#1
Hello,
I have a question: Lets say I want to see if the chord Cmaj7 fits in the key of C. So I look at the notes in the chord (C, E, G, B) and then I compare them to the C major scale and I see, yes they fit so the chord is in the right key. But for minor, do I use the natural minor, the harmonic minor or the melodic minor scale to do this process?
Thanks
#4
Quote by Jayerrr
Hello,
I have a question: Lets say I want to see if the chord Cmaj7 fits in the key of C. So I look at the notes in the chord (C, E, G, B) and then I compare them to the C major scale and I see, yes they fit so the chord is in the right key. But for minor, do I use the natural minor, the harmonic minor or the melodic minor scale to do this process?
Thanks

It doesn't really matter. Minor keys can use chords from all of those scales (it has a lot to do with the melody). So basically if we are in A minor, both Em7 and E7 fit the key.

Being in the key of A minor means that your tonic, ie the "home chord" is Am. You could use almost any chords and as long as it resolves to Am, it is in the key of Am.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Feb 4, 2015,
#5
Quote by Jayerrr
So if I say this is in the key of A minor, what do I mean?

K well here's how it actually works. The minor key generally uses the set of notes that make up the natural minor scale. However because of voiceleading the seventh is often raised when it approaches 8 (the tonic) hence the harmonic minor scale. When 6 approaches the raised 7 it is usually also raised hence the melodic minor scale.

So thinking more vertically now, any chord that fits in any of those scales could be part of your minor key because they could be harmonizing any of those melodic events.

If you say you're in the key of A minor you mean that you're in the minor key (which can involve any of the harmonies from the three scales) with A as your tonic. Notice that neither the raised sixth or seventh affects your tonic chord. It's always a minor triad.
#6
The pattern of steps is never different for any type of key. The only difference is where you start. A major scale is built by starting at the tonic and moving in this pattern of intervals: 1, 1, 1/2, 1, 1, 1, 1/2. A relative minor is two places lower than the major, so we transpose the pattern two places lower giving us (from the minor tonic): 1, 1/2, 1, 1, 1/2, 1, 1.

For the sake of identifying natural notes, the fastest way for me is to pretend I'm in the relative major and see if they fit. For example, if I want to know what notes are natural to A minor, I just compare them to C major. However, as everyone else has pointed out, minor pieces are by convention more melodic, meaning that there is more leeway (particularly in regard to the 7th). Though raising the 7th or turning the V major will 'sound like it fits', they are still technically accidentals unless otherwise specified as a different mode.

It takes some time to get a feel for what mode a song is written in based off the key signature, but it ultimately doesn't matter so much for the performer as it does for the composer -- the obvious exception of improv sections notwithstanding.
#7
This. Minor keys are all 3 minor scales at once, but the chords are rarely if ever from MM.

If you have to choose between MM and Harmonic, its Harmonic hands down.
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