Etude 37-Four-Note Triad Cells Over ii-V7-I

This is another excerpt from my recently released e-book, Four-Note Diatonic Triad Cells: Comprehensive Studies in Leading Tones. In this etude, I combine elements of modern jazz language with bebop, by combining a triad-based melodic line with chromaticism. Take a look at the example below:

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Each group of four eighth-notes is a four-note cell that is comprised of a major or minor triad and a chromatic passing tone (upper or lower neighbor tones) that connects it to the next four-note cell. The triads can be more readily recognized in the example below, where I omit the passing tone:

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The triads are as follows: A major, G major (over the Dm7 chord); F minor, Ab minor (over the G7 chord); C major, G major, D major (over the Cmaj7 chord). As you can see, some of these triads are harmonic alterations. For example, the F minor and Ab minor over the G7 (which function as upper-partial harmonic substitutions over the dominant chord); and the D major triad over the Cmaj (which functions as the Lydian tonality over the tonic chord).

Some of the passing tones also imply a 7th chord (for example the F# at the end of the first measure makes the last four notes a Gmaj7), but the structure of the melodic line obscures this because of the continuous movement to other tonal centers implied by the triads that follow. By connecting the strong, direct tonal statements of the triads with the passing tones, the line has an angular fluidity that sounds both new and familiar at the same time. The melodic possiblities in connecting these four-note triad cells are virtually endless.

Click below to download a free pdf copy of this etude, and a midi file to listen to:

Four-Note Triad Cells Over ii-V7-I-pdf

Four-Note Triad Cells Over ii-V7-I-midi