Zan595
had something for this.
Join date: May 2008
1,063 IQ
I've always been led to believe that harmonizing notes "in thirds" meant playing a note, and over top of it, having a note played two steps ahead of the first note in the scale. Such as, in the minor scale,

Key of C:
C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb – C

C and Eb would be thirds, D and F would be thirds, and so on.

However, one of my friends told me today that this is incorrect. He says that harmonizing in major thirds would mean playing notes that are four half steps higher than the original note, and harmonizing in minor thirds is playing a note over the first that's three half steps higher.

Who is correct here? Any other views on this?
AeolianWolf
Tonal Vigilante
Join date: Jul 2009
186 IQ
Quote by Zan595
I've always been led to believe that harmonizing notes "in thirds" meant playing a note, and over top of it, having a note played two steps ahead of the first note in the scale. Such as, in the minor scale,

Key of C:
C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb – C

C and Eb would be thirds, D and F would be thirds, and so on.

However, one of my friends told me today that this is incorrect. He says that harmonizing in major thirds would mean playing notes that are four half steps higher than the original note, and harmonizing in minor thirds is playing a note over the first that's three half steps higher.

Who is correct here? Any other views on this?

you're both correct.

i think you need to brush up on your intervals. intervals possessing both three half steps and four half steps are (most often) thirds.

C and Eb are thirds. how many half steps are between C and Eb?
Eb and G are thirds. how many half steps are between Eb and G?
what kind of intervals are these two?

answer these questions and come back.
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MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
3,409 IQ
I don't see why somebody would harmonize in major thirds only or minor thirds only. It doesn't really sound good. But yeah, both of you are correct but your friend really isn't because he says that you aren't correct. Or then he misunderstood and thought you were talking about harmonizing in minor thirds and not harmonizing the minor scale in thirds.
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Angusman60
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Join date: Aug 2004
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^^ Indeed. There is no need to harmonize in exclusively major or exclusively minor thirds, unless you are looking to produce parallelism.
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Zan595
had something for this.
Join date: May 2008
1,063 IQ
I definitely do need to brush up on intervals, I've always had a very basic understanding of theory. From what I understand of intervals, it takes 3 half steps to get from C to Eb, and 4 to get from Eb and G. This means that Eb is a minor third of C, and G is a major third of Eb.

Thinking this over, I have a new question. Is there a name difference between the two methods of harmonizing I described above? Using the method I'm familiar with, and harmonizing according to the scale, I run into notes that aren't three or four half steps above the original note. For instance, the first four notes of the Bebop Minor Scale (1, 2, b3, 3). If I were to harmonize the second and fourth note of this scale in "thirds" (using the method I'm familiar with), it would only take two half steps to get from the second to the fourth.
Angusman60
I think, therefore, I am.
Join date: Aug 2004
987 IQ
That's because those notes aren't a 3rd apart. Something that must be understood is that all scales are based upon the basic Major/ Minor system. The Bebop Minor Scale is simply a way to describe consistent chromatic alterations used by jazz musicians. That said, just because two notes in a "scale" are separated by another, doesn't mean they are a 3rd apart.

Think of it this way. Consider the number of the degree. Kind of like a color wheel, you wouldn't mix two notes that occur directly next to one another. To create a interval of a 3rd, you must use notes that skip a number. In this instance you would harmonize two with 4. Or, 1 would harmonize with 3. This is where the term a "3rd" comes from. It simply means that the interval moves to the third diatonic (within the scale) note from the starting point.
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mdc
UG's Mr Chord Man
Join date: Feb 2008
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TS, do you understand the term "triad"?
Zan595
had something for this.
Join date: May 2008
1,063 IQ
Thanks everyone, I've got a much better understanding of this.
Angusman60
I think, therefore, I am.
Join date: Aug 2004
987 IQ
Anytime, friend
2010 Gibson SG Honeyburst
I'm a musician, a composer, and a theory nut. Pleased to meet you! Check out my websites and drop me a line.

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Join date: Jun 2008
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Harmonizing in Major Thirds = harmonizing each note with a major thirds only

Harmonizing in minor thirds = harmonizing each note using minor thirds only

Harmonizing in diatonic thirds = harmonizing each note using thirds (either major or minor) determined by sticking only to the notes of a diatonic scale (i.e harmonizing using only notes from major scale or harmonizing using only notes from the minor scale)
Si
Andalus
Bànned
Join date: Mar 2011
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Quote by Zan595
I've always been led to believe that harmonizing notes "in thirds" meant playing a note, and over top of it, having a note played two steps ahead of the first note in the scale. Such as, in the minor scale,

Key of C:
C - D - Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb – C

C and Eb would be thirds, D and F would be thirds, and so on.

However, one of my friends told me today that this is incorrect. He says that harmonizing in major thirds would mean playing notes that are four half steps higher than the original note, and harmonizing in minor thirds is playing a note over the first that's three half steps higher.

Who is correct here? Any other views on this?

That's C minor. So if you were singing a C over a C minor and wanted to harmonise it, you'd sing an Eb.

Yet if it was C major:

C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C

So it's still the third. Singing the third over a C major chord would be an E. Easy.