Home Alt Forums Music Theory Harmonic Scales, not to be confused with melodic scales

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Johnny Johnny 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    just started reading up on the theory behind how harmonic scales are derived (light bulb), it explains why all these different chords behave in relation to each other like they do in terms of how your mind hears them, combined with some knowledge of the theory behind how melodic scales are derived. The overall knowledge gives an understanding why the V7 resolves to the I chord etc… instead of just being told listen to the two chords and hear how they behave and accept it.

    In melodic scales, When you play any two pitches (intervals) its the frequency ratios of both pitches that determines what the outcome of the combined sound is like
    ex play C & C# together the ratio of the frequencies is 16:15
    ex play C & G together the ratio of the frequencies is 3:2
    ex play C & F# together the ratio of the frequencies is 45:32

    the frequency ratio with big numbers sound horrible comparded
    to the frequency ratio of smaller numbers. If you play
    all the intervals For C from C# up to B, and check out their
    frequency ratios, you can just look at the frequency ratios and
    tell which sounds nice and bad, without even playing them.

    Once you understand the theory behind the intervals, then move
    onto to the theory behind chords (which are built on intervals of
    3rds and major 3rds have a frequency ratio of 5:4, and minor 3rds
    have frequency ratio of 6:5, and intervals of a 5th have a ratio of
    3:2). Just by observing the frequncy ratios, you can see why 3rds and 5ths
    work well together. A 4th interval has a ratio of 4:3, so you can see why
    the I IV V intervals work well together,

    That all fine and well, but when you look at the chords in terms of
    harmonic chord scales, the rules change differently as to why the 1st chord played at random followed by a random second chord sounds different in different combinations, but there is a fixed pattern. Understanding the
    fixed pattern gives you the knowledge before you even play any two chords,
    what the combined effect will sound like.

    So yes, you need to understand music theory, rather than rely on being told
    this chord works with this chord….


    sx poet – That sure looks like a nice book you got on Music Theory. I am poking around some in the free portions.

    I haven;t posted in the Forums for some time. After I returned from Florida to Wisconsin last spring, in May I was diagnosed with Large B Cell Lymphoma. I had two lesions on my liver. So In June I started 6 rounds of 4 different kinds of chemo. I had to get a port put in my chest under the skin to get the infusions. So I stopped practicing the sax. In September I was cancer free. Thank God! I tried to blow a few times with a next strap but it was too hard. I sure love my shoulder harness from the Boston Sax Shop. They are a little pricey but they sure distribute the weight away from the neck nicely. Then in December I had a hernia operation by my belly button. I have been in Florida again for January and February of this year healing up. Will be back home this Sunday and looking forward to blowing the sax again. I get another cancer scan again next week.

    Johnny has done some great things with website.




    A G chord and a G7 chord both resolve to a C chord when
    playing in the C Major Scale.

    But i’ve never understood why a G7 chord resolving to a C chord
    sounds better than a G chord resolving to a C chord in terms of
    music theory, without actually listening to the differences.

    Heres why
    When you play a G chord followed by a C chord it looks like this
    G B(c) D(e) (g) – this is how your mind hears the two chords G and C.

    When you play a G7 chord followed by C chord it looks like this
    G B(c) D(e) F(g) – this is how your mind hears the two chords G7 and C.

    Its the difference in the order of the last few notes,
    F to (g) resolves nicer than (e) to (g),
    trying playing both notes on a keyboard and listening to the difference.

    Another interesting thing in the theory of a major scale,
    When you play 1 2 3 4 5 (do re me fa so), when you go from 1 to 5,
    it sounds like you are going further away from 1,
    Then when you play 6 7 8 (la ti do), it sounds like you are returning
    back to 1. Theres a feeling of starting on 1 and rising to 5 and then falling
    back to 1.

    Converting a dominant chord to a dominant 7th chord, creates a
    chord that sounds unrestful as you’ve just introduced a dissonant interval
    into the chord, and an unrestful chord sounds nicer when its followed by
    a chord at rest (ie G7 followed by C chord)

    have a look at Chord Scales…



    Good for you Mel,
    i recently had some marks on my face checked out
    for cancer, and lucky for me turns out they were non cancerous.


    Mel glad to hear you are on the mend, good luck with the the scans and you will soon be back blowing the sax.


    Right on Mel, so glad to hear all that!

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