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Does anyone know...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by DeLorean, Apr 4, 2003.

  1. There isn't an "obscure points in music theory history" category, so I'll toss this out here...

    We all know (and love (OK, maybe that is going too far...)) the Melodic Minor scale. I have not been able to find a good answer as to why it descends in the Natural Minor form rather than mirroring the ascending form. I can't be the only one who has been wondering about this, if anyone knows or can point to a reliable reference with the information please let me (us?) know.
  2. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Scale degrees 6 and 7 are raised in order to lead convincingly to 8."When a minor scale ascends the whole step between 7 & 8 it fails to lead into the tonic with the same conviction as major".(Aldwell/Schacter)When you descend the minor scale however natural 7 does'nt present a problem because 7 leads away from 8 not to it.In other words,going up that whole step between 7 & 8 does'nt make 8 sound like the goal,or central tone of the key.The harmonic and melodic minor scales are actually variants of the natural minor scale,the key signature always corresponds to the natural minor.You hear the term "Jazz Melodic Minor",where the descending scale remains raised 6 and 7 but Bach was doing that 300 years ago so I guess he was a Jazzer.There is a TON of material on this if you look.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

  5. Thanks for the info (and links). I had looked, but Google didn't turn up those links for me and none of the books I've had access to went into the reasons behind it. This is what makes Talk Bass great. :)

    I think Vivaldi was using it as well, maybe we've stumbled onto a centuries old secret Jazz cult... :p
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    In Jazz the melodic minor is the same ascending and descending.
  7. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Harmony and Voice Leading
    2nd edition
    Edward Aldwell and Carl Schacter
    Harcourt College Publishers

    Pretty much considered the "teaching bible" so to speak,of tonality,answers this and any other generic theory question you could have.
  8. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    It's not unique to jazz was my point.