As a professional jazz pianist, author of a text on jazz harmony, and professor for nearly thirty years, I am always intrigued by new work in this field, and was pleased to encounter Jeff Brent's (with Schell Barkley) Modalogy.
After taking some time studying and working with the contents, I've come to the conclusion that this is a profoundly important text not only for jazz players and teachers, but for all musicians. Modalogy provides layer upon layer upon layer of information and logic that beckons the reader to return time and time again.
As the title suggests, the book contains an in depth analysis of modes, with their sources, characteristics, and modal cadences. Along with diatonic modes, the method for establishing commonly used chromatic modes, is unique, refreshing, brilliant, yet in the end, simply applied.
The authors, have developed a Dorian-centric approach to a radially generated cycle (in contrary motion style), which builds a truly symmetrical inside/ outside take on harmony and dissonance. Through this approach, Brent/Barkely take a fresh and somewhat unconventional approach to the organization of scale types, classifying them using a basic color system portrayed over a cube design. It will give the reader a lot to think about, but it works.
The appendix broadens the scope for application of this material into a large body of detailed related information that the reader will find helpful in practicing.
The topics and concepts are presented plainly and clearly in an approachable and down to-earth manner, with great attention to detail. Although of benefit to serious students beginning a study of jazz harmony and improvisation, the text has much to offer advanced students and teachers. Modalogy offers and expansive study that will inspire and challenge for years to come and I highly recommend it.
(Jazz Instruction). Primarily a music theory reference, Modalogy presents a unique perspective on the origins, interlocking aspects, and usage of the most common scales and modes in occidental music. Anyone wishing to seriously explore the realms of scales, modes, and their real-world functions will find the most important issues dealt with in meticulous detail within these pages. Logical illustrations accompany in-depth examinations of chordal harmonies, cadential motions, and progressions. This book is perfect for both music students and teachers, as either a course in itself or to augment any theory curriculum.