Modal Jazz

Modal jazz is jazz that uses musical modes rather than chord progressions as a harmonic framework. Originating in the late 1950s and 1960s, modal jazz is epitomized by Miles Davis's "Milestones" (1958), Kind of Blue (1959), and John Coltrane's classic quartet from 1960–64. Other important performers include Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and McCoy Tyner. Though the term comes from the use of the pitches of particular modes (or scales) in the creation of solos, modal jazz compositions or accompaniments may only or additionally make use of the following techniques:

  1. slow-moving harmonic rhythm, where single chords may last four to sixteen or more measures
  2. pedal points and drones
  3. absent or suppressed standard functional chord progressions
  4. quartal harmonies or melodies

Read more about Modal JazzHistory, Theory, Compositions, Further Reading

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1940s and 1950s - Modal Jazz
... Main article Modal jazz Modal jazz is a development beginning in the later 1950s which takes the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and ... However, with modal jazz, the soloist creates a melody using one or a small number of modes ... states "Historically, this caused a seismic shift among jazz musicians, away from thinking vertically (the chord), and towards a more horizontal approach (the scale)." The modal theory stems from ...

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