Tip #199 – Playing Around with the Harmonic Major Scale

Sounds too good to be true, right? There is the major scale, the natural minor scale, the harmonic minor scale, and the melodic minor scale. Now, there is a harmonic major scale?!?

Appears so – I recently found this out. So don’t patronize me for not knowing; I more appreciate the fact that I am learning something new every day.

Anyways, the harmonic major scale is a major scale with a b6 scale degree:

Not too exciting, but it offers interesting harmonies and vibrant melodic lines, especially for jazz.

Try it out, play around with it, and see what kind of melodies and harmonies you can form with the harmonic major scale.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #198 – Understanding the Charukesi Scale

The Carnatic music of South India has 72 scales (melakartas) comprised of seven different notes in either an ascending (arohana) or descending (avarohana) fashion. These scales are used in a kind of India music called rāga and are extremely beautiful. In addition these scales are grouped into different chakras, based on certain similarities.

Today’s melakarta is the Charukesi scale (roughly translating to “elegant”), the second scale from the fifth chakra.

Below is a representation of the scale as if it was put into Western notation:

Both the first (SA) and fifth (PA) scale degrees are in a placement normal to most scales found in Western music. In addition, it contains the major tetrachord in the beginning, but naturals for the rest of the scale.

Try playing around with the scale, possible harmonies, and progressions!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #194 – Understanding the Mararanjani Scale

The Carnatic music of South India has 72 scales (melakartas) comprised of seven different notes in either an ascending (arohana) or descending (avarohana) fashion. These scales are used in a kind of India music called rāga and are extremely beautiful. In addition these scales are grouped into different chakras, based on certain similarities.

Today’s melakarta is the Mararanjani scale (roughly translating to “killing”), the first scale from the fifth chakra.

Below is a representation of the scale as if it was put into Western notation:

Both the first (SA) and fifth (PA) scale degrees are in a placement normal to most scales found in Western music. In addition, it contains the major tetrachord in the beginning.  With that, there is the lowered seventh degree (NI).

Try playing around with the scale, possible harmonies, and progressions!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Teach Yourself Music Theory – 26.) Modes of the Melodic Minor Scale

Not only are there modes built from the diatonic scales of Major and natural minor, but there are modes of the melodic minor, too.


Similarly, they are constructed with the same pitch-class collections, but starting on different pitches and spanning an octave from there.


Below are the different modes and names built from the A melodic minor scale in the key of C:


NOTE:
these are the names I use for the modes. You will encounter multiple names for the same scale, so always be open to change.

Further NOTE: it should be a b6 in the Hindu Scale, my apologies.


Practice building the modes, playing them, and memorizing the names.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #193 – Using Lightness of a Scale

You might have heard the term the “brightness” or “darkness” of a scale/mode. Typically they are referring to how scales/modes containing a lot of sharp or raised scale degrees from the tonic are referred to as “bright” while those that have flattened scale degrees from the tonic are “dark”.

This is not to say that flat keys are “dark.” We are saying that the intervals that make up the scale that are flattened in comparison to the major scale tend to be more “dark” in tonality.

Can you change a scale to make it more “bright” or “dark?”

Essentially yes by either raising or lowering pitches in the scale (usually done in a circle of fifths pattern of selecting which pitch to alter).

This is good to keep in mind as you are writing and trying to find the right emotion and color to express your musical ideas. That might mean using an unconventional sale/mode or building one from scratch.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Teach Yourself Music Theory – 25.) Modes of the Harmonic Minor Scale

Not only are there modes built from the diatonic scales of Major and natural minor, but there are modes of the harmonic minor.


Similarly, they are constructed with the same pitch-class collections, but starting on different pitches and spanning an octave from there.


Below are the different modes and names built from the A harmonic minor scale in the key of C:


NOTE: these are the names I use for the modes. You will encounter multiple names for the same scale, so always be open to change.

Practice building the modes, playing them, and memorizing the names.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Tip #190 – Understanding the Varunapriya Scale

The Carnatic music of South India has 72 scales (melakartas) comprised of seven different notes in either an ascending (arohana) or descending (avarohana) fashion. These scales are used in a kind of India music called rāga and are extremely beautiful. In addition these scales are grouped into different chakras, based on certain similarities.

Today’s melakarta is the Varunapriya scale (loosely meaning “the ocean’s wife”), the sixth scale from the fourth chakra.

Below is a representation of the scale as if it was put into Western notation:

Both the first (SA) and fifth (PA) scale degrees are in a placement normal to most scales found in Western music. In addition, it has both the sixth (DHA) and seventh (NI) scale degrees raised in a chromatic cluster.

Try playing around with the scale, possible harmonies, and progressions!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.