Negative harmony part 3: the Levy legacy

In part 2 of this series we used chromatic circle diagrams to show how chords and scales are affected by chromatic inversion - the basic operation of negative or mirror harmony. We noted that there are twelve available reflection points or 'axes'. Jacob Collier popularised the use of one specific axis, located 3½ semitones above… Continue reading Negative harmony part 3: the Levy legacy

A tune won’t eat you alive. But try telling your ears that.

I want to say something about the 'Lady Madonna' theory of jazz education. The approach which says that, to be a good improviser, you need to 'listen to the music playing in your head'. Sure, playing what you hear in your head is better than playing some formula from a theory textbook. And sure, for… Continue reading A tune won’t eat you alive. But try telling your ears that.

Teacher don’t teach me no nonsense

Jazz education is a fraught subject. If you think people get passionate about styles of music, wait until you encounter the emotions that surround different ways of teaching and learning jazz. The role of jazz theory is particularly controversial. I thought the discussions at a local jazz education conference, held in Brighton earlier this year,… Continue reading Teacher don’t teach me no nonsense