What is the actual Minor scale?
I notice an inconsistancy when people refer to 'the minor' scale.
When people talk about or play the minor scale, I've noticed that some will play the Aeolian and some will play the Dorian.
I always thought if someone refered to 'the minor scale' in a general way, they were refering to the relative minor to the major scale, Aeolian. But it doesn't always seem to be the case?
Can someone please clarify.
Depends on context, but if it not specific then the dorian scale is a safer bet. The dorian will work on a I minor chord or a II, but the aeolian will not work over a II minor chord.
If someone just said "Play a minor scale" then I would assume that they're referring to the natural minor scale (which is also the aeolian mode of the major scale).
But, there are also the melodic minor and harmonic minor scales.
Yep, Natural Minor or Aeolian. b3 b6 b7.
I would think(not sure) relative or parallel first assuming were talking about fuctional harmony.
But there is a lot of interchange between minor scales and a progression may borrow from them all.
Some minor scales have a subdominant sound while others have a tonic sound. Fuction is important.
I don't understand Modal harmony as of yet, or if it even applys to this . But I am hear to learn and share if I can.:)
In anycase, bump!
Aeolian is the natural minor scale.
I'll use "A" as the home tone.
A Natural Minor - A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A (Same up and down)
A Melodic Minor - A, B, C, D, E, F#, G#, A, G, F, E, D, C, B, A (Up, the scale is similar to a Major Scale, but with a Minor Third. Down, it's a Natural Minor Scale)
A Harmonic Minor - A, B, C, D, E, F, G#, A (Same up and down. Augmented 2nd interval between the 6th and 7th scale steps)
There are also the Minor Modes:
A Dorian - A, B, C, D, E, F#, G, A (Same up and down)
A Aeolian - A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A (Same as a Natural Minor. Same up and down)
A Phrygian - A, Bb, C, D, E, F, G, A (Same up and down)
A Locrian - A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A (Same up and down. This Scale is usually in the Diminished Catagory)
A Minor Pentatonic - A, C, D, E, G, A (Same up and down)
Lots of different Minor Pentatonics (Japanese, Korean, etc.)
A Jazz Minor - A, B, C, D, E, F#, G#, A, G#, F#, E, D, C, B, A (Same up an down)
Any scale with a Minor Third interval between the Root and Third.
Some of the Modes of the Melodic Minor Scale:
The Sixth Mode of a C Melodic Minor - A, B, C, D, Eb, F, G, A, G, F, Eb, D, C, B, A (start with the 6th Step of an ascending C Melodic Minor Scale). Sometimes called the Locrian #2 Scale.
The Seventh Mode of a Bb Melodic Minor - A, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G, A, G, F, Eb, Db, C, Bb, A (start with the 7th Step of an ascending Bb Melodic Minor Scale). Sometimes called the Altered Scale.
Some of the Modes of the Harmonic Minor Scale (i.e., A Dorian #4 - A, B, C, D#, E, F#, G, A, G, F#, E, D#, C, B, A).
(I hope I spelled these right... lots of them!)
I tend to think natural minor unless otherwise specified. Hit The Road Jack, Song For My Father.
The only thing in question is whether the 6th should be flat, right? (It should)
In our concert band, we generally play 4 part chorales (SATB) in minor keys with the raised 7 (harmonic minor). The most common progression we warm up on is i, then iv, then 2nd inversion, then V, then back to i (melody is whole, whole, half, half, whole). The raised 7th allows for the major 5 chord to have harmonic motion as the leading tone pushes back to the i chord (ti-do). Ive begin to establish this in my bass playing, and have heard numerous examples of using the harmonic minor for harmonic progression in popular music. Sultans of Swing by dire straits is one that comes to mind. Also, Passage to Bangkok utilizes these intervals.
Minor scales-3 of them basically
In my music education, there are three basic minor scales - harmonic minor, melodic minor, and natural minor.
As some of you have indicated.
That little classic guitar intro in B minor(i think) on 'a farewell to kings' makes use of the 5th mode just on the F# dominant chord on its way back to B minor(aolian).
This, if I was to say what actual is.
My double bass teacher (classical ) Has me practicing Harmonic Minor scales and not Natural. Just reinforces this.
Although you can't go wrong with the natural minor arpeggio in any scenario;
Different types of music focus on different aspects of music and use different scales as a result.
Before western music got harmonically complex (by which I mean early music with few or no chord changes) you'd play around with rhythm and melody to make interesting sounds. During this time music went modal as people tried to develop different moods to their music. Then you had the 'big bang' in the development of western music. The development of harmony and the obsession with cadence.
The V - I chord progression fits the Major scale very nicely so the early classical musicians started using it in preference to all the other modes (which became largely forgotten outside church and folk music)
When they wanted a minor sound they went with the minor mode that fit the V - I cadence the best (the natural minor) and forgot the rest.
Even though the natural minor fit V - I better than the other modes it still doesn't fit. So they worked out that they could make it fit their favourite V - I cadence by raising the 7th. The harmonic minor was born.
They liked the harmonic minor, but it sounded odd and non-melodic because of the big gap between the 6th and the 7th, so they raised the 6th to even it out when they used it (which was mostly on ascending phrases for the 'leading note' i.e. the raised 7th) and kept using the natural minor on descending phrases where they didn't need the leading note.
So in a way, a classical composser is always using the natural minor, but is twisting it in ways that make it fit their harmonic needs better.
The modes lived on in folk and church music, and were taken to America by the common people of Europe.
The African Americans developed blues from their own African musical heritige which was more focused on rhythm and melody than harmony. They then developed harmonically complex music (jazz) which again led to scales being used (or implied as most (all?) of the early jazz guys thought in terms of chords not scales) in a way that fit and adapted to the chord progressions they liked and used.
Modern popular music is a melting pot of all of the above. The music I play is blues based and owes more to the African Americans who developed the blues and the European folk players who kept the modes alive than to western classical music. So I start with the pentatonic and add whatever notes I fancy.
Whole step, half step, whole, whole, half, whole, whole
root note, 2nd, b3rd, 4th, 5th, b6th, b7th, octave.... right?:)
'Actual' minor scale?
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