Chromaticism Pt 3: Enclosure
Guitar Techniques|August 2020
Chromaticism Pt 3: Enclosure
Shaun Baxter looks at the time-honoured practice of introducing a target note by using surrounding scale- and non-scale notes.
Shaun Baxter
The enclosure technique (a prominent musical feature when playing single note lines in jazz) has been an aspect of classical music for centuries, from the ‘musica ficta’ of Medieval and Renaissance music, to Baroque composers such as Bach, Mozart and Haydn, up to the Romantic music of Schubert, Chopin and beyond.

In this series, we’ve been looking at the use of non-scale notes in order to add spice to our lines. By mobilising notes that are not in the key (chromaticism), we get to nearly double the amount of different notes in our musical palette (from seven per octave, to 12) and this can really enliven our solos and make them sound much more sophisticated.

Crucially, chromaticism provides us with the opportunity to use tension (dissonance) and then resolve it (consonance), rather than just dwell on consonant notes all the time. So far, we have looked at:

1) Chromatic approach-notes: a single note used either from a semitone above or below the target note.


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August 2020