Bill Evans Reductions | Chord (Music) | Music Theory

Evans Reductions - Three Note Voicings!


Bill Evans is credited for having codified rootless A/B voicings, wherein the lowest voice is a 3 (or 7) which then resolves to a 7 (or 3). Thereʼs a fair amount written about it. These are two tight for a guitarist. I began trying to isolate my needs in a three-note voicing instead, as tightly as possible. First, the simplest cycle, on three sets of three strings. These are A/B voicings on a II-V-I cadence. The criteria for note selection is that the 3 and 7 appear in all cases except the tonic chord which sometimes replaces the 7 with a 6. When the third note is selected, the root is rejected if possible. It makes the unit less flexible, less ambivalent. It appears in only one voicing below. In the usual progression from II to V, the 3rd becomes the 7th, while the 7th drops a half-step to become the 3rd. In this set, the third note remains in place (9=13, R=5, 5=R). In the next series, this third note also descends a half step with the descending 7. It then allows interpretation as a form of bII7 chord for those who considers the analysis informative. The IIm7 can easily be a II7 as well, making the progression the greatly loved endless loop (bridge, "I Got Rhythm" et al).

as before. but as a collection of separate voices moving to specific targets. though with two voices descending. It's important to think of these not as chords. but in the next highest inversion. at Bar 34. the second to a 6th. In the next. In the first cadence the 9 descends to the #5 of the dominant chord. unlike our general use of “guitar chords” Beginning at Bar 25 we meddle with the resolution to tonic. The first now resolves to Maj7. the 3rd remains while both the other notes descend.Evans Reductions . . I continue this with the next two examples. In progression.Three Note Voicings! 2 The next series begins with the the same fingerings and positions. the root descends to the b5. The next three descend to b9's. The next two resolve to a 9th and the last resolves upwardly to a higher inversion of the tonic (sans 3). The first cadence is comparable to merging the first half of bar 13 with the last half of 16. per se. Then resolve downward logically. At Bar 31 we continue to move two voices down. and resolving down at Bar 35. The last two examples drop to a lower inversion before resolving upwardly.

moves to a lower inversion of the chord. then resolve to tonic.Evans Reductions .Three Note Voicings! 3 On some occasions a voicing will be configured as an assemblage of minor thirds. and at Bar 38 using the inversion alone. and invert them by moving them up or down a minor third to resolve in its new locale. Bar 39 begins cadence by dropping the 7th a half-step. or the desire to make way for the melody. Bar 40 begins at one location. . The same thing can be done with more direct inversions moving between the various sets of 3strings illustrated in Bars 1 through 17. at this point the consideration is "getting somewhere more comfortable" whether the driver is the physical limitations of the neck. moves to a lower inversion. I demonstrate this at Bar 37 playing both inversions. we move to a higher inversion. Examples of this are presented at Bars 39 and 40. No longer a demonstration of "most-elegant" voice leading options. for example Bar 2/Chord 2. or Bar 3/Chord 2. continues progression by flatting the 9th and concludes resolution at tonic. the 7th descends. In such cases we can treat them like diminished chords.

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