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The Honeysuckle Rose Theme & Modern Bebop Language

THE GREAT JAZZ PIANIST FATS WALLER WROTE A TUNE ENTITLED HONEYSUCKLE ROSE (1929). THE
TUNE IS A 32-BAR SONG FORM (AABA), IN WHICH THE FIRST FOUR BARS OF EACH "A" SECTION IS V7 (OR
II-V7 IN EACH BAR). B-FLAT 7 FOR FOUR BARS OR F MINOR 7 TO B FLAT 7 EACH BAR FOR FOUR BARS IN

b7 b7 b7 b7
THE KEY OF E-FLAT MAJOR. THE MELODY OF HONEYSUCKLE ROSE BARS 1-4, 9-12, 25-28 IS:

F min7 B F min7 B F min7 B F min7 B

b b c b b b
&

ONE OF THE INGENIOUS ASPECTS OF WALLER'S MELODY, IS THAT IT EXPLOITS ALL OF THE UPPER
EXTENSIONS OF THE DOMINANT 7TH CHORD (V7) 7 - 9 (2) - 11 (4) - 13 (6)

**WE WILL NOW SIMPLIFY THE II-V7 TO V7

B
b7
b b b
&
5
1 7 2 4 6
**IS THE SAME AS

B
b7
b b
& b
6

1 7 9 11 13

YOU SHOULD BEGIN TO THINK OF THE HARMONY IN A VERTICAL WAY. SEEING THE DOMINANT 7TH CHORD
EXTENSIONS OF B-FLAT 7 AS A FLAT (7) - C (2) - E FLAT (4) - G (6) AS THE UPPER EXTENSIONS OF B-FLAT 7
WHICH ARE THE SAME NOTES B-FLAT 7 = A FLAT (7) - C (9) - E FLAT (11) - G (13)

THE HONEYSUCKLE ROSE THEME IS ALSO RELATED TO THE CHORD BUILDING CONCEPT, THAT ANY TIME
YOU REACH DOMINANT 7TH ON A V7 CHORD, YOU MAY ASCEND A MAJOR 7TH CHORD BASED OFF OF THAT NOTE.
B-FLAT 7 = A FLAT (7) - C (9) - E FLAT (11) - G (13) WHICH OUTLINES ALL OF THE UPPER EXTENSIONS 7 - 9 - 11 - 13

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HS ROSE
2
B
b7
b b
& n b
n b
b
7

B 7 7 9 11 13

b
& b n b n b
10
7 9 11 13
CHARLIE PARKER REALIZED THAT BY USING THE HONEYSUCKLE ROSE THEME AS PART OF HIS MELODIC
LANGUAGE, HE WAS ABLE TO PLAY MELODIES UTILIZING THE UPPER EXTENSIONS. THIS, IN CONJUNCTION
WITH HIS GROUND BREAKING USE OF HALF STEPS, CHROMATICISM AND REVOLUTIONARY RHYTHMIC
APPROACH, CREATED THE SOUND OF MODERN, PROGRESSIVE MUSIC.

BIRD WOULD OFTEN USE THE THEME IN IT'S ORIGINAL FORM. HE WOULD ALSO USE OCTAVE DISPLACEMENT
AND ASCEND THE CHORD FROM THE 7TH.

B
b7 B
b7
b
&b b
& b
13

BIRD WOULD ADD THE DOMINANT 7TH BEBOP SCALE PASSING TONE BETWEEN THE TONIC AND THE FLAT 7TH

b7 b7
AND PLAY ACROSS THE BAR LINE WHILE PLACING THE DOMINANT 7TH ON A STRONG BEAT, EITHER 1 OR 3

B B
b
&b n b

& n b
15

b7 b7
HE ALSO LIKED TO APPROACH THE FLAT 7TH FROM THE 6TH PLAYING TONIC - 6TH TO THE FLAT 7TH

B B
b
&b n b & n b
19

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HS ROSE
3
BIRD ALSO LIKED TO APPROACH THE FLAT 7TH DIRECTLY FROM THE 6TH ON THE UPBEAT ALA BIRD'S TUNE

b7 b7
MARMADUKE, BASED ON THE CHORD PROGRESSION TO HONEYSUCKLE ROSE
B B
b n j j
&b b

& n b
23

CHARLIE PARKER'S TUNE MARMADUKE BARS 1-5 BASED ON HONEYSUCKLE ROSE

G min7 C 7 F min7 B
b7 F min7 B
b7 F min7 B
b7 F min7 B
b7 E
b 7
b j j j
& b b . b . b
27
n.
CHARLIE PARKER AND THE HONEYSUCKLE ROSE THEME

B
b7
b
& b b
33

b b b
&
34

b
& b b
35

b b b
&
36

b
& b n b


37

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HS ROSE

4
B
b7
b
& b n b
39

b
& b n b


41

b
& b n b
43

b b n b
&
45

b b n b
&
48

b
& b n b #
51

b
& b n b #
54

b
& b n b n #
57
n n b

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b
B 7
HS ROSE

b n #
& b n b n n b
60

b
& b n b
n #
63

b n #
& b n b
65

b b n b j
& n # n #
67

b n # n #
& b n b J
70

b
& b n b
n # # n
73

b n # # n
& b n b
75

b
& b n b n # # n n #
77

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b
HS ROSE
6
B 7
b n # # n n #
& b n b
80

b
& b n b
n n n
83

b n n
& b n b n
85

b b n b j
& n n n #
87

b n n n #
& b n b n J
90

b
& b n b
n n n # n
93

b n n # n
& b n b n
95

b
& b n b n n # n n #
97
n

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b
HS ROSE
B 7
b n n # n n #
& b n b n
100

b
& b n b


3

103
n

b
& b n b n
105 3

b b n b
&
n
3

107

b
& b n b n
110 3

b
& b n b
3

n n #
113

b b n n #
& n b
116 3

b
&b n b
n
119

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b
HS ROSE
8
B 7
b n
& b n b
121

b
& b n b
# n n
3

123

b # n n
& b n b
125 3

b b n b
&
127

b
& b n b
130

b
& b n b
133

b b
& n b
136

b
& b n b # #
139
n b

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b
HS ROSE
B 7
b # #
& b n b n b
142

FATS NAVARRO
b
& b n b n # # n n b

145 b
FATS NAVARRO

b
& b n b b # n n b
3

n # b
148

FATS NAVARRO

b b n b
& #
151

BIRD
b
& b n b n #
154

BIRD

b
& b n b n
157
n
BIRD

b
& b n b # n
160

BIRD
b b
& b n b
3


163

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b
HS ROSE
10
B 7 BIRD
b
b n b b
3

&
166

BIRD
b
& b n b
b
169

BIRD
b
& b n b

171
n
BIRD

b b n b
& #
3

n
173

BIRD
b
& b n b
176

BIRD
b
& b n b n
178

BIRD

b
& b n b n #
180
n b
BIRD
b
& b n b
#

183

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b
HS ROSE
B 7 BIRD

b b
& n b n
186
n

b
BIRD

& b n b # n
189

BOOKER LITTLE
b
& b n b n # n b
192

DIZZY

b b n b
& n # n b
195

DIZZY
b
& b n b b n # n n
198

KENNY DORHAM

b
& b n b n # n
201

KENNY DORHAM

b b n #
& n b # n
204

BIRD
b
& b n b
3


207

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