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44

You can divide up the octave however you want, but it turns out that doing what you suggest doesn't really make good sounding music, at least to our western ears. It all has to do with overtones and pleasant ratios of pitches. An interval sounds consonant to us when the ratio of the frequencies is mathematically simple. It causes the waveforms line up and ...


26

A lot of the benefit is in how you practice them. If done mindfully and effectively, playing scales can give you a way to focus your practice on the building blocks that make up most of the music you play. Don't think of scales as a series of notes. Instead, think of them as the foundation pieces that music is built around. Here are some examples of ...


22

As the other answers have correctly pointed out, you can do what sounds good to you. But this might leave you with a feeling of not knowing where to start. That's why I would like to let you know the little trick used in Lithium and zillions of other songs: you can mix the chords from the major scale and its parallel minor. In the case of Lithium you have ...


20

Theory is not a set of rules to be followed or broken. Theory is a set of explanations for why things sound the way they do. As a composer you use theory to help inform your choices, but it never dictates anything.


19

The reason is that dividing an octave into 12 notes sounds the best for a very mathematical reason! The frequency of each semi-tone is 21/12 away from its neighbours. Note C × ? Fraction Note C × ? Fraction C 1 1/1 C 2 2/1 C♯/D♭ 1.059 18/17 B 1.888 17/9 D 1.122 9/8 A♯/B♭ 1.782 ...


18

It is known, maybe especially to piano/keyboard players, that the black keys form the Gb major / Eb minor pentatonic scale. Given the structure of the major scale and the structure of the pentatonic scale it's of course no coincidence, but I don't think there's some deeper meaning to it; it's just a result of these structures. The interesting question (in ...


15

In addition to the other answers, I believe it improves the ability to simplify the music in your mind. Researchers studied the memory of chess experts and found they could recall the positions of almost all the pieces when placed in positions typical of a game, but did no better than amateurs when the pieces were placed randomly. For me, at least, the ...


14

Both C# minor and E major keys have the same key signature, so there is no difference there. This relationship is called 'relative key'. Each major key has a relative minor one, with the same key signature (to find it, descend a minor 3rd or ascend a major 6th from your tonic). Similarly for the minor key. To sum up the difference: These two keys have the ...


13

TL;DR: No. You can use anything you like, as long as it sounds good to you. You can use many scales or not use any; you can use chords from some scale or use chords outside that scale. Just experiment with the theory knowledge you have and you'll see that the rules are made to be broken. You can use them when you want (or need) to, but when you are ...


12

That blues note is nebulous. It can be, and is, anywhere between a minor 3 and a major 3. Listen to blues players, and you'll hear it bent fully from min. to maj., or just hinted at with a tiny flick from minor upwards. The listener probably completes the bend in his mind's ear. It sometimes gets played as a straight major that gets wobbled down to minor and ...


12

To answer this, we can arrange the modes in order from those that have the highest-pitched notes (largest intervals relative to tonic), to those that have the lowest-pitched notes (smallest intervals relative to tonic), then compare the resulting intervals. Note how, in this order, each following mode is identical to the previous one, except for one scale ...


12

No. A key* is not just a set of notes, it tells you the tonal center** of a piece and the expected harmony and melody of the piece. If that was the case we wouldn't even distinguish between major and minor as they have the same set of notes as do all 7 modes of the diatonic scale. How you use your harmony and melody will define the key and tonal center by ...


11

I think your question is largely about the chosen notation for the Western system, which most answers haven't really addressed. The notation we have is actually pretty natural and logical, for a simple reason: there are twelve different notes in the Western system, but only a subset of these -- seven, in fact -- are used in a given scale such as the major ...


11

You could consider as a scale derived from the F harmonic major scale as the F harmonic major scale contains the notes: F G A Bb C Db E F You can view this scales as just a major scale with a lowered 6th and this type of scale comes up in the Lydian Chromatic Concept.


11

The layout of the clefs and staves, the placement of the pitches on the staff, and all the other elements of music notation, are the way that they are because they have evolved to be that way as a result of many centuries of usage and refinement by all the musicians in the world. They are the best way to represent the notes. Also, the piano's sheet music is ...


11

Perhaps the closest thing to a “reason” for this is that both diatonic and pentatonic scales can be considered as approximate Pythagorean scales. Now observe how the 12 degrees are constructed from circle of fifths: for instance, E♭ B♭ F C G D A E B F♯ C♯ G♯ D♯≅E♭ └───B♭-major diatonic───┘ └E-maj pentatonic┘ └temperament ...


10

Most of the answers here appear to be focusing on why we ended up with a seven note scale in western music. This is a great area of inquiry; however, it is worth noting that whatever the answer to this question, the seven note scale is a fundamentally arbitrary product of Western culture. Dissonance and harmony are culturally relative. The idea of the ...


9

Theoretically, yes there are five modes that can be derived from the major pentatonic scale and they would be named the same way the other modes contained in the major scale. Let's look at the relative modes instead of parallel as it is slightly easier to see the patter. The C major pentatonic scale consists of the following notes: C, D, E, G, A ...


9

The key thing to remember is that for diatonic scales (major, minor and the modes) each note has a different letter name. In your example F G A A C D E F (ignoring the flats/sharps) has a duplicated letter; thus the 4th note must be a B. One way to lay out a scale is to put the notes in order, e.g. B C D E F G A, and then figure out where the flats/sharps ...


9

It's always counter-productive to feel horrified while you're trying to learn something! At your level, please don't feel you have to memorize your fingering or your black-white key patterns. For now, make sure each scale you work on feels comfortable and smooth. What you are mainly doing at this point is getting some fluency, practicing these figures out ...


9

What you probably mean by minor and major blues scales are the two following scales (with root C): C Eb F Gb G Bb (minor blues) C D Eb E G A (major blues) These are just the minor and major pentatonic scales with one note added. The minor pentatonic scale gets a b5 (Gb), and the major pentatonic scale gets a b3 (Eb), both to make those pentatonic scales ...


9

The answer to the question "was the diatonic scale designed to make pianos easier to play" is clearly "no", because the diatonic scale precedes the invention of the piano by some thousands of years. Remember, for the vast majority of the history of music, it was not played on keyboard instruments. It was played on wind or string instruments. If you want to ...


9

What happens in your version of the staff when you start tossing in flats and sharps and double-flats and double-sharps and such? Is the bottom of the D space now Db and the top of the D space a D natural, then when you use a sharp, it suddenly switches around and the natural is on the bottom? This is just the first most obvious problem with your variable ...


9

First, you play a toy xylophone, and it has 1 octave of the notes in a major scale. And you can play a lot of nursery rhymes. Then you pick up a recorder, and there are some more notes in between the ones you used to play, and now you can do more - sometimes it sounds dissonant when you pick a random note or miss the one you meant to play, but you are now ...


8

Knowing what modes/scales to use over a chord can be approached a number of ways. Here's an over simplified way to know what scale you can use over a certain chord (DISCLAIMER: THIS IS OVERSIMPLIFIED): Is it Major? (R 3 5 7) Is the fourth sharped? (Yes - you might try Lydian) Otherwise, use Ionian or all of the above Is it Minor? (R b3 5 b7) Is the ...


8

The archetypal bluesy sound comes from bending and inflecting the notes within certain ranges. When soloing, I personally play the blues scale on guitar as a pseudo-pentatonic something like this (C tonic): C a 'window' around Eb, covering the range down to D and up to E. F, bending up a little (maybe not as far as Gb) G Bb, with scope to bend up a little ...


8

The most important thing is to be able to know and see on your guitar the intervals between each scale tone and the root note. If you're able to do this then you're independent of the key and you don't necessarily need to know the name of the note that you play, as long as you know its relation to the root of the scale. So when you learn scale patterns make ...


8

Yes the harmonic and melodic scales are named for their relationship to the melody and harmony. To see why this is, let's first look at the A natural minor scale first: A B C D E F G A From a harmonic perspective using this scale, we can naturally build the triads Am, B°, C, Dm, Em, F, and G. These chords are all built in the key; however in ...


7

Scales teach you... Knowledge of music: They are the ABCs of music literally. Scales contain the building blocks of music. Understand them and you understand allot about music and music theory. Having practiced scales for years has also made me better at musicianship (note/interval recognition when listening). The ABCs are there in a different way when you ...


7

Every scale will have ONE of each letter name - for a full major or full minor. Starting with C major, with no # or b. The circle of fourths (or fifths, depending which way you go) will give a formula. Go up in fourths, and it will add one extra flat each time. thus - F - has Bb (the fourth note of itself). Up another fourth takes it to Bb - with 2 b, the ...



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