The song below was on a past IB Music Diploma Programme listening paper. The markscheme says that it uses melodic minor. I hear a raised 7th, particularly in the vocal, but I don't hear a raised 6th...and do hear some lowered 6ths, both in the vocal and the bandoneon/accordion. Am I missing something here or is this better described as harmonic minor?
I hear both G and G♯ - it's in A minor. The notes I try to catch are from the chords, which include E/E7 (there's G♯), and G major (there's G ♮). So, with both those it's going to use melodic minor. Had there only been G♯, it could have been either, but I'd lean towards harmonic. It's not a strong question, in my opinion: it could be argued that it has part in melodic, part in harmonic.
What you hear is correct: There are several passages of phrygian cadence (2:20)and also a minor seventh.
at 2:12 the bandoneon plays the harmonic scale downwards.
at 2:28 it there is a scale: lati doremifa solatido remi above the prhygian cadence (closing in a E-major chord!)
(This scale passage is Aeolion - the final chord of the passage is harmonic minor!
But I can't hear a major 6th.
The song uses harmonic minor and the Aeolian mode.