John Coltrane's Tone Circle

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Jameshow, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. phloopy

    phloopy Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Messages:
    3,620
    Likes Received:
    1,587
  2. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    923
    Get Yusef Lateef's book on it (see earlier post) if anyone really wants to go into more depth than Roel Hollander as great as his breakdown is. That's where he got most of it from and Lateef was gifted it by Coltrane himself.
     
  3. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Messages:
    6,922
    Likes Received:
    4,998
    I've read this once - very inspiring:
    Frank Sikora - New Jazz-Hamonielehre (Understanding - Listening - Playing) From theory to improvisation - 589 book pages with CD Rom
     
  4. Ŧยχøя

    Ŧยχøя Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2020
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    758
    Location:
    Neverland
    I'm not an expert about Coltrane's Circle,
    it never really Clicked for me, just as the regular Circle of Fifths didn't click either..

    It's Cool to see Harmonic, Geometrical and possibly Modulation patterns in a visual way,
    but I don't really see the point, and it's not really Crucial for harmonic understanding..

    Because given a certain amount of theoretical/harmonic knowledge,
    any person can understand/navigate and effectively use harmony, without using this Circle methods at all..

    Also I'm not really so keen on the whole Esoteric aspect with the merkaba and so on..
    I mean trying to give it a cosmological/divine sense, seems a bit unfounded and pretentious to me. :dunno:


    However what I do like, and what really Clicked for me it's two things:

    1.- Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept of tonal Organization..
    Which basically says that: given that the 5th is the most natural/direct/perfect interval,
    one can derive a fully comprehensive method based on the Lydian scale,
    which arises naturally as the center after stacking a number of fifths..

    It would be hard to explain in detail, but it considers Lydian the most "perfect" scale and the tonal center,
    and then keeps on developing the same 5ths idea to come up with ALL the other scales/modes/tonalities that naturally exist and can be derived..

    Again, it would be too long for me to explain here,
    but if you want to know more get the Books, they're Very interesting.

    And afaik some major jazzists were into it like Bill Evans..


    2.- The Andihemitonic Heptatonic Modality by Adam Neely..
    Which is basically a system of organization, that takes all the Proper heptatonic modes/scales
    (meaning they don't include more than two consecutive semitones)..

    Basically all the modes of the: Melodic Major, Melodic minor, Harmonic Major and Harmonic minor

    And organizes them in terms of Brightness and Darkness, or iow Sharps and Flats,
    giving you a very synthesized and gradual view of harmony/modality, makin it easier to grasp at a glance..

    Brightness | Andihemitonic Heptatonic Mode
    +5 Lydian #2, #5
    +4 Lydian #2
    +4 Lydian Augmented
    +3 Lydian
    +3 Ionian #5
    +2 Ionian
    +2 Lydian b7
    +2 Lydian b3
    +1 Mixolydian
    +1 Ionian b3
    +1 Dorian #4
    +1 Ionian b6
    0 Dorian
    0 Mixolydian b6
    0 Aeolian nat. 7
    0 Mixolydian b2
    -1 Aeolian
    -1 Dorian b2
    -1 Phrygian nat. 3
    -1 Dorian b5
    -2 Phrygian
    -2 Locrian nat. 2
    -2 Locrian nat. 6
    -3 Locrian
    -3 Phrygian b4
    -4 Locrian b4
    -4 Locrian bb7
    -5 Locrian b4 bb7

    This is the meat and potatoes of the matter,
    you just need to write down all the Intervals of each Mode to see how they gradually shift from more/less Neutrality,
    to being gradually more dissonant towards the Sharps direction, and gradually more dissonant towards the Flats direction..
    But -> at a Glance.

    Then he continues developing the idea, giving examples of chord progressions/modulations,
    getting into "Antimodal" Voicings, the Diminished Heptatonics and so on..

    Here's the full document, which will be available for one week..

    Very interesting, and highly recommended read from my part :wink:
    (thank me tomorrow..)

    And yeah that's pretty much it!
    I will take a second look at this Coltrane Circle, and if I find something interesting/it clicks I will tell..
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  5. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    923
    Both great Authors and George was a great teacher (RIP). :like:

    Ask any musician who played in George's ensembles at New England Conservatory just how difficult his music was. On a scale of 1-10 quoting Spinal Tap, they'll likely tell you his music was often dialled to 11. :bow:
     
  6. Jameshow

    Jameshow Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2021
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    33
    Great find. "A Love Supreme" was how I was first introduced to Coltrane. It's amazing how simple it is.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  7. Ŧยχøя

    Ŧยχøя Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2020
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    758
    Location:
    Neverland
    What if Bill Evans wrote "Giant Steps?"
     
  8. Jameshow

    Jameshow Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2021
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    33
    There's actually an old animation by Walt Disney that goes into depth about Pythagoras, Music and sacred geometry for anyone interested.

     
  9. Jameshow

    Jameshow Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2021
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    33
    Of course you can find people's analysis of this with Google. However, it's better to start a discussion here where we can all ask further questions. Otherwise you're stuck at a dead end where you're screwed if you just can't fathom what is explained.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  10. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    923
    One of the most common things taught in music is chord-scale relationships. In a way, the 'circle of doom' :hahaha: is not too different.

    It does boil down to using it in practice and practising. Coltrane applied this in his tunes and tunes of others that he covered like Body and Soul, My Favorite Things and his own tunes like Naima and Spiral with his pedal points, A love supreme, Alabama, Ascension and more.. . He freed the harmonic constraints and opened up substitution possibilities.
    A lot of people speak of this player and that player, but any musician who has ever been in a kickass band and I have been in a few, also knows that the interaction, onstage musical communication as well as similar rhythmic, harmonic and time senses of the players provide the platform for exploration.
    The greatest concept in the world if it has shit band members will still sound like shit. Anyone who has studied can be a smartass and say "Well he's pedalling a Bb and it's a D triad so it's a Bbmaj7#5" - But that's not the point. It's like adding a new life into it. Like life a tension and release, it adds something new. Coltrane with his symmetrical Giant Steps changes opened up another aspect of this further. With the pedal and a great band you can explore into neverland. With Giant Steps and Countdown, musicians had to step up to the plate and make something musical while the tempo was travelling at 360bpm. There are a lot of discussions on this. This Coltrane created like a sea captain as a Navigation tool. A lot of musicians will tell you he did it to free himself up from scale dependency and they'd be right - noting that he'd well and truly learned the rules and let his ears do the walking by that point.

    For example as a bassist live. Even if seeing a chart fairly fresh, after once through, the changes become fairly evident. If a soloist decides to create tension, by the time that happens it's likely not their first chorus unless that is the default nature of the tune, it will be at least the fourth chorus. The bassist well and truly by then knows what is coming and their lines spell out changes if they're any good so they'd have a strong sense of harmony. I'll use a simple tune that every jazz musician in the world knows "Autumn Leaves" - It is common to pedal an F in the bridge which changes the entire tension/release. The cycle here on this page can be easily used in SOOOOOOOO many ways then. Those of you who do not know the original and only the real book, it's in Gm(Cm first chord) not Em(Am first chord) so it's a D pedal if you use the real book.
    Any tune with Rhythm changes...any standard actually if you know where the changes are heading. You can use pretty much anything. Coltrane wanted to explore and that's exactly what he and his famous quartet did. Check out Body and soul with a consistent Eb pedal... similarly, Naima has a pedal for the entire 'A' section.

    The Cycle above has whole tone usage (Alabama - a big #5 and minor tune) or hexatonic, melodic minor, Lydian, chromatic.... whatever anyone wants to use - This circle gave Coltrane a Navigation map he memorised that enabled him to go anywhere and always end up where he wanted. That is how it is said that it was intended to be used.


    ALABAMA - COLTRANE QUARTET
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  11. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    923
    JOHN COLTRANE QUARTET Ascension France, 1965

     
  12. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    923
    The object is in the question and an answer that is related in performance or how to use it..
    John Coltrane was 41 when he died so he did not have a lot of time.

    Hypothetically in relation to the thread header if this was answered by some other people NOT on this thread - If someone asks "How does this cycle work in practice?" - The majority seen on other threads will then attempt to show their knowledge of music in general and all the scales that are used and as many convoluted side examples they gleaned from their music education. Some will probably attempt to venture into polyrhythms, another into the historical ramifications of it, another sociologically, another will do a random scale analysis. None of that answers the question. In higher musical circles this is called 'Musical wanking'.

    The question requires two things to comprehend - The cycle and how it is applied. The only answers that are useful are in the form of musical examples in performance and if the person has had experience in using it, sharing physical musical performance examples either personal or by others, not rhetorical regurgitated masses of discombobulating tripe that nobody is performing. Yusef Lateef wrote an award-winning book that describes it and he was given this cycle in person by John Coltrane as a gift. The link is in this thread further up.

    It amazes me how many wannabe know-all's there are on this site after seeing other threads.
    So many that simply have not learned the art of music comprehension into performance. They are so busy trying to show what they know instead of answering the question so another person can put it in to something useful - i.e. play it. They have no idea who else is on this site who never speak up. I do.
    There are musicologists with multiple PhD's from major Universities laughing at them as well as musicians some people have named as references.
    Music is to be played. This cycle, Coltrane used and played and he wrote or arranged music to accommodate his vision. If he spent as much as much time genuflecting his studied knowledge as many here do, nobody would have heard of him, because he died very young and it's what he played that made him famous. The masses of analysis happened well after his death because while he was alive, people were too busy being astonished by what he was playing.
    Transcribe his solos, do not use an existing book. THEN you will understand what he was doing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  13. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    923
    I was sent a PM asking if I could walk my talk. Here is a decent excerpt of a tune I wrote and was recorded 15 years ago using this very cycle in a Coltrane style.
    It doesn't really matter if anyone likes it or hates it, it was done as a closet clean-out to get out of my system. I do not write music to be liked.

    But yeah, I understand his cycle.
    I am even playing microtones in western music :hahaha: anyone with half a brain knows that anyone who plays an instrument like Double Bass will end up playing microtones whether they intended to or not when a tune is over 300bpm. I'm on the bass.

    https://vocaroo.com/18eFvjeT0F9A
     
  14. 23322332

    23322332 Rock Star

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    330
    Hm, there is nothing complex in circle of fifths, it is the basis of notation. It is not some kind of harmony system. The only utility it has is in memorizing how to modulate, if you use sequences that go up/down a fifth/fourth.
    Russell may have been a great jazz composer. This is a fact.
    But another fact is that his theory is completely ignored in academia for many reasons. From his system being useless in practice (not being able to describe existing older music or music out of its categorical boundaries) to simply not being true (and big parts of it that work are basically renaming the standard European harmony system).
    Statements like Lydian scale is the most natural scale are a big joke. While all of Lydian's pitches can be found as harmonics in overtones, they are very high up, it is not something relevant (unlike Major scale, which is can be found in various tunings way lower than Lydian in harmonics, all the ratios are also simple). Lydian is also not known to be used in practice much in any type of culture of any time period! (even in Medieval church system where "Lydian" choral tunes used basically accidentals to be in major, because Ionian didn't exist as a distinct mode)
    In standard European functional harmony F, C, G form a chord cycles that creates the major scale. The point is not that you start counting from F. The point is that F-> C <-G resolve to C.
    If you decide to start from Pythagorean just tuning, you have two choices - by stacking fifths: start on F or you never get it over the tonic, because that's how the math works out:
    177147/131072 = 521.505010 cents Pythagorean augmented third
    or start on G and stack fourths or you never G: 262144/177147 = 678.494990 cents Pythagorean diminished sixth

    The main basic mode that was actually used in Medieval times (in Pythagorean tuning) was Dorian, that's why in generic medieval movies it is so often used to evoke the era.

    Fun fact: there are several pentatonic and heptatonic blues scales that are even lower in harmonic series than Major mode, so they will have low complexity that will resolve in our hearing system as being interpreted as musical "objects".

    Another fact: Adam Neely's classification of scales has problems: not only it excludes scales that are found in existing music, it is in general hard to decide what is "brighter or darker" for certain scales aside from pentatonic and diatonic, because there are various ways to define it. Also, on its own bright and dark means nothing. There are tons of Greek, Spanish, Turkish songs that use dark mode like phrygian in happy sounding pop songs, so it is useless criteria even in psychology of music (while not having any other theoretical value). Propriety of scales is also useless, it basically measures how close is a n-notes scale to n-equal division of octave... Actually, I am not right, the most melodically interesting scales are improper - for example: double harmonic -CDbEFGAbB = the interesting part about this scale is that it also has no problems in just intonation (probably because it has only 4 good chords) unlike major scale.
    Since Dorian mode in 12 ET is closest to 7 equal, it can be safe to say it's the most trivial mode, wow:rofl:
     
  15. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    923
    It's not a cycle of fifths other than that's where he started from and nothing more... OMG I rest my case. Can you play what you perpetually spout?
    I can.
    :hahaha: :rofl:

    Can you do any of your own demonstrations or do you only do what every parrot and mimic does on this site? Mimic someone else's work and show none of your own that says you actually know what you speak?Ad heesive points to what it does and only one part of it as do others - try reading others instead of spouting theoretical information anyone who has done it as a living professionally already knows. .. Read Yusef Lateef's book. Every major player and exponent of Coltrane has.Adam Neely has done some good things but there many as good and better.

    Point to your authoritative published works seeing you know more than Adam Neely or put a sock in it because you are obviously no authority if you cannot. Crapping on award-winning authors if you are not also one only makes the person doing it look like a putz. besides, they'd do it within the context of their work, not like you have.

    Here are the baby steps which several people on this thread have already isolated. Lateef has the full version.
    The cycle of fourths and fifths was only a starting point and if you cannot see that, then that's not the problem of anyone who can see more than that.
    https://roelhollander.eu/en/blog-saxophone/Coltrane-Tone-Circle/
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  16. 23322332

    23322332 Rock Star

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    330
    Read what = bunch of patterns that players with no imagination or stuck in creative block needed to get going?
    Come on. I may not need it at all!
    IN general, if you want such book that is comprehensive, it will be a multi-volume encyclopedia, because of the combination possibilities with even only 12 notes.
    Btw, why this attitude? When you know enough theory and have played existing music for a long time, it may seem trivial to you what I say, but... other people are not you: and I have seen in recent time many people seem to get impressed by very low quality/trivial information (like Jacob Collier rediscovering "negative" harmony which is a some form of harmonic dualism and pitch inversion around arbitrary axis( something already done both in practice and theory by many generations of musicians before him -by any serious composer of polyphonic music; the weird inversion axis comes into play with modernists like Bartok etc)) while not understanding basic musical theory like Circle of fifths!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021
  17. 23322332

    23322332 Rock Star

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    330
    Yeah, I am totally going to link in anonymous pirate audio forum my publications and music...
    If you are interested in modern music theory, check some journals like
    https://www.mtosmt.org/issues/issues.php (free one) or
    https://read.dukeupress.edu/journal-of-music-theory
    I reckon you may find way more interesting diagrams than Coltrane's stuff (that are also practical), if you look around.
     
  18. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    923
    But where are your own performance examples you have carefully avoided answering or you one of the jokes of the music industry and only a musicologist that writes but cannot do? - I can also point to journals and a Doctoral dissertation WhoopeeDoo... It does not say I can play it other than some point to self-played audio examples. In 300 years Coltrane will still be in the History books. You, me and anyone else that has written something academic if they can even be found in 300 years, will be relegated to some kind of remote reference.
    Anyone can learn to write about music, that's just scholastic intellectualism and a desire, but being able to play music which is what music is about and play what you propose is everything, otherwise, it's only theory and worth nothing if it cannot be put into practice.

    But one thing is for sure journal entries unless getting an award are no criteria to bad-mouth someone who has won awards. if you had won awards, you would bad-mouth nobody.
     
  19. 23322332

    23322332 Rock Star

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    330
    What performance examples do you want? Are you talking about microtonal theory from the other discussion or what? I said I won't link my music on this forum, sorry. If you are interested in this type of stuff, play something on your own, you are probably smart enough to do this on your own.
    Coltrane died in 1967, that's not a long time ago; even if there is any human civilization in several centuries, there are too many examples for super famous musicians being forgotten (and considering his youtube views - few videos with 20 mil views, Spotify with 2 mil. listeners, he is not that popular even now = for the cult status he has among jazzers). He would have been probably being already forgotten, if there was no recording music medium (like any of the decent composers/virtuoso musicans that we know nothing of, because it is all about what critics said it was good in history books, but... even this not a much of warranty for anything). By now he is mostly known for "Giant steps progression" as a "meme" (which may be good or bad, depending on the viewpoint).
     
  20. BaSsDuDe

    BaSsDuDe Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2021
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    923
    @23322332 You playing them - With an ensemble or by yourself. whatever you want and which instrument you are playing. With real people if an ensemble. Anyone can get a computer to do it. That's also incredibly easy.
     
Loading...
Loading...