12-tone puzzle // triad sequences

Just another generative process for composers and improvisers

Here’s a puzzle that uses a 12-tone methodology to elaborate upon the practice of ‘triad pairs’ – a common unit of melodic-harmonic vocabulary in the jazz idiom. I think this is an interesting way to develop a structured and conceptually sound approach to the use of extensively chromatic language within modal contexts, but of course the solutions you come across may be applied within any genre or style which accepts non-functional harmonic figurations.

I have stacks of work to do on this idea at the time of posting, but I’ll share a quick video in the coming weeks to show some of the solutions I’ve found. Anyway, read on below for the challenge!


The Puzzle

Step 1. Divide the chromatic scale into sequences of four triads, using each of the 12 pitches once only per sequence.

Step 2. Write out and practice the heck out of your favourite solutions. Explore all of the nooks and crannies.

Step 3. Shred. That’s it!


Flip over the following pages or the links below to explore some quick solutions and advanced exercises!