- Miles Davis was a leading figure of jazz musician the 1970s: at the time this piece was recorded. His improvisations in Four are virtuous and are based on chordal material from the head.
- The texture of the piece is melody dominated homophony.
- The Break starts with a monophonic texture from the Trumpet. It descends in gapped chromatic fashion and is based around the scalic idea from the head.
- Although the opening melody during the Head is diatonic, the harmony, to accompany this melody, is chromatic.
- F#m7 –> B7 is an unexpected progression in E flat major. This occurs at bars H10. The progression occurs between Gm7 and Fm7.
- The chords used at bar H10-H12 are of a chromatic descent – B7 adds typical colour of modern Jazz.
- The bass goes off track at 1.4 of the First Chorus. The chord for that bar is A flat 7 which is not recognisable from the bass notes.
- There are broken chords in the bass at 1.9. Before this though, the bass avoids the root and 3rd of D flat major adding a 9th and 13th instead.
- The harmony moves in circle of 5ths at bar 1.26.
- The chord at 2.25 should be iii7 (Gm7) but is instead E flat major (this also happens at 2.29). An extra chord is then added a bar later being C7.
- The piece is written in the key of E flat major.
- The piano is ‘comping’ – this is when every chord the piano plays is an extended chord (with there being a concentration on the upper extensions).
- The piano is also non-melodic, staccato and syncopated often avoiding the first and second beat of the head bars. This is known as ‘pushed’ chords.
- The Trumpet, double bass and bass has a high tessitura.
- The bass features lots of passing notes 1-2 bars after 1.9.
- There is a change in the tessitura of the bass a bar later at the point where the Trumpet’s pitch bends.
- The Trumpet has low pitches at bar 2.24.
- The Trumpet has a high tessitura at bar 3.2. This high tessitura motif is repeated 4 bars later.
- A bar before 4.1, the Trumpet plays with a half valve – This is when only half the valve is pressed down.
- The melody of the Trumpet during the head features short three note scalic phrases. This is inverted so the phrase is descending at bar H2.
- There is a ghost note in the Trumpet at bar 2.1.
- There is a quarter note at 2.31. This means it is a quarter note higher than A natural.
- At bars 3.9-4.0, the notes clash with the underlying chord of E flat major. This rarely resolves onto chord notes.
Rhythm and Metre
- The rhythm is surrounded by the continuous use of quavers.
- The bass at H9-H12 is fast walking and pizzicato from the use of continuous crotchets.
- There are a continuous group of quavers at bars 2.4-2.6 with there being triplets found occasionally too.
- The head is a 16 bar repeated section.
- The head features a diatonic melody with only two chromatic notes being D flat at the end of H2/start of H3 and G flat at the end of H6/start of H7.
- The four bars of H13-H16 are condensed to just two bars two bars later.
- The Break starts after the two bar condense.
- The First Chorus starts after the break.
- Wide leaps are a feature of the 3rd chorus such as at bars 3.21-3.22.
- The repeating notes are a distinctive feature in overlap to the 4th chorus.