Questions tagged [scales]

For questions about playing, understanding, or studying scales.

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Why is the key typically the first and/or last note (or chord) of a song?

Is there a strategical reason when composing for the key to commonly be the first and/or last note (or chord) of a song?
Emotion's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
101 views

How did minor 2nd get its name?

In the natural, or harmonic or melodic minor scale, we do not find the minor 2nd note which is rather found in Phrygian or Locrian Mode, or maybe Ionian#1. Then why is this note called minor 2nd if it ...
Sarban Bhattacharya's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
148 views

What is a scale consisting of Root, m3, M3, P4, P5, M6, m7 called?

In a chord progression that follows a circle-of-fourths pattern with each chord being a dominant 7 chord (each chord is R, M3, 5, m7), each successive pair of chords contains 7 notes, with one shared ...
wsmith's user avatar
  • 11
7 votes
5 answers
1k views

Confusion regarding intervals

In my study of intervals I learned that two notes separated by one semitone is a minor 2nd interval. This feels quite intuitive to me and I readily accepted this fact a long time ago. Just recently, ...
jonel's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
3 answers
552 views

Why does Cmaj7 and Emaj7 sound good (or a name to describe this progression)?

I have an extremely limited understanding of theory, and from what I currently understand, chords will sound good together if they share a common key/scale (e.g. for C major scale, the chords that ...
lycus's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
1 answer
80 views

What is the difference in playing a mode in key vs in sequence?

So I got more serious about guitar recently and I learned the major scale and all of the modes. My question is, what is the difference, assuming you’re in the key of G major, in playing A Dorian, and ...
rcd's user avatar
  • 349
2 votes
3 answers
182 views

Are there names for the different Pentatonic scales?

We all know on the guitar there are 5 positions for the Pentatonic Scale and a big deal is made about position 1 being the minor pentatonic and position 2 being the major pentatonic. But what about ...
user3216617's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to handle songs whose scales are neither major or minor in harmonic mixing?

Harmonic mixing typically relies on the circle of fifths, often renamed as the "Camelot wheel" in the context of harmonic mixing. However, that circle/wheel only contains two scales: major ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
131 views

Could a program perform automated scale/mode detection beyond just the major and minor scales?

The automated scale/mode detection programs that I am aware of such as Mixed in Key can only detect major and minor scales, in addition to the key. Could there also be programs that could perform ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why is the scale of Hotel California B-min but not F#-phrygian?

I was listening Hotel California by Eagles and decided that F# is the key/tonic for this song. Thus it has to be F#-Phrygian scale. But over the internet I see that it is B-minor. It means it has same ...
Alexander C's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
682 views

Playing a scale with a flat 10 across multiple octaves

Let's say I'm playing a keyboard solo and I'm using a C major scale with a flat 10. So I play an E in the first octave and an E flat in the second octave, but then I get very, showy prog-rocky and I ...
les_h's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
91 views

How do find the key signature in "Fantasia on Greensleeves" [closed]

Can someone verify if Ralph Vaughan Williams "Fantasia on Greensleeves" is played in F natural minor/melodic minor scale or C minor, if not which key signature?
Sky8's user avatar
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7 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why is music using a temperament other than 12-TET rare today?

There are several other temperaments like 19-TET and 31-TET, but almost all modern music uses 12-TET. Why aren't the two former used more often?
Poseidon of Milos's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
198 views

How do i arrange chords after mixing pentatonic modes?

The Ionian mode which is the Major scale - is the second mode of the minor pentatonic scale (the Major pentatonic scale) plus a Perfect 4th and a Major 7th notes. It is also a combination of, for ...
Mike Hawke's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

What is the specific key and tuning for this tongue drum I just got? [duplicate]

I just got a tongue drum and I'm not sure how to look up music or tabs specifically for it. The numbers starting at 1 and going around clockwise are: 1, 6 with a dot below, 2, 5, 1 with a dot above, 5 ...
john's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
3 answers
71 views

Do added-tone chords change depending on the key?

I'm so confused. I have three questions. 1. Is the added tone (or note) counted from the tonic of a key or the root note of the chord? 2. Since, with the same scale degree, a note changes depending on ...
Laura Strondtham's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
55 views

Why is it the C Major scale that is played without accidentals, instead of A [duplicate]

Why is it C's Major scale that comes without accidentals instead of A? The C Major scale is played C D E F G A B C The C chromatic scale is played C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C Why was it decided ...
eac's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
1 answer
110 views

Why are all legato practices about 3 notes per string?

Is it normal if I practice legato on 5 positions major, minor scale? The thing I notice practicing legato with 5 positions scale is harder to keep tracking on metronome, since some string only has two ...
TomSawyer's user avatar
  • 143
-1 votes
2 answers
105 views

Two categories of scales

There are scales like C-Major or Eb harmonic Minor or A-octatonic or G# Mixo(#11) or E-acoustic. Heck, what not, a plenty of scales actually, more you could imagine to be listed here. And there are ...
musiklanger's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
94 views

How do I use moveable solfege to play songs by ear? [duplicate]

I've been told solfege will help me play a melody by ear and have been learning about it. One thing that really confuses me, is do I approach it by using intervals to remake the song? For example when ...
danny truong's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
147 views

How to find the parent scale (prime form?) for a group of sibling modes?

Reminder: I know just enough theory to be really annoying. this is everything I know about it. so far. I've calculated all the possible modes and recently learned they all have names but what eludes ...
yarns's user avatar
  • 188
3 votes
2 answers
370 views

When was the term "scale degree" coined? Or where did it originate?

Today is the first time I've heard the term "scale degree". When was the term coined? Or where did it originate?
MoraleZ's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
2 answers
133 views

When to use Blues scales in jazz

I looked it up and found that the key shows you what blues to use during solos. But I find songs with a key of C but using A blues. Does this mean the key doesn't show when to use specific blues ...
Rhyming Rocky's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
144 views

How to know what scale to use for filler licks in a chord progression?

I learned about secondary dominants recently, and I found that this particular progression in the key of C major sounds quite nice: C - E7 - Am I - V/vi - vi I am playing it in the following voicings: ...
bismo's user avatar
  • 219
2 votes
2 answers
109 views

How do I make different sounds using modes when I'm using the same chords that I'm building the modes off? [duplicate]

People keep saying use modes to get a different sound. How can you get a different sound from modes when they use the same chords from whichever you built the modes off, doesn't really matter if it's ...
christopher ramsden's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
73 views

What would using only one Solmization(Solfège) syllable to sing the lyrics to a song be called?

For example, if one were to sing la or al (or other 1 consonant and 1 syllable combinations) to replace every morpheme of the words in a song. Is there a name for that idea, or is the closest thing ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
6 votes
5 answers
285 views

Is a minor key based on the natural minor scale or all 3 minor scales?

I am finding very different answers from various sources online regarding this topic. Some say that the minor key is based on the natural minor scale, but harmonic and melodic minor can be used too. ...
MusicQuestions7's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
975 views

What is the name of this musical scale: E, F, G, G#, B, C#, D?

What is the name of this scale? As far as a root note goes, I think these three arrangements of it sound like they have a root. E, F, G, G#, B, C#, D... D, E, F, G, G#, B, C#... B, C#, D, E, F, G, G#....
Jason's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
562 views

Minor third interval in minor scales: From tonic to?

Major scales have a major third interval from the tonic of the scale to the 3rd scale degree. I would expect the same to be true in minor with a minor third interval but, for example, in the ...
MusicQuestions7's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
206 views

How should I comprehend Modal Mixture?

I’m studying the concept of modal mixture and there’s one thing that I immediately got curious about. Supposedly, the majority of POP music (rock, hip hop, r&b, country, etc) is a mixture of Major ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
2 votes
0 answers
31 views

How to notate altered diatonic scales (in this case Mixolydian ♭6)? [duplicate]

If I am notating a piece that's in [mostly] a C Mixolydian ♭6 scale (B♭ and A♭), what approach to notation would be most easily read? Notate everything in a non-standard key signature, B♭, E♮, and A♭...
Theodore's user avatar
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-1 votes
3 answers
220 views

Different meanings of "third"?

Third can refer to: an interval (major or minor third) the pitch class that is one third away from the tonic the third scale degree In case of the meaning 2., the pitch class that is one third away ...
MusicQuestions7's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
303 views

Fumbling scales in spite of practice and experience

I am about a month and a half away from the grade 8 piano exam. I am 43 and have been playing since I was 16. I practice the scales every day in all of the ways recommended by my teacher and online ...
Melanie Barry's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why does a guitar scale shape have more than 7 notes?

As the title suggests, I wonder the number of notes in a scale shape on guitar. Let's take the G major scale in 2 octaves: G A B C D E F# G A B C D E F# G, there are 15 notes. I found that in many ...
trequartista's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
99 views

Does Major and Minor only apply to Diatonic Scales or any Scale?

We all know that when we say major or minor scale that we are referring to the diatonic major and minor scale. But I recently found out that there's also a pentatonic major and minor scale. I was ...
MusicQuestions7's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
273 views

How many notes does it take to state the key? To Have "Tonality"?

I'm referring to "tonal dominant function" as this gentleman is talking about in this video. How many notes in a "melody" do you need to state the ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
2 votes
5 answers
516 views

Purpose of ascending and descending scales?

I understand that ascending scales go from a lower pitch class up to the next pitch class with the same letter name. For example, C to C'. For descending scales it is the reverse. What I don't get is ...
MusicQuestions7's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
120 views

Hexachordal solmization and the melodic minor scale

How does one sign an ascending melodic minor scale using hexachordal solmization? Here is an example, it's the famous Bourreé by Bach, from the Suite in E minor, BWV 996: We know that Bach used this ...
Kresimir's user avatar
  • 388
3 votes
0 answers
76 views

How did tetrachords become whole and half steps?

How did the ancient Greek concept of tetrachords evolve into the whole- and half-step model familiar today?
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
1 vote
0 answers
47 views

Why did the ancient Greeks choose tetrachords?

Why did the ancient Greeks choose tetrachords as the basis for their musical theory rather than some other structure?
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

History of Tetrachords [duplicate]

I posted a similar question not too long ago and it was suggested that I look into tetrachords and I quickly understood why, but now I have questions about tetrachords. For what reason are diatonic ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
0 votes
2 answers
115 views

I’m looking for information/references on how we developed the Major Mode (Scale/Key) [closed]

As the title says, I’m looking for some information on the history of how the Major Mode (Scale,Key) was developed/designed. I already know a little bit, that is, I am not completely new to the topic, ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
2 votes
0 answers
48 views

One tick lower than B flat minor on 48 Bass accordion

I like the B flat minor chord on my 48 Bass accordion. I play F minor to go up one "tick" (don't know the proper word), but what could I play to go down a tick? There's no A flat minor.
reign's user avatar
  • 189
1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Barry Harris missing ninth tone in the (right) major scale

In this talk, starting from 55:35, Barry starts talking about his way of playing the major scale which makes the most sense to him (with the added #5)... He says "the major scale is actually 8th ...
plusplusjava's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
121 views

Parallel heptatonic modes ordered by changing one pitch at a time by half step in circle of fifths order [closed]

The major scale has a property, where we can arrange all of its modes in such a way where consecutive modes differ by only one note which itself only differs by one half step Locrian Phrygian Aeolian ...
Zachiah's user avatar
  • 139
-3 votes
5 answers
286 views

What is between a Major Key and a Minor Key? (keys with a neutral third)

I know the 2 main types of keys are major and minor, but is there a 3rd type of key? (Diminished keys would be extra-minor keys; so, that is not what I am searching for.) I’m looking for keys with a ...
Dave Little's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
213 views

What is this scale: (Bb, C#, D, Eb, F#, G, A, Bb)

I merged Bb major and D major to see what comes up. The scale has the notes: Bb, C#, D, Eb, F#, G, A, Bb. What scale is this? Can I have chords in this scale? Let me know! Notation for the scale:
Trần Gia An's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
164 views

Need help to understand this chord progression

This song should be in a-minor but I'm not sure about key changes in a following passage (starting from f#m7b5 chord). Any help would be appreciated, thanks! am7 / em7 / am7 / em7 / f#m7b5 / B / em / ...
Janta's user avatar
  • 37
1 vote
1 answer
78 views

What is it called when a chord progression in a specific key uses root/tonic notes that are in-key, but other members of the chord are not?

What is it called when a chord progression in a specific key uses root/tonic notes that are in-key, but other members of the chord are not? For example, say I am in the key of C major and I pay C Maj, ...
the_endian's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
847 views

What is the name of a scale starting on D and containing D, F, G and Ab

What is the name of a scale starting on D and containing D, F, G and Ab? Only these four notes are used in the melody.
Brian's user avatar
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