Plugin embellishing harmony (chord symbols) for jazz lead sheets in the 4-note voicing idiom
Inspired by fractals and reharmonization techniques I became intrigued by what potentially lurks between 2 existing chord symbols. For background and history see:
This new version shows the embellishments horizontally and provides tools to analyze them further.
How to proceed:
Pull your leadsheet in Hortemplate.mscz. Remove upbeat if present & color your chord symbols red and save (at every step). The 1/32nd rests create segments that may be needed by the plugin.
Be sure you are not in note input mode when running the plugins.
See embellish7.qml code header for more details.
Run embellish7.qml (from the plugin creator window)
If there is an error, look for missing chord symbols.
In that case:
Correct typo’s or define the missing chord symbol in an empty piano score, e.g.
and run ReadHarmonyVoicings.qml.
This outputs the chord in a format that you can directly insert in the chords table of WriteHarmonyVoicings2 (at the appropriate alpha place) and save.
Debug: ["Ab7/Eb",[51,54,56,60,11,8,10,14],1,1], //eb,gb,ab,c
To be on the safe side discard the latest file (with harmonyvoicings partially filled in) and go back to the embellished file. Run WriteHarmonyVoicings2 again and it should be fine.
Turn off play of the chord symbols, and If you play the score slowly enough so you can already hear which embellishments sound good.
WriteHarmonyVoicings makes an attempt at voice leading: if more than one voicing is listed for chord symbol x in the chords table it will chose the one closest to the previous chord (by comparing pitches) If the result does not look right most likely the best voicing is still missing in the chords table. But this is still buggy in places. You can als manually enter one or more voicings (which the plugin reads and respects) to steer voice leading in another direction.
You can also limit the number of embellishments shown by adjusting the maxembel variable.
Applied to a complete song, it looks like Embeltest.mscz.
If you wish to examine a particular chord pair closer, look at the latest post in https://musescore.org/en/node/308733
Sometimes the entire embellish sequence sounds quite good: Play Samples.mscz
If the embellishments do not sound good, experiment with different inversions, also in the neighboring chords. If there is a clash with a nearby melody note, consider even altering the melody note (like Mark Levine suggests in his chapter on reharmonization).
The embellishments are suggestions only. Nothing beats human ingenuity!!