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major chords / minor scales #1371173
02/11/10 06:18 PM
02/11/10 06:18 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 7
rondeau Offline OP
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Hi ABF @ PW,

I'm an adult re-beginner; I had a few years of lessons about 30 years ago (ack!), and now I'm back at it on my own. I will be looking for a teacher at some point, but that’s just not in the cards at the moment.

I've been working on Hanon and Dohnányi exercises and have recently been spending a good amount of time practicing scales. I had an “aha! moment” the other day, but I don’t really know what I stumbled upon.

Here’s my story:

I know the major scales and their respective tonic, sub-dominant, and dominant 7th triads pretty well. If any are not memorized, I know what “sounds right” and can muddle my way through no problem. But when it comes to the minor scales, I don’t really know them at all and I can’t fake it.

So I was faced with this problem of how to learn the minor scales. I start reading around and all I could really find was that you just had to memorize how many sharps or flats in the given minor scale. Ugh! Don’t get me wrong, I see the value in really knowing the number of sharps or flats in a key, but I didn’t really want to sit down and start memorizing.

Then I notice that if I am playing the tonic triad chord in a major key and I drop my #3 finger, i.e. the mediant (I had to look up this word) a half-step (had to look that up too) then I would be given the answer as to how to play the respective minor scale. For example, if I play an A-major tonic triad the mediant is C#. Drop that a half-step and I am on C. So now I know that the a-minor scale is to be played as the C-major scale, i.e. no sharps or flats. Another example: play D-major tonic triad, mediant is F#, drop it a half-step and I have F. So d-minor scale is to be played as F-major scale, i.e. 1 flat.

Finally the question(s):

So what is the relationship? I mean, what part of theory makes this so? Does this have a name so I can explore it a little more?

I just thought this was really cool how the major and minor are seemingly linked by this “formula” of mediant minus a half-step.

Thank you all in advance for reading my story and helping me define what is going on here.


1902 Starr upright #41472
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Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: rondeau] #1371201
02/11/10 07:02 PM
02/11/10 07:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,466
Santa Fe, NM
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jotur Offline
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That is cool. I hadn't noticed that relationship before.

Each major scale has what is known as a "relative minor" scale - a minor scale with the same number of sharps and flats. The relative minor scale always starts on the 6th pitch of the major scale. So C major's relative minor is A minor. Sure enough, 2 pitches above A you get another C - the octave (6 pitches, or tones, from C to A, another 2 back to C). So - the middle pitch of the A major scale, dropped a half, gets you to the octave of the C major scale - and Aminor is the relative minor of C major.

That is really neat that you discovered that.

Cathy


Cathy
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Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: jotur] #1371362
02/11/10 11:52 PM
02/11/10 11:52 PM
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USA
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Now I have to go to the piano and check this out...








Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: rondeau] #1371402
02/12/10 12:30 AM
02/12/10 12:30 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 187
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FogAudio Offline
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Hi Rondeau,

What you've stumbled upon is a well known property of scales or modes. You have essentially discovered for yourself the sixth (Aeolian) of seven modes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Properties_of_musical_modes

For the mathematically inclined there is a true fascination with this stuff. Have fun discovering new patterns.

Regards,
Ryan

Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: FogAudio] #1371414
02/12/10 12:42 AM
02/12/10 12:42 AM
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T'sMom Offline
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As another adult re-beginner (by now I think I've turned into an adult re-intermediate), I've simply been memorizing them. They are all in the back of the Czerny exercises book. Guess I'm a plodder more than a thinker when it comes to piano theory!

Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: T'sMom] #1371504
02/12/10 03:36 AM
02/12/10 03:36 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,803
Decatur, Texas
Studio Joe Offline
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Actually, when rondeau played the A major chord and then lowered the 3rd 1/2 step, he found the parallel minor of Amajor(same tonic, different key signature).

Am is also the relative minor of Cmajor (same key signature, different tonic).


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Studio Joe] #1371661
02/12/10 10:42 AM
02/12/10 10:42 AM
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Australia
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Alternatively, count down three semi-tones, from the root of the major scale, to find the relative minor. e.g F major, go back three semi-tones, and you have D minor.

Just the 6th in reverse, really.


Rob
Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: R0B] #1372526
02/13/10 10:47 AM
02/13/10 10:47 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 7
rondeau Offline OP
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rondeau  Offline OP
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Thank you all for the helpful responses.

Jotur: I never knew about the 6th pitch. I guess this is a case of "6 of one" and "8 minus 2" of another!

FogAudio: Thanks for the link. It's all a bit confusing right now, but I will try and wade through it and see what I can learn.

ROB: I'm not really following you there, but I'll play around some more and see if it clicks.



1902 Starr upright #41472
Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: rondeau] #1373433
02/14/10 10:41 AM
02/14/10 10:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 198
Hong Kong
Jeff Hao Offline
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rondeau, I had the same discovery as you when I started playing chords with a fakebook of songs.

Same "technique" can be extended to remember other (ALL) chords in the same scale, in any scale. Taking C major for example ...

Base position C, E, G, C (let's call them 1, 3, 5, 8 in this C major scale): C chord
Moving 3 half step down (from base): Cm chord
Moving 8 half step down (from base): Cmaj7 chord
Moving 8 full step down (from base): C7 chord
Moving 8 full step down (from Cm): Cm7
Moving 3 half step up (from base ... or to 4): Csus4 ... very nice smile
Adding 2 (to base): Cadd2 ... very nice smile
Adding 6 (to base): Cadd6

There are others ... which I will have to consult a book to be complete. But these are the most used ones. You would have noticed that no number between 1 and 8 is spared smile.

I agree with FogAudio's (Ryan) comment ...
Quote
For the mathematically inclined there is a true fascination with this stuff. Have fun discovering new patterns.


Jeff





Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Jeff Hao] #1373447
02/14/10 11:02 AM
02/14/10 11:02 AM
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Let me just add that this simply helps memorizing how to find a certain chord on the keyboard based on the chord name given. This does not tell you what role the chord plays in a song, or the art of trying to figure out what chords are used in a song or piece of music.

That is a subject of "chord progression". I have also cracked this myself with the help of some reading. Reason I say this is ... sometimes one reads but still can't crack it. But I had the "Aha", like you did smile.

It is mathematically interesting. This line sounds a bit daunting to some people. But just think ... there are only 7 numbers to work with in a major/minor scale. So it is not THAT mathematical.

I have run 30-60 mins sessions with friends (including my 11-year-old son) in front of a piano, and I know they cracked it, too.

Benefits of cracking it?

1) you can play and sing along most songs off a fakebook pretty much immediately, fumbling a bit in the beginning, of course

2) knowing the funciton each chord plays in a song, making it easy to memorize the chords, even when the key is changed

3) one is set up even for composing if one is in the mood, simply by following a popular chord progression (or putting one together based on similar principles).

I will stop here. I know this can all be acquired via a music theory book, but just like the IP, I find discovering them especially gratifying. But I do go to the book to confirm what I discover, and when they concur, the gratification is at its highest smile.

Oops, long post frown

Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Jeff Hao] #1373464
02/14/10 11:19 AM
02/14/10 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Hao
rondeau, I had the same discovery as you when I started playing chords with a fakebook of songs.

Same "technique" can be extended to remember other (ALL) chords in the same scale, in any scale. Taking C major for example ...

Base position C, E, G, C (let's call them 1, 3, 5, 8 in this C major scale): C chord
Moving 3 half step down (from base): Cm chord
Moving 8 half step down (from base): Cmaj7 chord
Moving 8 full step down (from base): C7 chord
Moving 8 full step down (from Cm): Cm7
Moving 3 half step up (from base ... or to 4): Csus4 ... very nice smile
Adding 2 (to base): Cadd2 ... very nice smile
Adding 6 (to base): Cadd6

There are others ... which I will have to consult a book to be complete. But these are the most used ones. You would have noticed that no number between 1 and 8 is spared smile.

I agree with FogAudio's (Ryan) comment ...
Quote
For the mathematically inclined there is a true fascination with this stuff. Have fun discovering new patterns.


Jeff


Thanks Jeff,
That is easy for me to grasp. Some of this is starting to make sense smile










Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Strings & Wood] #1374469
02/15/10 08:38 AM
02/15/10 08:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 7
rondeau Offline OP
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Thank you for the additional info, Jeff. Your rubric really simplifies chord progressions. I haven't really explored those yet, and I've never used a fake book. I'll play around with the chords you list here.

My motivation is the ABRSM Piano Grade 5 exam syllabus. (Long-term, personal goal.) I'm working through the "scales and arpeggios" requirements and am thinking how to best go about learning the natural, melodic, and harmonic minors other than rote memorization. I am hoping that with daily practice I will commit these to memory through familiarization. I much prefer this approach as opposed to say... flashcards! [Linked Image]


Last edited by rondeau; 02/15/10 01:35 PM. Reason: I wrote the wrong "rote".

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Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: rondeau] #1374545
02/15/10 10:13 AM
02/15/10 10:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
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Hong Kong
Jeff Hao Offline
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Glad it helps some, judging from Strings & Wood's response.

Rondeau, just to make sure I did not mislead you ... the info I gave in post no. #1373433 is not "chord progression" yet. Let's call it "chord recognition" (just made it up casually). The examples I gave were all "C root note chords". If there is an electric bass in the band, or if you use left hand to play one note, you do no wrong playing the C note when any of these chords need to be played.

Chord progression is not within all the "C root note chords". It is progression (usually) within the chords belonging to a major or minor scale of a certain key. For example, for C major, the chords in question for progression would be:

Level I chord: C (1,3,5)
Level II chord: Dm (2,4,6)
Level III chord: Em (3,5,7)
Level IV chord: F (4,6,8) 8=1
Level V chord: G (5,7,9) 9=2
Level VI chord: Am (6,8,10) 8=1 10=3
Level VII chord: B- (one can completely ignore this one).

One can "add color" to these chords by making them maj7, 7, m7, sus4, Add2, Add6, etc.

Progression means, e.g. I -> V -> VI -> IV -> I -> V -> I
That could be chords for a nice verse of a song. Add melody and lyrics to it yourself. Or this may give you a strong hint of "Let It Be" smile

For C major's relative minor A minor, same chords are used, but as different levels:

Level I chord: Am
Level II chord: B- (one can completely ignore this one for now).
Level III chord: C
Level IV chord: Dm
Level V chord: Em
Level VI chord: F
Level VII chord: G

Try looping this progression:

I -> VI -> III - > VII Do you hear Apologize by One Republic? A small tip: The WHOLE SONG is covered by this loop!

Hope this get you interested in cracking a book on this by yourself smile

Enjoy.
Jeff

Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Jeff Hao] #1375888
02/16/10 06:48 PM
02/16/10 06:48 PM
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Thinking about what I've learned in the music theory class I've been attending this year... If you add three flats to a major scale you get the key signature of the parallel minor of that major scale. For example:

add three flats to the C major scale (B flat, E flat, and A flat) to get the key signature for the c minor scale (which is the relative minor of E flat Major).

adding three flats to the D major scale yields a key signature with one flat (the two sharps F# and C# are "cancelled" by two of the added flats) so the d minor scale has the same key signature as the key of F major (one flat).

The 3rd, 6th and 7th of a major scale are flatted to create the parallel natural minor scale.

I have been working slowly through the minor scales in my lessons and have mostly been just memorizing the patterns of the scales. The theory class I've been taking at the university where I work and also the theory books that I work through as part of my piano lessons have helped me to get a better handle on understanding major and minor key signatures. It feels like it's been a slow process but it's starting to come together.

Last edited by foxyw; 02/16/10 09:27 PM. Reason: edited to say 3rd, 6th and 7th of a major scale are flatted to create parallel natural minor scale

"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!" J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 1997.

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Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: foxyw] #1375941
02/16/10 08:13 PM
02/16/10 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by foxyw
Thinking about what I've learned in the music theory class I've been attending this year... If you add three flats to a major scale you get the key signature of the parallel minor of that major scale. For example:

add three flats to the C major scale (B flat, E flat, and A flat) to get the key signature for the c minor scale (which is the relative minor of E flat Major).

adding three flats to the D major scale yields a key signature with one flat (the two sharps F# and C# are "cancelled" by two of the added flats) so the d minor scale has the same key signature as the key of F major (one flat).

The 3rd, 6th and 7th are flatted in the parallel natural minor scale.

I have been working slowly through the minor scales in my lessons and have mostly been just memorizing the patterns of the scales. The theory class I've been taking at the university where I work and also the theory books that I work through as part of my piano lessons have helped me to get a better handle on understanding major and minor key signatures. It feels like it's been a slow process but it's starting to come together.


Woooooosh! smile








Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Jeff Hao] #1375965
02/16/10 08:47 PM
02/16/10 08:47 PM
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Quote
For C major's relative minor A minor, same chords are used, but as different levels:

Level I chord: Am
Level II chord: B- (one can completely ignore this one for now).
Level III chord: C
Level IV chord: Dm
Level V chord: Em (should be E)
Level VI chord: F
Level VII chord: G

V degree triad - E (You forgot to raise the ^7 note = middle note of the triad, i.e. G becomes G#) wink

Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: keystring] #1376218
02/17/10 04:59 AM
02/17/10 04:59 AM
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Well spotted, keystring !

G# ... the 7th note of the "melodic minor" smile.

Your post gives me confidence, that I am generally on track with my stuff smile.

Progressing E to Am is "very nice". We see it all the time.

What is beyond me is ... is Em sometimes used as V chord in A (natural) minor scale at all?

Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Jeff Hao] #1376234
02/17/10 05:52 AM
02/17/10 05:52 AM
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Jeff, the dominant chord (V) is THE most important chord along with the tonic (I) chord so this is important. Here are some interesting things I learned in classical theory. If you imagine that the minor scale is derived from the relative major scale which has the same signature, then you would of course have a natural minor scale unless you raised the 7th note - thus:
major: C D E F G A B C
minor: A B C D E F G A

(I have highlighted the notes that form the V triad)

In the major scale, B,C are a half step (semitone) apart. That makes the music pull to the C in a kind of tension. But in this natural minor scale they are a whole step apart, so you don't have that tension or that pull. We call the 7th note the "leading note" because it leads to the tonic. This is one reason why the 7th note is raised from G to G# in the harmonic minor scale. Then you have that semitone and that pull. So you get

harmonic minor: A B C D E F G# A

In a V-I chord, each note moves to the next by a step, all of them moving in the same direction (up). Everything moves to the tonic, which our ear has been waiting for, and that gives a sense of completion.In C major we might get:

V ===> I
B ==> C (up)
G ==> G (same)
D ==> E (up)
G ==> C (down)

In A harmonic minor

V ===> I
G# ==> A (up)
E ==> E (same)
B ==> C (up)
E ==> A (down)

The top note is also the melody note which our ear follows. So if at the end of a piece you hear that upward movement by a semitone to the tonic, it sounds very final, like "the end". When a section finishes, that is a cadence. Some cadences are stronger than others. V-I with the final soprano note being ^1 (8) and the preceding note being ^7 is a very strong cadence.

If you have V-I with a natural minor scale, with G=>A instead of G#A then it's wishy washy as if you're not sure.

The V7 is even more powerful. EG#BD. In the V7 you have a major 2 (or minor 7) in DE which sets your teeth on edge. You want to escape this. The I chord ACE gives a sense of relief. That heightens the feeling of coming home. The guy has lost the girl, will he get the girl? (V7) Yes, he does (I). We get:

V7 ===> I
G# ==> A (up)
D ==> E (up)
B ==> C (up)
E ==> A (down)

There are probably other reasons for the harmonic minor, where the 7th note of the scale has been raised which I'd love to learn about. This is the part that I know.

Last edited by keystring; 02/17/10 06:58 AM.
Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: keystring] #1376286
02/17/10 08:33 AM
02/17/10 08:33 AM
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Elissa Milne Offline
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Jeff, it depends whether we are talking diatonic harmony (in which case the 7th needs to be raised) or the kind of post-diatonic tonalities that became prevalent in the 20th century, where the Dorian mode in particular towards the end of the 20th century became a primary means of expressing the minor 'mood'. There are umpteen pop songs that are in the Dorian mode (which is another way of saying that the seventh is not raised, but the 6th is, from the natural minor scale).


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Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Elissa Milne] #1377049
02/18/10 03:13 AM
02/18/10 03:13 AM
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Quote
or the kind of post-diatonic tonalities that became prevalent in the 20th century, where the Dorian mode in particular towards the end of the 20th century became a primary means of expressing the minor 'mood'. There are umpteen pop songs that are in the Dorian mode (which is another way of saying that the seventh is not raised, but the 6th is, from the natural minor scale).

I'm interested in knowing more. RCM theory barely touched this part, and they have only added modern scales (octatonic or "diminished", whole tone, blues) recently in the new edition when I was studying it.

First I wanted to make sure I understood your "raised 6th".

Dorian, seen as going from 2nd degree to 2nd degree of a major scale, is: D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D
A natural D minor scale has the key signature of F major, and is: D,E,F,G,A,Bb,C,D
If I raise the 6th of that D minor (Bb) then I get: D,E,F,G,A,B[nat],C,D - that brings me back to D Dorian, but using the key signature for D minor which I assume is handier for modern music.

Using the notes in D Dorian, the 5th chord is ACE and it is a minor chord as you said.

Is there a weaker tonality to modes - so that you have less of a feeling of D being the focus of D Dorian, for example? If so, does that let you slip and slide around more? Each mode has its own mood melodically but with the semitone being between 6&7 the emphasis isn't on the final note of the scale, D. (?)

How does that work with chords? They are i ii III IV v vio (diminished) VII. Do you still get cadences ... which I think function to bring us round to tonal centres and say "you're home" ... or does the whole thing function differently? That's the first thing that made me wonder about tonality. I'm in the middle of classical harmony theory atm and I only know enough to know that it probably doesn't apply here.

I'm a bit like a toddler. Bring out some pots and watch me bang on them to see what kind of noise they'll make. Which popular music might use Dorian? I'd like to listen for it.

Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: keystring] #1377077
02/18/10 04:33 AM
02/18/10 04:33 AM
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Hong Kong
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I guess this is where a "silent piano forum" will not help as much as sitting down with a teacher (such as Elissa) in front of the a piano smile.

Here is how E leads to Am in a A minor scaled song ...
Here is a Dorian song in A minor, with G not raised, but F raised, by half a step ... and we should expect to hear an Em leading to Am? But does he get the girl?

smile

Thank you both, Keystring and Elissa.

Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: keystring] #1377080
02/18/10 04:40 AM
02/18/10 04:40 AM
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The Doors used the Dorian mode a lot: the distinctive riff from Riders on the Storm used the characteristic major IV harmonies beautifully, and that same harmonic sequence is at the start of the accompaniment for Michael Jackson's Billy Jean. Once you know what it sounds like you will hear this progression EVERYWHERE in popular music.

The Dorian mode is also the pattern used in the music for the fabulous American Beauty, and for the theme music for Six Feet Under. Anytime you hear that American Beauty sound you are hearing two distinct musical markers: that xylophone tone colour and the Dorian mode.

All really modern-sounding music eschews the use of that raised 7th to mark a return to the tonic. There's plenty of music being composed today that is still using traditional diatonic harmonic thinking, but it doesn't sound like it's from 'now'.....

I wrote a blog piece about this aspect of contemporary tonal writing, and I named it The Dominant is Daggy (http://elissamilne.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/the-dominant-is-daggy/) and in the conversations I had with people following posting this (mostly on facebook sadly, so there's not the whole trail in my blog) we nailed it down as being the Major Dominant that is daggy - and the raised 7th!!

This is all quite specific, and really only of interest to people caring about the Dorian mode......

BUT all modes have a clear and definite sense of 'home' about them, unless the composer is deliberately wanting to blur the boundaries (rare in the 20th/21st century, unless the composer is dodgy!).


Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com
Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Elissa Milne] #1377096
02/18/10 05:20 AM
02/18/10 05:20 AM
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keystring Offline
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Thank you, Elissa - I guess I'll start listening. wink I see that I was wrong in my guess about tonal home, but what you wrote about the modern world not wanting to say "the end" is similar to my wondering about cadences (which say 'the end'). Essentially that is what your blog says, and carries it further.

The idea of daggy Dominants is intriguing.


Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: keystring] #1377104
02/18/10 05:42 AM
02/18/10 05:42 AM
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;-)


Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com
Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: keystring] #1377105
02/18/10 05:43 AM
02/18/10 05:43 AM
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Studio Joe Offline
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Elissa, interesring article and very well written.


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Studio Joe] #1377140
02/18/10 07:27 AM
02/18/10 07:27 AM
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Quote
BUT all modes have a clear and definite sense of 'home' about them, unless the composer is deliberately wanting to blur the boundaries (rare in the 20th/21st century, unless the composer is dodgy!).

Ok I'm dodgy. At least some of the time laugh
I remember when I first wrote a short song in a Major key, it was years before I could force myself to do this, but finally ...I conquered wink

Keystring, sometimes composers relish the things that "don't work" as it forces a creative solution that may be new and captivating. One can compose without thinking of any chords or chord progressions at all. And it's possible to compose without cadence points. Thinking outside the box might be exciting, but not so useful in a harmony class.


[Linked Image]
Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.
Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Canonie] #1377142
02/18/10 07:31 AM
02/18/10 07:31 AM
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Elissa Milne Offline
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Originally Posted by Canonie
Quote
BUT all modes have a clear and definite sense of 'home' about them, unless the composer is deliberately wanting to blur the boundaries (rare in the 20th/21st century, unless the composer is dodgy!).

Ok I'm dodgy. At least some of the time laugh
I remember when I first wrote a short song in a Major key, it was years before I could force myself to do this, but finally ...I conquered wink


Maybe I didn't phrase it quite clearly - I meant that IF a composer is using a mode THEN there will always be a clear sense of home (unless the composer is dodgy). Composers who don't use modes aren't dodgy at all- and I think you are implying that you don't!

Last edited by Elissa Milne; 02/18/10 07:33 AM.

Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com
Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Elissa Milne] #1377154
02/18/10 07:50 AM
02/18/10 07:50 AM
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LOL No I am implying, trying to say that I use modes all the time. (Of regular major and minor scales, the natural minor is the only one I use much). And I might use modes in such a way to undermine or blur a sense of tonic, or have it shift around. Think "not quite regular" music. And I might use a mode that I don't know the name of, i.e. I decided on my own group of notes, whether or not someone somewhere has given it a name. I think mode is still the right word for this, yes? Or should I use scale?
A few of my "invented" modes, and some other scale/modes in existence don't have a tonal centre, you have to put them in yourself. So by you're post I am blurry and thus dodgy I think. I like being dodgy so not offended in any way.

I hope this is a little clearer. Enjoyable topic smile


[Linked Image]
Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.
Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Elissa Milne] #1377716
02/18/10 11:05 PM
02/18/10 11:05 PM
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Elissa,

Just read your article on your blog with great interest, and left a comment there awaiting your approval smile.

Jeff

Re: major chords / minor scales [Re: Canonie] #1377735
02/18/10 11:35 PM
02/18/10 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Canonie
LOL No I am implying, trying to say that I use modes all the time. (Of regular major and minor scales, the natural minor is the only one I use much). And I might use modes in such a way to undermine or blur a sense of tonic, or have it shift around. Think "not quite regular" music. And I might use a mode that I don't know the name of, i.e. I decided on my own group of notes, whether or not someone somewhere has given it a name. I think mode is still the right word for this, yes? Or should I use scale?
A few of my "invented" modes, and some other scale/modes in existence don't have a tonal centre, you have to put them in yourself. So by you're post I am blurry and thus dodgy I think. I like being dodgy so not offended in any way.

I hope this is a little clearer. Enjoyable topic smile


Hmm, I think this might be blurry semantics rather than blurry tonics!! If your mode doesn't have a tonal centre then it's not really functioning as a mode - that is to say, using only white notes you could be in C Major, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian or B Locrian - which mode you are in will depend on which note is functioning as 'home'. I would be enormously surprised if you couldn't tell which note was 'home' in say any 5-8 bar section of the music. If you only ever use white notes, but 'home' changes, then you are simply modulating AND moving between modes at the same time.

Lots of songs written in the past 50 years flicker between two modes throughout and it is this flickering that creates the harmonic tension, rather than a modulation - but of course in this case it's very very clear where the two tonics are.

My interest is now piqued - I need to hear some of this 'blurry' music!!!


Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com
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