|Passing Tones||| print this page | close this window ||
The complete definition of passing-tones is very specific:
PASSING TONE between two different CHORD TONES by SCALE STEP.
In order to create them, a scale which contains all three (triad) or four (seventh) chord-tones is required. In addition, for seventh-chords the scale must be at least a seven-note scale (with certain exceptions) with one of each pitch-class, or letter-name ( A - G ).
In scale-degree numbers, the chord-tones are 1, 3, 5 for triads, and 1, 3, 5, 7 for sevenths. The passing-tones will be scale-degrees 2, 4 and 6, with diminished sevenths having a passing-tone between the 7th and the root.
This produces two or three groupings of notes which become passing-tone cells. These cells can express ascending or descending, and can be combined with chord-tones to produce prototype patterns for progression studies.
|scale-degree||1 2 3||3 2 1||3 4 5||5 4 3||5 6 7||7 6 5|
|example in C||C D E||E D C||E F G||G F E||G A B||B A G|
In order to apply passing-tones to a harmonic situation, the Rhythmic Resolution must be determined. Straight-eighth rhythms like rock or latin can usually be covered with an eighth-note 1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and resolution (8). Shuffle and swing rhythms sub-divide each beat up into three equal parts called triplets, in a 1-trip-let-2-trip-let-3-trip-let-4-trip-let resolution (12).
|Straight 8th example (8)|
|prototype||1 - 2 - 3 - 5
[ 2-beat ]
|1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 3 - 1
[ 4-beat ]
|Shuffle example (12)|
|prototype||1 - 2 - 3 | 5 - 4 - 3 | 5 - 6 - b7 | 5 - 4 - 3|
Working with passing-tones is much more effective if done with multiple prototype groupings. This ensures that the concept of passing-tones will be absorbed, avoiding rote repetition of one or two ideas. Passing-tone drills like the Giant Steps Exercises are usually presented in groups of eight or twelve related prototypes, with mechanisms for different chord durations, as in two-beat and four-beat.
©2003, Frank Singer | Naked Kitty Productions | chelaBOP | Frank Singer.com
All Rights Reserved