~ augmented colors ~

'simply making major more major ...'

diminished defining
diminished intervals
that three tone interval
the diatonic 3 and 3
old # 7
the seven diatonic triads
the diminished triad within V7
common shapes of V7
adding a 7th on Seven

Seven add 7 of harmonic minor

fully diminished 7th chord

diminished symmetry allows ...

essential diminished shapes
so half or fully diminished 7th ?
the portal between 3 and 3
fully diminished within V7b9
multiple leading tones of V7b9
softening the diminished
motion in minor 3rds
Americana harmony evolutions

'the portal color into the whole harmonic Americana tamale ...'

1 1aug7 for once in my life

to two oe four

v7+5 / b5 etcwhole tone scale

augmented triad giant steps

.

In a nutshell. The idea of the word 'augment' is to make bigger, enlarge and otherwise fortify a thing in whatever way seems appropriate. In our musics, we generally 'augment' by making the spaces between our pitches bigger. When we 'augment' a perfect 5tyh interval, we add in a half step to the distance as measured from our root pitch. Thinking 'C' major, examine the pitches as we 'augement' a perfect fifth interval. Example 1.

diatonic colors
emotional environments
tritone sub

In a nutshell. The idea of the word 'augment' is to make bigger, enlarge and otherwise fortify a thing in whatever way seems appropriate. In our musics, we generally 'augment' by making the spaces between our pitches bigger. When we 'augment' a perfect 5tyh interval, we add in a half step to the distance as measured from our root pitch. Thinking 'C' major, examine the pitches as we 'augement' a perfect fifth interval. Example 1.

If 'in theory', we can assign actual endpoints to our diatonic spectrum of musical colors, placing the diminished group of pitches on the end that creates the 'darkest before the dawn' emotional moods of our music would probably not raise a eyebrow of even the staunchest of our diadactics.

As a chord, diminished simply bristles with aural tension that has zero organic or diatonic sense of resolution or at peace when sounded. There is no pitch in a diminished chord that does not contribute to this sense of bristle, yet each of its pitches can equally become a leading tone to point us back to the tonality of a key center. In that the symmetrical diminished colors contain this dual quality of moodiest of our moody tensions paired with pathways to the joyest of light is the basis of much of the theory discussions which follow.

diatonic colors
emotional environments
tritone sub

Another double tritone / V7b5 chords. There is another common way we can bring a double tritone to the lower part of our dominant harmony. In this new color we retain the major 3 and blue 7 which together create the essential core tritone of V7 and add a second tritone by simply lowering the 5th of the chord by half step. This creates a tritone interval between our root pitch and our diminished 5th, opening up the "whole tone" universe. Examine the pitches and their sound. Example 5.

3 and 7
diminished 5th
whole tone universe
arpeggio degrees
1
3
b5
7
.
.
.
.
G 7b5 pitches
G
B
Db
F
.
.
.
.

So where in the music? Bossa Nova Cats dig this chord V7a lot. The last example is similar to Jobim's "Desafinado." It appears most often as an altered Two chord or as a colortone for Six. Jazz players of course find all sorts of places for this color. It is a common last chord in arrangements for a splash of dissonance. In more modern playing, Cats will use the lowered 5th on their tonic major 7th chord type, further reducing the center of tonal gravity of their tonic function chords. Jazz pianist Bill Evans is said to have loved this color.

Bossa Nova / Jobim
altered chords
endings
tonic major 7 b5
Bill Evans

Up an octave to #11. In thinking of our numerical designations that #4 = b5, which of course it does, we can simply expand this root / tritone pairing but moving the #4 / b5 up one octave in the arpeggio. Examine the pitches. Example 5a.

cadential motion
voice leading
tension / resolution
arpeggio degrees
1
3
5
7
9
#11
13
15
G 9 #11 pitches
G
B
D
F
A
C#
.
.

Colortone numbers. While the pitches / letter names remain the same, the numbers change based on where they live in the arpeggio. The reason our #4 / b5 is now # 11 is simply that it is an octave above the root pitch and when assuming such a lofty position in the arpeggio, there usually some combination of 7th and 9th below it to help support it. Example 5a.

cadential motion
voice leading
tension / resolution

Modern Latin vamp. This last idea is very common these days among Jazz players looking for extended solo sections with an almost static or non changing harmony. The voicing above, a true Dr. Miller Hollywood chord, easy phases back and fourth with the # 11 and Lydian based color. If we're skilled enough to make the bar lines go away in the Latin groove, this type of extended soloing just might go on for a couple of days while all dancers will rejoice :)

vamp
Dr. Miller
Hollywood chords
vanishing bar lines

Whole tone qualities. Well anytime we get three consecutive whole steps we gain the whole tone color potential. The wholetone grouping of pitches holds the same symmetrical properties as the diminished color. It has the multiple resolution to assigned tonics from one set group of pitches most commonly arranged as a chord, which also like the diminished shapes, can be moved as a constant structure by whole step, major third etc., all the while retaining core pitches and overall musical direction of the composition.

whole tone color
constant structure
tension / resolution

Whole tone resolving qualities. In examining our whole tone, double tritone V7b5 chord, we can easily fill in the rest of the pitches generated by the whole tone scale formula and create the complete whole tone scale. From this we can diatonically build our altered dominant chords and see the possible resolutions based on our Five / One cadential motion. Example 5b.

whole tone scale
constant structure
tension / resolution
arpeggio degrees
1
3
5
7
.
.
G 7b5 pitches
G
B
Db
F
.
.
G whole tone scale
G
A
B
Db
Eb
F
V7b5 chord pitches
GBDbF
AC#EbG
BD#FA
DbFGB
EbGADb
FABEb
V7b5 roots
G7b5
A7b5
B7b5
Db7b5
Eb7b5
F7b5
resolution keys
C / A-
D / B-
B7b5
Db7b5
Eb7b5
F7b5

To the minor key center. The b5 dominant color into the minor tonality can get pretty tangled up as the b5 is a half step above our tonic / root pitch. Note in the next idea that we briefly move up to the 9th before resolving to C minor. of the augmented / whole tone colors, the V7+5 is possibly more common into the minor tonality as the +5 is the Blue 3rd of our tonic. Example 5f.

cadential motion
voice leading
tension / resolution

Wheel of tritones / cycle of fifths. The tritone interval enjoys a rather distinctive status on our wheel of pitches. It's curious how this shakes loose but it is what it is. Examine the location of our tritone intervals on our 12 pitch keyclock. Example 1b.

cycle of 5th's
keyclocks
tritone interval pitches
C
G
D
A
E
B
F#
Db
Ab
Eb
Bb
F
F# / Gb
Db
Ab
Eb
Bb
F
C
Gb
D
A
E
B

Really? Directly across the clock face? We can locate any pitch's tritone interval by locating the pitch directly across the circle? That is indeed the case mon ami. Crazy huh but very handy :) So knowing this, check this out. Example 1b.

WOW ! Now the compass points show us four key centers, each of which is the major / relative minor tonic of each other. I'll have to add this into the mix. This visualization of the major / minor key centers from within the cycle of fifth's is new for me. I just discovered this :) Do print and tack these two up for reference.

major / minor

So where is the tritone in our music. Well anytime we're grooving on anything with a hint of the Blues, chances are there's a tritone in the neighborhood. So in thinking of the American sounds, in a word, everywhere. Well, probably not in Children's songs of course, unless they're spooky Holloween tunes. In Folk, never ( did I just say that ... yet another first :) in the melody but always of course in any standard type of V7 / G7 / D7 chord etc. The Blues influence in any of the Rock styles of course needs the tritone pitch / interval.

musical styles

The Metalists love the tritone interval. It's all over their music and used to dramatic effect. In pop, again any V7 chord is going to have the tritone within. Rare in pop melodies, although one of America's favorite melodies from 1957 "Maria" is classic tritone color. For Jazz and beyond, like everything else we Jazz theorists can conjure, the tritone is a super catalyst for coolness, a building block to new horizons where it loses its demonic edge and becomes a key step in the stairway to the musical stars and beyond.

Maria

Where in history. Well history has not been overly kind to our tritone. Known at one point as the "Diablo de Musica", the big tritone players probably have had a bit of a rough go of it. Of course even early on, when encapsulated within within the V7 chord, the tritone has always been cool. Once the Blues took hold, the tritone found a home of its own and even as a melody note, has been a cherished member of the family.

Diablo de Musica
encapsulate
Blue notes

When the Jazz harmony started to evolve in the later 30's toward Bebop with Cat's like guitarist Charlie Christian working the magic, the diminished chord color and its organic "double tritone" opened up a new way to look at things. As Cats got hipper, V7b9 created a new way "out" in Jazz speak. Within twenty five years or so of Mr. Christian and his bandmate's work, John Coltrane wrote and released his masterwork "Giant Steps." A composition which even today sits as the crown jewel atop the theory / shedding challenges that Mr. Christian helped initiate and Mr. Coltrane developed and conquered.

Bebop
Charlie Christian
diminished chord
V7b9
John Coltrane
theory/shedding

Review. Perhaps needless to say the tritone has come quite a ways since its days as "the diablo of music." A core component in American Blues, which of course is at the root of all things American music, the tritone and its related activities plays an essential role in anything Blues and beyond. And while we'll find the dominant chord's inner tritone sounds in Folk music, any other use of its sound is simply not a part of the tradition.

Our tritone comes in two basic varieties. As a single note interval measured from another or as a two pitch, pre-made tritone, that we slip into existing structures. Our single pitch, octave splitter is the crucial pitch to evolve the Blues scale from its minor penatonic core. While the two pitch tritone evolves the major pentatonic grouping of pitches into the diatonic major / relative minor scales.

In our harmony, the tritone color creates the key aural tension that makes our dominant Five seven chord a dominant V7 chord. We'll find this basic chord generally within all of our American musical styles. From V7 forward, at least within the Jazz language, artists have added the tritone's symmetrical theory properties to their palette of techniques to continue their search for the myriad of nuanced ways to create the tension and release of their art.

"It is not so hard for me to jam."

M.C. Hammer
1
#1
b2
2
b3
3
4
#4
b5
5
#5
b6
6
b7
7
8
b9
9
#9
-10
10
11
#11
12
b13
13
b14
14
15
#15
Footnotes:

Russell, George. The Lydian Chromatic Concept Of Tonal Organization. USA Concept Publishing Company, Cambridge, Mass. 1982