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> Major And Minor Scales, Intervals, Modes and construction of them
Pedja Simovic
post Sep 15 2009, 06:20 PM
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Here is another post you may find very useful guys. Feel free to ask any questions or discuss things here.

I am very happy to see Oxac did his homework smile.gif
Great discussion and questions.

I can perhaps add couple things to the discussion and try to make myself as clear as possible wink.gif


Major scale is where everything starts! From major scale we derive natural minor scale. From natural minor scale we then create Harmonic and Melodic minor by raising certain scale degrees.
Here is the layout of these scales using numbering and roman numerals.

Major scale = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (8)
Natural minor scale = 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 (8)
Harmonic minor scale = 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7 (8)
Melodic minor scale = 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 (8)

Here are roman numerals for the scales mentioned

Major scale = I II III IV V VI VI VIII
Natural minor scale = I II bIII IV V bVI bVII VIII
Harmonic minor scale = I II bIII IV V bVI VII VIII
Melodic minor scale = I II bIII IV V VI VII VIII

Ok, now that we have a lay out of all 4 scales, it is time to get to real deal.

As I said in the beginning, every scale is related back to Major scale. Major scale has ALL PERFECT AND MAJOR INTERVALS! This is the reason why we write numbers 12345678 and roman numerals I II III IV V VI VI VIII.
Lets look at the major scale it will be easier from C note

C to D = MAJOR 2nd
C to E = MAJOR 3rd
C to F = PERFECT 4th
C to G = PERFECT 5th
C to A = MAJOR 6th
C to B = MAJOR 7th
C to C = OCTAVE smile.gif

Now every other scale (OR MODE) has different interval distance between the notes. This is why we ALTER all the other scales with b(FLAT) or #(SHARP) sign.
I hope that makes sense so far.

Now that we know why everything is related to major scale, it will be useful to say that we also keep the order of the modes the same !

Now lets go to A natural minor (A Aeolian mode).

Here are the notes: A B C D E F G A
It has exact notes as C major but we instead start and end on A note the same scale. This of course produces totally different relationship between the notes in this particular scale.
Here is the analysis for A natural minor :

A to B = MAJOR 2nd
A to C = MINOR 3rd = b3 or bIII!
A to D = PERFECT 4th
A to E = PERFECT 5th
A to F = MINOR 6th = b6 or bVI!
A to G = MINOR 7th = b7 or bVII!
A to A = OCTAVE

As you see now, we had one original scale (C major) and by starting on two different notes in that scale (C and A notes) we changed relationship between notes and the scale degrees !

Now lets look at the order of MODES in Major and Natural minor scale! I will also list the chord built from that particular scale degree.

Major scale :

I = IONIAN = Major triad or Major 7th chord
II = DORIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
III = PHRYGIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
IV = LYDIAN = Major triad or Major 7th chord
V = MIXOLYDIAN = Major triad or Dominant 7th chord
VI = AEOLIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
VII = LOCRIAN = Diminished triad or Minor 7b5 chord
VIII = IONIAN = Major triad or Major 7th chord

Natural minor scale :

I = AEOLIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
II = LOCRIAN = Diminished triad or Minor 7b5 chord
bIII = IONIAN = Major triad or Major 7th chord
IV = DORIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
V = PHRYGIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord
bVI = LYDIAN = Major triad or Major 7th chord
bVII = MIXOLYDIAN = Major triad or Dominant 7th chord
VIII = AEOLIAN = Minor triad or Minor 7th chord


Now I suggest you take your time and study everything I wrote above. You should notice that Major scale and Natural minor scale are : 1) Related 2) Natural minor is within original Major scale and so is Major within natural minor scale 3) All the types of modes and chords are shared in both scales 5) The only difference occurs regarding where we start from !
In one case we got IONIAN DORIAN etc ( MAJOR SCALE) in other we start from AEOLIAN and go to LOCRIAN then we are back to IONIAN AND WHOLE CYCLE REPEATS LIKE IF WE WERE IN MAJOR SCALE!


Now if you have learned all this , you will easily be able to understand why certain modes in Harmonic and Melodic minor have "weird" names smile.gif

We will basically relate everything we POSSIBLY can to original NATURAL MINOR SCALE.

Lets do A HARMONIC MINOR NOW
As I said in the beginning of the post, the only difference between Natural and Harmonic minor is in the type of 7th they have. Natural minor has minor 7th (b7) while Harmonic minor has major 7th (7)

Now we get this : A B C D E F G# A

Modes of harmonic minor are related to natural minor - as much as possible !

So we get this

I = A B C D E F G# A = Harmonic minor #1(#= number) or simply we call it Harmonic minor smile.gif
II = B C D E F G# A B = Harmonic minor #2 or we can call it LOCRIAN with natural 6th! (Lociran nat6)
bIII = C D E F G# A B C = Harmonic minor #3 or we can call it IONIAN with AUGMENTED 5th ! (Ionian #5)
IV = D E F G# A B C D = Harmonic minor #4 or we can call it DORIAN with AUGMENTED 4th (Dorian #4!)
V = E F G# A B C D E = Harmonic minor #5 or we can call it PHRYGIAN with major 3rd aka PHRYGIAN DOMINANT
bVI = F G# A B C D E F = Harmonic minor #6 or we can call it LYDIAN with AUGMENTED 2nd (Lydian #2)
VII = G# A B C D E F G# = Harmonic minor #7 or we can call it MIXOLYDIAN with b9#9b#11#5bb7!
This last one is very confusing because we used to play Dominant 7th chord on VII scale degree in Natural minor scale. Now in Harmonic minor scale we don't have ROOT MAJ3rd PERFECT 5th and MINOR 7th in 7th mode smile.gif This is why we end up with Dominant functioning chord that is actually from DIMINISHED FAMILY OF CHORDS!
Also this mode (Harmonic minor #7) starts like a DIMINISHED HALF WHOLE SCALE and then changes in the middle of it smile.gif
For those of you who don't know what diminished scale is , there is two types of diminish scales:
1) We can start on HALF STEP followed by WHOLE STEP and keep doing that until we reach the root of the scale
2) Or we can start on WHOLE STEP followed by HALF STEP and keep doing that until we reach the root of the scale.

Here is example of A HALF WHOLE DIMINISHED SCALE : A Bb C Db Eb F Gb(F#) G# A ! So we went here half whole half whole etc.
Here is example of A WHOLE HALF DIMINISHED SCALE : A B C D Eb F Gb(F#) G# A ! Here we went whole half whole half etc.

Now just to compare what I said before, Harmonic minor #7 is very similar to HALF WHOLE DIMINISHED FROM G#!

Here are two scales

VII = G# A B C D E F G# = Harmonic minor #7
Half whole from G# = G# A B C D Eb F Gb(F#) G# !

Notes that are bold are actually COMMON IN BOTH SCALES !

As final a final thing I just want to say that you can play G# diminished 7th chord over both scales. The notes of G# diminished 7th chord are G# B D F ! Notice that these 4 notes are contained in both scales above wink.gif


Ok guys this is it for this post. I hope you learned some things from it. Ask me any questions, I will be happy to respond.

Pedja


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Neurologi
post Sep 16 2009, 02:55 AM
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Firstly, I am astounded at your explanation. Clear. Concise. Thorough. You have taken quite an esoteric subject and made it very accessible. Thank you so much.

One question concerning the line:

VII = G# A B C D E F G# = Harmonic minor #7 or we can call it MIXOLYDIAN with b9#9b#11#5bb7!

I am just a little confused by the naming convention.

b9#9b#11#5bb7 --- I assume b9 #9 b11 #11 #5 bb7 (double flat)?


I should write it out myself and check the formulas.


Again. Bravo, Pedja! Well done.


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Pedja Simovic
post Sep 16 2009, 08:44 AM
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QUOTE (Neurologi @ Sep 16 2009, 03:55 AM) *
Firstly, I am astounded at your explanation. Clear. Concise. Thorough. You have taken quite an esoteric subject and made it very accessible. Thank you so much.

One question concerning the line:

VII = G# A B C D E F G# = Harmonic minor #7 or we can call it MIXOLYDIAN with b9#9b#11#5bb7!

I am just a little confused by the naming convention.

b9#9b#11#5bb7 --- I assume b9 #9 b11 #11 #5 bb7 (double flat)?


I should write it out myself and check the formulas.


Again. Bravo, Pedja! Well done.



Thank you very much Neurologi. I am very glad you took your time to read it all. Most important thing is to get something from all this. I hope I am not typing things for nothing smile.gif
Regarding your question, here is a lay out of these notes in relation to G#.

G# = Root
A = b9
B = #9
C = diminshed 4th or major 3rd (enharmonically) b4 or 3
D = diminished 5th or augmented 4th = b5 or #4 or #11
E = minor 6th or augmented 5th (enharmonically) or b13 = b6, #5, b13
F = diminished 7th or major 6th or 13th (enharmonically) = bb7, 6 , 13

Hope that clears that one smile.gif


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Neurologi
post Sep 16 2009, 02:59 PM
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Ah ok. Cheers. I for one appreciate your efforts. It is not the easiest of subjects to put into words.

If I understand correctly then it was a small typo?

MIXOLYDIAN with b9#9b#11#5bb7 should be MIXOLYDIAN with b9#9#11#5bb7 instead? smile.gif


The extra flat threw me off a bit. Just wanted to be sure I got it all clear because that was the trickiest section.


Thanks again. Wonderful work you are doing.


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Pedja Simovic
post Sep 16 2009, 03:31 PM
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QUOTE (Neurologi @ Sep 16 2009, 03:59 PM) *
Ah ok. Cheers. I for one appreciate your efforts. It is not the easiest of subjects to put into words.

If I understand correctly then it was a small typo?

MIXOLYDIAN with b9#9b#11#5bb7 should be MIXOLYDIAN with b9#9#11#5bb7 instead? smile.gif


The extra flat threw me off a bit. Just wanted to be sure I got it all clear because that was the trickiest section.


Thanks again. Wonderful work you are doing.


That extra flat is for 11th which really means major third (G# to C is diminished 4th or major 3rd enharmonically), so everything is correct there, it just looks confusing because of the tensions that mode provides smile.gif

You welcome, let me know if you have any extra questions.


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Neurologi
post Sep 16 2009, 03:55 PM
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QUOTE (Pedja Simovic @ Sep 16 2009, 05:31 PM) *
That extra flat is for 11th which really means major third (G# to C is diminished 4th or major 3rd enharmonically), so everything is correct there, it just looks confusing because of the tensions that mode provides smile.gif

You welcome, let me know if you have any extra questions.


Excellent. Thanks for the clarification. I get it now. Sort of ... wink.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Sep 17 2009, 12:22 PM
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QUOTE (Neurologi @ Sep 16 2009, 04:55 PM) *
Excellent. Thanks for the clarification. I get it now. Sort of ... wink.gif


Any time man. I hope you get it, I can't sleep at night if you don't! smile.gif


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