The Harmony Tree (Pedal Point Harmonic Explorations)
In this study I will be covering a harmonic substitution concept I have been researching and exploring for the last few years. I call this approach “The Harmony Tree” as it evolves from a starting “stem/trunk” harmony and just like a tree eventually it branches out in many different directions producing more distant and dissonant harmonic substitutions that are all connected to the same root system.
The concept starts by selecting an initial chord and then using its root as a pedal point over which other chords will invert and branch out. The root/bass note of our first harmony will eventually circle through all possible functioning degrees, extensions and alterations to form other chords (branches) of the harmony tree. These chords will then become possible substitution selections for the original harmony.
In this study I have extracted a ii-7 | V7alt | Imaj7 in the key of Eb major (Fmin7 | Bb7alt | Ebmaj7) and we will apply the Harmony Tree approach to all three chords of our progression individually. Then I will illustrate how the newly formed chords/branches can be used as harmonic substitutions in the context of the ii-V-I progression.
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