I decided to attempt to repeat the success of "Twinkle Twinkle Jazzy Star" with an arrangement of "Ode to Joy" which most people are familiar with as a tune used by Beethoven in his ninth symphony. My setting is in the same style I used for Twinkle Twinkle; mainly block chords using four part harmony for the most part in a jazz style. Again the idea was to place a different harmony under each note of the melody using as many different chord types as possible within the bounds of functional harmony. I also tried to keep the voice-leading as smooth as possible.

It's fascinating to me how many different ways there are to harmonize a melody, especially when it comes to using jazz harmony. The notes of the melody can be any chord tone including harmonic extensions (6, 7, 9, 11, or 13) as well as an altered tone of a dominant harmony (b5, #5, b9, #9).

I hope I have succeeded in making an interesting harmonic study as well as something enjoyable to play. It's not easy but should be worth the effort. Thanks for your support!

Listen to Ode to Jazzy Joy: OdeToJazzyJoy.mp3

Ode to Jazzy Joy

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February 21, 2015 @07:33 pm
Lush!! Enjoy retirement, I hope all the leisure this purchase affords you won't keep you from writing more amazing arrangements.
February 15, 2015 @02:36 pm
Beautiful job as always, John. Purchased right away!
February 15, 2015 @01:10 pm
Neil Lager
No 9 over 6 chord with a descending pentatonic riff at the end? ;-) Very solid harmony and pleasant to hear, as usual, John. :-) Perhaps add a walking bass line next time... ;-) -- neil
February 15, 2015 @10:57 am
Vagelis Vlavianos
Brilliant! With a true jazz feeling.
February 15, 2015 @10:41 am
David Naidu
Hi John, Your jazz harmonizations are impeccable as always! -- Purchased immediately, --- David

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