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Thread: Key signature of my first jazz tune?

  1. #1
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    Key signature of my first jazz tune?

    Hey guys,

    This is my first Jazz tune ive ever written, but im not sure of the key signature of the piece. I thought at first the A section was in Ebmajor and that the B section was in E lydian (Bmajor) but due to the heavy chromatisicm involved it becomes a little confusing. Here the chord sequences:

    A section: (3/4 time signature) (AABA structure) (Eb major?)

    Ebmaj7 - Ebmaj9 - Bbmaj7 - Am7 x2
    Abmin7 - Bmaj13- Ebm Dm Dbm - Cm - Fm - G7b9 - Abmaj 13 - Bmaj13 - Bmaj13

    B section: (E lydian?)

    G#min7 - A#min 7 - Eadd9 - (Eadd9) x4


    Also any pointers on adjusting the piece are welcome, since im knew to jazz

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanUK View Post
    Hey guys,

    This is my first Jazz tune ive ever written, but im not sure of the key signature of the piece. I thought at first the A section was in Ebmajor and that the B section was in E lydian (Bmajor) but due to the heavy chromatisicm involved it becomes a little confusing. Here the chord sequences:

    A section: (3/4 time signature) (AABA structure) (Eb major?)

    Ebmaj7 - Ebmaj9 - Bbmaj7 - Am7 x2
    Abmin7 - Bmaj13- Ebm Dm Dbm - Cm - Fm - G7b9 - Abmaj 13 - Bmaj13 - Bmaj13
    You really mean Bmaj13 here? Not Bbmaj13?
    Whichever, I get no sense of a clear key centre here. Lots of different ones are implied:

    Ebmaj7 - Bbmaj7 = Bb major
    Bbmaj7 - Am7 = F major
    Abm7 (G#m7) - Bmaj13 - Ebm (D#m) - Dbm (C#m) = B major
    Fm - G7b9 - Abmaj13 = C minor
    Quote Originally Posted by SeanUK View Post
    B section: (E lydian?)

    G#min7 - A#min 7 - Eadd9 - (Eadd9) x4
    More clearly B major.

    So it seems more chords belong to B major (5 sharps) than any other key, tho you could make an argument for Eb/Cm (3 flats). (E lydian would be same key sig as B major, IMO.)

    A lot depends on the melody, and what chord your sequence resolves to (if any), but on the face of it I would notate this with a blank key sig (indicating no overall key, not C major), using accidentals as necessary.
    Quote Originally Posted by SeanUK View Post
    Also any pointers on adjusting the piece are welcome, since im knew to jazz
    See above about enharmonics.
    This is a surprisingly complicated sequence for someone new to jazz. (Nothing wrong with it, but I'm wondering about those maj13s...)
    If you're a guitarist, perhaps you could post tab of your melody, or your chord shapes? Also clearer timings (bars, chords per bar). That might help clarify some things.

  3. #3
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    Yeah this the first ever jazz tune I have written, although its in very early stages so I have not made a melody for it yet. It was for my composition assignment at uni, but if its atonal kind of then I cant really use it, as I have to have at least one passage of functional harmony and it appears it doesnt make sense musically I tried getting someone to record a tenor sax over it but it didn't sound to good and the key changes put the sax player off. All I have at the moment is drums, bass and guitar. The chord shapes are:

    Ebmaj7 Ebmaj9 Bbmaj7 Am7
    -- -- -- --
    -8 -6 -6 -5
    -7 -7 -7 -5
    -8 -5 -7 -5
    -6 -6 -- --
    -- -- -6 -5


    Bbm7 Bmaj13 Ebm7 (I use all the same chord shapes for the rest)

    -- -- --
    -6 -9 -7
    -6 -8 -6
    -6 -8 -8
    -- -- -6
    -6 -7 --


    B section:


    G#m7 A#m7 Eadd9

    -2- -4- --
    -0- --- -7
    -4- -6- -6
    -4- -6- -6
    --- --- -7
    -4- -6- --

    Hope this helps

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