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Piano and Music Theory Part 05

Posted on 11th May 2012  ·  comments
Last week in Piano and Music Theory Part 04 we looked at 3 different minor scales; the natural minor, harmonic minor and the melodic minor. If you remember I said we would recap the mysterious melodic minor...

As we discovered the melodic minor uses a different tonal pattern depending on whether you are ascending or descending the scale. The example below shows a C melodic minor scale (ascending) with its flattened 3rd key.


Of course this is only true while ascending the scale, while descending the scale the pattern reverts back to the C natural minor (see below). Why? I hear you ask... good question! You'll see this happens a lot when composers write melodies in minor keys.


The Whole Tone

The last scale I want to take a look at (for a while at least) is the Whole Tone scale which uses a pattern where all tones are spaced equally apart by 1 whole tone (whole step). Try playing this scale on the piano and you will soon discover it's eerie, uneasy nature. This is due to the scale having no 'leading tone' (because all tones are evenly spaced apart). The image below shows a Whole tone scale which starts on the C key.


Only a short post today! hope thats ok (I am in the process of moving house). I will be back next week to talk all about intervals... Until then keep practicing all the scales we have covered so far and please let me know if you are finding these posts useful!

Written by Steve Heath of Wave Alchemy


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