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Thread: Major/Minor Scales, and Intervals

  1. #1
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    Major/Minor Scales, and Intervals

    Right, I've just been going over intervals again, and I think something has clicked for me, just wondering if I'm right.
    If the major scale is constructed of perfect and major intervals, would that mean that the minor scale is constructed with minor and perfect intervals, yes? (I think )

    If so, lets just put them here...

    Major
    1------2----3-4----5-----6----7-8
    |_____|____|_|____|____|____|_|

    Minor
    1-2----3-----4----5-6-----7----8
    |_|____|____|____|_|____|____|

    (dotted lines there to keep the numbers over the intervals :P)
    Would that mean, that realy, the Minor scale is simply, the Major scale, but starting at the 3rd scale degree? Or was I completely off at the start assumung that minor scales where made from all minor intervals....bleh

    Can anyone just clarify this for me, thanks

    Nick
    Last edited by Lowthorpe; 04-15-2004 at 06:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Citizen Cuno's Avatar
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    You're almost right -- the minor scale does not include the minor 2nd though. The scale you're referring to that starts on the 3rd degree of the major scale is actually the phrygian mode. The natural minor starts on the 6th degree of the major scale (i.e. the aeolian mode).

  3. #3
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    Ahh, thanks a lot - I can see now that that is, of course the phrygian, after playing it out, and also about the aeolianand natural minor....I'm about 95% sure I understand

    Thanks a lot,
    Nick

  4. #4
    Registered User slideonsteel's Avatar
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    Trying to clarify

    There are so many confusing terms in music theory. The terms 'major' and 'minor' mean essentially 'big' and 'small,' or perhaps 'greater' and 'lesser'. Not very informative when you think about it.

    Unfortunately, the scale names have nothing whatsoever to do with the intervals that make up the adjacent notes in the scale.

    Perhaps that's not what you meant, and you're actually measuring from the tonic each time, to each note of the scale. If so, then you're partly right ... the name comes from the interval between the tonic and the 3rd, or more accurately, from the quality of the tonic chord built from that scale. That's the characteristic 'sound' of that scale. But consider, the very first interval in a minor scale, is a M2.

    You're also partly right in that the major and minor are related by a minor 3rd, even though I think you said it backward. The major scale starting on the 3rd would be a phrygian scale. A major scale is a minor scale starting on the 3rd ... and a minor scale is a major scale starting on the 6th. They're said to be 'relative' to each other. In that way, Am and CM are relative. Contrast that with parallel major and minors ... CM has no accidentals ... Cm is C D Eb F G Ab Bb C So ... the parallel major is derrived from a key a m3 higher.

    Sorry if I have missed the question.

    Best

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Metal Is My Middle Name Ragman's Avatar
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    Jeff, i think your try to clarify just confused me even more after reading the other posts from the other two guys.
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