#1
I've been trying to learn abit of music theory for the last couple months and i understand some parts but im confused by how a major scale can have the same notes as a minor scale. I don't understand how they are different if they have the same notes. Is the difference in the organization of the notes, as in the order?
#2
...that's not incorrect, but the real difference is not necessarily the order, but the resolution.

C major will want to resolve (feel complete/final) on C, whereas A minor will gravitate toward A.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#3
Say the piece is in C major. The minor relative key of this is A minor. The reason the piece is in C Major is usually defined by the fact you start and end on C. If it were in A minor, it would start and and end on an A chord but still use the same notes.
#4
Quote by Guitar Sushi
Say the piece is in C major. The minor relative key of this is A minor. The reason the piece is in C Major is usually defined by the fact you start and end on C. If it were in A minor, it would start and and end on an A chord but still use the same notes.


not necessarily true. a piece doesn't have to start OR end on the tonic note. it's all about resolution.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#5
You might be expecting there is must more going on than there exists? Each scale has the same notes, so you have to just live with that. And that means that they are relative to each other. Because each scale 'starts' on a different note, the primary triads (underlying functions of the scale) are different and correspond to the scales' starting note. The primary chords are I-IV-V (one, four and five). In C major, that would be C-F-G, all major chords. In A (natural) minor, you get Am-Dm-Em. So there is that difference. Another difference is the actual pattern of the notes, particularly the difference between the 7th and root note. In any major scale, it will be a semitone and in a natural minor it is a tone. And that affects how the scale sounds when it resolves to its root. Hope thats of any help, if I'm wrong about anything I'm sure somebody will clear it up
Last edited by psyo at Jun 13, 2010,
#6
Quote by AeolianWolf
not necessarily true. a piece doesn't have to start OR end on the tonic note. it's all about resolution.


I'm probably going to sound really stupid saying this, but isn't the resolution the ending note? I'm not sure I get the whole resolution concept thing though, how does a song in C Maj (for example) resolve to C, but not end in C?
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#7
Quote by sites.nick
I'm probably going to sound really stupid saying this, but isn't the resolution the ending note? I'm not sure I get the whole resolution concept thing though, how does a song in C Maj (for example) resolve to C, but not end in C?

It's quite possible to leave a song with a cliffhanger.
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#8
Quote by sites.nick
I'm probably going to sound really stupid saying this, but isn't the resolution the ending note? I'm not sure I get the whole resolution concept thing though, how does a song in C Maj (for example) resolve to C, but not end in C?


that's actually not stupid at all.

well, suppose i'm writing a song in C major. very simple I vi IV V (i.e. Cmaj Am Fmaj Gmaj). suppose somewhere along the line, i realize that i don't want a resolved conclusion - i want the last chord to be open-ended. i don't want it to sound final; i want the listener to expect more music to come, but the song will be over. so what if i end on the Gmaj?

for an example of this, you could try listening to my track footsteps. it's something similar. to be honest, it's really in C dorian, and the last chord is a Cm7. but listen to the melody line. even though the final chord is built off the tonic, the melody line ends on a Bb. i did this because i didn't want it to sound complete. this isn't really the best example, because i'm using a chord based on the tonic, but the effect is pretty much the same.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#9
Quote by AeolianWolf
that's actually not stupid at all.

well, suppose i'm writing a song in C major. very simple I vi IV V (i.e. Cmaj Am Fmaj Gmaj). suppose somewhere along the line, i realize that i don't want a resolved conclusion - i want the last chord to be open-ended. i don't want it to sound final; i want the listener to expect more music to come, but the song will be over. so what if i end on the Gmaj?

for an example of this, you could try listening to my track footsteps. it's something similar. to be honest, it's really in C dorian, and the last chord is a Cm7. but listen to the melody line. even though the final chord is built off the tonic, the melody line ends on a Bb. i did this because i didn't want it to sound complete. this isn't really the best example, because i'm using a chord based on the tonic, but the effect is pretty much the same.


Alright, so the resolution is where the ending note should be, not necessarily what it is... I think I get it now, thanks
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#10
Check my signature for more info about resolution.

It's also possible to start and end with notes other than the tonic in the progression, but in general the tonic will be either the first chord or the last. If neither of them sound right, the others may be a possibility, but don't count on it.
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#11
I just wanted to know if what i thought was correct, and i guess it partly was. Thanks to everyone who replied.