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Topic: Chord Naming Conventions

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  1. #1

    Chord Naming Conventions

    I have a book (printed in US) on arranging that I'm ploughing through and have come across references to a chord C7(alt) and F7(alt). Can anybody translate this into UK English. Is it intended to be an inversion of the basic chord, possibly with the 7th in the root? Can't tell from the examples used.
    Derek
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX


  2. #2

    Re: Chord Naming Conventions

    C7 alt

    is an alternate or easier spelling of: C7 flat 10th flat 13th or

    C Eb G Ab Bb

    Obviously it culd also be called the C minor 7 with a flat 6th but the flated notes lie at the octave:

    C G Bb Eb Ab (spelling)

    The same applies o the F7 alt: F C Eb Ab Db

    I hope this helps.

    Here is a site that may also help:

    Jazz Chord Symbols
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

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  3. #3

    Re: Chord Naming Conventions

    Thanks guys, (alt) is not a term in common usage here, at least not in my experience.

    I'm not even sure that b10 in a major key is technically correct, it ought to be #9 surely as 10th = 3rd, but thats another argument.
    Derek
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX


  4. #4

    Re: Chord Naming Conventions

    I've gotta differ with the above opinions. (Alt) is a jazz chord naming convention that simply signifies that the standard upper extensions of a chord (9, 11, 13) are altered to suit one's own personal taste, in accordance with the context of the melody and harmony at that particular point in the tune. If (alt) was used on a transcription, I'd consider the transcriber lazy for not going to the trouble of figuring out what the original performer played note-for-note. But in the case of a jazz standard, the transcriber is conveying that you can alter the upper extensions to suit your own personal taste.

  5. #5

    Re: Chord Naming Conventions

    You are right Mr. Journeyman.
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  6. #6

    Re: Chord Naming Conventions

    I've gotta differ with the above opinions. (Alt) is a jazz chord naming convention that simply signifies that the standard upper extensions of a chord (9, 11, 13) are altered to suit one's own personal taste, in accordance with the context of the melody and harmony at that particular point in the tune. If (alt) was used on a transcription, I'd consider the transcriber lazy for not going to the trouble of figuring out what the original performer played note-for-note. But in the case of a jazz standard, the transcriber is conveying that you can alter the upper extensions to suit your own personal taste.
    I think that is probably the correct interpretation, the chords in question were always placed in "exercises" and examples of arranging, usually at the end of phrases , the arranger picks the tension to suit the melody etc. Thanks all
    Derek
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX


  7. #7
    Senior Member sosmus's Avatar
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    Small world part 3

    Buckshead:
    Finally, something that I AM familiar with. In my opinion, Journeyman has given the best answer so far. I long ago became a user of the method subscribed by Carl Brandt and Clinton Roemer in their book "STANDARDIZED CHORD SYMBOL NOTATION (A Uniform System of the Music Profession)" Roerick Music Co., Sherman Oaks, CA. "The best chord symbol is the simplest one."
    C7 alt is an alternate or easier spelling of: C7 flat 10th flat 13th or C Eb G Ab Bb Obviously it could also be called the C minor 7 with a flat 6th but the flated notes lie at the octave:C G Bb Eb Ab (spelling)
    I take exception with this chord because while both the #5 and the b5 can be used simultaneously, the regular 5th is not normally used with any alteration of the 5th. To find the root of any chord, reduce it to a stack of thirds and the bottom note of the lowest perfect 5th will be the root, thus making C Eb G Ab Bb in actuality an AbMA9.
    The same applies o the F7 alt: F C Eb Ab Db
    This is truly a DbMA9. An F7(alt) would usually be interpreted as F A C# Eb. By adding the Ab (an enharmonic G#), you would have an F+7(#9)
    The + is the usual way to denote a raised 5th because using F#7 would be confusing.
    I would be most happy to discuss and /or share any knowledge I have about this with you.
    Steve

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