Intervallic Movement in Various Jazz Compositions

Mark Levine wrote about as comprehensive and practical a book about jazz theory for beginners as I’ve come across. More than most texts out there, his book highlights specific concepts in context. One such example is this list of Intervallic Movement in Various Jazz Compositions. This is helpful in getting students out of the “My Bonnie” this and “Maria” that for identifying various intervals. I made a Spotify playlist that corresponds with his list. If there’s a way I can make this even more practical, please let me know.


Intervallic movement in various jazz compositions

  1. Ascending minor 2nd

Thelonious Monk – Blue Monk

  1. Descending minor 2nd

Cedar Walton – Bolivia

  1. Ascending major 2nd

Miles Davis – Four

  1. Descending major second

Miles Davis – Tune Up

  1. Ascending minor 3rd

Charlie Parker – Confirmation

  1. Descending minor 3rd

Dizzy Gillespie – Groovin’ High

  1. Ascending major 3rd

Thelonious Monk – Monk’s Dream

  1. Descending major 3rd

John Coltrane – Giant Steps

  1. Ascending perfect 4th

Duke Jordan – Jordu

  1. Descending perfect 4th

Wayne Shorter – ESP

  1. Ascending tritone

Joe Henderson – Isotope

  1. Descending tritone

Duke Ellington – Third bar of bridge of Sophisticated Lady

13. Ascending perfect 5th

Milt Jackson –Bag’s Groove

  1. Descending perfect 5th

Woody Shaw – Katerina Ballerina

  1. Ascending minor 6th

Woody Shaw – In a Capricornian Way

  1. Descending minor 6th

Joe Henderson – Second bar of Serenity

  1. Ascending major 6th

Thelonious Monk – Misterioso

  1. Descending major 6th

Miles Davis – All Blues

  1. Ascending minor 7th

McCoy Tyner – last bar of bridge to Aisha

  1. Descending minor 7th

Billy Strayhorn – Fourth bar of bridge to Chelsea Bridge

  1. Ascending major 7th

Joe Henderson – Second and third notes of Serenity

  1. Descending major 7th

Wayne Shorter – Lady Day

  1. Ascending octave

Sam Jones – Del Sasser

  1. Descending octave

Freddie Hubbard – Philly Mignon

Intervals of greater than an octave rarely occur in tunes, but here are a few examples:

  1. Ascending minor 9th

Wayne Shorter – bar 11 of the bridge Wild Flower

  1. Descending minor 9th

Benny Golson – bar 18 of I Remember Clifford

  1. Ascending major 9th

Joe Henderson – bass part to intro of No Me Esqueca

  1. Ascending minor 10th

Joe Henderson – bass part, fifth bar on intro to No Me Esqueca

  1. Descending 11th

Joe Henderson – bar 15 of Inner Urge

  1. Descending major 13

Billy Strayhorn – bar 24 of Chelsea Bridge