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#1

July 21st, 2008, 07:12 PM


jpuma13
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Chick Corea's Spain Analysis


Hi guys, this is my first post..
i hope i don't a make a fool of
myself.
I've recently started to study
some jazz theory by myself
and I learned how to play
Spain but I'm having
problems trying to solo over
it.
I guess most of you know the
progression but it goes:
|GM7| |F#7| |Em7| |A7|
|DM7| |GM7| |C#7| |F#7|
|Bm| |B7|
After seeing how the melody
goes with those chords I
concluded that the scales
being played over them are
the following:
G lydian over GM7
F# mixolydian over F#7
E dorian over Em7
A mixolydian over A7
D ionian over DM7
C# phyrigian over C#7 (
I
find this weird but the notes
being played are C#, D, E, G,
Bb which I think belongs to
C# pyrigian)
B dorian or aeolian over Bm
B ionian over B7 (I don't like
this too much either but the
notes being played are A#, B,
D#, E, F#...I thought it
should be B mixolydian over
B7)
Well, I hope I'm not too far
off with this analysis, it's my

25/09/2014 12:17 p.m.

Chick Corea's Spain Analysis

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first! lol
I just hope you guys can help
me find any mistakes I made
or tell me about other options
that can be used in the
progression.
If you need any more
information about the melody
please tell me and I'll gladly
add it.
Thanks, bye!
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#2

July 21st, 2008, 07:44 PM


Vic J
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Posts:
2,548

Its a good analysis but do you really want to play all those
scales.....Start by playing off the melody....The whole tune is really
off a D scale anyway....Learn the shout chorus and don't forget to
check out the Rodrigo intro....Perhaps a little Tia
Maria.......JPUMA...Is that for my old friend Joe Puma.....Joe was one
of the greats and a funnier MOFO you shall never meet......OLE OLE
OY Vey>>>>>Great work.....Enjoy the music, always!!!!!!
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#3

July 21st, 2008, 08:57 PM


engelbach
Piano/Compose/Arrange

Originally Posted by jpuma13

Hi guys, this is my first post.. i hope i don't a make a fool of myself.


I guess most of you know the progression but it goes:
|GM7| |F#7| |Em7| |A7| |DM7| |GM7| |C#7| |F#7| |Bm| |B7|

Welcome, jpuma!
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Dec 2005
Ptzcuaro,
Mxico
7,678

The only fools are the ones who don't ask questions and think they
know it all. (That's all the sage that's in me today.)
You give too much credit. I'm sure most of us don't know the
progression in Spain. Beautiful and admired as the tune is (including
by me), I doubt that it's in the repertoire of most jazz musicians.
Have you listened to how Chick plays it? He solos very chromatically,
hitting important notes in the harmony to remind us where he is.
I agree with Vic that the tune goes by much too fast for you to get
hung up on changing pitch collections for every chord.
The melody is almost entirely within the bounds of D major and B
minor. Play the key, not the chord. If there are notes in the chord not
in the key, substitute those notes for the notes in the key.
For example, I don't agree with F#7 mixolydian, because I don't hear
G# belonging in the scale. I hear this pitch collection: F#-G-(A)A#-C#-D-E, which is a D scale with an A# (Bb) instead of a B. Much
simpler.
Cheers,
Jer

Jerry Engelbach, piano/arrange/compose

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Engelbach Music
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#4

July 21st, 2008, 09:26 PM


jpuma13

thanks!

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OMG, thank you so much Vic J and Engelbach! I got so caught up on


playing with the changes that I couldn't see that it was really all D
major.
What a relief! I spent the whole weekend trying to improvise with
those scales but I couldn't keep up with the song..
Now I tried and improvised playing D major and it sounds the way I
hoped it would and it's so much easier!
And about jpuma, it's really because my name is Jos Luis Rodriguez
and a latin American singer has the same name and they call him
Puma. However, I did find out about Joe Puma and he's great! and
we share the same name, Joe is Jose in Spanish. lol
Well, thanks again, you guys are great!
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#5

July 21st, 2008, 10:21 PM


EdByrne
Jazz Artist, Author

Yeah, that's great advice from Jer and Vic.


(beers all around).

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#6

July 22nd, 2008, 07:05 AM


engelbach
Piano/Compose/Arrange

It's a pleasure, Jos.


It's not easy to solo on this tune, because you want to keep the
Spanish flavor.
Ed: Thanks for the (imaginary) cervezas.
Cheers,
Jer

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Jerry Engelbach, piano/arrange/compose


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#7

July 22nd, 2008, 08:35 AM


JonR

Originally Posted by jpuma13

Registered User

OMG, thank you so much Vic J and Engelbach! I got so caught up on playing
with the changes that I couldn't see that it was really all D major.

Join Date: Sep 2007


Posts:
402

What a relief! I spent the whole weekend trying to improvise with those
scales but I couldn't keep up with the song..
Now I tried and improvised playing D major and it sounds the way I hoped it
would and it's so much easier!
And about jpuma, it's really because my name is Jos Luis Rodriguez and a
latin American singer has the same name and they call him Puma. However, I
did find out about Joe Puma and he's great! and we share the same name,
Joe is Jose in Spanish. lol
Well, thanks again, you guys are great!

I can't improve on Jerry's advice, but I thought I'd point out what
seems to be the "elephant in the room" here: B minor!
The central section is certainly D major, but it seems to be
bookended by B minor changes. (On the live versions I've seen, he
spends a lot of time on ad lib intros with a definite B minor centre.)
Gmaj7-F#7 is a bVI-V in B minor. (And B harmonic minor seems to
work well on the F#7, as well as the pitch collection Jerry
mentioned.)
Then it moves to a standard ii-V-I-IV in D major (relative major).
Then the C#7, which is V of F#7, itself V of the following Bm. The
C#7 includes a G bass as well as D and E natural in the melody, so
this is an altered chord - more like G7#11 in fact. That implies D
melodic minor (C# altered = G lydian dominant) - at least the pitch
collection C# D E F G B suits both C#7(b5) and G7(#11). Optional
whether you add A or A# as a 7th note if you want one.
But that's the only chord (IMO) that diverges much from the overall
B minor/D major tonality.
In a sense, the C#7-F#7 pair is an altered repeat of the initial
Gmaj7-F#7 pair (the F#7 also has a #9, with a b13 in the melody).
This time it resolves to Bm as expected - although finishing on B
major (tierce de picardy?).
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July 22nd, 2008, 08:57 AM

#8

engelbach
Piano/Compose/Arrange

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Originally Posted by JonR

I can't improve on Jerry's advice, but I thought I'd point out what seems to
be the "elephant in the room" here: B minor!
The central section is certainly D major, but it seems to be bookended by B
minor changes. (On the live versions I've seen, he spends a lot of time on ad
lib intros with a definite B minor centre.)
Gmaj7-F#7 is a bVI-V in B minor. (And B harmonic minor seems to work well
on the F#7, as well as the pitch collection Jerry mentioned.)
Then it moves to a standard ii-V-I-IV in D major (relative major).
Then the C#7, which is V of F#7, itself V of the following Bm. The C#7
includes a G bass as well as D and E natural in the melody, so this is an
altered chord - more like G7#11 in fact. That implies D melodic minor (C#
altered = G lydian dominant) - at least the pitch collection C# D E F G B suits
both C#7(b5) and G7(#11). Optional whether you add A or A# as a 7th note
if you want one.
But that's the only chord (IMO) that diverges much from the overall B
minor/D major tonality.
In a sense, the C#7-F#7 pair is an altered repeat of the initial Gmaj7-F#7
pair (the F#7 also has a #9, with a b13 in the melody). This time it resolves
to Bm as expected - although finishing on B major (tierce de picardy?).

I agree about the overall B minor feeling. Using the G and D major
chords as temporary relief while keeping Bm in mind throughout will
preserve that bittersweet Spanish flavor.

Jerry Engelbach, piano/arrange/compose


Engelbach Music
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July 22nd, 2008, 10:48 AM

#9

EdByrne
Jazz Artist, Author

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25/09/2014 12:17 p.m.

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I've been revisiting this tune because of this thread. I think the first
section of the form is clearly in D Major, the second in B Minor. By
qualitative emphasis we would have to call D the primary key
between this relative Major/Minor oscillation. The melody in the A
section is diatonic to D, while the B section introduces A#s (leading
tones) to accentuate the B Minor, in spite of the fact that its first
prominent appearance is as an accented upper chromatic neighbor.
But here's what I found: Whether you make a "Melody Pitch
Collection" or combine the chords, you arrive at this nonachord
(9-note pc) that works beautifully as vehicle for improvisation
throughout the entire form (at least as a basis):
D, *(D#,) E, F#, G, A, A#, B, C#, D
*The D# is optional, since it only appears in the harmony (in the B
section), and is not in the melody. Therefore, you can also make an
octachord without it:
D, E, F#, G, A, A#, B, C#, D
The overall mood and idea presented in the Introduction, however,
indicates a (D Major or B Pure Minor) diatonic scale, which also works
throughout.
In creating lines in improvisation on this piece, therefore, there is no
need to think chords or chord scales.

Linear Jazz Improvisation Web Site


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#10

July 22nd, 2008, 11:16 AM


EdByrne
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Location: Western MA
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Harmonic Analysis (1 m. = 2):


D: Bm:
||: IV MA7 | V7/vi | ii7 | V7 | I MA7 | IV MA7 | V7/vi (becoming
V7/V7) | V7
D:
| i7 | V7/ii7 :||
I can't get this to line up correctly, but The (key of D) below is last
m. only; the Bm in the top line should appear before m.7 (V7/vi
becoming V7/V7).

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#11

July 22nd, 2008, 11:25 AM


engelbach
Piano/Compose/Arrange

Originally Posted by EdByrne

I've been revisiting this tune because of this thread. I think the first section of
the form is clearly in D Major, the second in B Minor. By qualitative emphasis
we would have to call D the primary key between this relative Major/Minor
oscillation. The melody in the A section is diatonic to D, while the B section
introduces A#s (leading tones) to accentuate the B Minor, in spite of the fact
that its first prominent appearance is as an accented upper chromatic

25/09/2014 12:17 p.m.

Chick Corea's Spain Analysis

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neighbor.
But here's what I found: Whether you make a "Melody Pitch Collection" or
combine the chords, you arrive at this nonachord (9-note pc) that works
beautifully as vehicle for improvisation throughout the entire form (at least as
a basis):
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D, *(D#,) E, F#, G, A, A#, B, C#, D

Dec 2005
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The D# is optional, since it only appears in the harmony (in the B section),
and is not in the melody. Therefore, you can also make an octachord without
it:
D, E, F#, G, A, A#, B, C#, D
The overall mood and idea presented in the Introduction, however, indicates
a (D Major or B Pure Minor) diatonic scale, which also works throughout.
In creating lines in improvisation on this piece, therefore, there is no need to
think chords or chord scales.

Nice, Ed.

Jerry Engelbach, piano/arrange/compose


Engelbach Music
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#12

July 22nd, 2008, 12:00 PM


EdByrne
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Thanks, Jer.
Another observation:
In the opening rhythmic break clapping passage in 2/2 (that recurs
throughout the performance), the gesure is angular, suggesting
either incomplete arpeggios (diatonic leaps in thirds) or this
descending motive: 2nd followed by a leap down of a third.
In the rest of the tune the overall gesture is one of stepwise diatonic
scalar movement, both ascending and descending.
One could capitalize on these basic approaches in some solo
choruses, which could act as a unifying device.

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July 22nd, 2008, 12:14 PM


randalljazz
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#13

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63a4R8m0_Dg
this is the great paco pea playing granadinas, the flamenco toque
which was the inspiration for the concierto de aranjuez and, one may
infer, has something to do with chick's reference to spain.
granadinas has a tonic chord of B major, with a characteristic
cadence of E minor-D major-C major-Bmajor, and a characteristic
scale which is the B phrygian mode. the music itself is highly

25/09/2014 12:17 p.m.

Chick Corea's Spain Analysis

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chromatic. it is usually transcribed in the key of one sharp, since the


C major chord is functionally the "dominant" chord (goes to tonic).
the music, of course, is from an unwritten oral tradition...passed
down from moorish spain of the middle ages.
(the guitarist has the capo at the first fret, so the absolute pitch is up
a semitone.)
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#14

July 22nd, 2008, 12:35 PM


EdByrne

Originally Posted by randalljazz

Jazz Artist, Author

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63a4R8m0_Dg
this is the great paco pea playing granadinas, the flamenco toque which was
the inspiration for the concierto de aranjuez and, one may infer, has
something to do with chick's reference to spain.

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granadinas has a tonic chord of B major, with a characteristic cadence of E


minor-D major-C major-Bmajor, and a characteristic scale which is the B
phrygian mode. the music itself is highly chromatic. it is usually transcribed in
the key of one sharp, since the C major chord is functionally the "dominant"
chord (goes to tonic). the music, of course, is from an unwritten oral
tradition...passed down from moorish spain of the middle ages.
(the guitarist has the capo at the first fret, so the absolute pitch is up a
semitone.)

Very pretty--and Spanish, Randall. And while both the Phrygian and
Aeolian modes are favorites in traditional Spanish music, "Spain"
goes to B Pure (of Aeolian origin) Minor (except for the B7, over
which CC sounds a prominent C# [Major Ninth] in the melody), and
not Phrygian.

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July 22nd, 2008, 01:20 PM


randalljazz
Registered User
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Posts:
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#15

just offering another layer of


understanding to the
inspiration for the corea tune,
which is, of course, not
flamenco...but the reference
to mother culture is his.
http://en.wikipedia.org
/wiki/My_Spanish_Heart
the toque tarantas is of the
same family as granadinas,
but has a tonic of F#, with a
characteristic progression of B
minor-A major-G major-F#
major, using basically the F#
phrygian mode (same notes
as B natural minor), and is
usually transcribed in the key
of two sharps. also highly
chromatic. tonally a better fit
with spain.
the tonal ambiguity of these

25/09/2014 12:17 p.m.

Chick Corea's Spain Analysis

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two forms is complicated


further by the characteristic
major sections often inserted.
(again the performers use the
capo, so the actual pitch is
raised a semitone.)
http://www.youtube.com
/watch?v=Z9jNO1dqGKY
http://www.youtube.com
/watch?v=zx0yZp4l0nM
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