#1
Alright i think i've confused myself a little here...
I've always thought of exotic scales as minor/major scales with accidentals and such, for example half tone scale, or the Hungarian Minor scale (i think it is also called the hungarian gypsy) which i believe has a formula

Hungarian minor 1 2 b3 #4/b5 5 b6 7
Minor scale 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

I can see that the hungarian minor is a variation of the minor scale, with a natural 7 and a #4. So one way of using this scale would be over a song in a minor key which would in reality be using the minor scale with the accidentals. The natural 7th is also in the harmonic/melodic minor scales which are commonly used in this way.

I've read a little bit on modes and from what i think i understand, one of the ways to use modes today is to play the mode over a drone note, or over a 'vamp'. This establishes the modality and tonal center etc...

However what im wondering is if you can use exotic scales in such a way that you have a piece in 'C half tone' or 'Bb Persian diminished b43.2' similar to how you might have a piece in A lydian, for example. If anyone could enlighten me that would be awesome. My apologies if my theory is rubbish.
#2
No you can't.

As you mentioned, the hungarian minor is simply a variation on minor. It is actually the minor scale with accidentals, and is used in minor keys. A song cannot be in "hungarian minor" or "whole tone", it is either in a major, minor or a mode. 99.99999999% of times, it's in major or minor, and if you're using these "exotic scales" which are not modes, then it's 100% of times in a major or minor key.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
Well thats pretty much what I was looking for, thanks Alan.
Also, i've heard there are modes of the harmonic and melodic scales. Are these used in the same way as modes of the major scale?
#4
Quote by greeneyegat
Well thats pretty much what I was looking for, thanks Alan.
Also, i've heard there are modes of the harmonic and melodic scales. Are these used in the same way as modes of the major scale?


I won't even try to explain the answer at length. Let's get you a firm foundation in major and minor scales, harmonising and keys before you even consider what modes are.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#7
Quote by AlanHB
No you can't.

As you mentioned, the hungarian minor is simply a variation on minor. It is actually the minor scale with accidentals, and is used in minor keys. A song cannot be in "hungarian minor" or "whole tone", it is either in a major, minor or a mode. 99.99999999% of times, it's in major or minor, and if you're using these "exotic scales" which are not modes, then it's 100% of times in a major or minor key.


Am I correct with the following paraphrase: "'Exotic' scales, such as the Hungarian minor, exist and can be used but music cannot be said to be 'in' those scales"?
#8
Quote by Jehannum
Am I correct with the following paraphrase: "'Exotic' scales, such as the Hungarian minor, exist and can be used but music cannot be said to be 'in' those scales"?


As far as I am aware, tonal music is always in either a key or a mode.
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#9
Quote by soviet_ska
As far as I am aware, tonal music is always in either a key or a mode.


Yep, pretty much, which is why you should learn about tonal harmony before making up other crazy theories.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#10
Quote by AlanHB
Yep, pretty much, which is why you should learn about tonal harmony before making up other crazy theories.


I'm thinking what gets people confused on the topic is that Major is both a key and a scale. Likewise, Natural Minor is often referred to simply as 'Minor,' which would make that name apply to both a key and a scale as well.

By the way, Alan, I sent you a PM a while ago, I'm guessing you didn't notice it?
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#11
Ts. The hungarian minor scale is 1 #2 3 #4 5 6 b7. If you know how to harmonize a scale then you should be able to come up with some chords that complement it. That's what joe satriani did with a tune called The Enigmatic. Can you imagine how many blues classics would be entitled The Pentatonic if everyone took this approach to naming their tracks?
Last edited by mdc at Aug 16, 2011,
#12
Quote by soviet_ska
As far as I am aware, tonal music is always in either a key or a mode.


Okay. This renders it a question of notation and terminology. If I use a Hungarian Gypsy scale I'm still 'in a key' which in standard musical notation will have a standard key signature which is based on the major or minor scale. Since musical notation is derived from the major and minor scales, other scales are converted to fit it using accidentals.

An alternative would be non-standard key signatures, with sharps and flats in odd places.