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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

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 ...


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 ...


14

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 ...


14

It certainly holds some truth, irrespective of tuning system, in this sense: modulating to a key with more sharps evokes a “bright” sensation; modulating to more flat evokes a “dark” sensation. This is somewhat tangible: raising accidentals are likely to be perceived as “uplifting”. (Except when they're not; perception is ...


14

It is impossible to say for sure, since the term chromatic has had a musical meaning since at least ancient Greek times (hence the use of a Greek word). More on that in a moment, but first, its worth noting that "color" has idiomatic meanings as well, such as these definitions for "colorful" in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary: 2. interesting or ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


10

The chroma in chromatic does mean color. In chromatic scale, we have full access to all the notes available in the twelve tone equal temperament system. We don't typically use all 12 notes when composing or playing and we'll mostly stick with a smaller set of typically seven notes from a heptatonic (seven note) scale. We'll also most likely be in some kind ...


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

The way that the Melodic Minor scale is presented to students (Melodic Minor when ascending, Natural Minor when descending, see ex. 1) is merely a teaching tradition. This tradition is an incomplete definition of how the great composers employed the Melodic Minor Scale in their melodies. The apparent purpose is to allow the student to demonstrate mastery of ...


9

Welcome to the wonderful world of guitar. The guitar is a very versatile and portable instrument that you can enjoy anywhere you like. As you have discovered, fretted (or non fretted) stringed instruments such as guitar, ukulele. mandolin, or even violin, are very different from a keyboard instrument. With a piano, there is only one specific key per ...


8

It may have made a subtle difference in the days before ET but since then, F# = Gb, for example, so how can two identical sounding keys portray different emotions, or indeed sound different? I'm guessing that before ET F# and Gb did sound slightly different, and possibly playing them back to back could give a perception of 'bright and dark'. Having said ...


8

Structurally ragtime harmony is pretty much classical tonal harmony, but there are of course some idiomatic specificities that give ragtime its characteristic sound. One progression very characteristic of ragtime is the so called... ragtime progression (although it was used before, even in classical music, it was mostly popularized in ragtime). It's made ...


8

Minor pent works well over major chords, but not vice versa. Add the 'blue' note to both maj. and min. pents for a little spice. Try the full major scale notes on major songs. Try the full minor scales (3 of them!) on minor songs. Use the Mixolydian mode for major songs. Use the Dorian mode for minor songs. Use the Lydian mode for major songs. On major songs ...


7

You are correct, the piece is in E major. If you use roman numerals to represent the chords, the progression can be written as: I - III - vi - V The reason that the III chord is major, when it should normally be minor is that it is in fact acting as the "dominant" (V chord) of the following C♯m (vi). It's almost as if you were temporarily shifting ...


7

As pointed out by Dom, it is indeed the second mode of the (F) harmonic major scale. I would just like to add that this scale is often referred to as Dorian b5. Viewing this scale as a Dorian scale with one altered note makes it easy to remember its structure and to come up with appropriate fingerings.


7

Yes you are correct, I'll just put it in simpler terms. The major scale is both diatonic and heptatonic. Heptatonic just means that there are 7 notes per octave in the scale. The diatonic scales just a name for the specific name for scales that contain a specific whole step, half step pattern TTSTTTS in some way, shape, or form. All the 7 natural ...


7

The harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales are not modes of the natural minor scale. A mode is a very specific idea in music where you would start building a scale on another note of the scale. For example, A minor consists of the notes A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A and it's built using the scale pattern W-H-W-W-H-W-W. You also may notice that C major consists ...


7

The staff is not optimized for piano, nor vice versa. Both the staff and the keyboard are optimized towards playing diatonic scales. A diatonic scale is a 7-note scale containing exactly one note of each letter type, and which contains a mixture of whole and half steps. By far, the vast majority of western music (from Renaissance and Classical, to Pop and ...


7

Think of modes as the scale starting off at different notes. So, yes there are modes both for the harmonic and melodic minor scales. In jazz, the melodic minor scale isn't the same as the classical one. It is the same while ascending and descending. So, the C melodic minor scale would be C D Eb F G A B C. here are the melodic minor modes: The harmonic ...


6

There are a few things that can drastically change how you look at this so let's first look at the definition of a scale is defined as: A scale is any set of musical notes ordered by fundamental frequency or pitch. So at heart, a scale is just a set of notes so to carry out the basic calculations, we'll talk about this in more set theory terms. ...


6

First off, the A Phrygian Dominant scale consists of the notes: A - Bb - C# - D - E - F - G You got the first part of the name right as the Phrygian part of the name does come from where Phrygian is typically derived. The dominant comes from the fact that you can build a dominant 7th chord off the tonic as A, C#, E, G spell A7. There are other scales ...


6

There's a fairly intuitive reason for this--"intuitive" in this case meaning that I'm not going to give a formal music-theoretic reason, but rather try to simply provide some intuition about why this might be so based on the circle of fifths and how "close" and "far" particular tonalities are from each other. First, some observations: Major and minor ...



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