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Silly question about minors

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Corbis, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    This is sort of silly but today in music theory class our Student Teacher handed out worksheets with inversions and labeling and such. I got done quickly and handed it in and she said I was completely wrong That when you write out minor chords that your letters are also lower case like so.

    "Am" would be "am"

    I have NEVER seen this in any peice of music and I was the only one that was counted wrong on this and it made me a little angry since I had to go through 30 some problems and erase and write the new ones in.

    Or was I really wrong and just being difficult?

    Oh and I've label stuff when I've composed music and the "real" teacher doesn't have a problem with the way I write chords symbols.
  2. Tell them to stop making things up.
  3. No, she was wrong.

    Now, if you're referring to degrees of the scale in Roman numerals, then yeah, it's conventional to use lower case letters for minors. As in, Dm is the ii in C major, and the progression Dm-G-C would be a ii-V-I.

    But no, never "am" for "Am."
  4. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    Yeah in class I thought she was getting confused on Roman numerals, but you'd think someone in there 4th year of a Music Instructor degree would know something rather basic......I even told her I had never ever seen that before.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You can also indicate minors with a dash, like A-, C-, etc. But the note letters are always capitalized. If she insists that she's right, tell her to show you even one piece of music written that way. Or bring in a few pieces of music and challenge her to find a note letter that's capitalized. Then tell her to go back to PE and leave teaching music to professional music teachers.
  6. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    Back when I was in music theory class, they did in fact use capitals for major and miniscules for minors. I've always assumed it was the Classical Way, although I admit I never really gave it much thought. You should ask the DB guys who play more in that culture.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I AM one of those DB guys, although I'm a beginner DB'er. But I own several real books, have been reading music for 30 years, and am often called upon to read charts on gigs, and I have never seen minor chords written with the note letter in small letters. Maybe it was done once upon a time, but that time has long passed.
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Did she come from/study in a German-speaking country?
    Here it is C-Dur (C major) and a-Moll (A minor), so majors are capitalized, minors aren't.
  9. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    she's wrong
  10. RhythmBassist01


    Aug 31, 2005
    I've never seen "am" for A Minor.
  11. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I see that quite often, especially in older charts. I hate it though, it drives me nuts.
  12. You're right, I've seen that on sheet music from Germany, but if I recall, only when referring to keys of pieces. Do you guys do that for chord names too?
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yeah, agreed, I've never see minor chords written in lower case either.

    There's always contention over the best way to write chord symbols... my teacher at collegeis adamant that BbMaj7 is better than Bb and that little superscript triangle symbol, and prefers E-7b5 to the little circle with a line through it... personally, I prefer symbols to be as short and succinct as possible. The more characters, the more room for error.

    Still, "am" is nonsense, maybe people did it like 100 years ago or whatever.. but just perhaps they dont any more for a reason? :)
  14. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    If you have to ask, the answer is no. Don't you know that fifteen gets you thirty? :D :D
  15. bonscottvocals


    Feb 10, 2005
    Upstate NY
    We try to keep minors out of bars, but they sneak in with their fake ID's and the next thing you know the cops are there and everything goes nuts.

    Seriously, though, it's important to remember that we're on the Internet and this world is moving to a more international culture. There may be those who do use 'am' vs 'Am', but that doesn't make either one more right or wrong. What the student teacher needs to realize is that just because it's the way that she does it from where she came doesn't mean that it's wrong, but that she'll have to adapt to the needs of her students. In today's music, it would be rare to find that kind of notation, so both would be accepted.

    The tables would turn if you were going into another culture or taking a class to read/write music where this notation was the norm.
  16. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    Okay thanks.

    Today was thankfully her last day with us so its back to the "Socrates" version of music theory that my teacher prefers, its laid back and he knows everyone is at different levels musically so as long as everyone works to get better everyone gets a good grade.
  17. I did run into a song chart a few years ago for Garth Brooks "The Dance" Whoever charted it used a lower case letter without the m for the minor---example, they wrote e instead of Em or even em....very confusing to see D G e D Absolutely terrible way to do it.