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Minor key signatures are wrong

GUEST,Futwick 31 May 13 - 03:14 PM
Jack Campin 31 May 13 - 03:21 PM
Acorn4 31 May 13 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 31 May 13 - 03:32 PM
Will Fly 31 May 13 - 03:32 PM
Herga Kitty 31 May 13 - 03:34 PM
GUEST 31 May 13 - 03:46 PM
Murray MacLeod 31 May 13 - 03:57 PM
GUEST 31 May 13 - 04:31 PM
GUEST 31 May 13 - 04:31 PM
PHJim 31 May 13 - 04:45 PM
Stanron 31 May 13 - 05:03 PM
Artful Codger 31 May 13 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,Grishka 31 May 13 - 05:28 PM
Murray MacLeod 31 May 13 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,leeneia 31 May 13 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Futwick 31 May 13 - 07:47 PM
Stanron 31 May 13 - 10:09 PM
Artful Codger 31 May 13 - 11:54 PM
Dave Hanson 01 Jun 13 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,Grishka 01 Jun 13 - 05:09 AM
s&r 01 Jun 13 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Stim 01 Jun 13 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Grishka 01 Jun 13 - 10:47 AM
s&r 01 Jun 13 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,Futwick 01 Jun 13 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Futwick 01 Jun 13 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,Triplane 01 Jun 13 - 03:22 PM
s&r 01 Jun 13 - 03:34 PM
Don Firth 01 Jun 13 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,Futwick 01 Jun 13 - 04:28 PM
GUEST 01 Jun 13 - 04:57 PM
Stanron 01 Jun 13 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Richie 01 Jun 13 - 05:26 PM
s&r 01 Jun 13 - 06:45 PM
Don Firth 01 Jun 13 - 07:03 PM
Tattie Bogle 01 Jun 13 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Futwick 01 Jun 13 - 10:40 PM
The Sandman 01 Jun 13 - 10:43 PM
GUEST,Futwick 01 Jun 13 - 10:52 PM
GUEST 01 Jun 13 - 11:04 PM
Don Firth 01 Jun 13 - 11:54 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Jun 13 - 01:41 AM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jun 13 - 06:46 AM
Stanron 02 Jun 13 - 08:51 AM
Mooh 02 Jun 13 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Futwick 02 Jun 13 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jun 13 - 01:20 PM
Stanron 02 Jun 13 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Jun 13 - 01:41 PM
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Subject: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:14 PM

If you look at C minor, it has a Bb in it but you can't use it. To play chromatically, you need a B natural. Going to F minor, you can't use the Eb to play chromatically but you DO need that Bb. Bb minor has an Ab that it can't use for chromatic play but it does need the Eb.

If we look at some sharp keys, F# minor has a natural E but needs an E# for chromatic play but it doesn't have one, it only has F#, G# and C#. But C# minor has a natural A when it needs an A# (it's only sharps are F, C, G and D) but it does require a natural E.

I find this quite surprising. Our minor scale key signatures are simply wrong.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:21 PM

Or playing chromatically is wrong.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Acorn4
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:26 PM

When I used to learn piano I seem to remember there was a distinction between "harmonic" and "melodic" minor - this is even before you start talking about modes - this is a difficult place to go.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:32 PM

I'm pretty sure that at one time "minor" keys tended to have a "flattened" 7th note ( a tone below the tonic/root note), but then the modern 7th ( a semi-tone below the tonic ) became popular bringing it in line with the major key.
Of course, folk "minor modes" ( the dorian, for example) does have a "flattened" ( as it were ) 7th.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:32 PM

If I play a C minor scale - with no flats or sharps other than those in the conventional key signature of Eb, the Bb sounds perfectly acceptable - and a B natural grates on my ears.

In the end, it doesn't really matter what a key signature says - just play what the melody and harmony demand.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:34 PM

IIRC, the difference between harmonic and melodic is that one of the notes is flattened when playing an ascending scale but not when playing the descending scale... and the key signature is determined by the corresponding major scale.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:46 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_minor

Hear the difference at that site. Folks is right.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:57 PM

What exactly does "playing chromatically" entail ???


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 13 - 04:31 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gy6E3X2mKQ


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST
Date: 31 May 13 - 04:31 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gy6E3X2mKQ


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: PHJim
Date: 31 May 13 - 04:45 PM

Futwick, let's look at C minor since that's the key you started with. C is the relative minor of Eb, which has 3 flats, Bb, Eb and Ab. You're right when you say we need a B natural to play a chromatic scale, but you also need a Bb.
A chromatic C scale is neither minor nor major, but contains all twelve tones of the western musical scale. A chromatic C scale is C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B then we start at C again. It could also be spelled C Db D Eb E F Gb G Ab A Bb ... since C# and Db are the same note (enharmonic).
I'm not even sure if you'd call this a chromatic scale. It's just all the notes available to us.
Going chromatically from C to F, you would play C Db(C#) D Eb(D#) E F


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Stanron
Date: 31 May 13 - 05:03 PM

This was written befor PHJim posted.
Is this thread a joke? This subject is nowhere near as complex as it is made out.

The simplest key is C major, with no sharps or flats. Each major key has a 'relative' minor key based on its sixth note. The sixth note of the C scale is A so the relative minor to C major is A minor. It also has no sharps or flats. This scale is called the

NATURAL MINOR SCALE.

The HARMONIC MINOR SCALE sharpens the seventh note.

In the scale of A minor the seventh note is G. In the A harmonic minor scale this becomes G#. On a score this does not appear in the key signature. Instead a # sign is placed in front of each G note when it appears on the score. This practice keeps key signatures consistant and easy to read.

In the A MELODIC MINOR scale, the sixth and seventh notes are sharpened when notes are ascending but played as naturals when descending, and again the key signature is not affected, the changed notes are written as 'accidentals'.

Melodic and harmonic minor scales are hangovers from an earlier time. Unless you are about to take a music theory exam you can forget about them and concentrate on making the music that sounds good to you.

Playing chromatically means playing notes other than those in the scale.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Artful Codger
Date: 31 May 13 - 05:06 PM

In the modern minor mode, one uses three scale patterns simultaneously. The key signature corresponds to the natural minor scale, which is the primary basis of the harmonic structure, though both harmonies and melodies commonly employ chromatic alterations. The raised (major) sixth and seventh are primarily artifacts of leading tones when ascending melodically or chord alternatives to the "natural" chords, for instance, to avoid the diminished triad. The VII chord, used much more frequently than in the major mode, is rooted on the minor 7th, not the major 7th. In short, the key signature, corresponding to the natural minor scale pattern, remains the best primary pattern for representing the minor mode.

The three minor scales and minor harmony have been extensively discussed in older threads.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 31 May 13 - 05:28 PM

If the idea were to minimize the number of written accidentals, the signature without flatted B would often be preferable. If the convention would allow that, it would still not be any more "correct" though, and even less "logical" in a sense. The notation system is largely determined by its history - like it or not.

Many alternate systems have been invented, less space-consuming, easier to learn, more suitable for equal temperament, more suitable for pure intonation, more symmetric for all keys, easier to read by humans, easier to read by software ...

We are still typing on computer keybords layouted as if for mechanical typewriters.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 31 May 13 - 06:30 PM

Just FTR, I am well aware of what a chromatic scale is...

What I still am unaware of is what "playing chromatically" entails. Like... what would the converse of "playing chromatically " be ?

As Will Fly said above, you play what the melody and harmony demand.

Many times, wnen playing a piece, there will be passing notes a semitone above the previous note and below the following note.

But you know what ...nobody who actually plays gives a toss about how many sharps or flats are in the key signature ...they know where the notes are on the fretboard and they know which notes to play in the tune.

Doc Watson never bothered about key signatures ...


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 May 13 - 07:04 PM

1. You play a major scale, any key you want to name.

do re me fa so la ti do

2. You play it again, noting which note is #6

do me me fa so LA ti do

3. Now play the same notes, but this time you start and stop on La, formerly the sixth note. Remember, you keep the same sharps and flats as in step 1.

4. You have just played the relative minor scale for whatever key you chose key in Step 1.

5. Play the minor scale again, but this time, slide your finger up and make the 7th note one half-step higher. That is the 'harmonic minor,' or as we call it at my house, 'the belly-dance minor.'

Some popular major keys and their relative minors:

C Am
D Bm
G Em
F Dm
A F#m

Of course, people are free to use the other notes, either black or white, that we have on our instruments. However, using too many of them leads to music which sounds more like machinery than like music, and while we pay tribute to the creativity and prestige of the people who wrote it, we don't actually want to listen to it.

Finally - sometimes people think that if a song looks to be in C, but it sounds minor, then it's in C minor. No, it's not, it's in A minor. As somebody said above, Cm is the minor for the key of Eb. It is not a favorite key around here.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 31 May 13 - 07:47 PM

**The simplest key is C major, with no sharps or flats. Each major key has a 'relative' minor key based on its sixth note. The sixth note of the C scale is A so the relative minor to C major is A minor. It also has no sharps or flats. This scale is called the

NATURAL MINOR SCALE.**

It might interest you to know that you're wrong. I know, I know...that's how you were taught. But it's wrong. Aeolian mode (the 6th degree of Ionian mode erroneously assumed to be the major scale) is NOT the natural minor scale. In the major-minor system we use today, the minor is simply its major of the same scale major modified at 3 and 6.

The reason is that Aeolian mode has no V7. The true minor scale MUST have a V7. Someone else asked how it is that we play chromatically. We play chromatically BECAUSE we have the V7. Without that one chord, we cannot change keys or hit turnarounds and resolve back to I. Look at your song structures: ii-V7, ii-V7-I, I-vi-ii-V7. In Aeolian C minor where is your V7? Nowhere. So what can it do chromatically? Nothing.

**Futwick, let's look at C minor since that's the key you started with. C is the relative minor of Eb, which has 3 flats, Bb, Eb and Ab. You're right when you say we need a B natural to play a chromatic scale, but you also need a Bb.**

Yes, as a passing note. Forget the term "relative minor" as it doesn't have much meaning.

**The three minor scales and minor harmony have been extensively discussed in older threads.**

I hope the conclusion was that three are not necessary. We only need one.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Stanron
Date: 31 May 13 - 10:09 PM

Wow! I'm wrong, like key signatures are wrong, like the major scale is wrong, like deriving the natural minor from its relative major is wrong - Wow!

Good luck with all of that.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Artful Codger
Date: 31 May 13 - 11:54 PM

Grrr, third time's a charm?

Futwick, there are several flaws in your analysis. First, relative minor is quite important, because many songs flip their tonality between the major mode and the relative minor mode (or minor and relative major)--this involves no change of "scale" but a very real change in tonic, modulating by a minor third. The overlap in chord sets, albeit of different degrees relative to the effective tonic, lends to fluidly transitioning from one mode to the other. It's similar to temporarily shifting the tonic by a fourth or fifth (as happens in many chord progressions and melodic passages).

Of course, many other songs flip between major and minor mode while keeping the same tonic, effectively changing their "key signature" or basic scale pattern. So while the relative minor of C major is A minor, the (absolute) minor corresponding to C major is indeed C minor. Two separate relationships, both important.

There is also no requirement for V7 to be composed only of natural notes in the minor scale; Vm(7) is also common, and used to predominate. Note that VII becomes a very prevalent chord in minor mode--some minor mode songs use only two chords: I and VII. (So do many Dorian and Mixolydian songs.) This VII chord is rooted on the minor seventh--though it's a major triad, it frequently functions as a rootless V7 chord, but a minor V7 (Vm7). The importance of the VII chord in minor mode trumps the simple chromatic alteration often used to transform the natural Vm7 chord into a V7 chord, which does strengthen the pull of the V-I progression but isn't mandatory. Minor mode poses special challenges for harmony, meaning that it requires greater flexibility and astuteness on the part of accompanists. If you try to stick to Im, IVm, and V7, instead of considering other variants of these same degrees, you're likely going to hash it.

Melodically, the minor seventh still occurs more often than the major seventh (except in leading-tone sequences like tonic-seventh-tonic), and melodies using the "belly dance" pattern (minor 6th to major 7th) still sound somewhat "exotic"--the reason the 6th is usually raised in ascending melodic sequences. The blues scale uses a minor 7th, as even does a lot of major mode music in country and rock. To assert then that the 7th should be major in minor mode is decidedly odd, contrary to predominant usage not only in minor but in most major modes other than "straight" major.

As I said, in practice all three minor scale variants are used simultaneously, according to context. To be complete, the minor scale would have to include both minor and major 6ths and 7ths--but that would confuse things even more than the three scale patterns (which reflect both the standard melodic variations and the main chordal variations). An understanding of all three is useful, but as Will implies, if you have an intrinsic understanding of how stuff should sound, NO scales are necessary. Not a terribly useful argument, since it just brags about one's own ability and cuts off a means to convey what one has learned to others, particularly via notation. We haven't yet progressed to the point that we teach and learn by mental osmosis. A thimbleful of theory, properly expressed, can accelerate learning and understanding significantly.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 03:31 AM

Looks like all the music books in the world will have to be altered now fuckwit, I think not.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 05:09 AM

It is legitimate (though mostly futile) to question the wisdom of conventions. For example, a more logical spelling of the word "could" would be "cound".

Key signatures are conventions of notation, not of the music itself. A key signature of just Eb and Ab would make perfect sense; if the music contains any Bb, a flat accidental can be added at the note. The ABC notation language used at Mudcat actually allows for such signatures: "K:C _e_a" or "K:Cm =b" - try them out!

Nevertheless, they are nonstandard, mainly for reasons of history ("musica ficta"). But I also doubt that they would make for improved logic (as "cound" would).

Again: this is only a matter of notation. Scales and harmonies of minor keys are different topics, quite independent.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: s&r
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 09:25 AM

I can't make cound sound like an English word. I agree with yoursecond sentence though

Stu


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 09:45 AM

Very good explanation, Artful Codger--and Futwick, given the strident tone and stubborn wrongheadedness of your postings, it was kinder and gentler than you deserved.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 10:47 AM

Stu, I only mentioned spelling, assuming pronunciation to be (even more) out of reach of standardizers. A mute "n" would sound exactly like a mute "l". Admittedly, logic in languages is always relative. Do you fear that "cound" could be mispronounced to resemble the name of a German philosopher who advocated pure reason?


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: s&r
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 10:55 AM

I would read cound to rhyme with sound. The only examples of silent n I can bring to mind in English usage are at the end of words like hymn and damn. It doesn't alter your general point however.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 02:24 PM

**Again: this is only a matter of notation.**

But if it affects the notation then it will inevitably affect the practice. Going back to the three minor scales, many students are made to practice something that makes no sense and does absolutely nothing for their musical abilities or knowledge--namely the playing of the melodic or harmonic minor ascending and then reverting back while descending.

That's not how those work. Has anyone noticed, for example, that harmonic minor has a big hole in the scale? When you sharp the 7 position, you're creating a step and half gap between 6 and 7. How do you fill it in? With a passing note such as flattening the 7th or sharpening the 6th to momentarily close the gap. Which one? Depends on the chord you're harmonizing with. Sometime you want to keep the minor sound and other times you want a major sound. And you're going to ascend and descend the same way.

And Artful, let me digest all your info and make sure I know what point you're making and get back to you. You certainly put in some effort so I want to make sure I do it justice.

**Futwick, given the strident tone and stubborn wrongheadedness of your postings, it was kinder and gentler than you deserved.**

Oh, WAHHHHHHH!!!! Would you like a little toe cheese with that whine? Open wide and I'll flick a little in.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 02:26 PM

**The only examples of silent n I can bring to mind in English usage are at the end of words like hymn and damn.**

What about Camembert?


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Triplane
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 03:22 PM

Thats a bit cheesy, but then again im really into anagrams


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: s&r
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 03:34 PM

Camnemberntn - of course

Stu


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 03:39 PM

Bit of a boo-boo here.

The Melodic Minor ascending raises both the 6th and 7th degrees of the scale while going up, then returns them to their key signature position when descending.

I don't know what all the fuss is about. I've never been confused by the system and it works just fine. And is not wrong, it is accurate. It has evolved into a cohesive, highly usable system over the centuries and some pretty high-powered musicians, Monteverdi, Haydn, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, etc. have found it perfectly good for cranking out masterpiece after masterpiece.

The only musicians I have ever heard criticize the system or try to find things wrong with it are those who have little or no musical education or formal training, and generally tend to be self-taught.

Like folk-type singers (city-billies, rather than actual traditional singers).

Don Firth

P. S. Okay, let the rock throwing begin.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 04:28 PM

In jazz, you ascend using the melodic minor and you descend using the melodic minor. Whether you revert depends on the chords the melody is harmonizing with otherwise you may end up being seriously out of tune just doing it automatically because that's how you practice it that way. Ultimately, it's not really useful to practice that way.

You should know those scales but only ascending. They teach you how to "plug holes" in the scale depending on the situation but how you descend is also likewise dependent (and, more often than not, it is the same way you ascended). Nothing graven in stone so why practice it as though it is?

It's funny because I'm saying, music has become too cluttered with crap that isn't particularly useful and sometimes wrong and people are arguing that I need to keep it simple. I guess my saying that there are easier ways to learn about music than the bloated holdovers taught in music even by people who should know better is not the same as keeping it simple.    Grishka seems to be the only one really getting it.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 04:57 PM

Futwick, perhaps you haven't noticed but this is a folk forum and not a jazz forum. In folk music, as a rule of thumb, you do and play what the folk you like irrespective of rules or theoretical stratagems. Generally here sounds trump theories.

From your initial post I assumed you wanted some explanation or clarification regarding aspects of fairly simple music theory issues. But it seems that you want us all to acknowlege your superior theoretical perceptions. Sorry. This is not the right place. Perhaps you will have better luck elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Stanron
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 05:09 PM

Last post was me without cookie.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Richie
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 05:26 PM

Perhaps looking at the minor chord scale (each of the three scales in triads) you can better talk about chords and minor scales.

I think the minor system is imperfect largely because of the V7 chord and you need to adjust the scales and corresponging chords to fit the chord progession (song) you are playing.

You can do that by using the 3 scales but certainly one scale may not work- there needs to flexibility.

Certainly 3 minor scales "harmonized" is how I teach the scales. Then you need to make exceptions depending on the song you are palying,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: s&r
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 06:45 PM

If there's an Eb in the key signature, every time you play an E it's flat. If the composer player or bloke who writes the score wants E natural he uses an accidental to modify the instruction given in the key signature.

Notation tells you which notes to play if you're going to follow the score.

Where's the problem?

Stu


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 07:03 PM

I've seen a number of systems that people have worked out, claiming they are simpler or easier to use than standard notation, but it turns out that they're simpler for the inventor of the system to use, mainly because the inventor has a specific instrument or type of music in mind. But they rarely give complete information and fail when it comes to music for other instruments or other genres of music.

I've had a number of people argue with me, since I play the guitar, that tablature is much easier system. But tablature is applicable to one instrument only. My wife couldn't play a piece of guitar music written in tablature on the piano, for example.

Or I can look at a song written in standard notation and sing it right off. Tablature and a variety of other "systems" are worthless for something like that. Lots of cello music can be played on the guitar right off the cello sheet music.

Most cobbled together "easier" systems rarely allow this kind of versatility.

Don Firth

P. S. Sharps and flats can be added to specific notes, and as Stu has pointed out, any sharp or flat in the key signature can be nullified by adding a natural sign before the note in question.

Standard notation has always worked well for me. And for millions of musicians.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 07:37 PM

Agreed, Don: it's a good system, no need to mess with it.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 10:40 PM

**Futwick, perhaps you haven't noticed but this is a folk forum and not a jazz forum. In folk music, as a rule of thumb, you do and play what the folk you like irrespective of rules or theoretical stratagems. Generally here sounds trump theories.**

What difference does it make whether it's folk or jazz?? The same rules apply. Folk doesn't use the minor scales any differently than jazz does because the same rules of harmony apply. But jazz takes melodic minor up and down the same way because that's most often going to be the case. If jazz can do it, why is it still taught in this same useless fashion?

**From your initial post I assumed you wanted some explanation or clarification regarding aspects of fairly simple music theory issues.**

I asked for no such thing. I'm well acquainted with music theory.

**But it seems that you want us all to acknowlege your superior theoretical perceptions. Sorry. This is not the right place. Perhaps you will have better luck elsewhere.**

It's as good a place as any and you know it.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 10:43 PM

minor key signatures are not wrong


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 10:52 PM

**Sharps and flats can be added to specific notes, and as Stu has pointed out, any sharp or flat in the key signature can be nullified by adding a natural sign before the note in question.**

Taking C minor scale as an example, it would be easier to assign a key signature of two flats (E and A) rather than three because modern music demands these scales have chromatic capability. Unless you are playing in true Aeolian mode then three flats would be acceptable.

One advantage of this is that minor scales would have their own specific key signatures apart from major scales instead of borrowing the same ones.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 11:04 PM

Fuck. Now we gotta learn new key signatures?

Start a movement, a new way of doing what we've done for hundreds of years. There's the ticket. If it catches on we could capitalize on it by selling t-shirts.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Jun 13 - 11:54 PM

Futwick, many larger pieces of music, whole symphonies and such, AND many shorter works as well, switch back and forth between the major and minor mode within the key signature, adding "accidentals" where needed. And they make use of both major and minor chords and scale runs.

To require that they have separate key signatures would add completely needless complications to both composing a work and reading it.

There is nothing wrong with the current system, accepted by all musicians who write and read music in the long-standing and wide-spread European tradition.

Don Firthq


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 01:41 AM

Futwick (AKA Orientalist Twat),

One can make the key signature read however one wants, in so-called "modern music." Perhaps you have not seen this, but composers and other notators of music have done it.

The custom you're saying is wrong is something developed for classical "TONAL" music—a system largely concerned with harmony and harmonic relationships. (Not for Jazz. Not for Romanian fiddle tunes.) The key signatures are part of a larger (holistic) system of relationships. Such relationships take/took precedence, within that music, over incidental melodic movements. Cf. the equal tempered system, again highlighting the emphasis of harmonic relationships over the context-specific tuning of melodies. Cf. Highland bagpipe notation, which requires no key signatures because its key in relation to others is irrelevant.

From the standpoint of MELODY: no, one doesn't find a major sixth and major seventh to be ubiquitous for the melodic descent when in minor. Those are leading tones in the ascent. In this sense, "minor" is much like a melodic MODE.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 06:46 AM

Remarkable how easy it is to provoke angry debates among adult persons. This was obviously the intention of the OP, given the choice of nickname.

Our notation system has many disadvantages (see my post of 31 May 13 - 05:28 PM). Some of these could be mended without any drawback, were we to reinvent the system for Martians. For Earthlings, there is a "pluralistic" approach: each player or singer chooses a printout in the representation s/he likes best. In the near future, people will use their tablet computers instead of music sheets and simply switch representations as desired. (Warning: the choice is not as easy as you may think! For old music, some musicians insist on a "historic" notation, hoping to inspire them with the original aura.) —

Minor scales are a totally different topic. The way they are taught for instrumental practising covers the most typical uses in the most typical styles, thus they are necessarily incomplete. The so-called chord-scale system makes a dogma of them, hoping to get rid of the notions of key and harmonic relation altogether. Needless to say that - like most such theories - it is far from representing the corresponding music completely, thank goodness!


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Stanron
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 08:51 AM

I reckon the OP started this thread as a joke, for a bet or as a task set by some kind of educational regime. You know the sort of thing,

'Start a ridiculous debate on an inappropriate forum and maintain it for as many posts as possible. 10 posts = Pass, 25 posts = Merit and 50 posts = Distinction.'

Only a few to go.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 09:56 AM

It's a good thing music notation conventions don't change like computer operating systems, or there'd be a whole new unnecessary and pointless industry.

The current key signatures work great, and all one needs to do is learn the language of music in order to read and play music.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Futwick
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 01:13 PM

Now now CHILDREN, let's control our tempers.

This is just a discussion, one you can choose not to participate in but most of you are hypocrites who whine about these thread but just can't stay off them for whatever--few of them valid.

***Futwick, many larger pieces of music, whole symphonies and such, AND many shorter works as well, switch back and forth between the major and minor mode within the key signature, adding "accidentals" where needed. And they make use of both major and minor chords and scale runs.***

I think I may have heard rumors about that being done a time or two.

***To require that they have separate key signatures would add completely needless complications to both composing a work and reading it.***

But Don, key signature DO sometimes change in pieces and so do clefs--right in the middle of the staff sometimes. Doesn't seem to bother anybody. You take out the unnecessary flat, for example, now you don't need to go in an insert accidentals. Ta-da!

**There is nothing wrong with the current system, accepted by all musicians who write and read music in the long-standing and wide-spread European tradition.**

That's not true, either. There is something wrong with it and notation has changed over the years greatly. I'll prove it:

Play this for me on your guitar please

Or this

Or perhaps this

***Fuck. Now we gotta learn new key signatures?***

Well, which is less sonfusing--minor scales getting their own key signatures or minor keys having the exact same key signatures as major scales?

You remind me of that Monty Python sketch about the club where everybody is named Michael Baldwin Bruce then when a new guy joins with a different name, the other club members grouse that this is going to cause a bit of confusion.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 01:20 PM

Yes, Stanron, all Mudcatters know the game. However, the point system is the following:
  • Posts explaining well-known facts: 1 point each
  • Posts ranting at the OP: 5 points each
  • Posts making fools of their authors, e.g. by insulting other posters: 10 points each (extra bonus if the author is a public figure or claims to be authoritative)
  • Posts contributing unexpected and interesting aspects or facts: -5 points each.
  • Posts containing good jokes: -1 point each.


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: Stanron
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 01:35 PM

So, Grishka, is that 1 point for a well known fact or 5 for unexpected and interesting? And who gets them?


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Subject: RE: Minor key signatures are wrong
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Jun 13 - 01:41 PM

-5 is minus five, for the OP in the trolling competition.


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