Muze Online: lesson 6 

The Minor scale 

So far we have looked at the major scale. The major scale is the most common and is used for happy songs. However, there are different types of scales you can use. (A scale is the combination of notes a piece of music uses and we can use it to know what key a piece of music is in).

All scales are defined by the intervals between the notes (the space between 2 notes). The major scale will always be made up of notes with these intervals: tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, tone, semitone.

 

The other common type of scale is the minor scale. This is a little bit more complicated as there are a few variations. The harmonic minor scale is the most useful for us learning theory. It looks like this.

C majorArtist Name
00:00 / 00:08
C harmonic minorArtist Name
00:00 / 00:10

The intervals in this scale are: tone, semitone, tone, tone, semitone, tone, semitone. The reason this scale is more helpful for theory is because of the 7th note of the scale. Like in the major scale, both use a semitone as the final interval before the scale begins again. This interval is important because it has a pulling effect, the note wants to move back to the beginning again.

 

The second type of minor scale is the natural minor scale, which looks like this. The only note which is different is the B from the harmonic minor scale is a Bb. Therefore the intervals are: tone, semitone, tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone.

C melodic minorArtist Name
00:00 / 00:10

Some examples of songs which use the harmonic minor scale are:

  • Billie Eilish: Bad guy/ Bury a friend

  • Camila Cabello: Havana

 

Your tasks:

1) Copy out the different scales

2) Try to sing along with the different audio tracks to hear the difference. If you can try and sing them with a friend, one singing major and one singing minor and hear where the notes are different.

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