From Ruby, My Dear:
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Love your website and your playing, man! Your Monk transcriptions are fantastic. The wrong note in the second measure is delicious. To my ears, it sounds like a dominant with a tonic bass. I hear Terence Blanchard use this sound a lot. You raise a very interesting question as to whether Monk was playing a wrong note by accident or on purpose.
Keep up the awesome work, Chris!
I think it’s all deliberate. Their frequency and consistency imply that Monk had it worked out. I call them “wrong notes” only because they go against everything music theory teaches us!
Is it possible to have a music theory that encapsulates everything that’s beautiful? I’m not sure… But if someone wanted to develop a theory that includes Monk’s music, he/she would have to look above and beyond traditional harmony and counterpoint; there’s a greater architecture happening in his music.
I love this quote from Stravinsky’s The Poetics of Music, and I think it’d be a great place to start:
“All music being nothing but a succession of impulses and repose, it is easy to see that the drawing together and separation of poles of attraction in a way determine the respiration of music.”
Consonance and dissonance; tension and release; sound and silence. How does Monk mess with these poles of attraction and how does he differ from everyone else?
The opening chord chord from Ruby my Dear could be written: E9sus4(add3) or D-triad/E-triad, but those symbols don’t fully explain what’s happening. For that kind of explanation, I think there needs to be a “bigger picture” perspective. What do you think?
I’m glad you’re enjoying; thanks for the comments!
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