Sharps in D02 scales

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Hari
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Sharps in D02 scales

Postby Hari » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:01 pm

Hi there,

In D02 the scales in Mi minor (12) and La minor (13) have sharps on the ascending scale, but not when descending.

I don't understand why this should be.

I would be grateful for any pointers.

Regards

Hari

Dustin McKinney
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Re: Sharps in D02 scales

Postby Dustin McKinney » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:30 pm

The minor scale is a special beast. It contains different variations:
Natural Minor- will not possess accidental ascending or descending outside of the key signature.

Harmonic Minor- will possess a raised seventh scale degree(the seventh note in the scale).

Melodic Minor- this is what you find in D02. It will raise the 6th and 7th scale degrees when ascending, through the us of accidentals, and it will return to the original notes in the key signature when descending.

This is written to follow the basic patterns found in melody during the common practice era. When playing in a moron key, you are more likely to ascend with the accodentals to pull the line in that direction, and vice versa, the descending notes lead the line downward. I hope this helps!
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Anastas
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Re: Sharps in D02 scales

Postby Anastas » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:53 am

Dustin McKinney is formulated essence of the matter. I would just add some point about melodic minor.

Descending minor, if it is played with accidentals, sounds like major scale. And when the minor 3rd comes it sounds false, bad, because the ear expects the major 3rd.
That is why descending minor is played like natural.

Good example, which I often play to my students to illustrate the melodic minor , is the very famous Boure in E minor by Bach, 1 part.

JohnB
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Re: Sharps in D02 scales

Postby JohnB » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:48 am

There is a good Wikipedia article on the "Minor Scale".

Although I can understand it on an abstract level I confess that I always feel slightly baffled when I stray into minor scale concepts.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso"

Hari
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:35 pm

Re: Sharps in D02 scales

Postby Hari » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:41 am

That's great.
Thanks for your quick responses everyone.

Dustin, special thanks for the background info.

Regards,

Hari

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Tom Poore
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Re: Sharps in D02 scales

Postby Tom Poore » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:34 pm

The natural minor scale simply conforms to its key signature. Any sharps or flats in a natural minor scale are those found in the key signature.

Historically, when musicians began using chords to harmonize a minor key melody, they soon developed a preference for the major V chord. In A minor, for example, they liked the sound of an E major chord, which has a G sharp, rather than the E minor chord, which has a G natural. Notice, however, that this G sharp isn’t in the key signature. Theorists, rule bound pendants that they are, decided to account for this oft used sharp. So they hit on the harmonic minor scale. In harmonic minor the seventh degree is sharped, which accounts for the sharped third in a V chord. (For example, the G sharp in the E major V chord in A minor.) Because this sharp is for harmonic reasons, hence the name “harmonic minor.”

Now we have two minor keys: natural minor, and harmonic minor. And that’s where it might have stayed. But then singers, those trouble making prima donnas, got into the act.

Try singing a harmonic minor scale. You’ll find the augmented second between the sixth and seventh degrees is awkward to sing. So singers began sharping the sixth degree to smooth out this awkward interval. It worked so well that sharping the six and seventh degrees of a natural minor scale became a thing. And theorists, doing their fussy thing, concocted a third scale: “melodic minor.” It’s called melodic minor because the sharped sixth degree is for melodic smoothness.

So why, you may ask, are the sixth and seventh scale degrees sharped when ascending, but revert to natural minor when descending? It’s a good question with a good answer. Play a descending A melodic minor scale in which the seventh and sixth degrees are still sharped (A, G#, F#, E, D, C, B, A). What does it sound like? From A through D it’s an A major scale. It doesn’t sound minor until you hit the C, when the scale is almost finished. Obviously it makes no sense for a minor scale to sound minor when ascending but major when descending. So singers instinctively reverted to natural minor when descending.

So there you have it: three different minor scales, each with its own justification. This is why music students the world over will gladly practice major scales, but run screaming into the night at the prospect of minor scales.

Be sure to hug a music theorist today.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

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Tom Poore
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Re: Sharps in D02 scales

Postby Tom Poore » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:42 pm

Dustin McKinney wrote:When playing in a moron key, [...]

While loathe to admit it, I’ve more than once played in a moron key.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

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guitarrista
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Re: Sharps in D02 scales

Postby guitarrista » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:33 pm

Tom Poore wrote:The natural minor scale simply conforms to its key signature. Any sharps or flats in a natural minor scale are those found in the key signature.

Historically, when musicians began using chords to harmonize a minor key melody, they soon developed a preference for the major V chord. In A minor, for example, they liked the sound of an E major chord, which has a G sharp, rather than the E minor chord, which has a G natural. Notice, however, that this G sharp isn’t in the key signature. Theorists, rule bound pendants that they are, decided to account for this oft used sharp. So they hit on the harmonic minor scale. In harmonic minor the seventh degree is sharped, which accounts for the sharped third in a V chord. (For example, the G sharp in the E major V chord in A minor.) Because this sharp is for harmonic reasons, hence the name “harmonic minor.”

Now we have two minor keys: natural minor, and harmonic minor. And that’s where it might have stayed. But then singers, those trouble making prima donnas, got into the act.

Try singing a harmonic minor scale. You’ll find the augmented second between the sixth and seventh degrees is awkward to sing. So singers began sharping the sixth degree to smooth out this awkward interval. It worked so well that sharping the six and seventh degrees of a natural minor scale became a thing. And theorists, doing their fussy thing, concocted a third scale: “melodic minor.” It’s called melodic minor because the sharped sixth degree is for melodic smoothness.

So why, you may ask, are the sixth and seventh scale degrees sharped when ascending, but revert to natural minor when descending? It’s a good question with a good answer. Play a descending A melodic minor scale in which the seventh and sixth degrees are still sharped (A, G#, F#, E, D, C, B, A). What does it sound like? From A through D it’s an A major scale. It doesn’t sound minor until you hit the C, when the scale is almost finished. Obviously it makes no sense for a minor scale to sound minor when ascending but major when descending. So singers instinctively reverted to natural minor when descending.

So there you have it: three different minor scales, each with its own justification. This is why music students the world over will gladly practice major scales, but run screaming into the night at the prospect of minor scales.

Be sure to hug a music theorist today.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA


Wow, Tom, this is the best explanation on this subject that I have ever seen! I almost don't care if it is true - it is laid out so well as a beautiful story, and is clear and logical, but also has that drama and chaos of the human condition. (but of course I trust that it is correct as well) :D

Thank you very much!
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

Dustin McKinney
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Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Re: Sharps in D02 scales

Postby Dustin McKinney » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:33 pm

Tom Poore wrote:
Dustin McKinney wrote:When playing in a moron key, [...]

While loathe to admit it, I’ve more than once played in a moron key.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA


:lol: :lol: :lol:

Proofreading is my friend!
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