Ok... I don't want to bore anyone to death or make them type out an essay but I'm going for my grade 6 RGT exam and I am very proficient in harmonising the major and minor scale in triads and 7ths. But I have no clue what the harmonic scale is about. I don't know why it exists or what purpose it serves. I need to know soon but it isn't in the little book thing I bought.

Would one of you kind and beautiful people help me out please?
Quote by leotus
Ok... I don't want to bore anyone to death or make them type out an essay but I'm going for my grade 6 RGT exam and I am very proficient in harmonising the major and minor scale in triads and 7ths. But I have no clue what the harmonic scale is about. I don't know why it exists or what purpose it serves. I need to know soon but it isn't in the little book thing I bought.

Would one of you kind and beautiful people help me out please?

The harmonic minor scale is simply a minor scale with a raised 7th degree. It can be represented as 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7. It allows for a better resolution to the tonic, making the V chord major. Since you know how to harmonize the major scale, you should be able to do it quite easily with the formula I just gave you. To avoid confusion:

C major = C D E F G A B
C minor = C D Eb F G Ab Bb
C harmonic minor = C D Eb F G Ab B

Just harmonize in thirds, 7ths etc., and you're good to go!
Thanks so much mate... If I could give you a beer I would
MinMaj7 Min7b5 Maj7 Min7 Dom7 Min7b5 Dim7

Although I havent slept enough so that could be wrong. Write out the notes and see what chords they form...
Quote by leotus
Thanks so much mate... If I could give you a beer I would

No problem, man!
It there so that the leading tone actually leads into the next octave. It's also so that the dominant chord is major instead of minor, which leads to a stronger resolution to the tonic.
Quote by pwrmax
It there so that the leading tone actually leads into the next octave. It's also so that the dominant chord is major instead of minor, which leads to a stronger resolution to the tonic.

this

it is all about the dominant being major instead of minor.
Just map out the harmonic minor scale in notes, and use the same principle as how you construct triads from the major/minor scale in 3rds.

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Simply put, the natural seventh provides a leading tone which creates a stronger resolution to the tonic (if you're doing theory you should understand that).

The harmonic minor scale was created so that composers could use the super strong resolution of V-i (a perfect cadence), instead of the not so final v-i which would be diatonic.

And just so you know, the steriotypical exotic sound you get from the aug2 between the b6 and 7 would rarely have been used in pieces because this was thought to be an ugly sounding interval to use. Instead they would apply the melodic minor scale by making the b6 natural.

Also, the minor scales are taught as seperate scales but pieces are not written with the harmonic minor scale or the melodic minor scale alone. They are just used at different times (eg. a melody might contain a b7, but then an acending melody at the end of a phrase a nat 6 and 7, but then the perfect cadence at the end of the piece just a nat7).

As for harmonising with it, don't use the natural seventh all the time, mainly use it when you want to have a perfect cadence (ie. don't use Caug or G#dim in Am, just use E in a perfect cadence).