What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Post Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:36 pm

toonertik wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:51 pm
I have always enjoyed "Eastern" music and rhythms .. the tablas ... wow...
Are you gonna try any thing like that... I know you can do some seriously interesting drums... ;)
I have Indian-influenced stuff but scale-wise kinda exotic. Lots of tabla tho
Thanks
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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:48 pm

This thread looked such a clusterfuck of wrongness initially I felt this board was kinda just hopeless. Bleak

Carry on tho
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Functional
KVRian
774 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:20 pm

jancivil wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:29 pm
“You’re not doing yourself a service to ‘theorize’ outside of practice, it’s just talk.“

That is until you know more. The bit regarding ET is non-sequitur and made up a problem quite unnecessarily.
I didn't really think that the ET poses any particular problems (and I don't have any issues using minor, well, anymore). I've been just curious to see where this misconception of there being "three different minors" comes from because aside from speculation about common practice period composers mindset (and it is just speculation in this topic), nothing supports it. Beethoven, among others, used something that is described as "melodic minor" but when he described the minor, he didn't talk about "three separate minors", just about the sixth degree being problematic and then there's the V.

So as far as I understand, we're on the same camp here in this topic; there's just one minor tonality defined by the third degree in particular and any further alterations depend on whatever you wish to achieve with it, not on any fixed notion of a scale (this is the way I see it, that is; not necessarily how you see it)

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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:03 am

Lotta showing off by people just making avoidable mistakes lately
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Forgotten
KVRAF
8425 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:13 am

Functional wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:20 pm
I didn't really think that the ET poses any particular problems
It depends which instrument you play and which culture your music is based in.

If you raise the minor 7th (flat compared to JI) to a major 7th (sharp compared to JI) it’s going to be noticeably ‘wrong’ to some musicians in a different way.

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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:29 am

Yes, but melodic minor et al will just be differently expressive; the sitar an object lesson. The intervals there belong to a parent raga, thaat & def. not ET... and I don’t think many listeners hear this... I pretty much do, but does it work is my question.

So, I don’t know who’s bugging. All the fusion of Indian w. the west...
Didn’t stop Ravi Shankar from making a concerto w. Western orch, NB
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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:40 am

Functional wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:20 pm
Beethoven, among others, used something that is described as "melodic minor" but when he described the minor, he didn't talk about "three separate minors", just about the sixth degree being problematic and then there's the V.

So as far as I understand, we're on the same camp here in this topic; there's just one minor tonality defined by the third degree in particular and any further alterations depend on whatever you wish to achieve with it, not on any fixed notion of a scale (this is the way I see it, that is; not necessarily how you see it)
I agree. Jafo put specific before general but tonality in the strict sense is major or minor, period.
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currentsound
KVRist
39 posts since 18 Nov, 2019

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:24 am

Harmonic minor was used a lot during the Motown period. It's not that common to hear a song on the radio in harmonic minor anymore but some Latin/Spanish songs are in harmonic minor. If you manage to write a good song in harmonic minor, it instantly stands out as different. I just finished producing an album for a client with a song that was in harmonic minor. He ended up using it as the single. He thought it was just going to be a filler track until I added a bunch of harmonies and counter melodies in harmonic minor and it completely changed the feel of the song. It's not released yet but eventually it might end up on the Current Sound website after he releases it.

Jojoboy
KVRer
12 posts since 14 Nov, 2019

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:20 am

Interesting stuff, I’m just (refreshing) learning again all these things. Nice!

NKF
KVRist
69 posts since 6 Jun, 2012 from USA

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:36 pm

It is sort of in the name. The dominant chord in a minor key has a raised 3. A melodic passage over a chord succession that doesn’t use that particular chord will sound appropriate with a Natural minor scale.

The melodic minor , without going into history and the preference for uniform diatonic values with vocal music, is generally used as you approach the V so C minor, you get a sharp 6 and 7 which both provides a less akward passage to sing but also foreshadows thé dominant and sounds aesthetically consistent in that those two altered pitches would be native to the major diatonic set which the V belongs to.

The harmonic minor is more a scale that outlines the minor tonality by including the raised 7 making the borrowed V . It is used melodically but in much less linear way thus it is not so much a melodic device as a set that defines the V harmony .

On a side note, i use the term borrowed V as all minor keys can be conceptualized in a major key. Keys are just frameworks of référence. if your chords use a minor I Vi IV bVII,
I could easily just hear it as vi , IV ii V especially given that for the most part, the chord succession around those minor I VII VI pretty much mirror the way Their major equivalent, vi, V, IV typically interact.

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StudioDave
KVRian
1040 posts since 23 Jun, 2007 from Findlay OH USA

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:15 am

jancivil wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:48 pm
This thread looked such a clusterfuck of wrongness initially I felt this board was kinda just hopeless.
Ah, Jan, you know that I think the rubric for this particular forum should be:

"Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate !"

Best regards from the wasteland,

dp

codec_spurt
KVRAF
4033 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:46 pm

I like the harmonic minor scale very much.

It's good mixed up with Phrygian for Spanish kind of stuff. I've forgotten half of it now.

Harmonic minor is probably more 'Middle-Eastern' than the Spanish sounding Phrygian and its components. One of my favourite modes and one I've explored lots of variations of. But I do forget it all eventually.

My ear is quite tuned to Eastern stuff as I grew up in the Middle East. Then again, I was listening to Sabbath and Purple and Zep for most of that time. But all of those guitarists employed versions of Phrygian and Harmonic minor scales. Kashmir probably being the most prominent one of all that springs to mind. But Blackmore went a bit further out again, I think with Phrygian stuff when he set up Rainbow.

I took the scales and extended them. I ended up going beyond the Heptatonic scale parameters. I found Indian Ragas in there, Middle-Eastern Maqams.

This is a good example - Phrygian Dominant -

This scale occurs in Indian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Central Asian, and Flamenco music. It is common in Arabic and Egyptian music, in which it is called Hijaz-Nahawand or Hijaz maqam,[3] and used in Hebrew prayers and Klezmer music, where it is known as Ahava Rabbah, Freygish or just the "Jewish scale", and is called Dastgāh-e Homāyoun in Iran.[citation needed] It is the most common scale in North Indian classical raga Hijaz Bhairav (Basant Mukhari) and South Indian raga Vakulabharanam.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrygian_dominant_scale


And of course, if we want to go really deep we get in to modes themselves of the actual Harmonic minor scale:

In music, the Phrygian dominant scale is the fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale, the fifth being the dominant.[1] Also called the altered Phrygian scale, dominant flat 2 flat 6 (in jazz), the Freygish scale (also spelled Fraigish[2]), or simply the fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale.


I don't pretend to understand it. I have my own version of harmonic theory and no one else can interpret it or change it by this point in this old dog's musical journey. It's fun to talk about though.

We get in to Gypsy and Flamenco music along the way. All with this one very scale!

I'm not trying to teach anyone. Maybe I got some stuff wrong. But I do like the Harmonic minor very much. Those big jumps along the frets that no other scale has (well, not typical diatonic Major/minor scales) - it gives a certain flavour: Spanish, Middle-Eastern, Arabic, Flamenco, Jewish!

And a bit of Blackmore and Page as well for good measure.

Truth be told, this is how I approach it all (before I get reproached by Jan):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zHBN45fbo8


I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order!

:party:


You don't need to go deep to get exotic with scales. Just play the Major Pentatonic scale and you will have instant Japanese 'feel'. Five notes. How could they make such music with that?

Music is a mystery. I respect the masters. I try to understand what I can. But I try to work out my own system as well.

hmaringer
KVRer
3 posts since 23 Jan, 2020

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:42 pm

Harmonic Minor and Melodic minor are not just variations of minor scales. They are their own scales with their own modes that are using in jazz ALL THE TIME as well as eastern non traditional music. Learn them.

I learned this from Greg Howe to really spice up traditional lines. Try super imposing on a traditional minor song for instance you are jamming in an Aminor jam.. Try playing a F# Locrian #2 or an G# Super Locrian all modes of the A Melodic Minor scale

Spring Goose
KVRist
110 posts since 31 Jan, 2020

Re: What is the point of harmonic and melodic minor?

Post Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:24 pm

mguerrero90 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:06 am
just practice being as chromatic as possible.

thanks

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