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#2026213 - 02/03/13 07:08 AM viib in minor keys
Lucy_Knell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 42
When substituting the viib for V7 in minor keys
I have noticed that the bass note is often flattened
making it a major VIIb {the leading note is not
raised a semitone}. This I can comprehend because
in a minor key approaching a cadence the V major is
used not the v minor { in viib7 the 7th
[6th of the scales] is still raised}. Have I got
this all correct? Thanks


Edited by Lucy_Knell (02/03/13 07:11 AM)

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#2026346 - 02/03/13 02:08 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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What's viib?

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#2026358 - 02/03/13 02:20 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13757
Loc: Iowa City, IA
She means bVII.

And when the leading tone is not raised, then the VII chord does not function as a substitution for the dominant. Instead, it's often a V7/III instead. (Or simply a part of a step progression.)

If vii is used as a dominant, then the leading tone has to be raised.
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#2027185 - 02/04/13 11:27 PM viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
LoPresti Offline
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Lucy,

Terminology, and your use of the flat (b) sign, are getting in the way here. Adding some to Kreisler’s info:

Using the natural minor scale, the triad built on the 5th degree of the scale is minor, and the triad built on the 7th degree of the scale is major.
Example: Key of D natural minor. The v chord is A-C-E, and the VII chord is C-E-G.

If the composer is using the harmonic minor scale, with the 7th degree of the scale raised one-half step, the triad built on the 5th degree of the scale is now major, and the triad built on the (raised) 7th degree of the scale is now diminished.
Example: Key of D harmonic (sometimes melodic) minor. The V chord is A-C#-E, and the VII chord is C#-E-G.

Continuing to the rest of your question, depending on the composer’s intent, s/he may choose to make the chord built on the fifth degree of the scale a dominant seventh chord, in which case it will contain a major 3rd, a perfect 5th, and a minor 7th.
Example: Key of D minor. The V7 chord is A-C#-E-G.

The composer may also chose to use a seventh chord built upon the seventh degree of the scale. Two varieties are quite common, one based on the harmonic minor, and the other based upon the melodic minor.
Example: Key of D harmonic minor. The vii7 chord is a diminished seventh chord C#-E-G-Bb. (This is frequently used as a substitute for the dominant seventh chord.)
Example: Key of D melodic minor. The vii7 chord is a “half-diminished” seventh chord C#-E-G-B.

If it sounds complicated, that is because it is a rather thick, and sticky subject. So, while you may have the concept correct, the terminology is not quite there yet.

Ed
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In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2027213 - 02/05/13 12:31 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
Mark_C Online   content
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Hope you don't mind my saying so, but that's a lot harder to understand than the original post. grin

I don't think it's going to help Lucy much. And BTW I had a fair amount of advanced theory and it would have taken a lot of effort for me to follow it!

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#2027220 - 02/05/13 12:49 AM viib in minor keys [Re: Mark_C]
LoPresti Offline
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Mark,

Perhaps my post is more complex because it seeks to explain the various ways of looking at Lucy's chords. As you, yourself, indicated, the original post made little sense.

But I am always happy to learn! Maybe you would like a go at the various chords that are commonly constructed on the fifth and seventh degrees of minor scales, and why and how they differ?

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2027228 - 02/05/13 01:18 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
Mark_C Online   content
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Good thought, but for things like this, I just try (if anything) to address the original post, in a way that is relevant and narrow and at the level of the question. What you're suggesting is sort of writing a textbook chapter grin and I'm not highly motivated to do that. I do hope that Lucy feels she's gotten a good answer. smile

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#2027252 - 02/05/13 02:29 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
keystring Offline
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Maybe we should check about this:
Originally Posted By: Lucy_Knell
When substituting the viib for V7 in minor keys
I have noticed that the bass note is often flattened
making it a major VIIb {the leading note is not
raised a semitone}. ...

Do you mean the bass note, or the root?

Say that you are in the key of C minor. The 7th degree chord could be BDF (B dim) if the Bb has been raised to B, or BbDF (Bb) if the Bb has not been raised. The B or Bb respectively are called the Root of the chord.

A chord can be inverted. When you have the diminished chord, it is frequently (always?) inverted so that you'd probably have Bdim/D (DFB). In this case the bottom note would be D. Whatever note you have at the very bottom is the Bass. So even if the chord itself is BDF, and the Root is always B, the Bass may be a different note.

So did you mean Root?

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#2027258 - 02/05/13 02:50 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
What a load of cobblers!
Such gobbledegook deserves to be discombobulated, ground into fine chunks, and rammed down the throat of the giddy gents propogating the garbage.

No wonder children pack in their piano lessons.

Feel much better now having lit a fuse.

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#2027345 - 02/05/13 09:42 AM viib in minor keys [Re: btb]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
btb,

First of all, none of us here are little kids, learning childish music. If someone quits because they got a complete explanation to one of their questions, s/he probably was never meant to play or sing.

Once we "write it down", taking it out of the realm of simple sound, we (for better or worse) enter the world of Theory. Here we must use terminology, and some universal rules (derived from sound) apply.

I invited Mark to answer the OP's question in a complete, correct, and SIMPLE way. No-Go! I invite you to do the same.

Always learning . . .
Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2027439 - 02/05/13 01:04 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: LoPresti
I invited Mark to answer the OP's question in a complete, correct, and SIMPLE way....

Besides what I said in the previous post, I honestly just don't understand what is being asked, totally, at all. I have no idea what's being described.

Lucy: I think you might get better replies if you forget the terminology and just say what are the notes of the chords you're talking about. You might also need to rephrase what you're asking -- I don't know -- but first we need to understand better what you're talking about. Kreisler was pretty sure he understood, and probably he did. LoPresti was too, but I can't tell because I didn't understand his post. grin

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#2027680 - 02/05/13 08:16 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
didyougethathing Offline
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Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 542
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
btb,

First of all, none of us here are little kids, learning childish music. If someone quits because they got a complete explanation to one of their questions, s/he probably was never meant to play or sing.

Once we "write it down", taking it out of the realm of simple sound, we (for better or worse) enter the world of Theory. Here we must use terminology, and some universal rules (derived from sound) apply.

I invited Mark to answer the OP's question in a complete, correct, and SIMPLE way. No-Go! I invite you to do the same.

Always learning . . .
Ed


For what it's worth, I thought your explanation was very straightforward and perfectly explained the OP's question. I think certain people (like me) prefer using an example key/scale/chord than just roman numeral notation. I like to see both laid out when someone is explaining something to do with harmony, because then you can double check to see if you are understanding the notation correctly. I understood what you were saying within the first two sentences and probably would have wrote the exact same thing.

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#2027771 - 02/05/13 11:44 PM viib in minor keys [Re: didyougethathing]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: didyougethathing
. . . For what it's worth, I thought your explanation was very straightforward and perfectly explained the OP's question. I think certain people (like me) prefer using an example key/scale/chord than just roman numeral notation. I like to see both laid out when someone is explaining something to do with harmony, because then you can double check to see if you are understanding the notation correctly. I understood what you were saying within the first two sentences and probably would have wrote the exact same thing.

Thank you for the vote of confidence - I appreciate it.
I, too, believe that the more light one can shed on theoretical principles, by using concrete examples, the better.

But, what has happened to Lucy?
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#2027772 - 02/05/13 11:48 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6069
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Makes perfect sense to me what Kreisler and LoPresti said.

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#2027775 - 02/06/13 12:00 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Mark_C]
keystring Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C

I don't think it's going to help Lucy much. And BTW I had a fair amount of advanced theory and it would have taken a lot of effort for me to follow it!


Seriously? Taking one excerpt at random
Quote:
Using the natural minor scale, the triad built on the 5th degree of the scale is minor, and the triad built on the 7th degree of the scale is major.
Example: Key of D natural minor. The v chord is A-C-E, and the VII chord is C-E-G.

Parsing it:
- using the natural minor scale

Having taken advanced theory, the basic theory of natural minor scales should be familiar to you

- the triad built on the 5th degree...

Let's use A natural minor as an example. The 5th degree notes are E G B

- is minor

E G B is indeed minor.

- the triad built on the 7th degree

In A natural minor, this has to be G B D

- is major

Which GBD is indeed

Followed by an example.

Which of these things set out by Ed is unclear? This is quite basic theory, as is the rest of it.

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#2027781 - 02/06/13 12:21 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
In my book the Major scale is
TTtTTTt (totalling 6T)
and the minor scale
TtTTTTt (totalling 6T)

The ONLY differences between the scales is
the 2nd degree (t) half-tone and 3rd degree T (tone)
in the minor scale.

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#2027786 - 02/06/13 12:31 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: keystring]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: keystring
....Which of these things set out by Ed is unclear?....

I didn't say it was unclear, just that it was hard to understand. I found it formidable, and I thought Lucy most likely would too. I was approaching this all in the context of the original post, and from the gitgo it seemed to me that his post was on a totally different level -- far more complicated and more detailed than what was being asked, including that he was saying a lot of stuff that wasn't necessary for answering the question. My first difficulty with the post was right up top, with the term "natural minor," which, believe it or not, I don't really know. I'm sure it's just a thing of what vocabulary gets used in what venues, and that it's synonymous with some term that I do know, but it would have taken my looking it up to see which one. Glancing down the rest of the post, I had a similar impression that it was both above and beyond what had been asked. I couldn't help thinking that someone who could easily understand his reply wouldn't have needed to ask the question. I gather that you don't think any of this -- and I imagine that with good reason Ed will feel your impression is more meaningful than mine.


Edited by Mark_C (02/06/13 03:19 AM)
Edit Reason: shortening

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#2027795 - 02/06/13 12:42 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: btb]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: btb
In my book the Major scale is
TTtTTTt (totalling 6T)
and the minor scale
TtTTTTt (totalling 6T)

The ONLY differences between the scales is
the 2nd degree (t) half-tone and 3rd degree T (tone)
in the minor scale.

Interesting. Would that TtTTTTt pattern of the minor scale be an exact reverse if played descending (tTTTTtT)?

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2027823 - 02/06/13 01:52 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: btb]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: btb
In my book the Major scale is
TTtTTTt (totalling 6T)
and the minor scale
TtTTTTt (totalling 6T)

The ONLY differences between the scales is
the 2nd degree (t) half-tone and 3rd degree T (tone)
in the minor scale.



Well, if that's the case you should add natural, melodic and harmonic minor scale to your book.


Edited by etcetra (02/06/13 01:56 AM)

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#2027846 - 02/06/13 03:19 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Mark_C]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: keystring
....Which of these things set out by Ed is unclear?....
My first difficulty with the post was right up top, with the term "natural minor," which, believe it or not, I don't really know.


Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Hope you don't mind my saying so, but that's a lot harder to understand than the original post. grin

I don't think it's going to help Lucy much. And BTW I had a fair amount of advanced theory and it would have taken a lot of effort for me to follow it!


Not to be rude but knowing the different modes of minor scale, natural/melodic/harmonic is pretty basic theory...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_scale

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#2027848 - 02/06/13 03:22 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: etcetra]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: etcetra
Not to be rude but knowing the different modes of minor scale, natural/melodic/harmonic is pretty basic theory...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_scale

I do know them! (Very well, thank you.) grin

I just didn't know that term.

Anyway....the issue is whether the reply we're talking about was put in a way that the OP would be likely to understand, or that most readers of the thread would. It wasn't put in a way that I could readily understand, and, rightly or wrongly, I take that as an indication that Lucy probably wouldn't, at least not easily, and many other readers probably wouldn't, and not just because of the term "natural minor." I didn't make a big thing of it; I just teased Ed a little, and I hope he didn't mind.

BTW, I'm not sure if you're thinking I lied about having taken theory or that the courses I had were lousy. grin

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#2027857 - 02/06/13 03:44 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Mark_C]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C

BTW, I'm not sure if you're thinking I lied about having taken theory or that the courses I had were lousy. grin


Mark_C

I'm Not questioning your background smile but I find it a little puzzling because I thought natural minor scale was a fairly common/universal term. I'm curious What did your teacher call it?

I think part of the problem, as you and others have stated is that the question itself a little strange.. I understand vii diminished being used as substitution for V but not bvii. Major bVII in minor key could mean tonicization/modulation to another key(Kreisler's answers)

on the other hand, if the OP is asking why there is vii, and bvii being used in a minor key, then LoPresti's answer probably what OP is looking for, as those two chords come from different modes of minor scales.


Edited by etcetra (02/06/13 03:56 AM)

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#2027858 - 02/06/13 03:51 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
All these chappies
wanting to muddy the modal waters with clutter such as

Dorian/Hypodorian
Phyrygian/Hypophrygian
Lydian/Hypolydian
Mixolydian/Hypomixolydian
Aeolian/Hypoaeolian
Ionian/Hypoionian

When the only ones worth remembering ...
(survived 2500 years from the Greek Golden age) are
the Lydian (major scale) and Dorian (minor scale).

Who did I hear say “shut up” when I started prating
about some ghastly chappie called Glareanus
who published some rot in 1547 called Dodecachordon ...
some say he died of the Plague ...
all those plagal ending don’t you know.

Kind regards, btb

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#2027860 - 02/06/13 03:57 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: etcetra]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: etcetra
....I find it a little puzzling because I thought natural minor scale was a fairly common/universal term. I'm curious What did your teacher call it?

I'm sure it's puzzling.

I had two years of theory in college, two different teachers. The program was pretty rigorous. There were two levels of music theory courses; this was the upper level, the one taken by music majors. I never saw or heard the term "natural minor" during these courses, nor had I in my prior years of piano study, nor have I in the time since then, much of which I've spent discussing music with serious musicians.

What term was used for "natural minor"?
I had to finally look it up to see what it is. ha

We mostly called it nothing. It didn't get referred to very much, and when it did, we called it the Aeolian mode (which was one of about 6 or 7 modes we studied). When we called minor scales by name, it was just harmonic and melodic.

Quote:
I think part of the problem, as you and others have stated is that the question itself a little strange....

For sure. It was my main point in the first couple of posts. What I said about Ed's post was just a side comment.

Quote:
It seems like LoPresti's answer is dealing with vii(diminished) which is a totally different issue.

So, you're saying he wasn't answering the question at all? I assumed he was sort of answering it but with a lot of additional stuff that wasn't needed and which made it less accessible -- but as per what I've said, I couldn't tell any of it clearly, neither the question nor his answer.

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#2027862 - 02/06/13 04:05 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
keystring Offline
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Mark, in the lower theory before college did they give? The natural minor is rather standard over here at the earlier level. It tends to be used to build up to the other two. Aeolian is to natural minor what Ionian is the major scales. We still say "major" and not "Ionian". I'd say it's a Canada-US thing except that I seem to remember that Ed hales from Chicago unless my memory is wrong.

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#2027864 - 02/06/13 04:08 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: btb]
keystring Offline
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Originally Posted By: btb


When the only ones worth remembering ...
(survived 2500 years from the Greek Golden age) are
the Lydian (major scale) and Dorian (minor scale).

That muddies the waters further. That is what the Greeks called them, but when they became church modes, the major was called Ionian, and the minor (natural) was called Aeolian. The Lydian, in church mode is what you get when you play the white keys on the piano from F to F, while Dorian is D to D.

Lots of jazz players and such use modes, but are probably scratching their heads at the hypos.

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#2027866 - 02/06/13 04:10 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: btb]
MarkH Offline
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Registered: 11/16/08
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Originally Posted By: btb

When the only ones worth remembering ...
(survived 2500 years from the Greek Golden age) are
the Lydian (major scale) and Dorian (minor scale).


Hi BTB,

Your scale names are a little confused. The easy way to keep them straight is to remember that you can derive each by starting on a white note/key on the piano and playing nothing but sequential white keys up an octave. Depending on which note you begin on, you will be playing in:

Ionian C-C (major)
Dorian D-D
Phrygian E-E
Lydian F-F
Mixolydian G-G
Aeolian A-A (natural minor)
Locrian B-B

It is of course possibly to play any of these keys starting on any note, but if you remember this approach, you can always figure out the right collection of half vs. whole steps to the key you are interested in. I have a mnemonic device to remember the order of these modes too. It is:
"I Don't Play Lousy Music At L________", where for the final L you can pick some sort of venue or person's house who is memorable to you.

Hope that helps keep them straight,
Mark

P.S. Dorian and phrygian modes that you mentioned do sometimes appear in classical music - phrygian in particular has an Eastern European flair, as does dorian to some extent. And I understand that they all have more or less of a place in jazz music, but I've never studied jazz formally, so I can't speak on it...

P.P.S. From what keystring says, it sounds like the ancient Greek nomenclature might use the same names in a different order when referring to the modes. If that's the case, then the topic of modes has great potential to be a confusing topic of discussion, and I apologize if my post sounded patronizing.


Edited by MarkH (02/06/13 04:18 AM)
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#2027867 - 02/06/13 04:10 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
The only other explanation I can think of is if you are minor key and modulating up minor 3rd (relative major), in that case both the vii dimnished(which also works as substitue for V) and V7/bIII (OP only said major, but not the quality of the 7th) can be used to pivot to the next key.

For example in key of C minor

B full diminished and it's inversion can be used to pivot to Eb (they share the same diminished chords
Bb(7) as V of Eb.

They are both somewhat interchangeable


Edited by etcetra (02/06/13 04:25 AM)

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#2027869 - 02/06/13 04:17 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
etcetra Offline
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Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Mar C

I edited the post for clarification. I think LoPresti's answer is pretty straight forward.. but whether or not it answers the question really depends on what the OP is actually asking.

MarkH

I think btb is just trolling.


Edited by etcetra (02/06/13 04:18 AM)

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#2027875 - 02/06/13 04:32 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Thanks MarkH for the explanation homing in on the Ionian mode for the Major scale ... of which I was aware ... them thar Greeks apparently settled on a fixed arrangement of the modal notes ... and depending on which mountainous group you twanged your lyre ...

Spartans TTtTTTt
Phygians tTTTtTT
Lydians TTTTtTt
M/lydian TTtTTTt
Aeolian TTtTtTT
Ionian TTtTTTt

Hope I got all the twangs right ... wonder if the Dorian Spartans imposed their modal notes on the Athenian Greeks when they hammered Pythagoras and Co.

Perhaps they needed to wait till the arrival of the mighty Macedonian king Alexander the Great in 323 BC.

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#2028017 - 02/06/13 11:07 AM viib in minor keys [Re: btb]
LoPresti Offline
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Loc: New York
btb,

Ancient Greek city-states, and Black Plagal cadences aside, I am not certain how any of this relates to Poor Miss Lucy’s questions. But now I have a few questions of my own, one of which I have already asked you:
Originally Posted By: btb
In my book the Major scale is
TTtTTTt (totalling 6T)
and the minor scale
TtTTTTt (totalling 6T)

Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Would that TtTTTTt pattern of the minor scale be an exact reverse if played descending (tTTTTtT)?


Secondly, where would I look to verify that what you refer to as the GREEK Dorian mode (minor scale) --
Originally Posted By: btb
. . . the only ones worth remembering ... (survived 2500 years from the Greek Golden age) are
the Lydian (major scale) and Dorian (minor scale).

-- follows your pattern TtTTTTt ?

Thanks,
Ed
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#2028024 - 02/06/13 11:21 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Mark_C]
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Anyway....the issue is whether the reply we're talking about was put in a way that the OP would be likely to understand . . . I just teased Ed a little, and I hope he didn't mind.

Hi Mark,

I absolutely do not mind anyone questioning anything I write, AND I like to keep it fun. In fact, I think I included a little "disclaimer" at the bottom of my original answer to Miss Lucy, mentioning that she had not asked a question that could do with a trivial answer.

Ed
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#2028043 - 02/06/13 11:56 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
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Originally Posted By: LoPresti
....where would I look to verify that what you refer to as the GREEK Dorian mode (minor scale) --
Originally Posted By: btb
. . . the only ones worth remembering ... (survived 2500 years from the Greek Golden age) are
the Lydian (major scale) and Dorian (minor scale).

-- follows your pattern TtTTTTt ?

Since btb doesn't tend to be interested in answering things the way we want ha I'll do it for you. (Believe it or not, this is another thing that's easier to understand than your post, at least for me.) grin

Why it's easier: It doesn't require knowing any particular terminology, nor looking anything up.

The one thing it does take knowing is what's the "Dorian mode." I assume you do (and I'm pretty sure it's been stated on here) but for anyone who might not, it's the scale you get when you play all the white keys from D to D.

Knowing the modes, I didn't find it hard to see what btb's notation meant. I just looked at one of the modes and wondered how the heck that notation might mean what I knew it was, and it was readily clear (although, I thought, I bit odd). Once you recognize what the notation means, there's nothing needing to be verified. Here it is:

Capital letter means the note is followed by a whole step upward. Small letter means the note is followed by a half step upward.

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#2028094 - 02/06/13 01:02 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Mark_C]
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Knowing the modes, I didn't find it hard to see what btb's notation meant. I just looked at one of the modes and wondered how the heck that notation might mean what I knew it was, and it was readily clear (although, I thought, I bit odd). Once you recognize what the notation means, there's nothing needing to be verified.

But -- but -- Mark,

That pattern of btb's does NOT describe any Dorian mode of which I am aware (Greek or otherwise). In fact, that pattern of whole and half-steps does not match any one of the church modes. So while it might be easier to understand for you than my post, I believe it is simply WRONG. ( I am still waiting to hear back about if it descends in the exact reverse.)

Ed
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#2028115 - 02/06/13 01:32 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
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It's not wrong. It's the exact usual Dorian mode. Perhaps to make it simple: Start at the note D and go upward according to the notation as I explained it, and see if it doesn't hit all the right notes.

(It does.) smile

I suspect you aren't exactly understanding the notation, despite the explanation of it. Maybe take another look at it, but I can't explain it any better than I did.

Or maybe you have a different idea of what's the "Dorian mode." Do you understand it as anything other than what was said?

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#2028135 - 02/06/13 02:13 PM viib in minor keys [Re: Mark_C]
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Ok Mark,

I have tried to be patient and cordial. Now I AM becoming annoyed as you continue to harp on simplicity, and presume to teach me about rudiments and theory. Without calling your glowing credentials into question, you are way (WAY) out of your depth here.
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
It's not wrong. It's the exact usual Dorian mode. Perhaps to make it simple: Start at the note D and go upward according to the notation as I explained it, and see if it doesn't hit all the right notes. . . .
(It does.) :

Following the pattern: TtTTTTt
D – then up a whole step (T) to –
E – then up a half-step (t) to -
F - then up a whole step (T) to –
G - then up a whole step (T) to –
A - then up a whole step (T) to –
B - then up a whole step (T) to –
? C# ? - then up a half-step (t) to -
D

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I suspect you aren't exactly understanding the notation, despite the explanation of it. Maybe take another look at it, but I can't explain it any better than I did.

So now I invite you once again to show us all where I am wrong, and explain how a C# somehow found its way into your usual Dorian mode on D.

Or, maybe quit while you are behind . . .
Ed
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#2028136 - 02/06/13 02:13 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
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LoPresti: You're right, and I owe you an apology. But you we me one too. grin

A couple of things got confused. He never said that the thing you're indicating was the "Dorian mode"; he said it was MINOR.

And it is. It's the ascending melodic minor. I'm not sure how you got into considering it his notation for the Dorian mode.

And in this post of his, he did indicate the Dorian mode in his notation (in that post he called it "Spartan" but indicated that it's the same as Dorian), and the notation there does match the Dorian mode exactly. That's what I was following when I did the above posts, and I just didn't notice that what you indicated was different.

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#2028140 - 02/06/13 02:21 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: MarkH]
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Originally Posted By: MarkH


Your scale names are a little confused. ....


We need some history to straighten this out.

The Ancient Greeks had a musical system, and the names Dorian, Phrygian etc. referred to various Greek states, as btb says. Their system does not correspond directly to what we know in modern times. For one thing, they had three "species spanning a P4 including one that had a quarter tone. However, if you take 4 notes spanning a P4, and another 4 notes spanning a P4, you will get an octave and some kind of scale.

The music evolved, and you ended up with the Dorian - Hypodorian etc. that btb talks about. It wasn't exactly the construct of modern music and it didn't function the same way, but you could trace the outline of the various modes as we know them today.

Then finally when we get to what we know in modern times as "modes", the names were made official, but they messed up. They were trying to use the same names that the Greeks did, but they didn't get it right. The older names would have made our modern major scale "Dorian", but for some reason they named it "Ionian". The scholars talk about this and basically they're saying, "Ok, we know what names existed for the older system, and we'll stay aware of both of them, but for modern things we'll say Ionian = major scale, Aeolian = natural minor etc."

The white keys reference where Ionian = C to C, Dorian = D to D, Phrygian = E to E, Lydian = F to F is a modern shortcut for remembering these names, and it works quite well. Of course any of these modes can start on any note, and it's the intervals in the scale that must stay commensurate.

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#2028142 - 02/06/13 02:34 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Mark_C]
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
LoPresti: You're right, and I owe you an apology. But, there's a "but" -- a couple of things got confused.

He never said that the thing you're indicating was the "Dorian mode"; he said it was MINOR.

And it is. It's the ascending melodic minor.


Dorian mode is not related to any of the common minor scales we know today. Nor is the ascending melodic minor a match for any of the church modes. Nor is the harmonic, for that matter.

The harmonic minor and melodic minor have their roots in modern music theory, where we consider things like the functionality of leading tones. Medieval composers didn't concern themselves with that; they stuck to their church modes until counterpoint, even temperament and Rameau's writings started to make people think about the way notes tend to interact with one another. We shouldn't try to apply modern thinking to ancient concepts; leave our scale types as what they are and leave the old church modes alone.

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#2028146 - 02/06/13 02:37 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
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Found it in a book that was passed on to me years ago and I have never managed to read because my eyes would glaze over.

HISTORY OF MODES in short form

First we have plainchant, the chants used in religious ceremonies that took boys their entire childhood to learn because it was all by rote memory. The chants were like patched together common melodic patterns or riffs and they didn't really think much about them. This went on for hundreds of years.

We get to the 10th century, where they tried to get some order to this by finding underlying patterns. Once you have a structure you can start playing with music.

"The formation of the modal system, then, was in part an effort to extract the fundamentla series of modes from the existing plainchant repertoiry. At the same time, however, tenth-century theorists tried to relate their modes to the complex Greek system as transmitted by Boethius and later Latin writers. This accounts for the Greek names of the eight modes, although nothing else about them is Greek; and even the names were misapplied. (In the Greek modal system, Dorian begins on E, Phrygian on D, Lydian on C, and Mixolydian on B.).... "(1)

It goes on to say that the constructs created in the 10th century had a huge effect on how music developed from then on. Meanwhile, the original chants from which it was "extracted" didn't always fit the structure that they derived from them. So they had to alter the chants themselves, sort of like the feet of Cinderella's ugly stepsisters trying to fit the glass slipper, except that in this case the slipper was faulty. (What else is new about theory).


(1) Hoppin, Medieval Music, p. 67

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#2028151 - 02/06/13 02:42 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
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Originally Posted By: LoPresti

[quote=btb]In my book the Major scale is
TTtTTTt (totalling 6T)
and the minor scale
TtTTTTt (totalling 6T)

Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Would that TtTTTTt pattern of the minor scale be an exact reverse if played descending (tTTTTtT)?

Yes, it would be, but by convention we always discuss a scale in its ascending form when discussing intervals. That avoids a lot of confusion.

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#2028169 - 02/06/13 03:11 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: LoPresti

[quote=btb]In my book the Major scale is
TTtTTTt (totalling 6T)
and the minor scale
TtTTTTt (totalling 6T)

Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Would that TtTTTTt pattern of the minor scale be an exact reverse if played descending (tTTTTtT)?

Yes, it would be, but by convention we always discuss a scale in its ascending form when discussing intervals. That avoids a lot of confusion.

. . . unless, of course, that "scale" in question happens to be melodic minor.

Sorry KeyString, I am waiting for the other big fish to bite on this one. He's probably sleeping right now, so we'll give it a few more hours.
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#2028177 - 02/06/13 03:22 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
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Why are we even talking about modes? They have no relevance to the OP's question.

The forms of the minor scale do, but I fear we're making things far more complicated than they really are. It's this simple:

Major is major. It's like vanilla. That's it. Major. Vanilla.

Minor is different. It's like chocolate. There's "natural" chocolate, but, like minor, nobody really uses "natural" chocolate. It doesn't become all that useful or tasty until you process it.

So we have two ways of processing minor. One way is to raise the 7th, which works really well in 18th and 19th century styles where things like dominant chords and leading tones are important. Another way is to raise 6 and 7 ascending, which can help smooth out melodies.

For the sake of argument, let's call harmonic minor dark chocolate and melodic minor milk chocolate. That doesn't mean that other kinds of chocolate don't exist and that dark and milk chocolate can't live together in the same piece. It happens all the time - we combine chocolates (minors!) according to taste and style.

When people get confused about music theory, it's usually because they want an answer to the question "which kind of minor is this piece in?" But that's like asking "which kind of chocolate is in this cookie?" Not all cookies are 100% milk or 100% dark chocolate. (I myself mix the two in chocolate chip cookies, it's yummy!) And don't forget about white chocolate!

Now...this isn't music theory's fault. (And it's not cocoa's fault.) That's just how life is. Music usually involves a combination of sounds, just as food involves a combination of flavors. Nobody gets bent out of shape because a recipe calls for dark chocolate *and* milk, so why should we get bent out of shape when a piece contains leading tones and flattened sevenths?
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#2028180 - 02/06/13 03:26 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
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Well, the answer is already there. You DON'T discuss intervals descending - period.

However, btb's proposed intervals for minor are only true for one kind of minor, while the minor scale fluctuates for the 6th and 7th, as we all know. Going by btb's description, he is describing the melodic minor.

A(T)B(t)C(T)D(T)E(T)F#(T)G#(t)A

I see that you are fishing for the descending melodic minor, which we are taught in lessons to play in the form of the natural minor. Actual compositions don't necessarily follow that pattern, but we're still taught it that way.

So you want to see (read backward of course)

A(T)B(t)C(T)D(T)E(t)F(T)G(T)A

Btw, I tend to think of intervals in scales like one sees the holes in a fence between the slats marking the distance between the slats. There is a delightful German nonsense poem about the Gartenzaun mit Zwischenraum, (The garden fence with "in-between-spaces" between the slats), and the poet proposes building a house out of the Zwischenraum. In the same way an interval is a thing that isn't. It is Zwischenraum. laugh (ducks and hides)

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#2028181 - 02/06/13 03:27 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Kreisler]
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Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Why are we even talking about modes? They have no relevance to the OP's question....

I don't know either. grin

It started because I was asked what "natural minor" was called in my theory courses, I said "Aeolian mode" (when it was called anything at all, which it usually wasn't), and then began this series of digressions and tangents.

Meanwhile, as far as I'm concerned we still don't really know what Lucy was asking, or whether she's gotten anything from any of this. I would have wanted to get some clarification from her before trying to get into anything at all.

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#2028184 - 02/06/13 03:28 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
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Kreisler, I thought you had already answered the initial question. smile

I was going to respond but the original question wasn't entirely clear ... and I'm really glad I didn't.
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#2028188 - 02/06/13 03:37 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Dave Horne]
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Yeah, Lo Presti and I pretty much had it covered, though given the OP's inexact terminology, there was a bit of guesswork.

It's always interesting to see how these discussions go. Theory's one of those odd subjects that's very difficult to treat. It's very rigorous, but not really, and only sometimes. And there are multiple right and wrong answers with several dividing lines between the two that tend to be either clear or not. And the language, perspective and background of the author and reader adds a lens that further obfuscates the lack of clarity. And that's in the US. Add Europe and Canada into the mix and.... laugh

Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Kreisler, I thought you had already answered the initial question. smile

I was going to respond but the original wasn't entirely clear ... and I'm really glad I didn't.
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#2028201 - 02/06/13 03:56 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
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Originally Posted By: Lucy_Knell
When substituting the viib for V7 in minor keys
I have noticed that the bass note is often flattened
making it a major VIIb {the leading note is not
raised a semitone}. This I can comprehend because
in a minor key approaching a cadence the V major is
used not the v minor { in viib7 the 7th
[6th of the scales] is still raised}. Have I got
this all correct? Thanks


I think I finally got Lucy's question.

Take C minor.
She's talking about the bVII -- i.e. we have not raised Bb of the signature to Bnat (which we can do and often do) so we don't have a Bdim --- we have Bb which is a major chord.

Then she is asking about the "7th" in a bVII7 (Bb7) and she is asking whether the 7th (which is the 6th of the scale) is raised.

Ok, in Cm, the 6th note is Ab. Bb7 = BbDFAb. Lucy is asking whether the Ab that we find in the key of Cm is raised. Well, with a raised Ab, we'd get Bb(maj7). If we want a Bb7, then the Ab stays as it is, to answer that question directly.

Now going on, Lucy is asking in the context of a cadence. A cadence concludes a phrase and/or brings the music to some tonality. Thus we have V-I, V7-I, and sometimes viio-I (the viio can be seen as the top part of a V7, or it can be seen as having leading note and other significant notes that like to move to the tonic). The viio-I is usually written in first inversion, especially in minor (viio6-Im). And here we would have had a raised B for BDF to Cm. For a seventh I guess we'd have BDFAb = Bdim7. I could see Bdim7 moving to Cm.

Back to Lucy's Bb. I suppose we could move from Bb to Cm. But would that be a cadence? Is the movement strong enough to be felt as a cadence? (Real question - not rhetorical).

The Bb7 however (bII7) is the V7 of the relative major - key of Eb major. So it would be a perfect way of transitioning from a minor key (C minor) to a major key (Eb major). Meanwhile, I can move from Bb7 to Cm but I have no idea whether that is a good move. My "harmonic ear" is not that developed.



Edited by keystring (02/06/13 04:01 PM)

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#2028338 - 02/06/13 08:10 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Kreisler]
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Keystring: Why don't we wait until Lucy herself tells us what she meant. Otherwise we're just guessing, and it ain't worth it.

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Yeah, Lo Presti and I pretty much had it covered, though given the OP's inexact terminology, there was a bit of guesswork.

Yes, there was -- so how can you feel you had anything covered?

Quote:
It's always interesting to see how these discussions go....

What I find most interesting is how people felt they could answer a question without being sure what it was.

Wouldn't you feel the best thing is to ask for clarification first? Otherwise, you're expending your brain energy for perhaps nothing. smile

I see that that doesn't bother you much, nor some others. Me, I can't get interested in trying to answer something till I know what it is. I also think it's often even more helpful to the questioner him/herself to let them know they need to clarify what they're talking about than to answer their question, because helps them with the clarity of their thought and expression. I think that's usually way more important than knowing the answer to a particular thing.

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#2028355 - 02/06/13 08:40 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Mark_C]
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Keystring: Why don't we wait until Lucy herself tells us what she meant. Otherwise we're just guessing, and it ain't worth it.

The point was to parse it out, so that she could tell us if this is what she meant. When you don't have enough formal theory, you also don't have the vocabulary, which puts you into a difficult position. Sometimes when it is reworded it's helpful.

Besides, ** I ** also asked questions and I am interested in thoughts on them.

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#2028418 - 02/06/13 10:25 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
....When you don't have enough formal theory, you also don't have the vocabulary, which puts you into a difficult position....

Not really. As I suggested to her in an earlier post, it might well be that all she'd need to do would be to forget about the terminology and just tell us the notes she's talking about.

Quote:
....Besides, ** I ** also asked questions and I am interested in thoughts on them.

Fine, and maybe some people will want to get into those, but it would take wading through a post (i.e. yours) that tries at length to clarify the totally unclear question of someone who seems not to be here and not available to help with it, before getting to the part where you ask your questions. Maybe some people will want to do that. I wouldn't (didn't even get to that part of your post) because of what I've said -- that it's a waste of time (and brain cells) grin to give any attention to trying to guess anything about her question. I suspect some others would feel that way too.

So, why take all this time with these posts? Because talking like this doesn't require brain cells. ha
This is just talking. smile

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#2028428 - 02/06/13 11:03 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
keystring Offline
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The beauty of forums is that there are so many people out there who will potentially read these posts, all of them different from one another. So what is hard or heavy "wading" for one, might not be so for another. For example, you found Ed Lopresti's summary of minor scales to be hard reading even for someone with advanced theory. It was familiar territory for me, and I think I got the gist of it in maybe 30 seconds, and then another minute just to make sure. In the same way, my own post with its questions on the bottom may just be up someone's alley. Different strokes for different folks, and if you don't post you'll never know. So I did.

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#2028432 - 02/06/13 11:25 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
There is a delightful German nonsense poem about the Gartenzaun mit Zwischenraum, (The garden fence with "in-between-spaces" between the slats), and the poet proposes building a house out of the Zwischenraum.

I love the phrase - well, butchering it, attempting to pronounce - and I love the concept!
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#2028483 - 02/07/13 12:54 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: keystring]
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Originally Posted By: keystring
The beauty of forums is that there are so many people out there who will potentially read these posts, all of them different from one another. So what is hard or heavy "wading" for one, might not be so for another. For example, you found Ed Lopresti's summary of minor scales to be hard reading even for someone with advanced theory. It was familiar territory for me, and I think I got the gist of it in maybe 30 seconds, and then another minute just to make sure. In the same way, my own post with its questions on the bottom may just be up someone's alley. Different strokes for different folks, and if you don't post you'll never know. So I did.

We may see some things a little differently but I give this a big thumb up. thumb

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#2028488 - 02/07/13 01:42 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: btb]
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Originally Posted By: btb
Thanks MarkH for the explanation homing in on the Ionian mode for the Major scale ... of which I was aware ... them thar Greeks apparently settled on a fixed arrangement of the modal notes ... and depending on which mountainous group you twanged your lyre ...

Spartans TTtTTTt
Phygians tTTTtTT
Lydians TTTTtTt
M/lydian TTtTTTt
Aeolian TTtTtTT
Ionian TTtTTTt

Hope I got all the twangs right ... wonder if the Dorian Spartans imposed their modal notes on the Athenian Greeks when they hammered Pythagoras and Co.

Perhaps they needed to wait till the arrival of the mighty Macedonian king Alexander the Great in 323 BC.


How remarkable! I stay up late to study for an exam on the history of Roman art and architecture in relation to political and military history, and here I find this! What a coincidence!

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#2028499 - 02/07/13 02:16 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: AldenH]
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Originally Posted By: AldenH
How remarkable! I stay up late to study for an exam on the history of Roman art and architecture in relation to political and military history, and here I find this! What a coincidence!

Yeah -- but better not take any answers from here! ha

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#2028511 - 02/07/13 02:50 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: btb]
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Originally Posted By: btb

Feel much better now having lit a fuse.

In other words, you trolled...
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#2028513 - 02/07/13 02:53 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
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I think Lucy got scared away...
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#2028520 - 02/07/13 03:18 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Gary D.]
keystring Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: btb

Feel much better now having lit a fuse.

In other words, you trolled...

Well, I've never seen a wet fuse ignite, so it was rather ineffective trolling.

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#2028523 - 02/07/13 03:20 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
Dave Horne Offline
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Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
As long as this thread is still alive ... and those old Greek modes are being discussed, I'll pass on a little memory trick I used to memorize those modes.

If we use a major scale as the starting point and ascend we have ...

I = Ionian
D = Dorian
P = Phrygian
L = Lydian
M = Mixolodian
A = Aeolian
L = Locrian

I don't play loud music at lunch.

... or I dig pot, leave me alone. smile
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#2028550 - 02/07/13 05:18 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Kreisler]
Gary D. Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Kreisler

So we have two ways of processing minor. One way is to raise the 7th, which works really well in 18th and 19th century styles where things like dominant chords and leading tones are important. Another way is to raise 6 and 7 ascending, which can help smooth out melodies.

I like what you wrote. I usually do.

I would add that there are two ways of approaching minor, both valid.

One is to use natural minor as a starting point, then begin adjusting degrees. This seems to be the way most theory books tackle the subject. When key signatures are stressed, it makes sense. This is also in line with discussing relative minor, and how there is exactly one major and one minor scale, *traditionally*, for each traditional key signature.

However, going in the opposite direction, using major as the “starting point”, the same results will follow. You just get there from the “opposite way”.

Having tried it both ways with many students of varying ages and ability, starting with major seems to get to where I want to get to faster. Using that I can start out with this idea:

1) It is the lowering of the 3rd degree that is the key factor. The one thing all traditional scales that have a minor feel to them share is this lowering of the third note of the scale. So the simplest form of minor takes major and lowers the 3rd. I call this “simple minor”. It corresponds to melodic minor ascending.

2) From here we can being playing with that concept, and this gets into your idea of different kinds of chocolate. We keep b3 as a given.

a) b3 and b6, harmonic minor.
b) b3 and b7, Dorian “minor”.
c) b3 plus BOTH b6 and b7, Aeolian or natural minor.

3) We can then point out that flatting 3, 6 and 7 results in the same key signature as another scale, a major scale. Traditionally those two scales, really the same set of notes, have been called relative major and minor.

4) Once these basics have been set up, you can go just about anywhere.

5) When degree 3 is not lowered, other modes can be related to major through a simple change. Major with #4 becomes Lydian. Major with b7 becomes Mixolydian.

6) The advantage to thinking this way is that all the above scales or modes are derived by using the major scale as a starting point. You get all those major scales in your fingers, in your brain, in your ear, then you simply modify them to get the minor-type scales and other modes.
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#2028567 - 02/07/13 07:02 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Calling btb a troll is kind of pathetic, all the more so coming from people who have so many interesting things to say.

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#2028621 - 02/07/13 09:03 AM viib in minor keys [Re: Gary D.]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
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Loc: New York
GARY!

Where the he*ll have you been? As you can see, we needed you earlier! (Long-winded dissertations, notwithstanding.)

Welcome back!
Ed
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#2028628 - 02/07/13 09:17 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Lucy_Knell]
Dave Horne Offline
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While it's great that there are different ways to approach teaching the various flavors of minor scales to students, we really shouldn't lose sight of the fact that there is a finite number of scales to know forwards and backwards.

There are only 12 major scales and 36 different different flavors of minor scales at the keyboard. (There are of course more when we put those scales down on paper. smile )

I look at scales in the same way I look at the multiplication tables we were forced to learn those many years ago. We didn't create little devices to learn those various tables, we just committed them to memory.
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#2028665 - 02/07/13 10:20 AM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Dave Horne]
LoPresti Offline
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Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
While it's great that there are different ways to approach teaching the various flavors of minor scales to students, we really shouldn't lose sight of the fact that there is a finite number of scales to know forwards and backwards.

Precisely - AND - what might be expedicious in "getting the scales under the fingers" for a piano student, will not necessarily be best for learning the correct theory that goes along with them, nor for playing those same scales on some other instrument.

Brute force memorization: highly UNDER-rated, and a vanishing skill.

I hope nothing has happened to Little Lucy.
Ed
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#2028716 - 02/07/13 12:04 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: landorrano]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4727
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: btb
What a load of cobblers!
Such gobbledegook deserves to be discombobulated, ground into fine chunks, and rammed down the throat of the giddy gents propogating the garbage.

No wonder children pack in their piano lessons.

Feel much better now having lit a fuse.


Originally Posted By: landorrano
Calling btb a troll is kind of pathetic, all the more so coming from people who have so many interesting things to say.

(Look up “cobblers”.) No matter how I interpret this, the best sense I get is that the discussion is nonsense. You have people attempting to explain something that, at the least, is rather hard to explain. Now, if I barge in, after having read what everyone else says, and imply that there are bunch of “giddy gents propagating garbage”, what have I done? Am I in any way adding to the conversation?

Then, if I end with “ Feel much better now having lit a fuse”, I have trolled. Which is what btb did.

And for the record, I do not think btb is a troll. smile For one thing, although I totally disagree with many of his points, I do enjoy the fun he has with the English language. Furthermore, I don't sense any truly malicious intent.

On the other hand:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

“In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

I see no intention of doing anything here except provoking readers or disrupting what WAS a “normal on-topic discussion”.

What is it *you* see?
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#2028721 - 02/07/13 12:18 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Dave Horne]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4727
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
While it's great that there are different ways to approach teaching the various flavors of minor scales to students, we really shouldn't lose sight of the fact that there is a finite number of scales to know forwards and backwards.

There are only 12 major scales and 36 different different flavors of minor scales at the keyboard. (There are of course more when we put those scales down on paper. smile )

Doing the math that would come down to one major scale and three kinds of minor scales, then transposed to 12 different keys.

But wait, there are 15 standard keys. So the notation is already more complicated. smile

If I follow your logic, I get for the three minor scales:

1) Natural or Aeolian

2) Harmonic

3) Melodic (as defined in some books as only ascending, which in itself is highly confusing)

But I would add a forth, Dorian “minor” for two reasons. First, it is very common in jazz and pop, especially in improv. Second, there are tunes going back hundreds of years that are clearly in that mode or scale (Scarboro Fair may be the most famous).
Quote:

I look at scales in the same way I look at the multiplication tables we were forced to learn those many years ago. We didn't create little devices to learn those various tables, we just committed them to memory.

I think things can be memorized and understood, both. They are learned more powerfully that way. I I have to remember that 9 x 9 is 81 and so so, of course that is both good and useful. But if I also know that 9 x 8 is 72 and 9 x 10 is 90, I have two ways to get there if my mind goes blank.

In addition, this principle gives a tool for things like 19 squared, which I might forget, vs 19 x 20 – 19, which is rather easy to do mentally. 360-19 or 341.

In the real world I would most like just type 19^2, but it is a bit cool to have a back-up in case we have a power outage and no battery power. wink

For the record, I teach 12 major scales, 50% by rote, then check them as often as possible, hands separate, two octaves.

This is step one. As I said before in this thread, the kind of minor scales you are talking about can be mastered by starting out with major and an adjustment or two – or three. The goal should be to just play them, any key, so the real problem is getting it done. Once it is done, you simply have tools. And the trick is in helping someone ELSE “get it done”.
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#2028733 - 02/07/13 12:34 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: LoPresti]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4727
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
GARY!

Where the he*ll have you been? As you can see, we needed you earlier! (Long-winded dissertations, notwithstanding.)

Welcome back!
Ed

Ed, in fact I was teaching part of this subject last night, using my cell phone and blue-tooth. I do this almost nightly to help a former student and close friend who is now stranded several hundred miles away. frown

We were going through the Beethoven “Sonata Pathétique” – last movement. Several times we hit a strong cadence, LH expressing V7 chord (G7) with a scale in the RH. The question was – what is the scale? What is the best way to see that it is a descending C harmonic minor scale used to flesh out a V7 chord? And could we get from this – C D Eb F G Ab B C – the not so obvious fact that a G7b9 chord takes notes out of that chord – G B D F Ab, so that the remaining notes of the scale are just passing tones?

The reason why this is not nonsense or just “jibber-jabber” is that this particular student reads rather well but has trouble memorizing, and my intent is that he reach a point where he can read even faster and at least PARTIALLY memorize what he is reading. Stronger reading, stronger playing, improved memory by understanding the “why” behind the “what”.

In order to explain harmonic minor to him, I had to try several different ways to get there. I gave him every strategy I could think of, every one I have used in the past. I gave him the option of first forming a natural minor scale, then raising the 7th. I also gave him the concept of “simple minor”, where only the 3rd is lowered, then using that as the first of two steps. Start with C D Eb F G A B C, lowering only 3, defining that as melodic minor, then getting to harmonic minor by lowering 6.

He chose the latter path. He may eventually choose the first, or both. Until he can recognize all forms of minor scales in all keys in a way that helps his playing, I won't know that what I am doing presently is working. It's a work in progress, like all teaching.

I personally experience harmonic as lowered 3 and lowered 7, coming from major, because the necessity of a natural 7 is so powerful for V chords. I can't prove it but I suspect that in the key of C minor, expressed by the key signature, the B is natural as often as it is flat, at least in many pieces, and maybe more often.


Edited by Gary D. (02/07/13 12:40 PM)
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#2028737 - 02/07/13 12:41 PM Re: viib in minor keys [Re: Gary D.]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19603
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
The reason why this is not nonsense or just “jibber-jabber”....

Of course it isn't. It might only be those things in relation to what we're supposedly trying to answer. grin

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