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Theory Cheat Sheet

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Hulktopus, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Hulktopus


    Aug 22, 2012
    Mansfield, TX
    So I've been working on creating a "Music Theory Cheat Sheet" with lots of different information. Would any of you theory gurus be willing to proofread for typos and incorrect info? Also, feel free to suggest things to add.

    Attached Files:

  2. Bainbridge


    Oct 28, 2012
    I would advise you to be consistent in your labeling. Chord numerals should look like this:

    Major - I ii iii IV V vi vii°
    Natural minor - i ii° III iv v VI VII
    Harmonic minor - i ii° III+ iv V VI vii°

    After all, there's a world of difference between this...

    iii° iii III III+

    ... and this:


    And if you label iio as ii half of the time, you'll end up with inconsistencies.

    Your 'merged minor' has a couple mistakes.

    Merged Minor Scales (Natural + Harmonic)
    i ii III iv V  v  VI vii VII 
    m  d  M  m  M  M  M  d   M
    Should be like this:

    Merged Minor Scales (Natural + Harmonic)
    i ii° III iv V  v  VI vii° VII 
    m  d   M  m  M  m  M  d    M
    Also, scales. Unique pitch classes have one designation. 1 is 1. 8 is 1. 15 is 1. Number it "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1" since the whole idea is that the pattern repeats. You wouldn't say 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 for the same scale, after all. Particularly if you're describing a melody in terms of scale degrees and you get something like 6 11 10 9 5 8 7 14 15 13 11... Gets confusing, even though that system better describes octave placement than the equivalent 6 4 3 2 5 1 7 7 1 6 4. When talking about scale degrees, we're more concerned with function than we are with register (Western music generally does not stress the study of register).

    List the rest of the intervals. You're missing the augmented fourth/diminished fifth, as well as the major and minor sixth.

    I would include diatonic substitutions. IV/ii, V/vii°, that kind of thing.
  3. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    On the inversions, I would not have taken them into the second octave.
    5-1-3, but that does not make yours wrong.

    Natural minor is 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7-8
    Harmonic minor is 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-7-8

    I would expand on the modes.

    Major modes
    Ionian 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 same as the major scale
    Lydian 1-2-3-#4-5-6-7-8
    Mixolydian 1-2-3-4-5-6-b7-8

    Minor modes
    Aeolian 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7-8 same as the natural minor scale
    Dorian 1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7-8
    Phrygian 1-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7

    Diminished modes
    Locrian 1-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7-8

    I never got into the minor, major, perfect notations. I let WWH and the upper case and lower case letters indicate what I needed to know. So will leave that portion of your work to others.

    Now. What are you going to do with all this. I suggest after your get it where you like it -- frame it and hang it where you can see it as you practice. I'm a chart guy and have my "stuff" in frames by my computer chair, I play everything sitting in my computer chair. I glance over at my charts all the time to insure I'm on the right track.

    Good work, want another challenge? Take the circle of 5th/4th and write a paper on what that cheat sheet can tell you.
  4. Hulktopus


    Aug 22, 2012
    Mansfield, TX
    I've corrected my typos and cleaned up my notation a bit. The new file has been put into the first post. Thanks for the responses! I haven't added anything other than the additional intervals.

    The modes layout is actually the circle of 5ths in column format. I'm sure that there's more to learn than that though... :)