#1
I was fooling around on my guitar and I came on a scale that sounded really cool. I worked with it some more, and it fit in really well with a song I had been writing that had a bit of a dark, mysterious feel. To assuage my curiousity, I looked up the scale online. It said it was a melodic minor (descending). I noticed there was also an ascending version. My question is, what is the difference between the two versions, and are there situations where one should be used in place of the other?
#2
The descending version is just a natural minor scale... Whereas the ascending version has a raised 6th and 7th degrees.
#3
Melodic minor is a convention in minor tonality in which the sixth and seventh degrees are altered in order to facilitate a smoother melody. If you don't understand that, you need to go back to the basics.

By the way, you were just playing the minor scale.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#4
Quote by Archeo Avis

By the way, you were just playing the minor scale.

Unless he was simply playing the ascending melodic minor in reverse.

Also, I'd like to say that I use ascending melodic minor for bot ascending and descending runs.
#5
A melodic minor would be a minor with a raised 6th and 7th ... but only while ascending, while descending you play it as natural minor.
#6
Quote by Geldin
Also, I'd like to say that I use ascending melodic minor for bot ascending and descending runs.
I'd like to point out that you don't HAVE to use the minor scale differently ascending and descending, it just helps the melody to move and it's a bit easier to sing.

I'd also like to point out that using the melodic minor descending is a bit redundant, since composers only use melodic minor ascending because the raised seventh leads so well to the root and the sixth is also raised so you can avoid melodic augmented seconds.

Also, if I ascended but I didn't have the intention of moving to (or past) the root, I wouldn't need to raise the seventh or the sixth. Keeping the sixth and seventh diatonic would be fine. The whole raising the seventh thing only applies when the root is involved (in that phrase) and the whole raising the sixth thing only applies when the raised seventh is involved.

Instead of formulating rules to follow a convention (like ascended one way and descended the other), try to understand the convention.
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#7
Melodic minor was more of a Baroque thing, to avoid the augmented 2nd in the harmonic minor scale that sounded too "Eastern" and still have the leading tone to actually lead into the tonic. While descending the leading tone wasn't as important so the raised 6th and 7th weren't necessary. Not 100% sure about that last statement though.
#8
Quote by pwrmax
Melodic minor was more of a Baroque thing, to avoid the augmented 2nd in the harmonic minor scale that sounded too "Eastern" and still have the leading tone to actually lead into the tonic. While descending the leading tone wasn't as important so the raised 6th and 7th weren't necessary. Not 100% sure about that last statement though.


It has absolutely nothing to do with sounding too eastern, and most certainly isn't a "Baroque thing". The minor scale is harmonically weak, and so it is common practice to raise the seventh degreeand create a leading tone when it is expected to resolve to the tonic; this is harmonic minor. The resulting augmented second interval is jarring and doesn't make for a smooth melodic line, and so it's common to raise the sixth degree when approaching the major seventh. That's it.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#9
Quote by Archeo Avis
and most certainly isn't a "Baroque thing".

I've seen melodic minor more in Baroque than any other genre. Of course it wasn't exclusive to that era but it was common practice back then.