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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”