Jimmy's Chord Theory TOC                                    Intro


It will not take hours to tell this story,

but it may require a lifetime of music to fully

appreciate it and to assimilate it. Often when I

am performing a jazz solo I begin to feel myself

rocked gently by that droning bus and the untiring

words of Wilson explaining the entire known universe

of music, such as it is, by way of 'the chord theory'.

GarforSm.jpg (2937 bytes)

In his version he used various illustrations

in common language, not scientific terminology.

Imagine you are Apollo, or perhaps Orpheus, existing in an

open space surrounded by the planets, the nine muses,

the triangular life stages of the graces or fates, and into that

deserted place you wish to bring a little dance music.

You want to arrange pleasing sounds for your own

enjoyment and you discover that the number of sounds

that your little harp can make is infinite.

"Hold it!", you say,

I need a method of organizing these noises, blumps,

doinks and twangs into a system, a catalogue maybe,

or some kind of overview.

I need to know what is music and what it is not.

A theory!

Theories are not science. They are working

ideas surrounded by gray areas, further surrounded by

empty space. Gradually, as you work, some of the gray areas

become working spaces brought to light by new ideas

and understanding. Empr_sm.gif (1759 bytes) This creates more gray areas

and so forth until the vacuum is pushed farther away.

So, what is the idea behind an arrangement of

sounds that are sometimes pleasant and sometimes not?

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A great step pyramid begins to arise from the

noise floor. Out of the static and babble of the world

a few ideas and concepts are singled out and the great

pyramid is called MUSIC, while one of those huge blocks

is called CHORDS.

This particular building block is lying next to

KEYS, and each of these are resting on scales, harmony

and intervals. In order to understand what music has

become ( and is still becoming ) you may have to come

along on this incredible, snowbound bus trip to the

city and try to imagine as I did how civilization

developed this idea called music. When we arrive you

will have a new work space in your head where all

things musical can be simplified and talked about.



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