Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lesson-35- Harmonic Minor - Concept of Equating With Major Scale !

Our next endeavour is to get into the details of Scales of Harmonic Minor with sharps ! Before that, one approach we shall undertsand to make the matter simple.

Since we know better about the Major Scale, if we could correlate a Harmonic Minor with a corresponding Major scale, then we can blindly follow the relationships for establishing all the Harmonic Minor scales with Sharps (as well as Flats), through some Major scales whioch we already know!

Let us start from A-Harmonic Minor !

Actually A-Harmonic Minor is A – B – C – D – E – F – G# - A

But we will represent this way :

A – B – C – D – E – F – G - A ( but G is Sharped separately )

So now it can be visualized as equivalent to C-Major (with no sharp).

What does this mean while notes writing on stave ?

Thus, A-Harmonic minor will not have any sharps or flats in the Key Signature (just like C Major), but wherever the note G is written (the leading Note of A-Minor), sharp symbol is put in front of the note G every time, separately.

Then for the Next minor scale, as usual, as in the case of Major scale, Go upward by perfect 5th of Tonic of previous minor scale, which leads us to E-Harmonic Minor.

Actually E-Harmonic Minor is E – F# – G - A – B – C – D# – E

But we will represent this way :

E – F# – G - A – B – C – D – E ( but D is sharped separately) .

So, now this can be equated to G-Major which has only one sharp ie F-sharp.

Now, You will realize the advantage of our method of omitting the sharp of leading note and representing them later separately in the case of a Harmonic Minor scale!

What does this mean while notes writing on stave ?

Thus, E-Harmonic minor will have only ONE sharp in the Key Signature (just like G Major), ie F-Sharp, but wherever the note D is written (the leading Note of E-Minor), a sharp is put in front of the note D every time, separately.

Another matter for you to observe is the relationship between the Major scale selected for comparison in terms of sharps and the equivalent minor scale as explained above.

For example, C-Major has no sharps or flats. Similarly, with our above understanding of omitting the sharp of leading note initially, the equivalent Harmonic Minor scale is A-Harmonic Minor.

The relationship between C and A in terms of its interval is that, A-Minor is a Minor Third below C-Major!

Similarly, in the case of the ONE sharp equivalents G-Major and E-Minor, the relationship between G and E in terms of its interval is that E is a Minor Third below G

So we can conclude that Every Major Scale is having an Equivalent Minor Scale, if we select the note a Minor Third below.

Again remember, when we say equivalent, it is just the number of sharps (or flats) in both the scale (as will be represented in the key signature or otherwise), that also forgetting conveniently the sharp of Leading note…..!

For all other purposes, the pattern of Major and Minor scales and their quality of sound and music coming out are entirely different as you already know !

So let us define this Harmonic Minor Scale representation rule while writing on score sheet like this :

1. In the key signature, represent the sharps (or flats as the case may be) of equivalent Major Scale (which is separated by a minor third interval)

2. Then wherever the leading note of the scale is coming, sharpen (raise) the note by proper accidentals (sharps, double sharps, flats, natural symbol etc.) .

If the above rules understood, all our analytical method of forming and writing scales in terms of sharps and flats for Minor scales will be exactly replicated as in the case of Major scales.

So, as in the case of major Scales, all our understandings on Perfect 5th approach, our standard sentences for sharps & flats (Father Charles Goes Down……) etc etc…, for the sequence of notes sharpened or flattened etc. are absolutely valid and make our life easier….! Is that OK….?

Tell me…Is this a process of Simplification or Confusion…?

Initially it may look both way to you…!....... but you will appreciate this method with some deep thinking and homework…!

We will see all minor scale with sharps and flats one by one in our next discussion which will clarify all the above points.

Till Then, have a deep & thorough self-analysis and validation of above understandings !

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