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Ray
Hi Beth, I know this is not a theory course, and you know now there is going to be a but, but, I trying to learn the A minor scale. On the ascending side is: A,B,C,D,E,F#,G#, and A. While on the descending side is: A,G,F,E,D,C,B, and A. Why is there a difference between the ascending and descending or is this one of those lesson where you just memorize it and move on? It doesn't make too much difference, it just got my curiousity going and the question had to come out. Cheers, Ray
Ray
18 Responses
Posted: July 17, 2011
Last Comment: July 21, 2011
Replies

Eileen
Posted: July 21, 2011
It's not gear specifically to violins but music theory in general. The author uses a piano to demonstrate the information most likely because the keys on the piano are a great visual to understanding how it all works.

Ray
Posted: July 21, 2011
Morning Eileen, Thanks for the update. I'll look into the book. Sounds (sorry for the pun)like good book to add to the library. I like the idea of listening to a note, finding the note, and then relating that to written music. Quick question, do you know yet if it just covers first position notes or does it cover 2nd, third, etc? Ray

Eileen
Posted: July 21, 2011
I just got the book yesterday Ray. It comes with a self paced audio ear training CD with lessons.

I went through the first lesson this morning, he gives you a pitch and you have to find it on your instrument and write out what note you think it is on some music paper. The answers are at the end of the book so you can check and see how you do.

It's set up as a self training guide. Gives you information, exercises to do and a "test" you can take at the end of each chapter to check and see what you might need to spend more time on. The audio CD is a great addition I ! If you do order it make sure it comes with that CD.

Having just received the book, I haven't really had a chance to get into it enough to give any kind of critique yet, but as I work through it I'll let you know how it's going ! I guarantee that if "I" can get anything out of it at all...it's a book well worth having ! x-D


Ray
Posted: July 20, 2011
Thanks all for all the help and perspectives on my question. Your videos will I'm sure seal the deal on minor scales, Beth. On an ealier thread, sorry to the authors-I don't remember who gave us these two tips but they are on target. They are great resources as a preamble to Beth's upcoming videos. www.teoria.com and www.musictheory.net Eileen, your book that you ordered sounds good as well and we can't wait for your review. Again many thanks. CHEERS, Ray


Posted: July 19, 2011
Ray, I realized that on July 17, 2011, I did not quite finished to my satisfaction, my comments to answer your question. So this is like an Addendum.

By the way and to make things easy to remember:

Mayor scales follow the pattern from “C” to “C” the white keys only in the piano.

Natural Minor scales follow the pattern from “A” to “A” the white keys only in the piano.

Based on the above patterns, you can write Major and Natural Minor scales of any given note in a piece of paper. Just use sharp, flat or natural marks necessary to follow the pattern of T=Whole tones and s= semi-tones nicely and well described by Anne and Jack.

The Melodic Minor ascend as you, Anne and Jack already posted and descend the same as a Natural Minor.

CONCLUSION: Why the Melodic Minor ascending is different from descending?

In my opinion, just another way to close or finish a musical phrase within a composition, to finish the piece and/or a particular movement.

Here is the reason why I have arrived to the above conclusion:

When you want to find out in which key you are playing a particular piece of music, you need to know the name of the very, very last note of the composition you are playing. Beware of the situations when the accompaniment goes on for some additional measures after the violin solo end, because the very last note is played by the piano or other instruments and not by the violin. However, 99% of the times (to leave room for exceptions) the name of the scale, is the same as the name of the last note the composer use to finish the piece of music in question.

For example:

Lets say you see at the beginning of each line of the score and right next to the Treble clef you find only one sharp, then you have two possibilities: G Major or E Minor. Then look for the very last note the composer entered to finish the piece and as in the scales, if the music end in a G note, then the music in question is written in the G Major scale, but if the last note is E then you have a piece of music written in E Minor.

(If in E Minor, Oh! Oh! Ay! Ay! prepare yourself to have many accidental sharp, flat and natural marks all over the score, especially the D notes, which in the E Minor, is the raised 7th or “leading-note” mentioned by Anne and Jack. But don’t let the name mislead you, it is not consider the most important degree of the scale as the tonic and the 5th or “dominant“).

Please anyone, correct me if I’m wrong, and kindly comment. Best of luck! Tricia


Eileen
Posted: July 19, 2011
lol...yeah, I did mean "step" not note. I look forward to your vids and the arrival of that book I ordered as well ! Thank you !

Beth Blackerby
Posted: July 19, 2011
Eileen, a whole tone in this case is a whole step, like from an A to a B. The semitone is a half step like from A to B flat.

I'm working on my scale series and have a prototype sheet which will show whole steps, half steps, note names, positions, finger spacing patterns, and the string you should be playing on.

I will post it when I make the explanation video. I'm thinking it will be a good reference for mastering the fingerboard as well as help in memorizing scales.


Eileen
Posted: July 18, 2011
BTW...the "whole tone" is a whole note ? right ? And the "semi-tone" is a half note ?

I do understand that much...as well as the tonic. And I have learned the first and 3rd position finger patterns for 1st finger, 2nd finger etc. I still have a hard time remembering which notes consider the base note a flat, natural, or sharp ! Like G is a sharp or it's a natural, but I don't think I have ever heard G referred to as flat. E is a flat or it's natural, but never sharp. An E sharp is called F natural, not E sharp.

All of this has been floating around in the back of my head all this time, I just never took the time to think about it much because I was putting all my efforts into technique and just learning how to play the thing...and I was getting by fine because it's all written out for me, I just have to play it. Well....I don't want to "Just get by" anymore.... <:-)

So ! Thanks again Jack for the help !


Eileen
Posted: July 18, 2011
Lol, thanks Jack. I am working on scales these days. I'm spending the summer going back to basics as I see plenty of areas for lots of improvement.

I've been playing for years just memorizing the notes and putting my fingers where the dots tell me they should go, without paying much attention to what I'm doing and why it works the way it does. I can "read" the music, I just don't understand what it's doing or how it all works,if that makes any sense at all. I don't even know what notes make a chord. Cmaj2nd ???? what the heck is THAT ??? I know it means C major 2nd, but that doesn't help me at all...LOL

I'm sure this book I'm waiting for will help. I'm really getting tired of fudging my way through things most of the time. I also think that a better handle of what it's all about will help my confidence a great deal which I think will improve my playing as well! That's the hope anyway... :-) Thanks again Jack !


Eileen
Posted: July 18, 2011
I just ordered a copy of "A complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory"....I have high hopes of one day being able to decipher and understand Anne's explanation there. What I really want to be able to do is to add to/embellish/and harmonize some of the simple melodies that I play at church....on my own and on the fly ! What a great addition that could be !

Ray
Posted: July 17, 2011
Thanks Tricia, Anne, and Beth. That's what is great about this site! Ask one question and it will be answered from many different directions. When put together the sum is greater than if you had only one answer. Very cool. And now back to practicing with A Sad Romance waiting for me. :)

Beth Blackerby
Posted: July 17, 2011
Tricia, thank you for your lovely response. To make the paragraph you have to first make the "less than sign (<), then type p, then the greater than sign (>). I can't show you what it looks like all together, because then it would come out as a line break.


Posted: July 17, 2011
In my previous comment, I separate the paragraphs accordingly, but when I submitted, it came out as one large paragraph. Sorry about that, and please someone tell me how to separate paragraph for future use. Thanks, Tricia


Posted: July 17, 2011
Hi Ray! For what I have found in my reference books and in my own words and opinion, in music there are many scales, Major, Natural Minor, Harmonic Minor, Melodic Minor, Dorian-Phrygian etc., etc., for old, old music. Always starting and finishing with the same note but with different sequence or pattern to be followed with the purpose to give the melody a pleasant harmony to your ears, a different expression, and for some people, to give the melody a different mood. Some people think that a melody played in Major scale it will cheer you up or it has the sound of a happy song. At the contrary, those played in a Minor scale, they sound more melancholic, romantic and sad mood. In my opinion, yes and no. When I play the Major scale and right after a Minor scale, it does change the tone to a more inner sad mood. However, some composer are so great, that by using rhythm, tempo, dynamic etc., they are capable to make you change your opinion. CONCLUSION: Why there are difference scales? In my opinion, the purpose is to give a different rhythmical scheme or mode, different ways to touch the inner of the audience, for a different style, such as Gregorian music in the old, old times, and sometime to put you in a different mood. Also we must follow the scale pattern and counting (use the metronome when practicing &/or a little bit of math) when playing a piece of music, for the sake of harmony or pleasant synchronization to delight our ears. I hope the above helps answering your question. What do you think? Let me know. Remember that the above is only my understanding of previous readings. And Ray when it comes to music, I firmly believe we don’t have to hesitate to ask, no matter if the question is technical or simple curiosity because it will always be welcome to those who share the same interest. Tricia

Ray
Posted: July 17, 2011
Thanks Anne and looking forward, as always, to the next video instalment Beth. Progress is happening, although never in a straight line and life would be awfully boring and mundane if it was. What I find interesting is that both my violin and I are getting broken in with playing music. I now find myself walking and listening to the various sounds and wondering how an orchestra would interpret these sounds. Which instrument for which sound and how would that sound affect the other sounds. The hum of traffic suddenly becomes a drone inwhich everything else is set to. I know I'm running on but anyway thanks for looking into my question. Cheers, Ray

Beth Blackerby
Posted: July 17, 2011
Thanks, Anne. I'm glad you took that on ; ).

I've been working on a scale series, making scale sheets for the Library. I'm only including the harmonic minor scales for minor keys, as harmonic minor has a built in augmented second between the lowered 6th and the raised 7th, thereby creating variation for the basic finger spacing patterns. I'll do my best to explain everything in the video.


Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: July 17, 2011

OK, I'll give it a shot: First, I find it helpful to divide any major or minor scale into the lower and the upper half, the two halves being divided by a whole step, the upper half starting a perfect fifth above the start of the lower half.

The major scale has the following pattern of tones (major seconds, abbreviated as T) and semitones (minor seconds, abbreviated as S).

  1. Lower half, starting from I: ITTS
  2. Upper half, starting from V: VTTS,

ending an octave above I.

The parallel minor starts on degree VI of the major scale, giving the following pattern:

  1. Lower half, starting from I of the minor scale: ITST
  2. Upper half, starting from V: VSTT.

This is called the natural minor.

Now, if one wants a half step between degrees VII and VIII in a minor scale, making VII a "leading" tone like in the major scale, then one raises the VII by a halftone and by doing that introduces an augmented second (three halftones, abbreviated A) between VI and VII. This is called the harmonic minor, and its pattern is as follows:

  1. Lower half, starting from I of the minor scale: ITST
  2. Upper half, starting from V: VSAS.

Now the augmented second sticks out, and in order to make the scale more harmonious, one also raises degree VI by a halftone, resulting in the harmonic minor scale:

  1. Lower half, starting from I of the minor scale: ITST
  2. Upper half, starting from V: VTTS.

Note that the upper half of the harmonic minor is identical to the upper half of the major scale, and in order to make a clearer distinction, one lowers degrees VI and VII by a halftone when going down the scale, hence going back to the natural minor.

That's my rationale. Hope it helps. To summarize: There are three types of minor scale, all having the same pattern of tones and semitones in the lower half. In the upper half, the natural minor has no "leading" tone; that is halftone between degrees VII and VIII. The other two types of minor scale do have a leading tone, the melodic minor at the cost of having an augmented second, the harmonic minor at the cost of raising two degrees by a halftone when going up and making do without a "leading" tone when going down.

Sorry for the long wording. A picture would be more concise but harder to produce...


Vicky
Posted: July 17, 2011
Good question, I hope someone explains it, too. Just because I am curious about things like that.