Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA. The melodic minor scale is the only traditional scale in European music that its descending form is different from the ascending. Thanks. The key difference between major and minor scaes is that notes on a major scale sound bright and cheerful, while notes on a minor scale sound solemn and sad. When going up, a melodic minor scale has a flat third (or minor third) degree, and all the other notes are the same as a major scale (including natural sixth and natural seventh degrees). The first four notes make up the lower tetrachord while the last four notes make up the upper tetrachord. In classical music one can find examples of this ascending/descending usage of the melodic minor scale as well as the ascending form only. In this lesson, I’ll be explaining why the descending of the melodic minor scale differs from its ascending. Now that we have talked about both the natural minor and harmonic minor scales, lets take a minute to introduce the 3 rd minor scale in our repertoire: the melodic minor scale. Take a look at the C melodic minor and C natural major scale: C melodic minor scale: A scale can be broken down into two tetrachords (with each tetrachord consisting of four notes each). When descending, the scale reverts to the natural minor form. So, here’s the ascending form of the C melodic minor scale: C natural major scale: …and you’ll observe that both scales have an identical upper tetrachord consisting of G, A, B and C: in runs and licks.? F# melodic minor scale: Below is shown the ascending/descending version of the scale rooted on C. Notice that this scale has an A and B when ascending and an Ab and Bb when descending. A melodic minor scale: If you have questions, comments, contributions, and suggestions, feel free to post them in the comment section and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Youtube. Tagged as: Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku (aka - "Dr. Pokey") is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. minor scales, { 2 comments… read them below or add one }. Major & Natural Minor Scales the descending melodic minor scale: This form is identical to the natural minor scale . E melodic minor scale: Excellent article Willie! Reply. Hi Willy. Tom Morris says: July 18, 2016 at 2:03 pm . The melodic minor scale is peculiar because it uses different notes depending on whether it is ascending or descending. D melodic minor scale: String players (like violinists) while playing traditional scales play “four notes to a string”. In this lesson, I’ll be explaining why the descending of the melodic minor scale differs from its ascending. That’s nice, but this explains in better depth as to why the scales are designed the way they are. Ascending: D, E, F, G, A, B, C♯ Descending: D, C, B♭, A, G, F, E, Ascending: W, H, W, W, W, W, H Descending: W, W, H, W, W, H, W. Your browser does not support the audio element. (W-H-W-W-W-W-H) The descending formula is the natural minor scale formula backwards. A good way to start would be to refresh our minds on the melodic minor scale. For the melodic minor scale, you raise the sixth and seventh notes of a scale by a half step as you go up the scale and then return to the natural minor as you go down the scale. C - C♯ - D - D♯ - E F - F♯ - G - G♯ - A A♯ - B - D♭ - E♭ - F♭ G♭ - A♭ - B♭ - C&flat. F melodic minor scale: G melodic minor scale: Check out the A melodic minor scale side-by-side with the A natural minor scale: Keep in mind that what we just learned is the ascending form of the melodic minor scale. melodic minor scales, The melodic minor scale has a different descending scale form and we’ll be talking about it in the next segment. John. The relationship between both scales makes it possible for the melodic minor scale to be derived from the major scale. …and its descending form: It’s important to know the ascending and descending forms of the melodic minor scale and why they are different. A Lesson On The Importance Of Traditional Scales, Resolved: The Misconception Of The Terms Note And Key, Passing Chords 103: Application Of Passing Chords In Hymn Songs, Four Goals Beginners And Intermediate Players Should Have While Learning Chords, Inversion: “What Are The Three Things That Change When An Interval Is Inverted?”, Proven: It Takes Only 5 Major Chords To Harmonize The Major Scale In Three Related Keys. In jazz circles for example, the melodic minor scale uses the ascending form regardless of which direction one is playing the scale. Thanks . So, the C melodic minor scale: the ascending melodic minor scale (also known as the heptatonia seconda, [citation needed] jazz minor scale, or Ionian ♭ 3): This form of the scale is also the 5th mode of the acoustic scale. C# melodic minor scale: In the audio, the notes of the scale are played sequentially in ascending and descending manner. The melodic minor descending remains untouched as it is exactly the same as a natural minor scale where B♭, E♭, A♭ are all included in the descending scale in accordance with the key signature. Notes in the D melodic minor scale. Who Else Wants To Learn How To Play Colorful Chord Progressions? in Beginners,Experienced players,Piano,Theory. Could you clarify the parallel minor term? The understanding of the tetrachords of the melodic minor scale will better your understanding of the reason why its descending form is different from its ascending form. The only thing it said was that that composers had more tonal options to use while writing music with these variety of scales. But before going any further, let’s break the melodic minor scale down into tetrachords: upper and lower tetrachords. Can these scales be used I have been a piano teacher for 10+ years and had an adult student recently ask me about this and I couldn’t remember the best answer. The descending form of the melodic minor scale is exactly the same as the natural minor. You’ll understand this a lot more as we proceed in this segment. Ascending: D, E, F, G, A, B, C♯ Descending: D, C, B♭, A, G, F, E Scale Formula. The Melodic Minor has the same notes as a Major Scale with a flat 3rd. The Melodic Minor Scale. The A melodic minor scale can be formed when the sixth and seventh tones (which are F and G): For example, while playing the C melodic minor scale: This scale is kind of peculiar since it is sometimes played differently ascending and descending. So, if you’re a jazz musician, feel free to stick to the same melodic minor scale; whether you’re ascending or descending. Learn how to form other types of scales in all keys. The melodic minor scale is the only traditional scale in European music that its descending form is different from the ascending. Melodic D Minor Scale Intervals. …can either be for the major scale or for the melodic minor scale. God bless you. Ask Dr. Pokey: “What Is The Main Purpose Of Chord Inversions?” (Part 1). For example, the descending form of the C natural minor scale: …is used as the descending form of the C melodic minor scale: The descending form of the melodic minor scale is identical with that of the natural minor scale. Bb melodic minor scale: Remember that for the melodic minor scale, when descending, you play the natural minor scale. Who Else Needs Extra Help On Third Intervals? Other […] melodic minor scale, The Melodic Minor Scale differs from the Natural Minor Scale by the sixth and seventh notes, which are raised one semi-step. Thank you for explaining this! Eb melodic minor scale: Using the A natural minor scale: John Stainton says: July 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm . ascending scale, …has its lower tetrachord: We’ll be looking at the reason why the melodic minor scale is played in a particular way while ascending and in an entirely different way while descending. Other […] …and the last four notes (G, A, B, and C) on another string: Notes in the D melodic minor scale. The descending form of the melodic minor scale is different from its ascending form because its upper tetrachord is identical to that of the major scale. Previous post: Four Goals Beginners And Intermediate Players Should Have While Learning Chords, Next post: Inversion: “What Are The Three Things That Change When An Interval Is Inverted?”.