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Thread: why? minor scale related

  1. #1

    Default why? minor scale related

    i'm taking a musicianship class at college and most of the things taught are new to me (ear training and sight singing, etc). i asked for any papers that might help and the teacher handed me a paper w/a list of the 12 major and minor scales.

    my confusion comes from how i was taught the minor scales. i never had a formal music theory education; i learned out of "universal saxophone method" or something book by deVille as well as from jamey aebersold's vol 26 major and minor scales for improvsation book. in those books, i learned minor scales as flatting the 3rd and 7th of the major scale (sometimes heard it as just flatting the 3rd or something). HOWEVER, on the paper my professor handed to me, the minor scales consisted of the 3rd, 7th, AND 6th flatted. is there a difference in minor scales when it comes to classical or jazz music or something?

    thanks for reading my long explanation of a relatively simple problem

  2. #2

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    ok i just read through modre's post and saw the stuff about "natural" minor and aeolian scale...so i guess that's what it is...? and the one i learned was dorian

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    Correct. There is more than one minor scale. The dorian and aeolian minor scales are both derived from the major scale. Dorian starts on the second degree of a major scale and aeolian starts on the sixth degree of a major scale. So if you take C maj scale and start on D, you'll get D dorian (b3rd & b7th). Start on A and you get A aeolian (b3rd, b6th, & b7th).

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    Ok, so we have heard Dorian, we have Aeolian and then the theory books tell us about Harmonic Minor scales and Melodic Minor scales. And then there's accending and descending scales of the Melodic Minor scale.

    I was wondering, how do these guys tie in together? how are they related to each other?

    And for the Harmonic Minor scales and Melodic Minor Ascending and Decending scales, how do we describe the chracteristics of their scales? like which degrees are flattened or sharpened etc?

    cheers~

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    Those theory books can probably explain this a lot better than I can, and in more detail. Especially be sure to check out The "Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine.

    Anyway, these scales are all different sounds, some of which fit better over certain chords and chord progressions than others. For example, the dorian scale fits well over the "II" in a II-V-I progression. It also fits many modal pieces that are based on the dorian mode. Aeolian is not as commonly used as dorian, but it would fit a minor VI chord, except when the VI is played as a dom chord, which is very commonly the case.

    Melodic minor, as used in jazz, is simply a major scale with a b3 (or a dorian scale with a maj 7th). The b3 and maj 7 give a very different and darker sound than either the major scale or dorian scale. Melodic minor fits a whole family of chords, including minor-major, lydian dominant, and dom altered. Someday I'll learn how to use it properly; most of the music I play (blues, funk) doesn't call for mel minor, but I'm sure it could be used in there somehow.

    Harmonic minor has a b3, b6, and maj 7. It has kind of an oriental sound, but it doesn't really fit over any specific chord, so it's just used in fragments when that type of sound is wanted.

    I guess the common denominator for minor scales is a b3. Dorian and various minor pentatonic scales derived from the dorian scale are the most commonly used.

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    nd for the Harmonic Minor scales and Melodic Minor Ascending and Decending scales, how do we describe the chracteristics of their scales? like which degrees are flattened or sharpened etc?
    Melodic minor ascending: 1/2 step between 2nd & 3rd, and 7th & 8th; descending first remains, 2nd moves between 5th & 6th. So for A melodic minorup) A B C D E F# G# A, (down) A G F E D C B A. Staring with Aeolian, In Melodic minor ascending raise 6th and 7th 1/2 step, desending return to natural pitch; which is starting on the 6th of the major scale, which is why the major is related to its minor with same key sig. i.e. C major and A minor; or Eb major and C minor

    Or in other words: so for C minor , related to Eb with key sig of Bb Eb and Ab, start on C, up flat 3rd (Eb), raise 6 and 7 (A and B nat), on way down just like Eb. up C D Eb F G A B C, down C Bb Ab G F Eb D C

    Or in more other words, take any major scale, on the way up flat the 3rd, on the way down flat the 7th, 6th, and 3rd.


    Harmonic minor: 1/2 steps between 2nd & 3rd, 5th & 6th and 7th and 8th, same up and down; A B C D E F G# A - A G# F E D C B A , note 1 1/2 step between 6th and 7th.

    Or take a major scale, flat 3rd and 6th

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    Darryl,

    Based on the thread title, you might also need some clarification on Related vs. Parallel. Key terms to know.

    Relative Minor - starts from the 6th note of any major scale. Shares the same notes key signature. So C Major and A Minor are Related.

    Parallel Minor - Starts on the same note as the parallel Major. Just flatten the 3rd, 6th and 7th.

    Just 2 different ways to arrive at natural minor scales.

    Lenny

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    This is confusing. From what i've learnt, there are 24 minor scales, 12 of which are melodic, 12 harmonic. The following is what i understand about minor scales. please correct me if i'm wrong.

    Harmonic minors are same ascending and descending. the SEMITONE jump is this 2122131. Therefore a harmonic minor is supposed to have a pattern which looks like this: ascending 2122131 descending 1312212. A mirror image of each other.

    As for Melodic minors, their ascending and descending scales are different. The ascending scale has a semitone jump of 2122221 while its descending scale is 2122122.

    I understand that when compared to the major scale, ALL minor scales have a flattened 3rd degree. For Harmonic minor scales, it's an added sharpened 7th degree. For Melodic minor Ascending, it's an added sharpened 6th and 7th while on the descend, those 6ths and 7ths will be flattened.

    As i understand it, these 24 scales are THE Minor Scales. I've heard of Dorian (flattened 3rd, sharpened 7th) and Aeolian (flattened 3rd, sharpened 6th & 7th). However if the following is true:

    LennyH: Parallel Minor - Starts on the same note as the parallel Major. Just flatten the 3rd, 6th and 7th.
    Then, it's like saying that the Aeolian Mode IS a minor scale am i right? But from what i've learnt above, it is not the case because the Harmonic(b3rd, #7th) and Melodic (Asc: b3rd, #6th & #7th. Desc: b7th, b6th, b3rd) scales are NOT flattened 3rds, 6ths & 7ths (except for the Melodic DESCENDING scale).
    I've been told that the Aeolian is a jazz scale and NOT a minor scale. So this is my case of confusion here.

    Now my questions:

    1. What then is a NATURAL Minor?
    2. Is Aeolian mode a minor scale?
    3. How about Dorian? What has it got to do with the minor scale?
    4. Am I on the right track or not?

    Sorry for a rather heavily loaded long post
    ben

  9. #9

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    Natural minor:

    A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A

    Harmonic minor:

    A-B-C-D-E-F-G#-A

    Melodic minor:

    A-B-C-D-E-F#-G#-A (up)
    A-G-F-E-D-C-B-A (down, but this isn't used a lot in jazz, it is in classical music)

    Aeolian scale = 6th mode of major scale = the minor scale A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A, for example... A-C is a minor third

    Dorian scale = 2nd mode of major scale = the dorian scale D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D, for example... D-F is a minor third

    If you see a Dm7 chord, you may wish to play a D-dorian (D-F-G-C = Dm7). An harmonic minor scale is used over a Am-maj7 (A-C-E-G#)

    http://www.outsideshore.com/primer/p...tml#MinorScale

    It's about the chords. If the scale starts with a minor third, it's a minor scale.

    The locrian scale also starts with a minor third, but you get a diminished fifth if you look further (B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B => B-D-F = Bdim)
    Rien n'est grave, puisque tout passe.

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    Don't forget the friggin {hee-hee, Phrygian} minor; built on the 3rd degree of the major/ionian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orions_belt27
    Now my questions:

    1. What then is a NATURAL Minor?
    2. Is Aeolian mode a minor scale?
    3. How about Dorian? What has it got to do with the minor scale?
    4. Am I on the right track or not?
    To answer the first two questions, natural minor scale is the same thing as Aeolian mode, so yes, Aeolian is a minor scale---but it is also a mode of the major scale, starting on the sixth tone.

    Dorian is also a minor scale, the second mode of a major scale. I defined it in a previous post in this thread. Now you will notice there are more than 24 minor scales, if you include all the minor modes contained within the major scale.

    I think you're on the right track, but the semantics (all the various names for these scales) are getting in your way. Speaking of which, be careful about that term #7th that you are using. Strictly speaking a #7th is really the "8th," or tonic, so there is no need to call it a #7th. What you really mean to say (I think) is a MAJOR 7th, as opposed to a b7th.

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