In this post I’ll be covering everything you need to know about minor scales including the different types and how we form them. If you’re studying an instrument then learning about … Western music consists of major scales and minor scales. A ring of twelve is sometimes augmented with a 5♯ and 6♭ to make a 10 note harmonic minor scale from bell 2 to bell 11 (for example, Worcester Cathedral).. Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 10 years helping thousands of students unlock the joy of music. The descending formula is the natural minor scale formula backwards. Each scale uses a different formula of intervals and has a completely different sound and feel. The intervals between the notes of a natural minor scale follow the sequence below: where "whole" stands for a whole tone (a red u-shaped curve in the figure), and "half" stands for a semitone (a red angled line in the figure). To build a C natural minor scale, starting on C, we take a whole step to D. Next, we take a half step to Eb. Every major key has a relative minor, which starts on the 6th scale degree or step. Here is a melodic minor scale starting on the note D: Let’s do a quick recap of the three types of minor scales. In this example, the numbers mean: Thus, for instance, the A natural minor scale can be built by lowering the third, sixth, and seventh degrees of the A major scale by one semitone: Because of this, the key of A minor is called the parallel minor of A major. , Examples of the use of melodic minor in rock and popular music include Elton John's "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word", which makes, "a nod to the common practice... by the use of F♯ [the leading tone in G minor] as the penultimate note of the final cadence.". Bruce Benward and Marilyn Nadine Saker (2003), Jazz scale § Modes of the melodic minor scale, Jazz scale#Modes of the melodic minor scale, "Neo-Classical Metal Music Genre Overview | AllMusic", Listen to and download harmonised minor scale piano MP3s, Natural Minor Scales explained on a virtual piano, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Minor_scale&oldid=989336337, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2020, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from June 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. , In Indian Carnatic music, this melodic minor scale corresponds to Gourimanohari. Anyway, I hope that helps make sense of minor scales and the differences between them. Their difference from the major scale is shown. The harmonic minor scale formula (with S representing semitones and T representing tones) is: T – S – T – T – S – T1⁄2 – S. Or shown as whole and half steps it would be: W – H – W – W – H – W1⁄2 – H. This will help you know how to make a harmonic minor scale starting on any key. A natural minor scale uses this formula of tones and semitones (whole steps and half steps). If you are playing in the key of G major like above, you can also solo in the key of E minor because they share the same notes. Another way I like to think of ascending melodic minors is that they are the same as the major scale but with a flattened third. But remember, the three minors scales ALWAYS have a flattened 3rd note. So using this order of tones and semitones we can construct a harmonic minor scale starting on the note A: As you can see the harmonic minor is very similar to the natural minor. By flattened, I mean that the third note is lowered by one semitone or half step. Minor scales are written in lower case. Melodic minor scales are quite different from natural and harmonic minors as they use different notes when ascending (going up) and descending (going down). In this role, it is used while descending far more often than while ascending. The second type of minor scale that we’ll look at is the harmonic minor scale. The Locrian mode (which is very rarely used) has a minor third but not the perfect fifth, so its root chord is a diminished triad. Natural Notes, Natural Signs and Accidentals in Music, Natural C Minor Scale: C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C, Harmonic C Minor Scale: C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - B - C, Melodic C Minor Scale: C - D - Eb - F - G - A - B - C (as you go up the scale), Natural C Minor Scale: C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C (as you go down the scale). The main difference is that all minor scales have the third note of the scale ‘flattened’. Using these notations, the two melodic minor scales can be built by altering the parallel major scale. From Eb, a whole step takes us to F. Another whole step takes us to G. From G, we go up a half step to Ab. Minor scales have a different formula of tones and semitones (whole steps and half steps) to major scales. Here You might notice that descending melodic minors are exactly the same as the natural minor scale. Rare Musical Keys and Unused Key Signatures, Understand the Pattern of Black Piano Keys. Side note: Melodic and harmonic minor scales are nothing to do with melodic and harmonic intervals. The three types of minor scale that we’ll look at are: All three of these minor scales start the same but have some slight differences after that. The scale also had a notable influence on heavy metal, spawning a sub-genre known as neoclassical metal, with guitarists such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore, and Randy Rhoads employing it in their music.. Conclusion. While some composers have used this interval to advantage in melodic composition, others felt it to be an awkward leap, particularly in vocal music, and preferred a whole step between these scale degrees for smooth melody writing. A natural minor scale can also be constructed by altering a major scale with accidentals. To guide you, here are the minor scales in every key:C = C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - CD = D - E - F - G - A - Bb - C - DE = E - F# - G - A - B - C - D - EF = F - G - Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb - FG = G - A - Bb - C - D - Eb - F - GA = A - B - C - D - E - F - G - AB = B - C# - D - E - F# - G - A - BC# = C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A - B - C#Eb = Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb - Cb - Db - EbF# = F# - G# - A - B - C# - D - E - F#G# = G# - A# - B - C# - D# - E - F# - G#Bb = Bb - C - Db - Eb - F - Gb - Ab - Bb, To simplify, you can memorize this formula to form a minor scale:whole step - half step - whole step - whole step - half step - whole step - whole step (or)w - h - w - w - h - w - w. To play a harmonic minor scale, you simply raise the seventh note of the scale by a half-step as you go up and down the scale. One chord, with various spellings, may therefore have various harmonic functions in various keys. Welcome to Hello Music Theory! 14), and Schubert (for example, in the first movement of the Death and the Maiden Quartet). This augmented fifth chord (♯5 chord) played a part in the development of modern chromaticism. Use the formula T – S – T – T – S – T – THarmonic minors: 1. are the same ascending and descending 2. Every musician needs to see/read. What Are Diminished and Augmented Triads? This formula is the same sequence as the major scale formula, but it begins on a different note. Although various hemitonic[clarification needed] pentatonic scales might be called minor, the term is most commonly applied to the relative minor pentatonic scale, derived as a mode of the major pentatonic scale, using scale tones 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 of the natural minor scale. Lastly, one more whole step … Some sound happy, some sound mysterious and some sound sad or melancholy. The intervals between the notes of a harmonic minor scale follow the sequence below: The scale is called the harmonic minor scale because it is a common foundation for harmonies (chords) in minor keys.
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