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Thread: Music in Melodic Minor

  1. #16
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    I am not quite aware of jazz progressions and stuff like that (it kind of goes above my head ) but in classical, well... you could use two approaches to composition/orchestration vertical (harmonic) or lateral (melodic) and there are a whole bunch of rules that you need to follow... but not really (there are books out there about that ) about scales, mainly major/minor scales... and whatever doesn't fall in with those are considered chromatism. Just like in any style, in order to write great x music you need to listen/study great x composers. So if you want your songwritting and or phrasing to improve, spend some time in the listening room.

    I hope this sheds some light on this subject.

    Regards,

    Jorge

    Ps. We need Eric Back!!!
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  2. #17
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    The Melodic Minor is derived from the Harmonic Minor. The harmonic minor has an interval of a minor 3rd between its 6th and 7th note. Singers had difficulty singing this interval ascending so they raised the 6th degree so they would it would be only a major second difference of the 6th and 7th scale notes. Hence the melodic minor was born.
    Okay I must be really stupid but I still don't see why you wouldn't play the same notes going up as going down. i.e. if you play A B C D E F# G# A then back down A G# F# E D C B A.

  3. #18
    Groovemastah DanF's Avatar
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    You play a melodic minor ascending and then you whack the raised 6th and 7th and end up playing a natural minor descending. It sounds less "out there" than descending with altered tones (unless you're a jazzer who digs "tension" in your compositions). You have to remember that the same interval has a different "character" ascending and descending.

    -Dan

  4. #19
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    Okay I am not going to beat this thing like dead horse but then why wouldn't the same thing be true for harmonic minor scale. i.e. played with the raised 7th ascending and a normal 7 descending. It makes zero sense to me to play them differently going up and down.
    I am doing it MY WAY D****IT

  5. #20
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Greensleeves

    Most people don't play this correctly and use F instead of F# like the christmas song (What Child is this).

    It looks to me like A Melodic Minor. (A B C D E F# G # and A B C D E F G).
    Without the F# it would be A harmonic minor most of the time.

    Although it doesn't follow the ascending and descending rules exactly. Come to think of it how do you apply those rules exactly?Since depending on where you decide a phrase begins almost any phrase could be ascending or descending.
    I really don't see how God Rest Ye ... fits this scale it looks like straight Natural Minor to me (Although it harmonizes nicely with Harmonic Minor, Fancy That!).
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  6. #21
    Registered User Spin 2513's Avatar
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    Sounds good to me , now where are those 2girls?

  7. #22
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    The harmonic minor scale as its name implies was conceived for harmony (chords), and the altered 7th makes the V chord a dominant 7 chord.

    A harmonic minor E7

    A B C D E F G# E G# B D

    which makes a much stronger resolution to the root than the one based from the natural minor scale Em7

    A B C D E F G E G B D

    The reason why this is true is that you have two unstable tones ( G# "wants" to go to A and B "wants to resolve to C) as oposed to only one in the other chord; also the fact that the G# resolves to the tonic gives a much more conclusive effect than the natural minor.

    This is why the 7th is always altered in harmonic minor.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards,
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  8. #23
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    We have been reading.

    I (Robyn) had some trouble remembering the password to our account otherwise I would have posted a reply yesterday.

    We were both fairly surprised (and pleased) that this post got so much attention. (Thank you all)

    sculz brought up the biggest question that we had. How do you USE the melodic minor? In scales it's pretty obvious, but in composition, do you just pick whichever note feels right, or is there some sort of guideline?

    Thanks again!

    Joanna and Robyn Huffaker

  9. #24
    Acoustic Gunslinger Wyll_Watts's Avatar
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    The whole deal with using the sharps ascending and not descending is an old style of using the melodic minor scale in classical music.. pick up Schoenburg's Theory of Harmony where he waxes philosophic on this subject... nowadays composers will often use the sharps of the melodic minor ascending and descending.. this scale is sometimes called the Jazz Melodic Minor to seperate it from the old usage of the scale.. as for usage.. it's just whatever you think sounds best.. try it over a minor II-V-I progression for some interesting sounds.. well, I think I'm repeating other people now so I'll shut up


    Wyll

  10. #25
    Groovemastah DanF's Avatar
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    Doh!

    That's what I get for going from memory. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is in Cm and is derived from a natural minor scale.

    Well this is less helpful but here are two that definitely use melodic minor (I dug up my crappy mus 101 text book). They are: Brahms, Ballade, Op. 118 No. 3 (Gm) and Bach, Lute suite, BWV 996 (Em) (I know, just head down to your local Walmart and pick those up :P)

    That's from the book Rudiments of Music, 4th Ed. by Robert Ottman and Frank Mainous. I would NOT recommend this book to anyone though, I was mad when I saw this was the text for a college class, it belongs in a junior high school band room. It does have some handy examples once in awhile though.

    -Dan

  11. #26
    Registered User Spin 2513's Avatar
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    Melodic minor Jazz Standard Example " Blue Bossa ",which is based on a Minor II v I combo

    EXAMPLE:Blue Bossa (link) w/ SoundFile http://www.songtrellis.com/discuss/msgReader$2070

    Explaination exerpt :

    Experience shows that the best scale for the II chord of a minor II-V-I is the Locrian(#2) scale built on the root of the II chord. So in our example you would play D Locrian(#2) on the Dmi7(b5). The Locrian(#2) is the sixth mode of a melodic minor scale, so when you play this scale above it's mi7(b5) chord in the progression, you are choosing notes of the F melodic minor chord whose root is a minor 3rd above the root of the chord.

    The best scale choice to express the feeling of the V chord (7alt) of a minor II-V-I is the diminished-whole tone scale built on the root of the chord. In our example, we would play a G diminished-whole tone scale above a G7alt chord. Since the diminished-whole tone scale is the seventh mode of the melodic minor scale whose root is a half step higher than the root of the V chord, when we play notes from G diminished-whole tone, we are selecting notes from the Ab melodic scale.

    Finally, the scale which best expresses the sound of the I chord in a minor II-V-I is the melodic minor built on the root of the I chord. In our example, you would play the notes of C melodic minor over Cmi(MA7).

    FROM the "Songtrellis.com "website
    http://www.songtrellis.com/discuss/msgReader$2070

    All the scale patterns for Melodic Minor are here
    http://www.guitar-and-bass.com/guitar/scales.html

    Thanks 2girls ,that was a good f-n question .
    Last edited by Spin 2513; 11-15-2003 at 12:48 AM.

  12. #27
    Registered User SeattleRuss's Avatar
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    Just my two cents regarding melodic minor.....

    I use it quite a bit and many of you may be using without realizing it. As you may already know, just as there are modes derived from the major scale, there are 7 modes derived from the melodic minor scale as well! Here they are:

    1. Melodic Minor
    2. Dorian b2 mode
    3. Lydian Augmented mode
    4. Lydian Dominant mode
    5. Mixolydian b6 mode
    6. Locrian #2 mode
    7. Super-locrian mode

    The 2 that I find the most useful are the 4th and 7th modes. Both of these work over dominant chords.
    If you want to add just a touch of "out-ness" to your dominant harmony, try #4 Lydian dominant. You can think if it as the mixolydian mode with a raised 4th degree. That raised 4th really give this mode a whole-tone flavor, until you get to the 5th degree.
    For soloing over altered dominants where you want many more of the "altered" tones present, i.e. b9,#9,b5,#5, etc...try #7.
    Over an E7#9, play F Melodic minor....
    Or try the "Lazy Man's" way of hitting the altered tones:
    Over any dominant chord, go a minor 3rd up and play a minor pentatonic, .e.g, over E7#9 play G minor pentatonic!

    Have Fun!

    SeattleRuss
    http://www.russletson.com

  13. #28
    IbreatheMusic Author ChrisJ's Avatar
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    The melodic minor scale confused me too when I first discovered it. First off, I'll explain the raised 6th and 7th thing: The explaination about not being able to sing the ascending harmonic scale is probably correct. My theory teacher in college also said that because the scale ascends and descends differently, the scale yields more chord choices. Ex: The Ascending scale yields a E7 chord, while the descending scale yeilds an E minor chord. Anyways, the explanation amounts to nothing because the melodic minor scale is played the same way up and down these days.

    Unlike the major scale, chord progressions are not generally dirived from the melodic minor scale. The melodic minor scale is almost always used over individual chords. The modes of the scale are used more often than the scale from it's root. It's almost impossible to explain the proper uses of the modes in this forum but it is essential to understand how the modes of the major scale works first.

    A misconception I would like to clear up:
    Misconception: The melodic minor scale sounds "outside."
    Truth: Over certain chords the melodic minor scale sounds as "inside" as you can get. Play a F melodic minor scale over an E7#9#5 chord and you'll see what I mean, every note works perfectly. There are ways to make the MM scale sound outside: Try a F# melodic minor scale over a C min chord.

    Some very molodic minor sounding chords: Cmaj7#5 (Amm), Cmin/maj7 (Cmm), C7#9#5 (Dbmm), C13b9 (Bbmm).

    The scale is rough to use over progressions so it doesn't get used in rock or pop very much, but don't let that deter you. Jazz is the most common place you'll find it.

    I have some lessons up on my site that are free on the mm scale, check them out if you are interested. Maybe I'll get Guni to format them for IBM in the future: http://chrisjuergensen.com.hosting.d...ns.htm?ID=1047

    -CJ

  14. #29
    Registered User SeattleRuss's Avatar
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    Hey ChrisJ!!

    Talk about coincidences....

    I post here for the first time, then surf the web looking for music and by chance end up at :
    http://www.magnatune.com/artists/chris_juergensen

    I come back here and you have posted a reply in this thread!

    That is freaky....

    BTW - nice tunes!

    SeattleRuss
    http://www.russletson.com

  15. #30
    IbreatheMusic Author ChrisJ's Avatar
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    That is freaky!?!?! Strange the way things work out sometimes, syncronicity. Glad you liked the tunes.

    The magnatune.com thing is a very interesting concept: They offer my music and CD jacket artwork for download. The customer gets to listen to the music first and if he desides to download, gets to pick the price ($5-18). You would be surprized, most people choose not to pay the minimum but to pay somewhere in the middle. I guess they want to support independent artists like me. If you think about it, the download only idea is a very cool thing because, in all reality, you don't really even need to manufacture anything, no plastic case, jacket, no shipping costs. The customer gets to do all that himself. And because its only data, there is no limit on how much you can sell. You could technically sell a zillion CDs without it costing you a penny more. I sell CDs from guitar9.com, CDbaby.com, from my site and some various brick and morter CD shops, but the magnatune concept is great. You have to wonder if that's the way things are heading. There is a lot of great music on the site. Check out the Beth Quist stuff if you get a chance.

    -CJ

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