Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Chart

The Chart

Things have been kinda heavy around here for awhile, so I thought I'd lighten up a bit and speak of beauty for a change, instead of political fraud and murderous corruption. Sometimes we need a break from those kind of things.

With that in mind, while sitting around idle, I thought I'd do something constructive for a community of people that has made my life a pure joy--musicians. So I've put together a chord chart that serves as the foundational basis for ALL music. Once you've gotten the knowledge herein under your fingers, you're a musician, pure and simple--or if you're already a musician, it'll make you a better one.

The chart lays out all of the basic chords in music chromatically. In addition, at the very bottom there's a key signature chart that goes through the cycle of fifths from left to right, and the cycle of fourths from right to left. It also lays out the sharps or flats in every key. If you're studying the cycle of fifths, find the key you're looking for, then the row beneath it relates all of the sharps or flats related to that key from left to right. The cycle of fourths simply reverses the process going from right to left.

If this modest effort contributes to the development of just one more technically competent musician in this world, it will have more than served its purpose.

This time and effort is dedicated to the memory of Dexter Gordon--both a towering musician, and man--whose powerful tenor saxophone soared mightily over the musical theme that has defined my life:

A Swingin' Affair

Was told as a child
Blacks had no worth,
Not a nickel’s worth of dimes.
I believed that myth
‘Til Dex rode in
With his ax
In double time.

Horn was soarin’,
The changes flyin’,
His rhythm right on time;
My heart
Beat with the pleasure
Of new found pride,
His blood
Flowed through mine.

Took the chords
The keyboard played,
And danced around each note;
Then shuffled ‘em
Like a deck of cards,
And didn’t miss a stroke.

B minor 7 with flatted 5th,
A half diminished chord,
He substituted a lick in D,
Then really began to soar.

He tipped his hat
To Charlie Parker,
And quoted
Trane with Miles,
Then paid his homage to
Thelonious Monk,
In Charlie Rouse's style.

He took
A Scrapple From The Apple,
Then went to Billie’s Bounce,
The rhythm section, now on fire,
But he didn’t budge an ounce.

He just
Dug right in
To shuffle again,
This time
A Royal Flush,
Then lingered a bit
Behind the beat,
Still smokin’
But in no rush.

Then he
Doubled the time
Just like this rhyme,
In fluid 16th notes,
Charlie and Lester,
"your baby boy, Dexter’s,
On top of the
Bebop you wrote.@

Like a banshee,
This prince of saxophone,
His ballads dripped of honey,
His Arpeggios were strong.

Callin’ on his idles,
Ghost of Pres’
Within in the isles,
Smiling at his protege,
At the peak of this new style.

His tenor
Drenched of Blackness,
And all the things we are--
Of pain, and pleasure,
And creative greatness
Until his final bar.

Eric L. Wattree
A moderate is one who embraces truth over ideology, and reason over conflict.

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