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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by petebfrance
That looks interesting - may I ask what book that is?

It’s the complete book of scales, chords, arpeggios, and cadences

Here’s the book on Amazon.
Thank-you!


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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Yes, and if you know your parallel (not relative) major then it makes it easy to learn the melodic minor. For example, D melodic minor has all the same notes as D major except the third degree, which is what makes it minor.

Only if you play triads or arpeggios. But for me the hard part about learning to play the D minor scales was to learn to play C instead of C#, and F instead of F#...


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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Stubbie
But the melodic scale does use the natural scale in the descending portion.

Does this only apply to classical? I recall reading that in pop music the scale is Melodic both when going up and down.

(Long past discussions with teacher about that one.)
During my violin time, I played all "melodic minor" scales in the way Stubbie described. Theory books had it that way too. I assumed this is how it is and vaguely wondered why. Then learned differently. wink

In fact it depends on how the music is harmonized. Some patterns were more prevalent in some eras than others, so in fact you'll see either. (i.e. you'll also see descending scales use the same sequence as the ascending.)

Explaining about "how music is harmonized":

Chords and scales go hand in hand. The I and V chords are frequently used chords (I'm using the Roman numerals generically, with value of major or minor). Let's look at the V chord in a natural C minor scale (what you'll get with a Cm time signature, no accidentals):
C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C.
Your V chord would end up being G Bb D or a Gm chord.

If you wanted a strong V-I progression, it would be better to have GBD(F) and this also makes the movement from B to C melodically a strong movement of a half step. Now we'd have the scale: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab,** B **, C. This is our harmonic minor scale. But this gives quite a lurch from Ab to B of three half steps and makes the scale sound exotic or oriental.

So then, again wanting a strong V-I progression, you'd also raise the Ab to A: C, D, Eb, F, G, *A, B", C. This is your "melodic minor ascending" scale as it's taught classically.

For a V-I progression, where you want to feel the B => C movement melodically, that only happens ascending. If the scale is descending, then either you have C => B or C => Bb ..... there will be no half-step movement to the Tonic note in either case so I guess there is less reason to use melodic minor or harmonic minor in descending movement. Maybe that's why that pattern became prevalent in some eras.

Bottom line, however, is that composers can choose to have the descending scale go the "classical" pattern, or be the same going down as going up. I was shown many instances where composers did that.

Some teachers deplore that it is taught the way it is, since that is not what actually happens in music all the time. One idea was to use a different name: "jazz minor" because the "jazz minor" gives a name to the sequence of notes that we have in "melodic minor ascending", but regardless of which way it goes.

Sorry for the length.

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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Yes, and if you know your parallel (not relative) major then it makes it easy to learn the melodic minor. For example, D melodic minor has all the same notes as D major except the third degree, which is what makes it minor.


An aside. The first time I heard the "melodic minor" scale demonstrated, in the way it's taught, my mind had a running dialogue where this scale was chattering away. It was saying:

"Hey, I'm a minor scale." (further up) "Nah, changed my mind, I'm a major scale after all." (Descending) "Forget all that, I'm naturally a minor scale, no frills about it." (I'd only heard the natural minor so that was "the" minor scale for me.) Secretly I called this "The scale with an identity problem."

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It's interesting that some have said they didn't learn about the natural minor. Knowing the natural minor helps me to construct the harmonic and melodic minors.

D Major -> B Minor

B natural Minor has the same notes as D Major
B Harmonic Minor - raise the 7th (A sharp) (Asc/Desc)
B Melodic Minor - raise the 6th and 7th (G sharp and A sharp, ascending only).

But that's the relative approach. I suppose you can take the parallel approach as well.


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
It's interesting that some have said they didn't learn about the natural minor. Knowing the natural minor helps me to construct the harmonic and melodic minors.

D Major -> B Minor

B natural Minor has the same notes as D Major
B Harmonic Minor - raise the 7th (A sharp) (Asc/Desc)
B Melodic Minor - raise the 6th and 7th (G sharp and A sharp, ascending only).

But that's the relative approach. I suppose you can take the parallel approach as well.
This is how I learned it and I think it's a good starting point. One key signature for both major and relative minor. As for the descending melodic minor, the 'rule' that really isn't a rule just goes to show how, shall we say, fluid music rules can be.


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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
It's interesting that some have said they didn't learn about the natural minor. Knowing the natural minor helps me to construct the harmonic and melodic minors.

D Major -> B Minor

B natural Minor has the same notes as D Major
B Harmonic Minor - raise the 7th (A sharp) (Asc/Desc)
B Melodic Minor - raise the 6th and 7th (G sharp and A sharp, ascending only).

But that's the relative approach. I suppose you can take the parallel approach as well.

I learned that approach first. Then I learned the opposite.

B major > B minor

B Melodic Minor -lower the 3rd (whether it's different ascending vs. descending depends on the music)
B Harmonic Minor - lower the 3rd (as before) also lower the 6th
B Natural Minor - lower the 3rd, the 6th, the 7th

When I first learned this alternative it made me dizzy. However, music does sometimes simply switch a major to a minor; we can have minor scales that are not within a key signature. I sort of rebelled at this version in the beginning but ultimately appreciated it.

Btw, in Canada and I think other countries outside of the US, we call it Tonic minor, not "parallel". I didn't like "parallel" when I first heard of the term, because the scales are not really parallel. "Tonic" tells me they have the same Tonic. But it seems that "parallel" tends to be the term used in international forums.

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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
It's interesting that some have said they didn't learn about the natural minor. Knowing the natural minor helps me to construct the harmonic and melodic minors.

D Major -> B Minor

B natural Minor has the same notes as D Major
B Harmonic Minor - raise the 7th (A sharp) (Asc/Desc)
B Melodic Minor - raise the 6th and 7th (G sharp and A sharp, ascending only).

But that's the relative approach. I suppose you can take the parallel approach as well.

I learned that approach first. Then I learned the opposite.

B major > B minor

B Melodic Minor -lower the 3rd (whether it's different ascending vs. descending depends on the music)
B Harmonic Minor - lower the 3rd (as before) also lower the 6th
B Natural Minor - lower the 3rd, the 6th, the 7th

When I first learned this alternative it made me dizzy. However, music does sometimes simply switch a major to a minor; we can have minor scales that are not within a key signature. I sort of rebelled at this version in the beginning but ultimately appreciated it.

Btw, in Canada and I think other countries outside of the US, we call it Tonic minor, not "parallel". I didn't like "parallel" when I first heard of the term, because the scales are not really parallel. "Tonic" tells me they have the same Tonic. But it seems that "parallel" tends to be the term used in international forums.

Thanks for that keystring, I see you posted that before. That approach is new to me. Yes, parallel is a funny term, I like Tonic better!


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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
It's interesting that some have said they didn't learn about the natural minor. Knowing the natural minor helps me to construct the harmonic and melodic minors.

D Major -> B Minor

B natural Minor has the same notes as D Major
B Harmonic Minor - raise the 7th (A sharp) (Asc/Desc)
B Melodic Minor - raise the 6th and 7th (G sharp and A sharp, ascending only).

But that's the relative approach. I suppose you can take the parallel approach as well.

I learned that approach first. Then I learned the opposite.

B major > B minor

B Melodic Minor -lower the 3rd (whether it's different ascending vs. descending depends on the music)
B Harmonic Minor - lower the 3rd (as before) also lower the 6th
B Natural Minor - lower the 3rd, the 6th, the 7th

When I first learned this alternative it made me dizzy. However, music does sometimes simply switch a major to a minor; we can have minor scales that are not within a key signature. I sort of rebelled at this version in the beginning but ultimately appreciated it.

Btw, in Canada and I think other countries outside of the US, we call it Tonic minor, not "parallel". I didn't like "parallel" when I first heard of the term, because the scales are not really parallel. "Tonic" tells me they have the same Tonic. But it seems that "parallel" tends to be the term used in international forums.
bSharp is talking about D major and its relative minor. You're talking about B major and its parallel (tonic) minor. D major and b minor have the same key signature; B major and b minor have different key signatures. I know you know this, but the approach you demonstrate is not an alternative. Unless you meant to write D major, but then you go on to discuss parallel (tonic) scales. So--just pointing out that this could be confusing.


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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
It's interesting that some have said they didn't learn about the natural minor. Knowing the natural minor helps me to construct the harmonic and melodic minors.

D Major -> B Minor

B natural Minor has the same notes as D Major
B Harmonic Minor - raise the 7th (A sharp) (Asc/Desc)
B Melodic Minor - raise the 6th and 7th (G sharp and A sharp, ascending only).

But that's the relative approach. I suppose you can take the parallel approach as well.

I learned that approach first. Then I learned the opposite.

B major > B minor

B Melodic Minor -lower the 3rd (whether it's different ascending vs. descending depends on the music)
B Harmonic Minor - lower the 3rd (as before) also lower the 6th
B Natural Minor - lower the 3rd, the 6th, the 7th

When I first learned this alternative it made me dizzy. However, music does sometimes simply switch a major to a minor; we can have minor scales that are not within a key signature. I sort of rebelled at this version in the beginning but ultimately appreciated it.

Btw, in Canada and I think other countries outside of the US, we call it Tonic minor, not "parallel". I didn't like "parallel" when I first heard of the term, because the scales are not really parallel. "Tonic" tells me they have the same Tonic. But it seems that "parallel" tends to be the term used in international forums.
bSharp is talking about D major and its relative minor. You're talking about B major and its parallel (tonic) minor. D major and b minor have the same key signature; B major and b minor have different key signatures. I know you know this, but the approach you demonstrate is not an alternative. Unless you meant to write D major, but then you go on to discuss parallel (tonic) scales. So--just pointing out that this could be confusing.

I have to admit I was lost in some of these approaches I saw listed. I try to know all natural minor scales (and their relative major) and if I know the natural minor I can build harmonic or melodic by raising the appropriate steps from the natural minor. That approach seems the simplest for me and if I can't recall the natural minor I can build from scratch based on the steps and then if I don't know that I walk away drink a beer then google it or come ask the community here for help.

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Originally Posted by Stubbie
bSharp is talking about D major and its relative minor. You're talking about B major and its parallel (tonic) minor. D major and b minor have the same key signature; B major and b minor have different key signatures. I know you know this, but the approach you demonstrate is not an alternative. Unless you meant to write D major, but then you go on to discuss parallel (tonic) scales. So--just pointing out that this could be confusing.
If anyone is confused about anything I wrote, I'd welcome a request for clarification. I wrote of an "opposite approach" to make clear that it was not the same.

bSharp used the major => relative minor approach (D major, B minor)
I used the major => parallel (tonic) minor approach (B major, B minor)

Here is what I wrote:
Originally Posted by me
B major > B minor

B Melodic Minor -lower the 3rd (whether it's different ascending vs. descending depends on the music)
B Harmonic Minor - lower the 3rd (as before) also lower the 6th
B Natural Minor - lower the 3rd, the 6th, the 7th

Do you find anything incorrect in this? (That's a genuine question.)

Quote
D major and b minor have the same key signature; B major and b minor have different key signatures.

The KEY of D major has the same key signature as the KEY of B minor.
The KEY of B major and the KEY of B minor have different key signatures.

However, a SCALE can occur in any key though they'll be more common in particular keys. Music modulates without the key signature changing. A composer can also go on a whimsy and decide to write a scale or part of a scale as major and then reiterate it as minor for the sake of mood or colour. Ultimately it is this fact that won me over to at least learn the "2nd approach".

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Originally Posted by Sebs
I have to admit I was lost in some of these approaches I saw listed. I try to know all natural minor scales (and their relative major) and if I know the natural minor I can build harmonic or melodic by raising the appropriate steps from the natural minor. That approach seems the simplest for me and if I can't recall the natural minor I can build from scratch based on the steps and then if I don't know that I walk away drink a beer then google it or come ask the community here for help.
I did that for quite a few years. It is quick and handy and probably is why it tends to be taught. I had to be won over to the alternative. I never abandoned the approach going from the natural minor but ultimately found it useful to be able to see it from the perspective of tonic (parallel) minor.

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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Sebs
I have to admit I was lost in some of these approaches I saw listed. I try to know all natural minor scales (and their relative major) and if I know the natural minor I can build harmonic or melodic by raising the appropriate steps from the natural minor. That approach seems the simplest for me and if I can't recall the natural minor I can build from scratch based on the steps and then if I don't know that I walk away drink a beer then google it or come ask the community here for help.
I did that for quite a few years. It is quick and handy and probably is why it tends to be taught. I had to be won over to the alternative. I never abandoned the approach going from the natural minor but ultimately found it useful to be able to see it from the perspective of tonic (parallel) minor.

I think that's what had me confused as I've always done it the way I mentioned so I didn't follow the approach and I quickly read it. I'm going to re-read it slowly.

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