Suomeksi | In English

Voicings in jazz

Vertical spacing and ordering of the pitches in a chord is called voicing. To create a sound that is pleasing to the ear, the theoretical pile of thirds is usually insufficient for chords including added notes. Though viable in some contexts, the sound of extensive piles of thirds is often stuffy and harsh.

When voicing a chord with added notes, these principles might come in handy:

  1. The functional notes, third and seventh (sixth) should be placed between E-E1, preferably as low as possible to add to the sonority (the bass is naturally placed below these two).
  2. The fifth and the added notes are placed above these, with intervals of, on an average, four.
  3. The three top notes should form a consonant chord.
  4. Notes are usually not doubled; if necessary, the bass or the top note can be doubled.

Examples of voicings: