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bm
what is the basic difference between minor scales and major scales?
bm
8 Responses
Posted: November 9, 2011
Last Comment: November 9, 2011
Replies

bm
Posted: November 9, 2011
Could be the reader. lol.
Beth, would you recommend some books ?

Eileen
Posted: November 9, 2011
A while back I picked up "The Idiot's Guide to Music Theory"   I'm not too sure if the "idiot" is supposed to be the guy who wrote the book....or the reader ..."??"

Frank M
Posted: November 9, 2011

That's about the extent of my knowledge, Bonny Mathew!

There is a book that I started reading a while back (I haven't finished it yet), called "Edly's Music Theory for Practical People".  At times it seems a little silly in its presentation.  But it's a decent book for learning the basics of theory.  The author is Ed Roseman.

Maybe if Beth or other members have theory books that they would recommend, they could post them to this thread.  I'd certainly like some good recommendations myself.

Best wishes,


Frank


bm
Posted: November 9, 2011
Thanks Frank for the information, my understanding about scales is very limited. 

Thanks to you too Patricia

Patricia
Posted: November 9, 2011

For me the basic difference between all scales: majors, natural minors, harmonic minors, melodic minors, chromatics, Dorian etc, etc, is the pattern or sequence of tones, semitone, including tone and a half, between their notes (degrees) that you must follow.

Frank, I agree and I like your comments because it added some information that I did not noticed before. Thanks.

Patricia


Frank M
Posted: November 9, 2011
An additional point: the key signature for a relative minor will be the same as for its related Major. So for A minor, there will be no sharps or flats shown in the key signature. (In other words, at the beginning of the staff you won't see a bunch of sharps or flats all grouped together.) Therefore the key signature for A minor will look just like that for C major.

The difference will be found in the starting and ending notes. Most tunes end ("resolve") back to the tonic at the end of the tune. And many tunes start on their tonic. So by looking at both the signature and the starting/ending notes you can tell if it's a Major or minor key.


bm
Posted: November 9, 2011
Thanks Frank.
The relative minor scale is what confused me. I agree that these two scales start at different notes, but if you play C Major and A Minor, the notes (the sharps and flats) look the same. aren't they?

Frank M
Posted: November 9, 2011
Hello Bonny:

The easiest way to understand this is to look at the "relative" minor scale system.

Relative minors have two half steps in them, just like their related Major scales. But the scale starts on a different note, so that the half steps fall in different locations in the scale. Because of this, chords constructed in a minor scale will sound different than those in their related Major scale.

Relative minors start on the sixth degree of their related Major. So for the key of C Major, it's relative minor key is A minor.

For the triad chord starting on the tonic (first note) of the C Major scale, the notes are C-E-G. That gives 4 half steps between the C and E, and 3 half steps between the E and G.

For the triad starting on the tonic of the related A minor scale, the notes are A-C-E. That gives 3 half steps between the A and C, and 4 half steps between the C and E.

The change in the position of the half step gives the chord a completely different sound. If we were to compare C minor to a C Major, for the C minor we would play an E flat in place of the E in the triad based on the tonic. The resulting sound for the minor chord would have "sadder" quality to it.