Thursday, June 11, 2009

Have You Met Miss Jones -- Tune Analysis

I remember kicking around with this tune a few years ago, trying to learn the chord changes by heart. After learning it -- and several other tunes -- I realised that it was best to simplify one's thinking, break chords down into elemental major, minor or dominants, analyse the important movements and realise that some chords in between the important movements are just pleasant filler like the Bb7 passing chord I mention below..

Jazz musicians have a knack for looking over a tune once and committing it to memory, noting all the important landmarks in the form, recognizing typical ii V I's, and noting the key modulations.

Here's such an analysis. We'll look at Have You Met Miss Jones in 8-bar phrases. The chords have been reduced to their elementary form and the slashes indicate beats in a bar:

F//// F#dim//// Gm//// C7///
tonic, passing chord, ii V

Am//// Dm//// Gm//// C7////
iii vi, ii V in F

In Bar 1 and 2, F goes to F#dim. Here the F#dim is functioning as a smooth transitionary chord to Gm in Bar 3. In Bars 3 and 4, Gm and C7 form a ii-V in the key of F.

Bar 5, 6, 7 and 8 are a iii (Am), vi (Dm), ii (Gm), V (C7) in F. 

The next 8 bars are nearly identical to the first 8 bars. Except for the last 2 bars which go to Cm and F7 which are ii-V's of the Bb in the first bar of the Bridge.

F//// F#dim//// Gm//// C7///
tonic, passing chord, ii - V

Am//// Dm//// Cm//// F7////
iii - vi of F, ii - V in Bb

The Bridge section consists of several ii V I's modulating in different keys, going from Bb, Gb, D and back to Gb:

Bb//// Abm// Db7// Gb////
I in Bb, ii - V - I in Gb

Em// A7// D//// Abm// Db7//
ii - V - I in D, ii - V -

Gb//// Gm// C7//
I in Gb, ii - V leading back to F of last verse

The last verse has the same movement in the first 4 bars as the previous verses. In the Real Book there is a Bb7 after C7 in bar 4 but I see this as a passing chord creating a half-step chromatic movement into Am which isn't a part of the overall movement so I'd leave it out when first learning this tune:

Last Verse:

F////F#dim//// Gm//// C7// (Bb7)//

Am// D7// Gm// C7// F////
iii - VI7, ii - V - I
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  1. Thanks for the analysis Clinton.

    I just had a thought on what you wrote about bars 13 to 16 and wanted to know what you think.

    You've analysed the Am////Dm//// as a ii v min, also stating the reason for the Dm as not being a dom 7 because of the melody note F that would clash with it. Before I read your analysis however, I would have called this Am-Dm section a iii vi in the key of F, making this section and the following bars a simple iii vi ii v progression. This would have thought this fits better as it explains the changes without having to leave the key, even though it is common within jazz and evident in the 'B' section only a few bars later.

    Perhaps I have overlooked something though. Please let me know your thoughts.

    Cheers, Alex

  2. Thanks for this. You're talking about bar 3 to bar 6 -- it is a perfect iii-vi-ii-V in F.

  3. bar 1-4 is really a I-VI-ii-V....the diminished chord is really an inverted
    Fmaj7 | D7b9 | Gm7 | C7

    Much simpler when u see that

  4. Also, if you want to explain the function of the Bb7 it is really V/iii, it can be thought of as a b5 sub for E7 which is V of Am, this is what gives the smooth transition and it used all the time...but thats the acutal functionallity

  5. I think in music, you can mold nearly any aspect of it to fit some theoritical explanation. People don't use theory to write music. They use it to explain it after the fact. Looks like a lot of overthinking going on here. In the heat of battle the object is to just play the song...



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