Minor Ninths

Minor Ninths The minor ninth is considered the “last dissonant interval”, even more than a minor second. Therefore it should be handled with care in any chord voicing (including minor ninths + octave(s)). The inherent dissonance in this interval will often...

Dominant7 and Tritone Substitution

Dominant7 and Tritone Substitution The reason why dominant7 chords create the feeling of wanting to resolve results from the inherent structure of the chord, specifically the tritone that exists between the third and the seventh of the chord. As an example, let’s look...

Voice Leading is King

Voice Leading is King Good voice leading beats any other rule. This was already valid in Bach’s times where there were fifth parallels and doubled thirds in the chord because the voice leading of the individual voices was so strong that it could easily justify for...

Movement of Inner Voices

Movement of Inner Voices Most of the time, when arranging chords, you should try to move the “inner voices” (=all voices except for bass line and potential top melody line) by the shortest possible distance from chord to chord, using inversions of chords but also...

Melody Notes as Chord Extensions

Melody Notes as Chord Extensions When harmonizing melodies, it can sound musically more interesting to place key notes of the melody higher up in the chord structure (like 7th, 9th etc.) than playing around root, third or fifth. Eg. you have a melody sequence of...