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How High the Moon Piano Chords

The piano chords for “How High the Moon” typically include major 7ths, minor 7ths, and dominant chords. Common variations embrace jazz harmonizations and improvisation techniques.

Delving into the jazz standard “How High the Moon,” pianists often encounter a captivating progression of chords that spark both melodic and harmonic creativity. Originally penned by Morgan Lewis with lyrics by Nancy Hamilton, this classic tune has stood the test of time, becoming a staple in the repertoire of jazz musicians.

Perfect for intermediate to advanced players, the song’s structure offers a delightful challenge and a chance to explore intricate jazz voicings. Whether you’re looking to master the original arrangement or infuse your personal flair, understanding and practicing the chords of “How High the Moon” can elevate your piano playing skills and immerse you in the rich legacy of jazz music.

Setting The Stage: ‘how High The Moon’

The melody of ‘How High the Moon’ whispers the legacy of jazz through its enchanting chords. Pianists often relish the challenge it presents. The tune invites a journey across a musical landscape rich in harmony and history. Before delving into the chords that make this song a gem, let us unearth the roots of this jazz classic.

Origins Of The Jazz Standard

‘How High the Moon’ first captivated audiences in 1940. It appeared in the Broadway revue “Two for the Show.” This standard, crafted by Morgan Lewis (music) and Nancy Hamilton (lyrics), quickly gained fame among jazz musicians. It became a canvas for improvisation, showcasing the player’s skill and style.

  • Broadway debut: 1940
  • Composer: Morgan Lewis
  • Lyricist: Nancy Hamilton
  • Role in jazz: Improvisation showcase

Notable Performances And Covers

Over time, ‘How High the Moon’ found new life in countless renditions. Each artist adds a unique twist, leaving their mark on the song’s evolving story. The table below lists some standout interpretations that continue to inspire pianists around the globe.

Artist Year Remarkable Feature
Ella Fitzgerald 1960 Scat singing excellence
Les Paul & Mary Ford 1951 Overdubbed guitar magic
Charlie Parker 1947 Be-bop saxophone innovation
How High the Moon Piano Chords


Fundamentals Of Jazz Piano

Jazz piano brims with complexity and soul, forming a cornerstone in jazz music. Grasping its elements unlocks a world of poignant melodies and spontaneous creativity. The journey through jazz piano chords demands attention to detail, especially with classics like “How High the Moon”. Embracing the building blocks of jazz piano ushers in the thrill of mastering a timeless musical art form.

Harmonic Structures In Jazz

Harmony in jazz swings on robust chord progressions. It steers the music’s direction and frames the melodic improvisation. Jazz chords often use extended harmonies, adding 7ths, 9ths, 11ths, or 13ths, which layer richness onto standard triads.

A common chord structure in jazz plays out as a II-V-I progression. For “How High the Moon,” pianists craft each chord with intent, targeting chord tones for a harmonious sound. This tune moves through several keys, showcasing the fluidity of jazz harmony.

Chord Type Extensions Example
Major 7 9, #11, 13 Cmaj7, D9, G13
Minor 7 11, b13 Dm7, Gm11, Am7b13
Dominant 7 b9, #9, 13 G7b9, G7#9, E7

The Role Of Improvisation

Improvisation shines as jazz piano’s beating heart. It reflects the pianist’s spur-of-the-moment creativity. With “How High the Moon,” improvisation enables artists to explore each chord’s nuances and inject personal flair into the performance. Players connect chords by skillfully maneuvering scales, arpeggios, and chromatic passages, thus breathing life into the composition.

  • Listening – Learning from recordings trains ears and ideas.
  • Practicing scales – These are the building blocks for solos.
  • Mastering chord tones – Land on these to outline harmony.
  • Experimenting with rhythms – Jazz thrives on unique rhythms.
  • Learning licks – Stock phrases can spice up solos.

As pianists weave through improvisation, they transform “How High the Moon” into a fresh, exhilarating canvas every time they play. Jazz piano rewards the bold—those eager to dive into its world of harmonies and play on the edge of invention.

Breaking Down ‘how High The Moon’

Welcome to the world of jazz piano, where the classic tune “How High the Moon” shines bright. This iconic piece is a vital part of any pianist’s repertoire. Understand the intricate tapestry of melodies and chords that make “How High the Moon” an eternal favorite.

Melodic Analysis

The melody of “How High the Moon” is catchy yet complex. It moves swiftly through a series of jazzy intervals. You’ll notice it employs the following musical particulars:

  • Extended range, spanning multiple octaves.
  • Syncopation, giving the tune a swing feel.
  • Use of chromatic notes for color.
  • Main theme repeated with variations.

The tune’s signature motif starts on the fifth note of the scale, descending to the root. Practice this melody slowly, ensuring smooth transitions between notes.

Chord Progressions And Variations

“How High the Moon” features a rich tapestry of chords that outline the harmonic progression of the tune. Here’s what stands out:

Section Chords Characteristics
A Gm7 – C7 – Fmaj7 Classic II-V-I progression in F major.
B Em7 – A7 – Dm7 II-V-I in D minor, a minor key variant.
C G7 – C7 – Fmaj7 Bridges with a V-I in F major.

Skilled pianists often add more chord variations to spice up the tune. Such variations might include:

  1. Substituting dominant seventh chords with altered or extended versions.
  2. Secondary dominants to intensify movement to the next chord.
  3. Chord substitutions based on tritone relationships for tension.

To master “How High the Moon,” start with the basic chords before trying variations. With practice, these chords become second nature, allowing for more creative expression.

How High the Moon Piano Chords


Playing Techniques For Jazz Piano

Embracing the art of jazz piano requires mastering a specific set of playing techniques. These techniques bring out the nuances of classics like “How High the Moon.” To capture the essence of jazz, pianists must pay close attention to articulation and dynamics, and rhythm patterns. Let’s explore these skills to improvise with elegance and emotion.

Articulation And Dynamics

Articulation and dynamics are the heartbeats of jazz piano. They give life to notes and chords. Applied correctly, they create a conversation between musician and listener.

  • Staccato notes speak quickly, almost like a tap dancer’s steps.
  • Legato phrases flow smoothly, gliding from one note to the next.
  • Crescendos and diminuendos act as waves of sound, swelling and receding.
  • Accents highlight important beats, making them pop.

Combining soft touches with forceful strikes allows pianists to tell a story. This story keeps listeners on the edge of their seats.

Utilizing Rhythmic Patterns

Rhythm in jazz is as important as the colors in a painting. Rhythmic patterns bring vibrancy and movement to music.

Pattern Description
Syncopation Emphasizes off-beats, creating surprise.
Swing Tweaks eighth notes, making them dance.
Ostinato Repeats short motifs, building tension.
Polyrhythm Layers multiple rhythms, adding complexity.

Within the “How High the Moon” chord progressions, these patterns can transform a simple melody into a jazz masterpiece. Practice these techniques daily to see significant improvement.

Practice Tips And Performance

Touching the keys with purpose during “How High the Moon” brings joy to both player and listener. Let’s dive into effective practice tips. These will pave the way for a memorable performance.

Mastering The Chords

To start, focus on the chord progressions. “How High the Moon” requires a smooth transition between chords. Begin slowly, ensuring clarity and precision. Check out these steps:

  • Identify the primary chords: Map out the chord structure of the song.
  • Practice transitions: Move between chords seamlessly.
  • Use a metronome: Keep your timing consistent.
  • Gradually increase speed: Start slow, then pick up the pace carefully.

Persistence here sets the stage for a fluid performance.

Incorporating Jazz Stylistic Elements

Jazz thrives on its unique stylistic elements. To truly capture the essence of “How High the Moon,” infuse these into your playing:

  1. Swing the rhythm: Give the eighth notes a lilting feel.
  2. Accent off-beats: This adds bounce to your performance.
  3. Include improvisation: Jazz is known for its creative freedom. Experiment!

Immerse yourself in jazz’s rich soundscape to understand its core.

How High the Moon Piano Chords


Interpreting And Personalizing

In the world of jazz piano, mastery doesn’t end with learning “How High the Moon” chords. It begins. Now, it’s about making the classic tune your own. Let’s dive into how to interpret and personalize this standard to develop a unique sound.

Developing Your Own Jazz Voice

The journey to finding your voice in jazz is thrilling. Start with the familiar chords of “How High the Moon.” Experiment with them. Think of each chord as a new color on your palette. Try these steps:

  • Listen to different versions of the song.
  • Imitate the styles you like.
  • Alter rhythms or harmonies slightly.
  • Blend ideas to create something new.

Over time, your hands will begin to naturally express your inner voice.

Creative Approaches To Standard Repertoire

With “How High the Moon,” the door to creativity is wide open. Jazz is about exploration. Here’s how to break new ground:

  1. Rearrange chord progressions to find new sonic landscapes.
  2. Build your own solos with different scales.
  3. Experiment with tempo and dynamics.
  4. Play with a loop pedal or backing track for practice.

The classic chords are just the beginning. Your personal touch turns them into art.

Frequently Asked Questions For How High The Moon Piano Chords

How High Is The Moon Chords?

The chords for “How High the Moon” typically include Emaj7, A7, and G#m7. These chords are jazz standards, used in various arrangements.

How High Is The Moon Jazz Standard?

“How High the Moon” is a renowned jazz standard, first introduced in the 1940 Broadway revue “Two for the Show. ” The song has become a staple for jazz musicians, celebrated for its complex harmonies and potential for improvisation.

What Is The Form Of How High The Moon?

The form of “How High the Moon” is a jazz standard typically played in an AABA structure.

Who Sang How High The Moon First?

Nancy Hamilton originally sang “How High the Moon” in the 1940 Broadway revue “Two for the Show. “


Mastering the “How High the Moon” piano chords opens a gateway to jazz improvisation and creative expression. Your journey with this classic can truly begin now. Let these chords inspire your musical explorations. Embrace the rhythm, and let your fingers dance across the keys.

Share your melody with the moon.

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