Mudcat Café message #945829 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59200   Message #945829
Posted By: Frankham
04-May-03 - 12:25 PM
Thread Name: Relative Minor Key signatures?
Subject: RE: Relative Minor Key signatures?
The reason it's called a harmonic minor is that the seventh note is altered from the natural minor scale to fit the dominant seventh chord. Ie: In A minor, E7 has a G#. It's the seventh note of of minor scale.
To extend on what Daylia is saying........................................

Melodic minor is named because there is a melodic sweep in the ascending 6th and 7th degrees of the scale. This is culturally associated a great deal with Russian music. Also, there are harmonic implications in the use of the scale. Ascending it would be harmonized with i min, !V major, V or V7 and a bVI major. Descending it would use the harmonies associated with the natural minor or Aeolian mode. It's different in in harmonization of the Dorian mode since V or V7 would be used instead of v minor or bVII major.

The natural minor just uses the unaltered notes of a relative major scale. Ie: A minor scale uses the same notes as the relative major scale of C major without any alterations (sharps or flats).

The last part of the harmonic minor scale with the minor third skip between the 6 and 7 degree of the scale has an exotic sound that is associated with variations of the Phrygian mode which duplicates that sound using the following.....1, b2, 3,4,5,b6,7,8 (This is a so-called oriental scale used in mid-eastern, Sephardic, Spanish, Slavic and Balkan music.) I maintain that this is a variation of the Phrygian mode because of the relationship of the first two notes having the minor third skip.

Frank Hamilton