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#1368201 - 02/07/10 09:34 PM Another Theory Question
LindaR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Northern California
Why is a minor scale not tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone semitone like its relative major. For instance why isn't the minor of major C---CDEFGABC, played as g minor---gabcdef#g and not a minor?

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#1368204 - 02/07/10 09:48 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
jotur Online   blank
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Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
A minor scale has a minor third (3 semi-tones) as its first interval of a third - in A minor the interval is A natural to C natural. So the sequence of semitones is tone-semitone-tone to start.

The relative minor of a major scale is the scale with the same number of sharps and flats as the major scale. C major has no sharps and flats, A minor has no sharps and flats.

The relative minor of a major scale always starts on the 6th pitch of the major scales.

Hope that helps.

Cathy
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#1368210 - 02/07/10 09:53 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: jotur]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
You mean you understood the question? smile
If you did, you're good. I tried and couldn't.
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1368220 - 02/07/10 10:06 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
You mean you understood the question? smile
If you did, you're good. I tried and couldn't.


Words taken right out of my mouth.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
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www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1368225 - 02/07/10 10:14 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Elissa Milne]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6160
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I feel relieved.... I am obviously not the only one who didn't get it.... ha
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Music is my best friend.


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#1368234 - 02/07/10 10:19 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: ChopinAddict]
LindaR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Northern California
Gb Ab Bb C Db Eb F G, and minor eb f gb ab bb c d eb

Well I'm asking why is a minor based on key signature and the need for three kinds of minor scales rather than this tone semitone sequence. crazy

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#1368240 - 02/07/10 10:22 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
survivordan Offline
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Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 844
Loc: Ohio
It sounds to me like you created a random sequence of whole steps and half steps and asked: "Why aren't minor scales this way?". ????
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Working On:

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#1368254 - 02/07/10 10:35 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
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Linda, I think it would be a better idea to listen to major and minor scales and work out how they are put together (in terms of tones and semitones aka whole and half-steps), rather than asking "why aren't minor scales like this, or this?"

Theory is just observation of what things are in music and what they do. It's kind of a non-question to ask why they aren't something else that they're not... if you follow ...
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1368264 - 02/07/10 10:47 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: currawong]
LindaR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Northern California
Maybe someone who knows music theory or sound physics can answer this question. cry

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#1368268 - 02/07/10 10:48 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: currawong]
jotur Online   blank
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Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5659
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Well, when I read her post the first question was why the minor scale doesn't - have a major third as its first interval of a third. So I tried to address that first.

Then another part listed the G major scale and called it a minor scale. So I thought there was some confusion there and I tried to explain how relative minor scales were defined.

Then I got smart enough to read some of LindaR's old posts.

Perhaps she was just attempting to pull our collective legs and I was the only one who fell for it smile

Cathy
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#1368277 - 02/07/10 10:55 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: jotur]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
Yep, good try Cathy smile
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#1368282 - 02/07/10 10:57 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5976
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: LindaR
Maybe someone who knows music theory or sound physics can answer this question. cry
What question exactly?
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1368290 - 02/07/10 11:07 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: currawong]
LindaR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Northern California
Nevermind, if anyone else has anything to add, fine. shocked

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#1368291 - 02/07/10 11:08 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
R0B Offline
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Registered: 11/03/08
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Loc: Australia
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#1368308 - 02/07/10 11:29 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3900
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: LindaR
Nevermind, if anyone else has anything to add, fine. shocked
It might be useful to pick up a book on music theory. Knowledge of piano is really incomplete without a background in theory. Read a book on the subject and you'll have a lot of ah-ha moments, as so many things become clear to you.

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#1368317 - 02/07/10 11:44 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: LindaR
Maybe someone who knows music theory or sound physics can answer this question. cry

Linda -- I and probably many other people here fit that bill, and we really can't tell where you're coming from.

Believe me, it's not that we don't know. It's that we can't tell what you're really asking.
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#1368324 - 02/07/10 11:56 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
OK. Here goes.

MAJOR: means the pattern tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone

Any scale that uses that pattern is a major scale no matter which note it starts on, or what key signature might happen to be in the music at the point that the pattern occurs.

MINOR: is a loose term that really only has one constant - that the pattern begins with tone-semitone-tone-tone. The ending can be 'natural' (semitone-tone-tone), 'harmonic' (semitone-augmented 2nd-semitone), or 'melodic' (tone-tone-semitone). Sometimes we even refer to the Dorian mode as being 'minor' because it starts with that minor pattern tone-semitone-tone-tone, even though it then ends with tone-semitone-tone.

Does this address the fundamental issue in your question? Or is your question about something else? Now that you know how the naming of patterns works, can you think of a way to rephrase your question so that someone can actually address your concern?
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#1368334 - 02/08/10 12:18 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
edt Offline
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Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 210
the first question you want to ask is

"What is a major key and what is a minor key?"

There are 12 semitones, and a scale should have at least 2 notes in it, and anywhere from 2 to 12 notes (12 notes is the chromatic scale), and some scales are different on the way up from the way down. What I'm saying is there are a lot of possible scales.

there is the diatonic, chromatic, whole tone, pentatonic, diminished, phrygian dominant, arabic hungarian, the greek scales, mixolydian, lydian phyrgian, dorian hypolydian, hypophrygian, locrian, harmonic, etc., those are just named ones, there are a few thousand possible scales.

What makes it major? A major scale uses the major third interval and the minor scale uses the minor 3rd interval. That is the definition of major and minor.

It might seem strange, but no other notes matter for whether a scale is minor or major, not the 6ths the 7ths or 5ths, those will affect other tonal qualities, all that matters is that 3rd.

When are writing a piece of music, find some major key signature that lets the performer feel most comfortable in it. That's all there is to it. Because there are thousands of possible scales, we keep it simple and use the major diatonic keys for all our music, no matter what the real scale is. Makes it easier to learn how to play music. Usually a C minor piece is easiest to write in E flat, so that's what we usually write C minor in.

It's possible to write a piece in the "wrong" key signature. You could call it C minor (aka E flat) but the ear says the piece is in D minor. That's ok.

When you are writing don't worry too much about what key it really is in, just write what you feel, and let your ear always guide you.

Also sometimes it's ambiguous, you can't tell if a piece is minor or major because the composer never really makes clear where the root is, and without knowing which note is the root, you can't count up from it to figure out which is the 3rd. So you just write it in some key signature which makes the piece easy to play.

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#1368338 - 02/08/10 12:28 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: edt]
Mark_C Online   content
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I don't think we need to work quite that hard without knowing exactly what the question is.... smile
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#1368340 - 02/08/10 12:33 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
Mark_C Online   content
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....but just for fun smile let me try with Linda's rephrased question......

Originally Posted By: LindaR
Gb Ab Bb C Db Eb F G, and minor eb f gb ab bb c d eb
Well I'm asking why is a minor based on key signature.....

It's not. It is what it is, and the key signature is part of a "language" that reflects what it is. In this respect it's no different than major, or anything else.

Quote:
...and the need for three kinds of minor scales rather than this tone semitone sequence. crazy

There's no "need" for 3 kinds of minor scales. There just ARE 3 different kinds of minor scales. They are different types of expression.

(Let's see if that helps......)
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#1368363 - 02/08/10 01:10 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
findingnemo2010 Offline
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Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1521
thats weird question..i dont even understand it.it took me along time to get it but keep studying books on scales and youll learn..basicall major and minor scales have different orders of steps or tones semitones to get that major and minor sound..its just the way it is lol
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music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
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#1368385 - 02/08/10 02:54 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Believe me, it's not that we don't know.


For some reason, this line made me laugh out loud.

This whole thread is rather absurd. In all seriousness, though, it does show the importance (and difficulty) of asking the right question, carefully. Sometimes the very act of formulating a meaningful question clears up the misunderstanding. I don't know if that's what's going to happen here, though.

-Jason
_________________________
Schubert Immersion: Bb Impromptu; C# minor and Ab Moments Musicaux; accompanying four songs (Suleika II, Rastlose Liebe, Du Liebst Mich Nicht, Im Fruhling); listening intensely to Die Schne Mllerin and Winterreise

Chopin: first Ballade; Mozart: D minor concerto;

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#1368394 - 02/08/10 03:34 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
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.....yes, and to take it further (although maybe to get more "philosophical" than we want) smile ......many other discussions and arguments are only over what we mean by a word or a phrase, but without the arguers realizing it. Just define what y'all really mean, and that'll solve it immediately.

Sometimes anyway. smile

Back to this thread: Will anything get clarified here? Definitely not until Linda realizes that it's completely unclear what she's asking. It's like, she herself knows exactly what she means (I guess), but she doesn't realize that she's not finding the words to let us know.
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1368395 - 02/08/10 03:39 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11848
Loc: Canada
In the most basic theory we learn, the minor key has the same key signature as its relative major. B minor and D major both have two sharps. We commonly think of those two sharps as signaling D major, and we get the feeling that B minor is derived from it, rather than getting the feeling the two sharps starts with B minor, and D major is derived from it. After all, for the harmonic and melodic minor, we have to tweak it with accidentals to make it fit. The major key needs no tweaking. So the question sort of makes sense.

The reason we have ended up with this is historical. Music went through various permutations and for a while there were church modes. If you take the white keys of a piano as a model, from C to C gives you a certain arrangement of tones and semitones. If you go from D to D, you get a new arrangement. E to E ditto. Each of these are modes. We thought melodically before we thought harmonically. Each of the modes has a different kind of flavour to it. We can feel that in the difference between the "sad" minor scale and the "happy" major scale (generally speaking). We kept two of those modes: the Ionian (major) and the Aeolean (minor).

If we begin a major scale in a particular key, then we have to raise or lower some of the "white notes" by a semitone - always the same ones. Since it repeats, the key signature was invented. The one that is 3 notes down from the other (minor to major) will have the same sequence of notes, just starting down three (or up six), like the old modes - which they are. That is why they share a key signature.

If we stay with the natural minor scale (the old Aeolean) we don't need accidentals. However, with the natural minor scale, the 7th note is a whole tone away from the tonic. Melodically, when you play a major scale,the 7th note pulls you to the tonic because it is a semitone away. That pull is weak in a natural minor scale. Therefore the 7th note is raised, which gives you the harmonic minor. Another reason for the harmonic minor is the type of chords you get. The dominant chord is crucial: it is a major chord, and it contains the 7th note, which will pull strongly to the tonic in V-I. This helps "tonality" in music: the sense that we have the tonic as a home base. If you did not raise the 7th degree note, you would not have this.

The problem with the harmonic minor is that melodically it is "bumpy". There is a gigantic 1 1/2 interval between 6 & 7, and then a tiny semitones between 7 & 8. It lurches, and "sounds Middle Eastern". So to make it smooth (and other reasons I'm sure - I haven't gone that far yet) the 6th is also raised for the ascending scale so that you have pile of whole tones for a while. That makes it sound smooth.

As someone pointed out, the reasons are musical. So to understand listen as you play or listen to music, and if you recognize a certain type of scale, find what kind of effect it has. What mood does it give? How does it transport you or the music?

That's what I can come up with.

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#1368437 - 02/08/10 07:40 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: keystring]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Linda, for the love of God, tell us if you have any idea what anyone here is talking about!
_________________________
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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#1368496 - 02/08/10 09:06 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Elissa Milne]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Linda, for the love of God, tell us if you have any idea what anyone here is talking about!

Elucidation of sorts:

There can be a time when an untaught person picks up patterns in music without quite understanding them or having the complete concepts and terminology. Questions come across strangely. Some of us have been there ourselves.

I guessed that maybe Linda was seeing some patterns in music, and she is wondering why they are written as they are. A textbook type answer might not be comprehensible if the concepts and terms aren't there to understand it. So I expanded, in case my guess was right (it might not be).

Condensation of the same:
If Linda is asking why major & relative minor keys share a signature:
- history: church modes etc. The fact that there is history. There was a time that I didn't know that. Music might have been the same for thousands of years.
- Since major & minor scales are actually modes, the idea that they are. They are not just arbitrary combinations of intervals: there is a certain mood or character to them.

Linda seemed to be asking why minor scales are presented as having three forms: natural, harmonic, and melodic. She was told that this is just how they happen to be. The harmonic minor has a raised 7th which has musical reasons. The melodic minor has musical reasons too. The important thing is to get the idea that there are musical reasons, by seeing some examples, and then start exploring (listening!). That is an alternative to be just looking for patterns of intervals and being stuck there.

That was the gamble. I saw a few knowledgeable answers but wondered if they would be understood, given the framing of the questions.



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#1368510 - 02/08/10 09:27 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Elissa Milne]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3600
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Linda, for the love of God, tell us if you have any idea what anyone here is talking about!


For the love of God I swear she doesn't care...

But, I see what she's asking - it should be obvious to even the most casual observer - she's asking a question similar to this:

"Why isn't a young dog called a kitten instead of a puppy?"

She likes puppies and also the name "kitten", so she wants the latter to refer to the former. It's that simple - she just wants to re-arrange reality to fit her personal preferences. Let us know how that works out...

The ultimate question then becomes: Is she a major or a minor pain?

JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1368582 - 02/08/10 11:39 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: TrapperJohn]
LindaR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Northern California
Okay thanks everyone, these insights help. I'll keep reading. I hope I didn't take up too much time. heart

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#1368629 - 02/08/10 12:49 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
edt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 210
I understand where lindar is coming from. I used to have these sorts of questions. She'll figure it out, and then have a new puzzler.

I still ask the same sorts of questions, ones that don't seem to make sense, but now I ask them about jazz chords, like why do there have to be tensions in every single chord and how come you aren't allowed to play a maj dom 7 unless it's inverted and and and . . .

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#1368656 - 02/08/10 01:22 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: TrapperJohn]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: John Frank
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Linda, for the love of God, tell us if you have any idea what anyone here is talking about!

For the love of God I swear she doesn't care...
But, I see what she's asking - it should be obvious to even the most casual observer - she's asking a question similar to this:
"Why isn't a young dog called a kitten instead of a puppy?"....

C'mon. smile
I don't think that's quite fair, although I must admit I was tempted to write some funny stuff too.

She has some question in mind, and yes, it's probably a non-question question, but I think sometimes we probably all have some of those.....
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#1368658 - 02/08/10 01:23 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: edt]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
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Originally Posted By: edt
I understand where lindar is coming from. I used to have these sorts of questions.....
I still ask the same sorts of questions, ones that don't seem to make sense, but now I ask them about jazz chords, like why do there have to be tensions in every single chord....

Why DO there have to be tensions in every single chord? ha

P.S. I didn't know that was sort of a rule, but I can see that it could be.
Including that once in a while a chord doesn't have tension -- and then that becomes the tension. smile


Edited by Mark_C (02/08/10 02:03 PM)
Edit Reason: typo corrected
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#1368672 - 02/08/10 01:38 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
edt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 210
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: edt
like why do there have to be tensions in every single chord....

Why DO there have to be tensions in every single chord? ha

P.S. I didn't know that was sort of a rule, but I can't see that it could be.
Including that once in a while a chord doesn't have tension -- and then that becomes the tension. smile


exactly. Right now I don't know enough about jazz tensions to even ask the right questions. I know I should be asking some other question, but I say "tensions" because I see them and I think to myself "What's wrong with a triad?"

By the time I know enough to ask the right question I won't need to ask it.

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#1368693 - 02/08/10 02:04 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: edt]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
(BTW.....good job not getting thrown by my typo......I meant I CAN see that it could be. You got it anyway.) smile
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#1368776 - 02/08/10 04:22 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6160
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
May this explanation helps?
There are also other "free" lessons....
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Music is my best friend.


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#1368818 - 02/08/10 05:33 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: ChopinAddict]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
I agree with the puppies/kittens theory.
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#1368833 - 02/08/10 05:48 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Elissa Milne]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6160
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
There was a similar discussion on another board. They called it the "tea/coffee" theory...
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#1368936 - 02/08/10 07:55 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: ChopinAddict]
stores Offline
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Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
You know I just read through most of the posts in this thread and I STILL don't know what the hell she was asking. LOL. I thought, at first, that Cathy had nailed it and figured maybe she'd had more coffee than I today or something, but then read back over it again, and honestly, I'm still confused about what she was asking for. Apparently, something got through to her, but if it did, then she's either a LOT more confused than I am, or tremendously more intelligent. LOL.
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#1368997 - 02/08/10 09:03 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: stores]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: stores
You know I just read through most of the posts in this thread and I STILL don't know what the hell she was asking.

me2

Quote:
.....I thought, at first, that Cathy had nailed it.....

I never thought for a second that anyone came close to nailing it. We were just talking without knowing what we were trying to answer.
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#1369028 - 02/08/10 09:32 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
Elissa Milne Offline
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And without a response with substance from Linda we will never know what we were trying to answer.
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#1369042 - 02/08/10 09:48 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Elissa Milne]
Mark_C Online   content
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We shouldn't expect or pressure her to say any more. IMO it was clear pretty quickly that we were giving info on a much more advanced level than what she was asking. Really we were talking more to ourselves than to her. I think she did the best she could at asking what she was wondering about.
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#1369097 - 02/08/10 11:28 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
ChopinAddict Offline
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I suppose most of us thought she was confused about major and minor scales, that's why we tried to provide an explanation of major and minor scales, although her question per se was not clear....
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#1369235 - 02/09/10 05:41 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
custard apple Offline
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Hey Linda
Yours is a technical question and no technical question is too weird for PW. I’ve asked weird questions myself e.g. why is a Bach prelude not a fugue, and I received an awesome answer.
So continue asking your questions.
One of the beautiful things about piano is its mathematical structure imo. There are rules which make sense and cannot be broken. A major scale will always be structured in the same way, and a minor scale will always be structured in one of three ways.
I did really badly at Accounting at Uni because I always asked "why" e.g. “Why is an asset a debit ?”, “Why is a liability a credit ?”

So maybe you just have to accept that someone has to put a label on various combinations of tone, semitone structures. Three of these structures are called minor.

You obviously think a lot about the structure of scales which is great. In this way, you will get a lot more out of them than just playing them blindly.

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#1369260 - 02/09/10 07:20 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
TrapperJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: John Frank
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Linda, for the love of God, tell us if you have any idea what anyone here is talking about!

For the love of God I swear she doesn't care...
But, I see what she's asking - it should be obvious to even the most casual observer - she's asking a question similar to this:
"Why isn't a young dog called a kitten instead of a puppy?"....

C'mon. smile
I don't think that's quite fair, although I must admit I was tempted to write some funny stuff too.


There you go - you should have - that's what we need here - more funny stuff (to compliment the really "funny stuff" in the OP) laugh

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
She has some question in mind, and yes, it's probably a non-question question, but I think sometimes we probably all have some of those.....


Well, speak for yourself about that - my questions are always question questions, as opposed to "non-question questions" (which require non-answer answers) - but a non-question question is really a statement in disguise, and the statement made in the OP was "I'm bored and feeling kinda snarky, so I think I'll post a really nonsensical question here to see if I can take advantage of the good people here and how many I can get to take it seriously and respond sincerly to it - and if I'm lucky maybe I can even get a little heated debate going about it!"

It's called the fine art of deliberate agitation.

JF

P.S. It wouldn't surprise me at all if "she" wasn't a she...
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#1369262 - 02/09/10 07:22 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: TrapperJohn]
Elissa Milne Offline
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OMG. A hermaphrodite.
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#1369332 - 02/09/10 09:48 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: TrapperJohn]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: John Frank
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: John Frank
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne






Originally Posted By: Mark_C


but a non-question question is really a statement in disguise, and the statement made in the OP was "I'm bored and feeling kinda snarky, so I think I'll post a really nonsensical question here to see if I can take advantage of the good people here and how many I can get to take it seriously and respond sincerly to it - and if I'm lucky maybe I can even get a little heated debate going about it!"

It's called the fine art of deliberate agitation.

JF

P.S. It wouldn't surprise me at all if "she" wasn't a she...





How, in the world, did you get all of that out of her post? I didn't view it as snarky at all. I didn't (and still don't) understand what the heck she was asking, but reading "bored and snarky" between the lines, I think, MIGHT be going a bit far (God knows it wouldn't be the first time that intent was grossly misinterpreted in the forums). Who knows...you may be right and I may know nothing.
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#1369345 - 02/09/10 09:59 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: TrapperJohn]
keystring Offline
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If the OP was genuine in her question, then the speculations about ulterior motives, or judgment of the question itself, will be embarrassing. The state of affairs world wide (apparently) suggests that in music there is an illiteracy as great as there was in the Dark Ages. Many of us are groping, or have just left behind groping. It is inevitable that some questions will seem preposterous yet is that the person you want to drive away? A person can be in such a place that they simply cannot formulate anything that will be familiar. The idea of commenting on the poster rather than the question bothers me. I am a moderator elsewhere and know how people are affected since they write in to me in that capacity. It is amazing how we can misjudge each other.

About puppies and kittens: If that question were actually asked by a child, then he is learning how his society categorizes and organizes thought. He is actually thinking about things, which is a good thing. Those who dismiss the question might be well advised to start thinking about their language all over again, and learn new things. Puppies and kittens, as "tiny child-animals" are more similar to each other than they are to their parents. So why isn't there a "tiny child-animal" word? Such questions allow a child to begin entering abstract concepts which he will later use: grammar, algebra, whatnot.

The question posed here is roughly: why are major and minor scales the way they are, and why are there different kinds of minor scales (officially)? Personally I think that's more productive than just memorizing and knowing that it is as it is as it is. Maybe I'm wrong. I asked the same question. The difference is that I also explored music by listening and hearing what that did.

I also imagine that a good teacher who has a thorough understanding of music would lead things in such a way that deeper understanding starts to emerge. I'd think that such a teacher might even set things up in such a way that questions would arise, and to make the student think? Is it good to take things for granted?

Lest someone thinks I'm naive (more than I normally am, anyway) - yes, we could have been set up, etc. But what's the harm in exploring the question? Maybe somebody could benefit. It's good exercise.

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#1369391 - 02/09/10 11:05 AM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: keystring]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keystring
....The question posed here is roughly: why are major and minor scales the way they are, and why are there different kinds of minor scales (officially)?....

Good post except for this quoted portion, which we have no idea whatsoever whether it is so. smile
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#1369605 - 02/09/10 04:01 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
ChopinAddict Offline
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What about this tutorial ? I just saw a link to these lessons in another thread...
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#1373705 - 02/14/10 03:23 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
LindaR Offline
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Loc: Northern California
Thank you wikipedia for the information. Roughly, the minor is an inverse of the major scale. I wanted to answer the question... How are the diatonic minor and major related? And I was thinking, Why is their no half tone between b and c and e and f? And I wanted an answer besides, "because its a diatonic scale." Would it be more elegant for an octave to be divided 7.5 times or six and six rather than seven and five, etc. Then thanks to answers at yahoo I found out that an OCTAVE (**) is divided 24 times in Arabic music. I didn't know that. I don't think I'm going to answer anymore posts on this topic. Thanks. smile

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#1373755 - 02/14/10 04:28 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
LindaR Offline
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..Or even 14 or 16 with overlapping octaves. Just so that it follows fundamentals of physics sound and then let the medium be the variable. smirk

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#1377487 - 02/18/10 04:28 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: LindaR]
edt Offline
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Posts: 210
there are WAAAY more than just 3 minor scales, for instance, arabian minor, gypsy minor, romanian minor, indian minor, dorian minor, phrygian minor, aeoloian minor, locrian minor, ascending minor, descending minor, harmonic, natural, phrygian natural 6 minor, locrian natural 2 minor, blues minor, etc etc

linda your question I think can go really deep into musical theory history, practice, tradition

I have a question just like yours. Why is it that common practice insists that the ascending and descending melodic minors are different, yet when I read a piece by Bach he always violates these melodic rules.

Is he violating the rules on ascending minor and descending minor on purpose to give the music more interest or is this "ascending/descending" rule like a speed limit, only observed in theory but never in practice.


Edited by edt (02/18/10 04:35 PM)

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#1377491 - 02/18/10 04:42 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: edt]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Music theory is, on the whole, descriptive not prescriptive, so the idea that composers 'break the rules' gets it all the wrong way about. Not surprising after more than 100 years of theory examinations where there is 'right' way to pass the exam (somewhat tangental to the right way to compose interesting music).

But composers do what they do and theorists come by afterwards and try to make sense of what made the composition 'work'. Music theory struggles to account for what makes music 'work' in the 20th and 21st centuries: it's much better (in fact best) at accounting for the way music worked in the Classical period (mid to late 18th century western European composed music).
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#1377686 - 02/18/10 10:19 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: edt]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: edt
.....I have a question just like yours. Why is it that common practice insists that the ascending and descending melodic minors are different, yet when I read a piece by Bach he always violates these melodic rules.....

He's not "violating" anything.
When he does that, it's just not the melodic minor, that's all.

Maybe are you thinking that "melodic minor" means it's the scale that has to be used for melodies?
It's not -- it's just a name.
And maybe a BAD name, because it can lead to this kind of confusion.
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#1378102 - 02/19/10 12:18 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
edt Offline
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Posts: 210
i understand the purpose of the melodic minor is that for the voice leading principles decrease the +2 gap between 6-7 on the way up and since the tonal #7 leads to the tonic that has to be left in, and when descending, since you start on the tonic there is no pull, so you can start on 7 instead of #7, and in counterpoint, fugues especially, each voice should have a melody, I understand all that.

So I go looking for these voices in bach and I see, yes, bach tries to never use the +2 gap you won't find the augmented 2 descending or ascending, yet, typically bach ascends and descend the same way, so I'm left wondering, how is this a rule?

I don't necessarily want answers, I'm just explaining that I don't yet know enough of music theory to figure out how it all works together. Maybe once I finish reading this book on voice leading I'll understand it.


Edited by edt (02/19/10 12:19 PM)

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#1378118 - 02/19/10 12:32 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: edt]
Mark_C Online   content
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That's sort of what the melodic minor is, and in a way I guess we could say that is its "purpose," sort of.

But it's not a rule, and failing to use it in any given instance doesn't violate anything.

Why do you keep thinking it's a "rule"? Do you not believe that it isn't?
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#1378171 - 02/19/10 01:32 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: Mark_C]
edt Offline
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lol, i'm not sure how I feel about it.

My main beef is how in classical theory you have different ascending and descending scales but in jazz theory you just use the ascending scale, and if you deviate from it, that's all it is.

Which is to say in jazz you are just as likely to use the descending minor scale while ascending as descending, but in classical . . . theory says you use the descending scale more often descending than ascending, but in practice, I don't don't see it.

I don't like how much the theory of voice leading deviates from practice.

Like this parallel fifths thing. You don't use it because it hides the middle voice, yet bach used parallel fifths all the time.

But I actually understand the parallel fifths thing better because my ear can hear why the rule is as it is. This minor ascending and descending thing I just can't hear right. I think part of it is how in modern music we tend not to use counterpoint as much so I haven't developed a natural feel for this rule.

You can't ascend or descend into an octave because it hides the voice, these are not just description these are "rules" of counterpoint and voice leading.

So yeah I guess I do consider it a "rule" because it is described as a rule in Johann Josef Fux's book "Gradus ad Parnassum."

Of course I know if you follow the rules all the time your music will be stale and boring.


Edited by edt (02/19/10 01:33 PM)

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#1378185 - 02/19/10 01:43 PM Re: Another Theory Question [Re: edt]
Mark_C Online   content
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Especially since most of those rules aren't really rules.
They aren't.

Don't worry too much about Fux. ha
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