It's All in the Directions

The scenario, a party, my parents, some relatives, much laughter and singing, my father in attempting to show of his son's newly acquired clumsy skills, of playing piano asked me to play a song so that they could sing along with with my huge repertoire of zero songs, thankfully explained that I didn't know it. However in all sincerity and with much exasperation he replied, "play it anyway". With that said, it set the tone for much of the rest of my playing years. Now I'm sort of passing it to you.

Here's a song, play it! Great, write a book, explain how the mind and hands work to gain the abilities, the discipline behind such miracles, the apparent ease which musicians perform their magic, "you make it seem so easy", however in creating, improvising or playing (there's another magic word for you) music there are no illusions, no sleight of hand, just plain hard work.

Writing a book, how, why, content, etc.

Philosophy: Recipients of the Western way of learning, as I understand it, tend to tear things apart, analyze each element then try to organize the parts back. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,... Eastern methods, again as I understand it, look at things in the round, and try to do it. I'm not defending any one particular way, however being of western heritage, and having torn things asunder, I'm going against the grain, to try the other approach and like in the old standard "Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear to Tread" trust that all goes well. Why another book on music, on piano playing? Well, when I left Berk-lee School of Music, (no college then, no degrees) I had made a questionable, by today's thinking, decision not to teach. I was going to be a player, an arranger, a composer. Admirable thoughts then, now more so. Actually, I've achieved my goal, however not to the extent as some of my Berk-lee student friends, but the reason or reasons for not teaching have been left in a foggy past. Gradually through the years, playing opportunities have diminished, the demands put on musicians by the standard practices of today's gig hunting have created the need for tactics akin to jungle survival. So what naturally follows is a teaching job, or rather the hope of one. Remember the in parentheses "no college then, no degrees", well, twenty or so years ago, Colleges, Universities were snapping up Jazz Players to start Jazz studies. I don't know the position name for these teachers, but no degrees necessary, try that today. Try it with a master's, ha ha, oh no, probably a doctorate might do it for you. Though once in awhile I'd taught privately, with one substitute teaching position at Berk-lee thrown in, for the most part I was a player, yahoo. Learning then, now
time limitations, instant gratification, success Chromatic System,
The musical system as we know it operates with, seven so called natural letter names, A, B, C, D, E, f and g, representing certain relatively established pitches (frequencies i.e. cycles per second now called hertz). The remaining notes (pitches or tones) are creatively altered by either raising (sharps "#") or lowering (flats "b") any or all of those certain letter names. Once these natural notes have been altered, it calls for an act of god to naturalize them, by using another clever symbol to reverse the first effect (naturals " "). As clumsy as this seems and interesting fact emerges, by rearranging all the seven pitches into all combinations and superimposing all the possible configurations of sharps and flats on them we can come up with all the chromatic possibilities.

diatonic system:
The so called diatonic system is one way of organizing the chromatic nature of music. When artists confront their wild environment, and attempt to paint, to create a landscape, whatever, they probably find that nature has to be tamed, to some degree. I could go on about all this as I'm married to one, but I think you get my drift. Just like anything else you can find an "expert" to support any argument relating to just about anything you might want to argue about. It's no different with the origins of music. Let the experts deal with it. Intervals as tools, as it's own system:

Like many aspects of music, intervals can be compared to a set of tools, "Charlie get me the 1/2" wrench, no not that one, the other one", used basically to measure distances between two notes, so as to make comparisons between different, scales, chords, melodies or whatever. Each of the two notes, can be used as the starting point for measuring. A perfect 5th has C to G ascending, while G to C descending is still a perfect 5th. Intervals come about in several ways, horizontally by a pitch in time followed by another and another, repeating, ascending, or descending, to create a scale, or melodically, by variations of the direction and durations of the notes. A group of notes stacked vertically is called a chord. A sequence of chords is a chord progression. In practice these chords are voice lead, or actually the parts of the chord are. The roots of each chord can follow a prescribed pattern, or randomly result in some interval, with the chord types adhering to a diatonic, hybrid or chromatic system. Briefly, intervals can be used, compositionaly as it's own system. chords
U = Unison, M/Maj = Major, m/Min = Minor, P/Per = Perfect, +/Aug = Augmented, o/Dim = Diminished, Oct/8 = Octave
Interval names starting with tonic of major scale ascending: U C/C, M 2nd C/D, M 3rd C/E, P 4th C/F, P 5th C/G, M 6th C/A, M 7th C/B, Oct C/C, M 9th C/D, M 10th C/E, P 11th C/F, P 12th C/G, M 13th C/A, M 14th C/B, 15th C/C

Interval names starting with tonic of major scale descending: U C/C, Min 2nd C/B, Min 3rd C/A, P 4th C/G, P 5th C/F, Min 6th C/E, Min 7th C/D, Oct C/C, Min 9th C/B, Min 10th C/A, P 11th C/G, P 12th C/F, Min 13th C/E, Min 14th C/D, 15th C/C Styles
Concept of?
Repertoire: voicings, patterns melodic, voice leading, material kind? Practicing?
Table of Contents from The Jazz Language by Dan Haerle Intervals, Basic chord construction, Modes of the major scale, Basic Substitution and function, Thirteenth chords, Modes of the harmonic minor scale, voicing and connecting chords, modes of the ascending minor scale, polychord nomenclature, symmetrical altered scales, advanced substitution and function, pentatonic and blues scales, five part harmony, synthetic scales, developing improvisational skills, melody harmonization check list, hints on transcribing solos, mode identification guide, a suggested course syllabus Table of Contents from "Improvising Jazz" by Jerry Coker The Improvisor,s Basic Tools, an introduction to melody, the rhythm section, the first playing session, development of the ear, further study of chord types, swing, the diminished scale, analysis and development of melody, chord superimposition, functional harmony Table of Contents from "The Jazz Idiom"
Jazz history, understanding jazz styles, jazz keyboard, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Arranging
Table of Contents from "The Jazz Piano Book" by Mark Levine About the author, acknowledgments Photography directory, introduction and a note on terminology and chord symbols, Chapters: Intervals and triads--review, the major modes and II-V-I, three-note voicings, sus and phrygian chords, adding notes to three-note voicings, tritone substitution, left-hand voicings, altering notes in left-hand voicings, scale theory, * introduction: why scales? * Major scale harmony * melodic minor scale harmony * diminished scale harmony * whole-tone scale harmony, putting scales to work, practicing scales, so what chords, fourth chords, upper structures, pentatonic scales, voicings, voicings, voicings, four-note scales, block chords, salsa and Latin jazz, 'comping, loose ends, practice, practice, practice, listen

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