The lydian chromatic concept of tonal organization
Lydian Chromatic Concept Of Tonal Organization For Improvisation by George RussellThe good: a total reorganization of our understanding of western harmony. Many things are phrased as to prevent ambiguity. Thorough examples of everything supposed in this book.
The bad: too technical, with terms that are so similar, it is easy to confuse. I mean, there is a principal chord and a primary principal chord, both of which are different things.
Conclusion: worth the read to slowly toil through it. Come out at the end of the reading journey (importantly, application) with a new framework to understand music through.
Subscribe to RSS
Russell's work postulates that all music is based on the tonal gravity of the Lydian mode. Russell believed that dominant function was the driving force behind all harmonic motion. Russell focuses on the Lydian mode because it can be built with fifths. For instance, to construct a C Lydian scale one could list the first seven tones on the circle of fifths starting with C, the desired Lydian Tonic. Russell builds a prototype chromatic scale starting on the Lydian Tonic by stacking fifths, skipping the interval between the seventh and eighth tones. Thus the Lydian Chromatic Scale and all its derivatives contain only Pythagorean intervals. Russell posited that tonal gravity emanates from the first seven tones of the Lydian mode.
George Russell's book, The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization , first published in , was the first theoretical contribution to come from jazz, and was responsible for introducing modal improvisation which resulted in the seminal recording of Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue. Since it's publication, there have been scores of books on the market which have "borrowed" bits of the Concept's information, but there is only one original. Radical as it may be, the theory is more than one person's eccentricity, having considerable precedent in the work of Ravel, Scriabin, Debussy and in some of the learned works of Bach. The word "Lydian" is here derived from one of the classical Greek scale modes. Russell's root scale follows the natural overtone series and runs from C to C with F sharp, rather than the customary F natural of the major scale.
What is the aim of the Lydian Chromatic Concept? What is the primary difference between the Lydian Chromatic Concept and all other theories of music? What is Tonal Gravity? Why is the Lydian Scale of paramount importance in this Concept? What is the fundamental difference between the Lydian and Major Scale? What is a Lydian Chromatic Scale?