Session 4

Transposition

Bb instruments.
These include Bb clarinet, Bb trumpet, Soprano sax, and Tenor Sax and are constructed in such a way that when they play in 'open key' (ie. the key of C) they sound one tone flat (ie. Bb). Thus in order to play with the piano, their scores must be written one tone above. Hence if the tune is in C (concert pitch) their music will be written in D.
Eb instruments. These include Alto Clarinet, Alto Sax, and Eb Horn and are constructed in such a way that when they play in 'open key' (ie. The key of C) they sound a minor third sharp.(ie. The key of Eb). Thus in order to play with the piano, their scores must be written a minor third flat. Hence if the tune is in C (concert pitch) their music must be written in A. (this must sometimes be transposed an octave higher).


The II - V - I Chord Sequence

Here are two examples of II - V - I chord sequences.

251 example

The first two bars consitute II - V - I in the key of Bb. (note that the accidentals obey the standard rules for each bar).

The second two bars constitute a II - V - I in the key of Ab and the third (not visible) is in Gb. Continue this sequence and complete the cycle of keys.

Notice the addition of 9ths and 13ths which help to 'spice up' the chords. The following table shows the continuation of this sequence.


Abm7 Db7 Gbmaj7
Gbm7 B7 Emaj7
Em7 A7 Dmaj7
Dm7 G7 Cmaj7
Cm7 F7 Bbmaj7

The most common usage for the II - V - I is the 'turnaround'. This is usually indicated in brackets at the end of the lead sheet. (Seen here in 'Out Of Nowhere'.)

Out Of Nowhere

The II - V - I is also frequently used in an extended form. (Seen here in 'I Can't Get Started').

I Can't Get Started

Here the sequence becomes II-V-II-V-II-V--II-V-I.
Further examples of the use of II - V - I sequences in various forms can be found in
'Lover' (Rodgers & Hart) - click on the title Lover
'Early Autumn' (Woody Herman) and 'Giant Steps' (John Coltrane).



An important chord which is used extensively in jazz is the so called Half-diminished chord. This chord is a minor seventh chord but with a flattened fifth.

music score diag
C half-diminished = Cm7(b5) = C

The half-diminished chord is often used in a II - V - I sequence as in this example from 'Beautiful Love' by Victor Young.

Beautiful Love

Click here to download a lead sheet of Beautiful Love which you may use for practice.




Lesson 5