3 Tritone/4ths chords

Made up of a perfect fourth over a tritone interval, they are akin to quartal chords but have even greater harmonic potential. A tritone/4th voicing is capable of expressing at least 8 harmonies. Here is a list with A7 13 as the point of departure:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

G C# F# can be: A 7 13 Eb - 6 9 E, G, Bb, Db dim Bb #9 13 b13 Eb 7 #9 Db- 7 b5 11 F b9 9 b13 F# b9

with bass: A Eb E, B B E F F F#

Tritone/4th voicings have a smart, jazzy sound due to their open configuration, the tritone, the fourth and the halftone friction between the top and lowest note. Their salient feature is that a half-step slide up or down moves the harmony 1 step up or down in the Circle. One-half step slide moves 1 step up or down the Circle:

A cadence in F:

Note the first 2 entries in the preceding page's list: the same tritone/4th voicing can stand for II and V7, here E- , A7 with basses E and A, respectively.

one and the same chord stands for II7 (11) and V7. Chapter 5 for more on tritone/4th voicings in diminished harmony. In diminished harmony. .With a tritone/4th voicing in the left and 2 fourths in the right hand. everything repeats every minor3rd step (see Part 2. here shown in the left hand: Lowest note is the 3rd. Hear it with basses C and F. Tritone/4ths are truly magic voicings. or a multiple of 3rds apart. render spicy diminished chords: The hands' movement need not be parallel: See Part Two. Another parallel half-step slide of tritone/4th chords toggles between diminished and dominant-7th of the same key. Therefore tritone/4th voicings played with their lowest notes a minor 3rd apart (plus an octave). Truly minimal motion! Another great feature of the tritone/4th voicings is that with a parallel slide half-step up or down they switch between the key's minor and major mode. section 5). Bill Evans favored them in his playing. respectively. but now the lowest note is the 7th: This leads to the third entry in the list: tritone/4th voicings can be diminished chords. Bottom notes are 3rd and dominant-7th.

here A7 13 --> A+ --> A7: .. Strings of Pearls. It can be stretched over two bars or fit into one. It occurs in many titles such as In a Sentimental Mood. in major key. My Funny Valentine. Feelings. and.. It Don't mean a Thing .. The last one is a turnaround | I VI II V | I. It can be applied to II7--> II as well. concluding phrases. (5) | II7 Idim | I | A finishing lick introduced by Count Basie (6) | I I7 IV #IVdim | V7 This is a famous turnaround cliché with its ascending bass line: (7) | I-/I I-/VII | I-/bVII I-/VI | "Descending Bass" The descending line C B Bb A embellishes the C chord.4) || / I7 Idim IIØ | I7 || with variation I bIII6 II7 bIImaj7 These are blues clichés.

On each following 1/8 beat the chords "resolve" to basic triads: The following is the same concept with the voices distributed between the hands: In the next figure the right thumb plays the roots. Ab. Gb. here played in one hand. D7 b9. the first bar is F. the upper 2 voices trace halftone-wholetone scales. B. Db. A7 b9. Eb. the third bar is C. Bb. Each group of diminished chords is enharmonic to a group of V7 b9 chords one step away in the Circle: Diminished Group C D (F) G enharmonic to V 7 b9 Group F G C In the next figure.Diminished Voicings The next figure shows on each quarter beat the same voicings as in the previous figure. RH chord shapes are triads in 1st and 2nd inversion: . the second is G. the left hand plays the tension tones: Interpreting these chords as X7 b9. The RH thumb plays minor 3rd intervals. E7 b9.

II V I progression Starting with a tertial II7 chord .

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