harmony was characterised by (among other things) the whole-tone scale. Here I consider one idea, from Alexander Scriabin's Poem of Ecstacy, involving some chords that will be familiar to jazz musicians but in a somewhat different context, and of course expanding the idea to see where it takes us.

Chords from Sucharitra

I haven't played much with Sucharitra but today I worked out a few basic harmonizations -- in thirds, fourths and seconds, basically -- and I liked the sounds.

Some Messiaen-like Chords

I've always enjoyed Messiaen's chords without really knowing what's going on with them, so today I looked at an article about them and cooked up some chords of my own inspired by it.