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Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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April 18, 2011 | Steve Mugglin Progression Map

We've explored the concepts of Tonic, Dominant, and Dominant Preparation as the most basic of components of Western European music. These simple labels are key to understanding how music moves, functions, energizes, and rests. We've come across the efforts of Steve Mugglin and his efforts at to map and codify some of these as they apply to songwriting.

The chart is a little intimidating, unless you've take time to unravel the basic 'ii V7 I' progression for yourself. Note he uses the common Roman numeral system, and expands to other chords, mapping out potential movement within these members. (Hints: Trace the movement of the arrows and move backwards. Blue objects are points of rest, green either set up or move toward the green.)

We think this is brilliant.

Click image for closeup

Talk amongst yourselves...

More from Steve Mugglin
Read MandolinSessions article, Understanding the 'ii V7 I' Progression
Read JazzMando article, Jazz Primer: Harmonic Function


Posted by Ted at April 18, 2011 5:50 AM

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