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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm interested to know how some of you apply this concept to improvising/composing:

 

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I was hoping to learn about the concept from this video, but the #*%! stupid distracting background music kept blanking out my tonal memory of pitch relationships. Why on earth would a video about music theory need a bed of background music?!

If you know of a comparable video on this subject without pointless sonic distractions, I'd very much appreciate the link.
 

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It’s the beard popping in and out of view that fascinated me! Not sure what the punchline is for horn players rather than jazz guitarists here, can someone explain in one sentence please?
 

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It's interesting as one thing that results from a symmetrical chromatic scale, but Jacob Collier sounds wonderful because he's such a creative character & a fine arranger and singer, not just because of this. (I'm interested that G7 becomes Fmin6, like a minor plagal cadence, aka Misty). I know it's really popular with young students now, but so were the theories of Tristano, Gunther Schuller or George Russell at other times. Nothing wrong with that.

I love musicians who come up with their own concepts, Barry Harris would break the Major scale into Maj 6 notes and diminished notes (similar to stable/active). Pharaoh Sanders and Eddie Harris also came up with their own ideas.
 

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It looks to me like a formula to find some possible interesting chord substitutions (or borrowed chords from the parallel major or minor key). Like he mentions, not all of them sound good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I took a reharmonization class through Berklee from this guy who wrote the definitive book on Tal Farlow- it was my toughest class by far. But this way of looking at it is much more accessible to me. It reminds me of different ways Japanese and American children learn math- there are so many different ways people think and put things together, and for some reason, this way of looking at it helped me. It's like any reharmonization method I guess- just because it theoretically works doesn't mean it's right for the particular thing you're looking at. It's always a judgment call on how much reharmonization something can take depending on style, etc.
 

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It looks to me like a formula to find some possible interesting chord substitutions (or borrowed chords from the parallel major or minor key). Like he mentions, not all of them sound good.
+1

I don't find the concept really logical - but perhaps it's sometimes a good way to leave your harmonisation routine and find a progression you did not think of before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
+1

I don't find the concept really logical - but perhaps it's sometimes a good way to leave your harmonisation routine and find a progression you did not think of before.
I think the logic is in the stable notes going to stable and the active notes into active- but only on that axis. I do wonder how "regular" reharmonization as you call it fits into the construct- such as tritone subs.
 

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...But this way of looking at it is much more accessible to me. It reminds me of different ways Japanese and American children learn math- there are so many different ways people think and put things together, and for some reason, this way of looking at it helped me...
Well put and thanks for sharing it. Very helpful for me to go through different approaches until one works for me ("is more accessible"). FWIW I find it more intuitive to rename "active" to "unstable" to express the tendency to resolve towards stability.
 

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It's a bit like painting by numbers, the "true genius" may frown upon it but it is a very valuable way of providing an entry point into certain genres of music. Bear in mind that you don't need the full spectrum of the Negative Harmony, all you need is an example or two that you take from the menu of available options and you can create music that you didn't even dream up before. Or maybe you stumbled upon some sequences by accident and if you were lucky, you recorded it or remembered it.

I agree, for the horn player it may not be that interesting but at least when somebody tries to impress you with some beautiful dissonances, you can shrug it off with the remark "oh, wasn't that from 3:37 of the YouTube video on Negative Harmony and get a kick out of the blush effect :)

Jokes aside, as I said above, there is some cool stuff and some really interesting sequences and you can just take some of them and use them as base lines for some original music as opposed to 1-4-5 or 2-5-1, even without understanding the resolutions and stable to unstable transitions.

Think of all the stuff that is created now only as digital art where you just punch in the chord and you get the track as output. Hopefully negative harmony for the masses increases the variety of melodies we are subjected to in the elevator beyond the simple Major or minor scales :)
 
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