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Old 08-04-2013, 02:57 PM   #1
Megadeth09
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Is this right(harmonic minor question)?

Hey guys. I had memorized the harmonic minor scale some time ago but could not get a chord progression to sound harmonic minor. After watching some videos and reading some threads I broke everything down that it is basically a harmonized natural minor chord progression but with an augmented III chord(instead of a major chord), a major V chord(instead of a minor chord in natural minor) and a diminished VII chord(instead of a major VII chord in natural minor). All these changes are due to the sharpened 7th note(ie a G# instead of a G in the key of A minor). The i, ii, iv and IV remain are the same as they are in natural minor. Is that all correct? Does adding 7ths on to those triads enhance the harmonic minor sounds? Which chords are important in pushing the harmonic minor sound(the augmented III, the major V, the diminished VII, the major VI etc)? Thanks heaps in advance!
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
mdc
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When you grow up and understand more about music you'll realise that it's nothing special and really no big deal. It's all because of culture dating back 00's of years. And that's what are ears are used to now.
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:25 PM   #3
MaggaraMarine
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The harmonic minor sound comes from using the V7 in a minor key. A song isn't "in natural minor" or "in harmonic minor". It's just in minor.

There's just one note that is different between natural and harmonic minor scales and it's the 7th (major seventh in harmonic minor and minor seventh in natural minor). But in many minor songs both 7ths (major and minor) are used. It depends on the chords you play over. Actually most of the time minor songs don't use the augmented III chord (it's pretty dissonant), they use the major III instead. The diminished vii chord is used a bit more often but also the major (b)VII is used a lot.

An example of chord progression that sounds "harmonic minor": Am-G-F-E

Note that the progression also contains a G major chord so over that you want to play natural minor. Actually I would play natural minor over everything else except the E major chord. I would say that a major V chord in a minor key is the chord that makes the progression sound "harmonic minor".
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
An example of chord progression that sounds "harmonic minor": Am-G-F-E

Note that the progression also contains a G major chord so over that you want to play natural minor. Actually I would play natural minor over everything else except the E major chord. I would say that a major V chord in a minor key is the chord that makes the progression sound "harmonic minor".


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Old 08-05-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
Nietsche
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It's all about the leading tone (Or 'major 7th'). As far back as the Renaissance composers had used accidentals at cadences in modes which lacked a raised seventh because it was felt that it made for a much better resolution to the tonic. Composers of the common practice period had an even bigger hard on for V - I resolutions, so in minor keys the seventh degree of the scale is was pretty much always raised to a leading tone on the V chord, because it makes the pull to the i chord stronger. Solidifying your understanding of major key harmony should make this point clear if it isn't already.

Composers of the common practice era also made a habit of raising the sixth when approaching the leading tone melodically from below to avoid the sound of the augmented second between minor sixth and major seventh intervals of the scale, which is where 'ascending melodic minor' comes from. The use of the harmonic minor scale melodically does have a certain quality to it which may be felt as desirable in more modern compositional idioms.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:33 AM   #6
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The whole thing about minor scales is historical and comes from the fact that to obtain the right cadence half tones had to be added. In addition, the melodic minor for jazz, etc. was introduced. Your chord progressions (3 or 4 note chords ?) just follow the scale intervals: You have 1,b3,5 and so on OR 1,b3,5, Major 7 (<- the color to harmonic minor). In A minor You get :
1. Natural = A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A (same as C Major scale)
2. Melodic = A,B,C,D,E,F#,G#,A
3. Harmonic = A,B,C,D,E,F,G#,A. Therefore the chords derived from this scale (4 notes) will be : Ami/Maj7 OR A,C,E,G# - Bmi7b5 B,D,F,A - CM7#5 (Caug) C,E,G#,B - Dm7 D,E,F,C, - E7 -E,G#,B,D - FM7 F,A,C,E - G#dim G#,B,D,F - O.K. ? Loads of weird chords ? No - strip it down and you get Ami Pentatonic + the notes F & G#, so you're not far from the old blues scale.
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