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Section 31.11 Harmonizing the Bebop Scale

In The Jazz Theory Book, author Mark Levine provides a method for harmonizing the bebop major scale (\(\hat{1}\) –\(\hat{2}\) –\(\hat{3}\) –\(\hat{4}\) –\(\hat{5}\) –\(\hat{♯5}\) –\(\hat{6}\) –\(\hat{7}\) –\(\hat{8}\) ) with four voices.

Try singing through each part—soprano, alto, tenor, then bass.

Figure 31.11.1 Four-Part Harmonization of the Bebop Scale in Major
Figure 31.11.2 Four-Part Harmonization of the Bebop Scale in Minor

Notice that all of the non-tonic chords are \(\left.\text{vii}^{\circ}{}^{7}\right.\) chords in various inversions.

One hears a similar approach to harmonizing a scale (though without the fully-diminished seventh chords as passing chords) in the following example.

Figure 31.11.3 Count Basie and His Orchestra, “London Bridge is Falling Down”