Ian Sadock is an award-winning pianist and jazz composer from Philadelphia with unique research interests in the mechanics of improvised music, maintaining an active studio of piano and music theory students.

On Chord Symbols: Discussing Steve Coleman’s Cell Notation System

A shorthand system for depicting chords is a useful element in music composition, improvised music [spontaneous composition], and in music analysis. Chordal instruments might use these symbols to craft an accompaniment, composers might use these symbols to map form as changes in harmony, improvisers might use these symbols to determine melodic choices for tunes with…