Upper Structures over complete Jazz Standards Progressions

There are many ways to expand and develop a chord-voicings vocabulary.
A standard approach is to stack simple structures (triads, quartals, dyads) on top of other simple ones, thus creating a richer color palette for your voicings. These structures are usually called Upper Structures.


In the Upper Structures over complete Jazz Standards Progressions book collection we have used the chord/chord-scale pairing method to determine which upper structure to use over a chord depending on their current harmonic function in a progression. We found the best approach was to offer the complete set of 1000+ Jazz Standards in three volumes with upper structures over every chord that allows a major, minor or augmented triad as an upper structure.

In other words, instead of giving you a list of upper structure to use on every chord, we show you the application of this concept over the complete jazz repertoire.

The list of jazz standards was taken from The Jazz Standards Progressions Book collection created using Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro, in which every jazz tune is fully analyzed: functionally and as chord/chord-scale pairings.

Take a look inside the books


What is a structure?

Simply put, a structure is a set of two or more notes.
An interval is a structure. Any scale with any number of notes is also a structure (the pentatonic, the major triad, the major scale, the minor scale, the three notes ABC, etc…)

Every structure has a particular sound which is the result of the amalgamation of all the intervals that one can build between any pair of notes in that structure.
It is very important to understand that when we transpose a structure, the color of the structure does not change; since the relationship between the intervals in the transposed structure stays constant when transposed.
i.e. D major scale and the E major scale (or any other major scale) have the same color; the color of the major scale.

Major and Minor Triads as Upper Structures

These two triads have been used in music since the very beginning of tonality– circa 1600. The major and minor triads consist of only three notes, which makes their sound easily recognizable. They contain a perfect interval (5th or 4th) and two consonant intervals: a major 3rd and a minor 3rd (major and minor 6th when inverted)

Augmented Triads as Upper Structures

Augmented triads work really well on top of chords and must be included as an option when looking for upper structures.

Diminished Triads as Upper Structures
We must mention that we deliberately did not include diminished triads due to their lack of effectiveness when used as upper structures. The diminished sound does not work well as an independent sound on top of a chord.

Quartals as Upper Structures

Most players are used to seeing quartal voicings only in quartal music where you build chords by stacking 4ths instead of thirds, or in modal music, but this book concentrates on the use of quartals as upper structures over standard chord progressions such as a IIm7 – V7 – Imaj7.

What are quartals?

In this book we have considered 3-note quartals only, just as the were a modification of a triad. This reduction will allow us to treat quartals the same way we treated triads on the previous volumes, using the quartal sound as an upper structure. Note that every time the term “quartal” is used it will represent these 3-notes structures nothing else.


The complete upper structures collection includes:
1000+ Jazz Standards Reharmonized with mixed Upper Structure Triads & Quartals
1000+ Jazz Standards (Original Progressions) with Upper Structure Triads
1000+ Jazz Standards (Original Progressions) with Upper Structure Quartals
Major, Minor and Augmented Triads or Perfect and Altered Quartals over every chord.
This amazing collection is unique in the Jazz World!!!




The entire collection is available on mDecks.com

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