Hello! This week in Harmony and Chord Progressions, we are in week 7, beginning our exploration of borrowed chords - including my favorite sound of all time, the minor iv chord used in major keys. A little of this sound goes a long ways - but oh, the places it can take us!

Note the time change for Office Hours on Tuesday. I'll be traveling and will be joining from the airport (assuming all goes well). I'll also be broadcasting my live streams from Florida this week. The title of this newsletter is a nod to that state and to my fellow adopted Floridian, the late Jimmy Buffet. It's also a play on the subject of the harmony course (the word "changes" is jazz slang for "chord progression"). I try to connect the dots where I can!

Next week I'll head back to Colorado and all should be back to normal.

Mastering MuseScore

For the ultimate guide to the world's most popular music notation software, see my online course Mastering MuseScore 4.

MuseScore Café

This week in the MuseScore Café with Marc Sabatella, I will create a simple piano arrangement from a lead sheet using an approach of starting with the melody and bass, then filling in inner voices. We'll see note input and use of multiple voices, and along the way we will also talk about chord symbols, page formatting, and more.

The free MuseScore Café is live on Wednesday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT, or 17:30 during the winter months), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

Tip of the Week

This week’s tip is simple - just a single click - but not obvious, and crucial to know about when working with transposing instruments. Sometimes you want to view music at the sounding pitch (e.g., when composing, or when analyzing existing music) but other times you want view music at written pitch (e.g., when transcribing, or when editing page layout). In this video post, I demonstrate the use of the “Concert pitch” button on the bottom toolbar to goggle between written and sounding pitch.

Musicianship Skills

If you want to learn more about music - theory, composition, improvisation, and more - become a Gold level member and receive access to all of our music courses as well as exclusive benefits like my weekly Office Hours.

Music Master Class

This week in the Music Master Class with Marc Sabatella, we will be looking at music involving borrowed chords, including some of your submissions. Have I mentioned how much I love the minor iv chord? If you haven't heard me go on about it before, you will in this session!

The free Music Master Class is live on Thursday at 12:30 PM Eastern (16:30 GMT, or 17:30 during the winter months), and you can access past episodes in the archive.

In Theory

We’ve already seen how to build simple piano arrangements that incorporate the melody and full chord voicings, including color tones. In this video post, I go one more step and show you how to use altered color tones on dominant seventh chords - the b9 and b13 - which have a long tradition in minor keys but can be beautiful in major keys as well (especially but not exclusively in jazz)!

Until next time, keep making music!
Marc Sabatella

8600 Ralston Rd. Suite L-102, ARVADA, CO 80002
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Mastering MuseScore

My name is Marc Sabatella, and I am the founder and director of Mastering MuseScore. I am one of the developers and chief ambassadors for MuseScore, the world's most popular music notation software. I have been teaching music online since the dawn of the World Wide Web, and I have been teaching in person for even longer. From the publication of my groundbreaking Jazz Improvisation Primer back in the 1990’s, to my years on the faculty at major music schools, and culminating in the Mastering MuseScore School and Community, I have dedicated most of my life to helping as many musicians as I can.

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