Jazz Scales #1 Extension

How to extend Jazz Modes and Scales:

Going back to our negative harmony web page CLICK we had a scale extension of Ionian and Phrygian.

Scale extensions for jazz 13 note scale


Employing our old friends “Tetrachords”  we can build complete 2 octave scales when the octave [or repeated starting note] is missed. In this case the whole tone scale and its transposition builds the scale extension.

16 note jazz scale using tetrachords



We can also build 2 octave scales by joining together two “One octave” scales.

jazz scale extensions 14 note scale


Many composer like Tcherepnin, Messiaen, Boulez along with more modern improviser/composers like Keith Emerson and Allan Holdsworth have applied this for its rich polytonality, modal expansion and textural counterpoint.

This idea along with Negative/Mirror harmony is really well suited to the piano both in terms of improvisation and composition. If you are looking for originality then there is a whole new world waiting here to be discovered and applied.

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Vincent Persichetti’s book covers this. It is not for everyone so it could be a good idea to borrow a copy from a library.


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