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Questions of the theory persuasion

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Sunday, Jan 1, 2006.


  1. Sunday

    Sunday

    Mar 30, 2005
    Denver
    First, do modes of the melodic minor scale abide by normal keys? I mean, are there ways to play a melodic minor scale with one sharp, then two and so on, and, are they the same sharps as is normal? For example f# and then F#,C#?

    Second, my understanding is that you have a couple different options of scales when playing over a given chord most of the time. But if the notes of each scale you play over the same chord stay in the same key does it matter if you're playing a different scale? Because you only have 7 options (plus octaves) to choose from.

    Forgive my musical ignorance,

    B!
     
  2. BassChuck

    BassChuck

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    I think I know what you are asking, but if I misunderstand, please excuse that.

    1.) If you are asking if you could play a minor scale for every key signature, then.. yea, you can. The minor scale, as we mostly use it, is based on the 6th scale step (otherwise know as the aeolin scale). The 'melodic' form of that scale means that we would raise the 6th and 7th step (from the key sig.) going up the scale and return to the key sig going down the scale. In other words: The notes that make up the C major scale ( CDEFGABC) are called A minor, when we start on A, the 6th step (ABCDEFGA). In the melodic form of that minor scale we would play A B C D E F# G# A and then going down A G F E D C B A. Even though there are sharps going up (to make the melodic form) the key signature is no sharps or flats. So then C major and A minor have the same key (that how they are related, if you find the term 'related minor).

    This can take place for all the keys... so if we take the key of 1 flat, we have F major, or D minor. So the major scale for this key is: F G A Bb C D E F. The minor scale is D E F G A Bb C D. to make the melodic form: D E F G A B C# D and going down we would go back to the key sig D C Bb A G A F E D.

    2.) You can use the same collect of notes (a scale) starting on any of them and they will work just fine over the same chord. In other words if the chord in question says that we can use a C major scale then that scale would be C D E F G A B C, of course and we can start a sequence of notes on any of them. You will note that as you choose different notes the effect is different, and you may find that some are not to your satisfaction. Try everything you can think of a listen closely.

    In the end it's your ear that will tell you what is best. We all have the same notes to play with... but the end result is very different. Likely few would confuse Monteverdi and Miles.
     
  3. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    Answer to part 1 is no. D ascending melodic minor has 1 sharp and it is C#. A asc mel min has 2, F# & G# . E asc mel min has 3, F# C# & D#. B has 4; C#,F#,G# &A#. The circle of fifths rule applies as far as adding/deleting accidentals, but the order in which the accidentals appear is different. This is because asc mel min is an artificial scale - even though it contains one sharp it is still really in the key of D min which has one flat. Clear as mud? For fun: G asc mel min has a sharp and a flat (but G min has two flats).

    Forgive me but I'm not sure I understand what you are asking for part 2. In truth for scale or chord you have 12 options to choose from. Like BassChuck said you gotta use your ears: some notes are gonna sound better than others, and it depends on how you choose to resolve them as well.
     
  4. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Keys aren't really all that useful anymore. Jazz uses so many modal interchange chords, and contemporary pop music is too one-dimensional for these things to come into play. Better to just keep chords in mind, instead of keys.
     
  5. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Montréal,Qc,Canada
    OK, I'll try to sum up some infos here.

    There are two kind of tonality in modern music : Major and Minor.
    A song in Major would be rule by the major scale of the key and a minor key would generally be rule by the harmonic minor scale of the key and or the natural minor(AEOLIAN).

    The melodic minor scale is a bit different because it is the same thing as a major scale but with a minor third. Don't forget that in Jazz harmony we use this scale the same way descending so, that way we can use the modes derived from it. Plus, because it sounds almost like a major scale,it would be difficult to built a minor tonality from it because most of the chords and especially the V degree(dominant) would sound exactly the same in major or in minor.

    The melodic minor scale is perfect to play over very specific chords that don't really match a specific function in the chord progression.

    Here my list of application of the c minor melodic scale (C,D,Eb,F,G,A,B) and its Modes:

    Cmin6 Don't forget it is a A natural here for the sixth!
    D7susb9 or Cmin/D
    Eb Ma7 #5
    F13(#11) the lydian dominant chord is extremely helpful.
    G9 going to Cmin. I don't want to call it G7(b13) because it is wrong.
    Amin7(b5) with a major second instead of a minor second find in the
    LOCRIAN mode in major.
    B7(#5 #9) the ALTERED scale or SUPER LOCRIAN or DIMINUSHED/WHOLE TONE scale.

    Hope this will help,
    SB
     
  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Just out of interst, why is G7b13 wrong?

    ta
    H
     
  7. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Montréal,Qc,Canada
    Because the b13 would suggest that the perfect fifth would be out of the voicing to avoid the minor 9 interval between the 2 notes(Eb-D). But it is in the scale. That is why I don't want to call it b13. It is more a dominant chord with a major 9 and a flat 6.

    Like I said, it is perfect on a G9 going on Cmin.
    You can use that on a deceptive cadence like Dmin7-G9-Cmin.

    SB
     
  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    So, the scale is G A B C D Eb G, the chord G7b13 is GBDF+Eb.. but you're saying that the 5th, D, is left out of the chord to avoid the b9th interval between it and the b13, Eb...

    I would have thought that the chord spelt GB (no 5th) F Eb would be a voicing of G7augmented (ignoring enharmonics)

    I thought that the b13 specified Eb added to the chord, so the b9th interval between the 5th at the b13 was an integral part of the tension?

    Sorry, I'm not picking holes in what you're saying, I've just never heard this before.. I always though that altered extensions (b9 #9 #11 b13) were added on top of existing chord tones R 3 5 b7 in V7 chords?
     
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    obviously there's no rules, i'm just interested tis all :)

    also, why specify the natural 9 in G9 for a use of this chord?
     
  10. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Montréal,Qc,Canada
    First, the minor 9 interval is the most dissonant sound in music so, that is why it is a good reason to not use it unless it is the sound you are looking for. If you bring the b13 an octave down then you have in the same chord the perfect fifth and a raised fifth which would conflict with the sound you are looking from either a perfect fifht or an altered fifth. That is why the symbol b13 is slowly going in the drain because it is not a definite way of writing the sound you are looking for, a bit like the symbol G11 for an example that slowly disapearing too because it is too ambiguous.

    Second,the G9 here is because the A is in the scale instead of Ab like in minor harmonic.
    The dominant b9 suggest more a minor sound then the G9.
    I hope it is clear enough.

    SB
     
  11. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    yeah, i see what you're saying, i still dont really 'get it' tho..

    if i see G7b13 i assume it means GBDF+Eb, if i see G7#5 I assume it means GBEbF. And I wouldnt assume that the 9 is flat as per 5th mode of harmonic minor unless the chord was spelt with a b9... i.e. G7b9b13 is different from G7b13

    this bit however, i cant comment on! intersting stuff, thanks :)
     
  12. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Montréal,Qc,Canada
    Well,in my first post I forgot to mention the 9 in the written symbol G7b13. It should have been G9b13. But at the end it doesn't change what I'm saying about the fact that you should know to leave the perfect fifth out of the chord when you see a chord like G9b13. That is why it is better to use something like G+9 or G9(#5).
    Unfortunately,the voicing G+9 gets confusing 'cause of the way Aebersold is spelling is altered chord G+9 meaning that the fifth and the ninth get altered which it is not the way the late Dick Grove taught me.

    SB
     
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Ah, thanks!

    OK, so I've learnt something; keep the heck away from the 5th when there's a b13 in the chord :cool:

    ..so, have you come accross an instance where the b13 is played as well as the 5th because that b9 interval is wanted?
     
  14. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    looked into this in a bit more detail... think I 'get it' now, as you say.. only the b13 and 11 add an 'unintentional' b9 interval to the chord... all other possible extenstions create consonant intervals with the existing chord tones. so where you see a b13 or 11 extension you need to be clear that the 5th or 3rd respectively will greatly add to the tension

    cheers again
     
  15. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    Montréal,Qc,Canada
    You got it right,and, thoses chords become ambiguous if your are not careful with it because in the case of the 11 chord you want a suspended sound OR a major chord. Same with the b13,you want a perfect fifth OR an augmented one.

    Glad to help you here,

    SB