#1
So, I made a thread on here a few days ago.

I need to find a song that's played in a minor key and has elements of the Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor scales in it. And I also need sheet music for it.

When I made a thread, I kind of specifically asked for Fingerstyle guitar songs, but I guess that complicated things a bit too much.

So, is anyone able to help me find any song that fits this description? (It'd be cool if it was solo guitar, maybe not necessarily fingerstyle, but that would be preferred ) And to point out the parts that have these elements?

Much appreciated.
#2
Sounds like a homework assignment. A pretty easy homework assignment if you put in a tiny amount of thought and a fairly minimal amount of research.

Make a list of several songs in a minor key. Get the sheet music for the first one on the list. Look for uses of harmonic and melodic minor. Hint: you will likely find them in the cadences.
If you can't see anything then look for sheet music for the next one on the list...etc

If you have a song in a minor key and have the sheet music for it and think maybe it uses melodic minor or harmonic minor in sections of the song but aren't sure. Post back with the example and highlight the area you think maybe uses it and we can help you out with some confirmation or discussion of the piece in question.
Si
#3
Quote by 20Tigers
Sounds like a homework assignment. A pretty easy homework assignment if you put in a tiny amount of thought and a fairly minimal amount of research.

Make a list of several songs in a minor key. Get the sheet music for the first one on the list. Look for uses of harmonic and melodic minor. Hint: you will likely find them in the cadences.
If you can't see anything then look for sheet music for the next one on the list...etc

Okay let me rephrase this.

I have a bunch of songs that I know are in a minor key, but I don't exactly know what to look for on the sheet music unless it was a pure scale. I know how the scales are constructed, I just don't know what exactly to look for if it's not just a straight scale.

Can you help me out there?
#5
The first thing would be to look for any #s. Not all #s are indicative of harmonic and/or melodic minor. But it's a good place to start. If you find them on the sixth and seventh scale degrees then you're probably looking at a use of the melodic or harmonic minor.

Or if the sheet music has the chord names written above, or figured bass look for a V chord and see if it is major.

So in Am look for E major. That would be harmonic minor at work. Then look at the melody over that chord and look for any use of a major sixth scale degree (so in Am that would be F#) that would be melodic minor being used.
Si
#7
Stairway to heaven is in a melodic minor. You can tell because of the F# (raised 6th) and G# (raised 7th).
The other song seems to be in b harmonic minor. You can tell this because there are raised 7th's (A#) but not 6th's.
#8
Quote by mitrak
Stairway to heaven is in a melodic minor. You can tell because of the F# (raised 6th) and G# (raised 7th).
The other song seems to be in b harmonic minor. You can tell this because there are raised 7th's (A#) but not 6th's.

Well, I know the key's they're in, I just don't know how I'd identify whether or not any elements of the harmonic or melodic minor scales are in them.

Edit: And actually I misread the assignment. The elements of harmonic and melodic minor don't need to be in the same song.
Last edited by GloatenFree at Mar 2, 2015,
#11
If it's in a minor key with a major V chord, harmonic minor was used.

Usage of any of the chord diatonic to melodic minor would indicate that MM is being used.

And something cannot be "in" harmonic or melodic minor. Stairway is in A minor, but uses elements of melodic and harmonic minor for the line cliche in the progression.

Stairway actually isn't that strong of an example.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#12
Quote by GloatenFree
It can be any song. I'm having trouble.

https://www.jellynote.com/en/score/antoine-dufour/reality/53422512f879594502fa5be4#tabs:%23score_A

Is the 7th note in that raised a half-step? I can't tell. Would that intro be a harmonic minor element?

I'm confusing myself every second lol.


Dude, it's easy.

A V chord works as dominant of the tonic. All of his notes usually resolves to the tonic chord notes.

Harmonic minor scale transform the dominant V minor chord (natural minor scale) into a major chord. This is because 7th degree of the scale (third of V chord) it's raised to be a strong leading tone (semitone rather than a tone).

For example, in A minor:

E minor (V chord of natural minor): E G B

E major (V chord of harmonic minor): E G# (7th degree of A minor raised, resolves to A), B

So, if it appears a G# (we are in A minor, right?) it's using HM.

Melodic minor uses the same structure (still having the 7th degree raised) but also raises the 6th degree.

In the case of A minor, 6th degree raised is F#

Check out this two pieces, one by Bach (baroque music it's 80% in harmonic and melodic minor), the other one by Paganini which is not a fingerstyle piece (however, there are a few arrangements for guitar), but i think it will help you to understand some of the theory we are talking about . If you pay attention, in the second bar of Paganini's piece, there is a V major chord (harmonic minor) but also there is a 6th degree raised (F#, melodic minor).

And sorry for my bad english.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlHy_dZ7Mus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uALsg4aWKB0
Last edited by emicyber at Mar 3, 2015,
#13
A "V" chord is the chord built off the fifth degree of the scale.

In a minor key the chord built off the fifth scale degree is naturally minor. For example in the key of Am you have the notes A B C D E F G A. The fifth scale degree is E. The E chord using only notes from the A natural minor scale would be E G B = E minor.

The major seventh has a stronger pull toward the tonic though. In the case of Am the G# creates a stronger tension and a stronger intuitive desire to hear the tonic.

Thus it is very common in a minor key to use a major V chord. In Am this would be E major. This is so common that it has become a part of a minor key and is called the harmonic minor scale.

Similarly, in a melody when the tonic note is approached from below the raised seventh provides added tension and is much more effective than the natural minor seventh. There is a problem with raising just the seventh scale degree because it creates an awkward scale structure for melodies. There is a semitone between scale degrees five and six then three semitones between six and seven then a single semitone between seven and eight.

The following illustration shows the disjointed harmonic minor scale structure that makes it less than ideal for melody. Not the three semitone jump between F and G# with the single semitone steps on either side.
A Harmonic Minor Scale
|A |  |B |C |  |D |  |E |F |  |  |G#|A |


In order to smooth this disjointed melodic structure while retaining the use of the major seventh scale degree (the leading tone) the sixth is also raised thus making each step no more than a whole tone (two semitones).
A Melodic Minor Scale
|A |  |B |C |  |D |  |E |  |F#|  |G#|A |


So when you're looking for harmonic minor look for a major V chord. (major seventh scale degree in the harmony typically leading into the tonic chord).

Stairway to Heaven. The link isn't working particularly well so from memory. The opening chord is Am. The bass goes down chromatically. It covers G# and F# but you wouldn't really call this harmonic or melodic minor because it is chromatic and also uses G natural and F natural.

The top line (the melody) starts by going up from the tonic A: A B C. Then it drops down to F#. But it's not really making use of the raised seventh which is the whole reason for raising the sixth. The use of the F# in the melody is more a way of harmonizing the chromatic bass line which is on the F#. The bass then goes down to F and the chord is Fmaj7 with an E in the top note. After this we have a B and G played before resolving to an Am chord. The B G is suggestive of an Em chord. Thus we don't have our leading tone.

An argument could be made for the top line using the note A B C E F# and staying diatonic with the exception of the F#. But I wouldn't support that argument.

The links you posted wouldn't load so I couldn't look at the second example.

I can't actually think of many examples off the top of my head.
Paint It Black I think uses both
While My Guitar Gently Weeps also uses a chromatic descending bassline but then has a IV V I cadence in Am (D E Am)
House of the Rising Sun uses E major to resolve to Am.

When you're looking for melodic minor look for accidentals on the sixth and seventh scale degrees in the melody (usually in the melody over the V chord heading toward the tonic).
Si
#14
+100.

Cough Cough Hotel California Cough Cough

And by that I mean it's not REALLY Melodic Minor as much as it is brief toniciziations, but you can make a case for it in the land of what I'm also assuming is homework.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#15
When it comes to melodic minor, I think it's better to look at the melody than the harmony, because many times if you use the major 6th in a minor key, it sounds more dorian than melodic minor. If you use it over a V chord, it will sound like melodic minor. Melodic minor pretty much requires the use of both major 6th and major 7th. And they pretty much have to be used one after another. Otherwise it just will not sound like melodic minor. Use major 6th and major 7th separately and it just sounds like you are using accidentals.

IMO Stairway to Heaven and Hotel California are not good examples of melodic minor. They are just using a chromatic line (1-7-b7-6-b6). That's not melodic minor, that's just accidentals. As I said, look at melodies, not chord progressions when trying to find melodic minor. The name should say something.

Yes, there are melodic minor progressions too. You can play ii-V-i with a minor ii chord or IV-V-i (in A minor it would be Bm7-E7-Am or D-E7-Am). But if you use ii or IV chords alone in a minor key, it will sound like you are just using accidentals, even if the song also contained a V chord. The ii or IV chords will not sound like they are part of melodic minor, they will sound like borrowed chords.

A good example of this is House of the Rising Sun. It uses both major IV and V chords in a minor key but it's not melodic minor. The major IV is just a borrowed chord. The progression is i-III-IV-VI-i-III-V i-III-IV-VI-i-V-i. The IV chord is not followed by V chord and that kind of destroys the melodic minor sound. It sounds like using accidentals.


But yeah, harmonic minor is a lot easier to spot. You just need to look at V chords. For example in A minor try to find E major or E7 chords. That's harmonic minor.

For example Doobie Brothers - Long Train Running is a basic minor 12 bar blues that uses a major V chord.

As 20Tigers said, Paint It Black uses both harmonic and melodic minor. The progression of the ending of the verse goes like Em-D-G-D-Em Em-D-G-D-A-B. The A major chord leading to B major chord is a IV-V and that does have a melodic minor sound to it.

Michael Jackson's Earth Song uses melodic minor in the end of verse and chorus. The i-IV vamp (also used in the chorus) sounds more like dorian but the ending (i-IV-V) is melodic minor.

Melodic minor used in popular music melodies is kind of rare. But you see it a lot in classical music.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#16
Exactly. You won't find true usage of melodic minor in pop music. Stick to classical or jazz.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#17
Quote by MaggaraMarine


As 20Tigers said, Paint It Black uses both harmonic and melodic minor. The progression of the ending of the verse goes like Em-D-G-D-Em Em-D-G-D-A-B. The A major chord leading to B major chord is a IV-V and that does have a melodic minor sound to it.

I was thinking of the intro which is just going up and down a minor scale - it goes down to the major seventh but I don't think it actually goes down to the sixth so it's not a great example.

All the examples that I think of actually use an Aeolian cadence bVI bVII i or if they do use an authentic cadence they tend to stick mostly to pentatonic melodies, or they are using chromaticism.

I mentioned and then deleted "Yesterday" from my previous post because although it is in a major key it does seem to tonicize the relative minor by using a III7 chord as a V7/vi. (In F major that would be an A7 leading to a Dm chord). Thus creating a kind or harmonic minor usage. And if someone can confirm, the melody around there uses both the major sixth and major seventh if we view D as the temporary tonic. But of course it's actually in a major key...so...yeah, it might be a bit of a stretch to call it an example of melodic minor.

Turn to the likes of Bach or Handel and you should find a lot more examples.
Si
#18
^ Yeah. Yesterday is a good example. That's actual melodic minor (and it's also used in the melody).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115