View Full Version : Non-Tertian Harmony

01-04-2003, 08:18 PM
I am post an example of Quartal Triads. Where the intervals between each chord tone is a diatonic 4th.

01-04-2003, 08:20 PM
If you invert these into open forms you get Quintal harmony, based on diatonic 5ths. (Inverted 4ths are 5ths).

01-04-2003, 08:22 PM
It is also interesting to note that Sextal harmony (based on 6ths)is open inversions of tertian harmony.

01-04-2003, 08:32 PM
Interesting stuff. My question is how do you use this?

I mean I love quartal harmony and I use it quite often but maybe ya have an example of how you apply this - eg to comping over a II V progression.



01-04-2003, 08:42 PM
I don't have an example of comping but I did post a reharmonization of 'Jingle Bells' using this, to the reharmonization thread.

01-04-2003, 08:44 PM
yep, and I just replied :D

01-04-2003, 08:55 PM
I think that I should leave the comping examples up to you, since my uses for this are just to have weird harmonies and not for any particular substitution.

01-04-2003, 09:00 PM
I do remember Frank Gambale writing several articles on 'Magic chords' which were sus 2 or sus 4 chords (which could be thought of as quartal ). I have the articles somewhere, but I have forgotten what he was trying to do with them.

01-04-2003, 10:37 PM
I don't always have an immediate practical application for the concepts I post. Sometimes it is just to be informative. I am hoping those of you who are properly schooled can provide the practical application aspect.

01-05-2003, 01:18 AM
i love that almost medieval feel that quintal harmonies create...

sorry, just thought I would put in my two cents

Birdie of Fire
01-05-2003, 01:53 PM
Hello , this is my first post here .
I used to be quite a Quartal Harmony Addict , and
back then , I learned how to comp in that style.

For example the progression like Dm7 - G7 - CM7 - FM7 .
This progression is based on C Major scale, no Sharp or Flat .
so the voicings for Quartal Harmony will be based on C Major Scale .
The voicing will be C on 5th string ,F on 4th , B on 3rd E ... like that .
But basically , I use 3note Quartal Voicing so that I can move the neck
much easier and able to blend in with other instruments .
When using this 3note Q Voicings,you can also Invereted like the other
triads .For example C triad will be CEG--EGC--GCE ,
and one of the 3note Q.Voicing from C major scale will be GCF-- CFG--GFC .
These inversions will give you much color in the Quartal Harmony .

Finally about the comping .
It's much like the usuall chord theory .
Watch out for the Avoid note !!
back to the progression , Dm7 . the avoid note will be ' B '
so just use the Q.voicing without 'B' .
If you want to emphasis the Character of ' Dm7 ' , using the Voicing
which contains 'F' would be good .
And same things can be said for the other chords G7 ,CM7 , FM7 .
But , most of the Tunes out there aren't just using same scale for
the entire song .
When it comes to the progression with Chord( scale )changes, change the
Quartal Harmony based another scale .
If the scale changed to one of the 7 modes( Ionian ,Dorian ..) , they are
same with some kind of major scale , so you can just move the Voicing .
But if it changed to the scale like , Melodic minor or Harmonic Minor ,
Voicings will change .

So, using the Quartal Harmony in comping ,
one has to know the Quartal Harmony based on Major scale ,
Melodic Minor scale , Harmonic Minor scale .
And knowing the note which should be avoided in the chord .

Well .... what I learned from playing with the band is
Not to over use it !!
Using the Quartal Harmony will give a quite a different color
to the harmony but will be boring if use it for entire tune .
Combining with the other Voicings will be the easiest and
most efficiant way .

I should have attached some score for it .
but this is my first post , I'll try it some other time .

01-05-2003, 09:37 PM
Some tab or staff of your ideas would be helpful.
I suggest using powertab.

01-05-2003, 11:21 PM
A while ago I played such a piece of progression:

F# -> F#sus4 -> F#5/E5 -> B5 (see image)

F#5/E5 is a good example of mixing two power chords so to form a stacked fifths structure (e, b, f#, c#). Sounds powerful ehough!

01-06-2003, 02:10 AM
Under the Section Menu of PowerTab there is a choice to copy the section to the clipboard or to a file, this will get rid of the little blue cursor.

01-06-2003, 02:12 AM
The sting song "If I built a fortress around your heart"
sounds to me like quartal haromies or a lot of pentatonic (6/9)chords.

Birdie of Fire
01-06-2003, 04:36 AM
This one is the Inversions of 3voice Quartal Harmony.

Birdie of Fire
01-06-2003, 04:38 AM
And this is the one used in Chord changes.