Music Theory

Here is a preview of some of the lessons included in Musicopoulos

Melodic Minor Scale

Understanding the Origin of the Melodic Minor Scale

In the previous lesson, we saw how raising the 7th Degree of the Natural Minor Scale derives the Harmonic Minor Scale.

As a consequence of this change, the interval between the 6th and 7th degrees of the Harmonic Minor Scale is 3 halfsteps (or 1 wholestep and 1 halfstep).

Although this change satisfied the harmonic (notes played simultaneously) foundation of music, it also resulted in difficulties with the melodic (notes played in a sequence) foundation of music.

In order to resolve this deficiency, both the 6th and 7th degrees of the Natural Minor Scale are raised by 1 halfstep when ascending, and then return to their natural state when descending.

For example, if we consider the E Natural Minor Scale

Melodic Minor Scale Example 1

When ascending, both the 6th, C, and 7th, D, are raised by a halfstep

Melodic Minor Scale Example 2

And then return to their natural state when descending

Melodic Minor Scale Example 3

This is known as the Melodic Minor Scale.

The Melodic Minor Scale is rarely used in isolation for extended periods, but rather used as a temporary substitution of the Harmonic Minor Scale in order to create a smooth melody.

Below is a list of the Melodic Minor Scales. Only the ascending scale is shown as the descending scale is identical to the Relative Minor Scale