I’m studying some minor harmony and I’ve done this little exercise with all chords in root position enter image description here

My question is: since In a minor setting you have multiple choices about triads (whether you are considering melodic/harmonic/natural minor), are you basically free to choose which triad to use (from a specific scale?)

For example in 3.4 I start with C minor triad, then I go for Eb augmented triad (considering the melodic minor ascending) and then I go for F minor considering the natural minor (having the flat sixth).

So is it possible to switch between melodic/harmonic/natural choices?

(I still have to do the 3.5)

1 Answer 1


You can certainly switch between melodic and harmonic. In example 3.4 you even seem to be switching between C minor and C major! Though I suspect you've just forgotten to notate a few flats.

I like the melody line C, B♮, A♭ with its astringent augmented 2nd leap, but in the context of a harmony exercise I fear it might be considered a fault!

You realise that restricting yourself to diatonic notes, those in the various forms of the C minor scale, is a very artificial situation? Music just doesn't DO that. There's no 'rule' (breakable or otherwise) about staying diatonic. Perhaps there are some about voice leading and resolution of harmonic tensions.

  • But it's a good place to start. One bite at a time?
    – BobRodes
    May 8, 2020 at 3:52
  • 2
    You've got to know the rules first, in order to break them later.
    – Tim
    May 8, 2020 at 6:34
  • Thank you so much, and yes I forgot to notate some flats! Lol, also, thank you for noticing me an augmented second leap, yes it is considered a mistake in a traditional harmony exercise, as said in Piston. Gonna fix it in a bit. Thank you very much for the feedback 🙏🏻! May 8, 2020 at 10:10

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