I want to know what the chords are in the harmonic and the melodic minor scales.

Like if we take C major scale, then the chords are

C Dm Em F G Am Bm(♭5) C

If we take C natural minor scale, then the chords are

Cm Dm(♭5) E♭ Fm Gm A♭ B♭ Cm

In the same way, what are the chords for the harmonic and the melodic minor scales?

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    This is something that is easily, easily searchable. – jjmusicnotes Nov 20 '13 at 17:32
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    @Raj - please check your terminology as in chords/ notes. Also Each scale will only have one of each letter name in it, this will help to determine what the chords will be more easily. Use 1-3-5/ 2-4-6/ 3-5-7 etc. The major chords are not all right. – Tim Nov 20 '13 at 19:17
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    @jjmusicnotes Sure, it's searchable, but so what? Why not have the search results point here? Is the OP wrong for prefering this site over others, where s/he may be less assured of a quality answer? Is the OP's question off-topic? I see no reason to downvote this question. – Alex Basson Nov 21 '13 at 1:08
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    There is no more assurance of correct answers here than any other website. The user is ultimately responsible for deciding what information is correct and what is not. My point was that the requested information is so basic and accessible, it isn't really worth the time to type it out - much like this very comment. – jjmusicnotes Nov 21 '13 at 3:21

At their simplest:

Harmonic Minor

Imin IIdim IIIaug IVmin Vmaj VImaj VIIdim

Melodic Minor

Imin IImin IIIaug IVmaj Vmaj VIdim VIIdim

At their slightly more complex

In Classical theory, the descending minor scale is dealt with by flattening the 6th and 7th degrees. In chordal terms this means that VI and VII would both be major on the way down, but now we need to update our notation.

all degrees are named in comparison to the natural minor scale, with # notating a semitone raised chord

Harmonic Minor

Imin IIdim IIIaug IVmin Vmaj VImaj #VIIdim

Melodic Minor ascending

Imin IImin IIIaug IVmaj Vmaj #VIdim #VIIdim

Melodic Minor decending

Imin IIdim IIImaj IVmin Vmin VImaj VIImaj

See Also:

What are the patterns of the minor scales

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    Don't forget melodic has two manifestations - classical uses different 6th and 7th notes, so the chords will be different. – Tim Nov 20 '13 at 19:22
  • @ Alexander Thanks man is seems right. Like if i take example of C scale harmonic minor, then Cmin Ddim D#aug Fmin Gmaj G#maj Bdim Cmin. And so on. I'm right.? – Raj Nov 21 '13 at 4:25
  • @Raj. Please at least call the 3rd chord by its proper name - it HAS to be Eb something, NOT D# anything.Also the G# will be Ab. Read my earlier comment. – Tim Nov 21 '13 at 9:13
  • Lento is often more effective than presto. And- mel. min. descending IS the nat. min. – Tim Nov 21 '13 at 10:38
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    @AlexanderTroup - technically it's not a #VI but it is referred to as a raised VI since in some keys the actual chord would not necessarily be sharp, but natural when raised. – jjmusicnotes Nov 21 '13 at 13:22

Minor scales have three versions because the seventh scale degree, called the leading tone, is flatted.

The three minor scales: natural, harmonic, melodic. When you see harmonic; think chords. You need to spell the scale correctly. Make sure the roots are in alphabetical order: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C. This is the natural minor - meaning that it has the same notes as the relative major: Eb Major.

The issue is that the V7, or DOMINANT chord of the key of Eb Major is Bb7. Playing the Bb7 establishes the key of Eb. If you are in C Minor, the V chord is minor (in the natural minor) and the DOMINANT is on the seventh scale degree and will drive the ear to Eb, not C. To make a DOMINANT for the key of Cm, you raise the 7th scale degree, Bb in the natural minor. Doing this eliminates the old dominant from the relative major, and more importantly creates the tritone in the right place for the Dominant to establish the Minor i, C Minor.

Once you raise the 7th scale degree, get the Minor key chords as you would in the Major: start on each scale degree and go in 3rds (every other note). Then look at what chord it spells. Here are the triads.

Harmonic Minor: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, B, C

Cm(C, Eb, G) Ddim(D, F, Ab) Eb+(Eb, G, B) Fm(F,Ab, C) G7(G, B, D, F) Ab(Ab, C, Eb) Bdim(B, D, F)

It's really cool to keep adding 3rds for the 7th, 9th, etc and see what you get.

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I just had the same question, and based on the information here and on other sites, I went ahead and visualized this in FL Studio. This helped me see the pattern. This is also a very convenient way to listen to the chords (by clicking on them).

I look at the "distance" between the notes in a chord:

  • 2+3: min
  • 3+2: maj
  • 2+2: dim
  • 3+3: aug

Please tell me if I made a mistake and I will of course correct it.

minor scales

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The rules for deriving the modes - and the diatonic chords (chords that contain only the notes of the parent scale of any mode) - of any scale are universal, and very simple:

  • Use the key signature of the parent scale, but build the scale on a different note of the parent scale than the root. You now have a mode - a different manner - of playing that scale: Same notes, just starting the scale at a different point.
  • Take the 1-3-5-7 notes of that mode - stack the 3rds starting with the root, regardless of their intervals - you now have the diatonic 7th chord for that mode.

Simple Example : They key signature for the C (Jazz) Melodic Minor would be one flat, on E, to get Eb instead of E, making the 3rd note (more technically referred to as the 3rd degree in this context) of C Melodic Minor: Eb.

To build a mode on the 3rd degree of C Melodic Minor - Eb, use Eb as your root and follow the key signature. In this case that means that after the root Eb, all the other notes are naturals and you end up with this scale:


Counting off its intervals, we get

Eb - Root;
F - M2nd;
G - M3rd;
A - 4+(Augmented 4th, Ab being the Perfect 4th);
B - 5+(Augmented 5th, Bb being the Perfect 5th);
C - M6th;
D - M7th.

That scale is the 3rd Mode (Mode built on the 3rd degree) of C Melodic Minor. It is often called the Lydian Augmented Scale, because it is identical to the Lydian mode of C Major except for the 5th, which is a Perfect 5th in Lydian, but an Augmented 5th in this scale.

Deriving the triad, we get

Eb - Root;
G - M3rd;
B - 5+(Augmented 5th, Bb being the Perfect 5th);

That's called Eb Augmented because of the Augmented 5th. The diatonic triad of the 3rd Mode of C Melodic Minor - a Lydian Augmented Scale -is an Eb Augmented triad.

Adding the 7th from that scale, we get

Eb - Root;
G - M3rd;
B - 5+(Augmented 5th, Bb being the Perfect 5th);
D - M7th;

That's called Eb Augmented major 7th. The diatonic 7th chord of the 3rd Mode of C Melodic Minor - a Lydian Augmented Scale -is an Eb Augmented major 7th chord.

That is it - there is really nothing more to know. This algorithm will give you any mode of any scale, or any mode of any mode, etc etc etc - because that's all a mode amounts to: A different "manner" of playing the same notes of a scale - stacking them on a different root note.

The rule for deriving the diatonic chords of a scale/mode is always the same: Stack the 3rds, whether they're major, minor, diminished or augmented: Those are you diatonic chords.

Some of the more commonly encountered and more 'useful' modes have names, in addition to the familiar 7 modes of the Major Scale. For example, Lydian Augmented and Locrian #2 - both modes of the Jazz Melodic Minor.

Other modes don't have names - they're just called the Xth mode of Scale X, etc. The names are just an easy way to remember certain modes, but the concept is always the same: A mode is simply a different "manner" of playing the same notes of scale.

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