View Full Version : Natural minor scale

06-19-2003, 12:39 PM
I read the article on Intervals which was great. However I was left with a question -

Why is the interval between the tonic and 2nd in the natural minor scale a whole tone when the interval between the tonic and a minor second is a semi-tone?


Bongo Boy
06-19-2003, 02:15 PM
Because the 2nd in the natural minor isn't a minor 2nd (m2), it's a major 2nd (M2). Since this answer feels a little bit like saying "a major 2nd is a whole tone and a whole tone is a major 2nd", here's an example beginning with C ma. The intervals between scale degrees are noted with t's and s's:

C ma: C-t-D-t-E-s-F-t-G-t-A-t-B-s-C

...and here's its natural (relative) minor (A mi)

A mi: A-t-B-s-C-t-D-t-E-s-F-t-G-t-A

Since this is the interval pattern for all natural minors, identical to the structure of the major scale but shifted to begin on the 6th degree of the major, this is always the case--I just used C as a convenient example. Make sense?