## Minor Scales Dont Exist!

• 901 Views
• 25 Replies
• Member since: Sep. 28, 2008
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Blank Slate
Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 01:53:06

I met a guy on the internet who told my that minor scales don't actually exist, and here's why...

1. Minor Scales are just the 6th Degree Mode of a major scale, If you take any major scale and play the Aeolian mode(6th degree), you will actually be playing the relative minor key

this is true, he is right, although what topped off why minor scales don't exist

2. Minor scales cant generate their own system of modes, unlike all major scales

which i disagree with(read on), but if any of you guys can prove it so, then maybe ill reevaluate...

now my first thought was, what if you take a minor scale and play the Third Degree of it(i guess this is still called Phrygian if its minor), you end up with the relative major key, so with his same logic, i guess i can prove Major keys also don't exist, although if he doesn't believe minor keys exist in the first place, i guess i can't

sooo yeah idk where i am going with this but what do you guys think of this logic? it seems to make sense at first, but i just don't see it holding any ground with a theory buffs

and in an attempt to create more discussion...if you have any odd stories regarding theory, go ahead and drop them in here if you want :)

btriangle
btriangle
• Member since: Jun. 28, 2005
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 02:00:19

I guess it just makes it simpler for beginners when they can condense their minds around the two different types of scales, major and minor.

Later down the road when they start learning about dorian, and Ionian and what not, than things will begin to make more sense.

Its a learning scheme see

loansindi
loansindi
• Member since: Mar. 15, 2003
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 02:10:46

At 1/6/10 01:53 AM, SessileNomad wrote: sooo yeah idk where i am going with this but what do you guys think of this logic? it seems to make sense at first, but i just don't see it holding any ground with a theory buffs

It's semantic bullshit.

Back-From-Purgatory
Back-From-Purgatory
• Member since: Dec. 11, 2004
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 33
Musician
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 02:25:35

Hamburgers don't exist either, only Cheeseburgers.

Get me?

Audio/BBS Mod
News: Bye bye Skype - Music: Tonight Will Be The Night- Art: Kira
\/\/\/ Click the sig for fun times! \/\/\/

Krank
Krank
• Member since: Apr. 23, 2005
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 14
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 02:44:07

Half full pitchers don't exist, only half empty pitchers do

are I dewing it rite
sorohanro
sorohanro
• Member since: Jul. 9, 2006
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 28
Musician
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 04:30:04

At 1/6/10 01:53 AM, SessileNomad wrote: I met a guy on the internet who told my that minor scales don't actually exist, and here's why...

1. Minor Scales are just the 6th Degree Mode of a major scale, If you take any major scale and play the Aeolian mode(6th degree), you will actually be playing the relative minor key.

When applied (only) to Greek scales, this is almost half true, but keep in mind that we don't use only Natural minor scale, we use also Harmonic and Melodic minor scales, which don't really deviate from major.

2. Minor scales cant generate their own system of modes, unlike all major scales

Actually they do.
Even in the Greek modes the major scale wasn't considered the base for all. In the time they appeared they had equal importance and usage.
Very much later, Bach set the major/ minor scales and their relations. That's why he wrote The Well-Tempered Clavier.

But again, this keep in mind only western music based on natural Greek scales.

You have all the Middle Eastern music with their Melodic and Harmonic scales that generate the typical sounding modes.
Then you have the symmetric scales, the Diminished and the Augmented... and then you have all the half diminished and so on...
And then you have the micro tonal music ( with intervals smaller than a semitone) in India and China...
So yeah, Major scale is not "the mother of all".

sooo yeah idk where i am going with this but what do you guys think of this logic? it seems to make sense at first

No... not at all... no...

EmperorCharlemagne
EmperorCharlemagne
• Member since: May. 1, 2009
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Musician
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 04:38:15

I am going to echo loan on saying this is pretty much semantic bullshit that really doesn't make sense, since there really is not a standard scale which everything is based off of (sorry C major, it ain't you).

If you think you might have secret information listening to me, you're lost.
~Morton Feldman
Click on ROGA'S for a good time.

Kirbyfemur
Kirbyfemur
• Member since: Dec. 18, 2007
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Moderator
Level 13
Audiophile
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 04:40:01

At 1/6/10 01:53 AM, SessileNomad wrote: I met a guy on the internet who told my that minor scales don't actually exist, and here's why...

1. Minor Scales are just the 6th Degree Mode of a major scale, If you take any major scale and play the Aeolian mode(6th degree), you will actually be playing the relative minor key

this is true, he is right, although what topped off why minor scales don't exist

It sounds to me like he's just a person who dislikes the tonal qualities of a minor scale. But in a sense he's created a paradox in his thinking. The Aeolian mode isn't a scale, according to what a man that was around thousands and thousands of years ago. (Aristoxenus) But before a lot of the big names in classical music where born, there was a time, when the modes where the only thing around. Hell there was a time where the piano(or rather harpsichord for the longest time) was only white keys.

The paradox in his statement that minor keys don't exist, is that they do exist, and have forever. The only real difference is what peoples view on what sounds good. So maybe they turned the Aeolian mode into the basis of a minor scale. But if this thought process continued, you'd end up finding little holes in ALL of the musical terminology.

2. Minor scales cant generate their own system of modes, unlike all major scales

which i disagree with(read on), but if any of you guys can prove it so, then maybe ill reevaluate...

The only reason i can think of Minor scales might not being able to generate three own modes is because someone hasn't really tried. In all honesty, every bit of musical terms are the way they are, only because someone decided to say it was that way. Just like most of math, and all other forms of language. It' exists. Even if it might not be a scale from a certain point of view.

• Member since: Sep. 28, 2008
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 04:41:33

When applied (only) to Greek scales, this is almost half true, but keep in mind that we don't use only Natural minor scale, we use also Harmonic and Melodic minor scales, which don't really deviate from major.

Yeah i guess i shoudl have said natural minor when i said minor back in the OP, i kind of ignored harmonic and melodic

2. Minor scales cant generate their own system of modes, unlike all major scales
Actually they do.
Even in the Greek modes the major scale wasn't considered the base for all. In the time they appeared they had equal importance and usage.
Very much later, Bach set the major/ minor scales and their relations. That's why he wrote The Well-Tempered Clavier.

Never heard of this, ill have to give it a read

But again, this keep in mind only western music based on natural Greek scales.

well i don't know jack shit about eastern music so im all ears when it comes to that stuff :)

You have all the Middle Eastern music with their Melodic and Harmonic scales that generate the typical sounding modes.
Then you have the symmetric scales, the Diminished and the Augmented... and then you have all the half diminished and so on...
And then you have the micro tonal music ( with intervals smaller than a semitone) in India and China...

i've heard about these, Indian octaves are like twice as large as common western music, i asked my theory teacher if we would learn this in depth, because it interested me, but he said unless im taking a class dedicate to Indian musical thought, probably not

So yeah, Major scale is not "the mother of all".

i would agree with this even in western music, i would say the forms of minor are more of a "mother" :S

sooo yeah idk where i am going with this but what do you guys think of this logic? it seems to make sense at first
No... not at all... no...

meh, its not like i believed him, but i think i can grasp why he thinks that way

Box-Killa
Box-Killa
• Member since: Jan. 29, 2009
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 07
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 07:47:29

A scale is just a group of musical notes.

yes you can base some scales of the major scale but just because you base it of a major scale, doesn't mean it is not a scale.

you often use scales to make melodies/harmonies. So think of a minor scale as a tool to make a song with a minor feel.

nathanallenpinard
nathanallenpinard
• Member since: Apr. 15, 2009
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 08:35:49

OMG NOATES DON EXIZT

loansindi
loansindi
• Member since: Mar. 15, 2003
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Musician
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 08:39:02

At 1/6/10 08:35 AM, nathanallenpinard wrote: OMG NOATES DON EXIZT

Thank you audio mod.

Khuskan
Khuskan
• Member since: Jul. 17, 2004
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 07
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 09:11:50

Major scales don't exist either, by his logic. Major and Minor are terms used to differentiate between two similar-keyed but different sounding chords. Without one, there is not the other.

Nitr0gen
Nitr0gen
• Member since: Aug. 19, 2007
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 02
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 09:58:40

At 1/6/10 01:53 AM, SessileNomad wrote: I met a guy on the internet who told my that minor scales don't actually exist, and here's why...

1. Minor Scales are just the 6th Degree Mode of a major scale, If you take any major scale and play the Aeolian mode(6th degree), you will actually be playing the relative minor key

this is true, he is right, although what topped off why minor scales don't exist

Ahem, this is NOT true and let me explain why.
C major scale - C, D, E, F, G, A, B (and ends on C)
Aeolian mode in C major - A,B, C, D, E, F, G (and ends on A)

HOWEVER... THE RELATIVE MINOR OF C MAJOR IS NOT THE SAME AS THE AEOLIAN MODE. ALTHOUGH IT DOES GO FROM A TO A, THERE IS A G# IN IT WHEREAS IN THE AEOLIAN MODE THERE IS A G NATURAL.
HENCE - THIS PROVES THE THEORY WRONG STRAIGHT AWAY AND GOES TO SHOW THAT THERE IS INFACT MINOR KEYS AND MAJOR KEYS.

Sorry for capslock whoring but i can't be bothered to rewrite now. Brush up on your music theory.

JackRocker
JackRocker
• Member since: May. 27, 2009
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 11
Musician
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 11:11:04

At 1/6/10 02:25 AM, Back-From-Purgatory wrote: Hamburgers don't exist either, only Cheeseburgers.

Get me?

actually bossman, it's the cheeseburger that doesn't exist. it's merely a hamburger with cheese.

Krank
Krank
• Member since: Apr. 23, 2005
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 14
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 13:33:18

At 1/6/10 11:11 AM, JackRocker wrote:
At 1/6/10 02:25 AM, Back-From-Purgatory wrote: Hamburgers don't exist either, only Cheeseburgers.

Get me?
actually bossman, it's the cheeseburger that doesn't exist. it's merely a hamburger with cheese.

actually its neither. its a royale with cheese

ephixa
ephixa
• Member since: Mar. 17, 2008
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 14:48:18

At 1/6/10 02:00 AM, btriangle wrote: I guess it just makes it simpler for beginners when they can condense their minds around the two different types of scales, major and minor.

Later down the road when they start learning about dorian, and Ionian and what not, than things will begin to make more sense.

Its a learning scheme see

This man is correct.

Music Producer and DJ. Top Genres: Hardstyle / Electro House. Click sig to check out production videos for flstudio on my youtube channel.

• Member since: Sep. 28, 2008
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 15
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 16:44:58

At 1/6/10 09:58 AM, Nitr0gen wrote:
At 1/6/10 01:53 AM, SessileNomad wrote: I met a guy on the internet who told my that minor scales don't actually exist, and here's why...

1. Minor Scales are just the 6th Degree Mode of a major scale, If you take any major scale and play the Aeolian mode(6th degree), you will actually be playing the relative minor key

this is true, he is right, although what topped off why minor scales don't exist
Ahem, this is NOT true and let me explain why.
C major scale - C, D, E, F, G, A, B (and ends on C)
Aeolian mode in C major - A,B, C, D, E, F, G (and ends on A)

HOWEVER... THE RELATIVE MINOR OF C MAJOR IS NOT THE SAME AS THE AEOLIAN MODE. ALTHOUGH IT DOES GO FROM A TO A, THERE IS A G# IN IT WHEREAS IN THE AEOLIAN MODE THERE IS A G NATURAL.
HENCE - THIS PROVES THE THEORY WRONG STRAIGHT AWAY AND GOES TO SHOW THAT THERE IS INFACT MINOR KEYS AND MAJOR KEYS.

Sorry for capslock whoring but i can't be bothered to rewrite now. Brush up on your music theory.

if there were a G# anywhere in an Amin scale, it would be a Harmonic minor key, i'm referring to natural minor in all of these instances

A NATURAL Minor = C Major Aeolian in all ways shape and form

Death2Whity
Death2Whity
• Member since: Jul. 11, 2003
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 17:10:30

Hey.

So first off I would just like to clarify that what he is saying could make sense with natrual minor in a method of thinking and improvisation. After a while you don't really see scales or chords anymore, it just kinda becomes 12 notes.

That being said. Natrual Minor scales/Sound do exsist.

Also in response to some stuff said by other people.

The point of a harmonic minor is to tonisize the minor chord. The raised seventh degree causes the V chord to be Dominant.
Also a melodic minor could be modal, and have a lot of different functions but its mostly a classical thing which I don't really know a ton about.

So I guess to answer the question. Of is there really a natrual minor scale or is it just part of the major scale as a mode. The best answer is Both are correct, They are just different ways of thinking about notes, neither are right or wrong and would probably be most effectively used at the same time when approaching major or Minor changes based on the I or Vi- chord.

sorohanro
sorohanro
• Member since: Jul. 9, 2006
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 28
Musician
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 17:38:34

At 1/6/10 05:10 PM, Death2Whity wrote: They are just different ways of thinking about notes, neither are right or wrong.

No !
It's like saying "there is no spoon" while sticking a spoon in your a... behind.
This can apply only, I say only to the western music after Classical period.
Come on, you say that you play/study jazz, if there is only major, where do you fit diminished scale, but the half diminished ? how about augmented ?
How about gypsy "wedding music" modes ?
Crap.
Some people come with big words, phrases meant to shock... THERE IS NO MINOR !!! but when to find really solid arguments they fail.

Bu-Hu !!! Beware of the attack of NO MINOR, the Apocalypse of minor scales it's upon us...
MJTTOMB
MJTTOMB
• Member since: Mar. 3, 2007
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 11
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 19:21:39

Truly, a scale is simply any series of notes. There are the regular modes:

Ionian (also know as major)
Dorian
Phrygian
Lydian
Mixolydian
Aeolian (also known as natural minor)
Locrian

These are all scales of their own, and every last one of them has a different character, whether they are arrangements of the same notes or not.

Not all scales have seven notes, however. There are plenty of 6-tone scales (hexatonic), such as:
Whole-tone scale (introduced by Debussy)
Prometheus scale (distortion of the whole tone scale, introduced by Scriabin)
Augmented scale
Blues scale

Similarly, pentatonic scales exist as well.

Another scale of note is the chromatic scale, containing all 12 tones commonly used in Western traditional music.

In theory, ANY set of recurring notes is a scale. each scale, regardless of its similarities to another scale, has its own individual characteristics. While C major and A minor may be based on the same notes, the tonic and subsequent harmonic language that could be expected in A minor is vastly different than C major.

Mystery-Moon-Pie-Aud
Mystery-Moon-Pie-Aud
• Member since: Feb. 7, 2009
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 04
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 19:50:01

It doesn't matter, we are all gonna die and it won't matter.

Strychnine and cyanide. A healthy part of this complete breakfast.

Death2Whity
Death2Whity
• Member since: Jul. 11, 2003
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Blank Slate
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 20:04:20

It's like saying "there is no spoon" while sticking a spoon in your a... behind.

Sometimes thats how harmony works.

This can apply only, I say only to the western music after Classical period.

Thats more or less what I'm all about. I haven't really found practical use for most other schools of harmony... well the classical school. In a lot of eastern schools there really isn't harmony as we know it.

Come on, you say that you play/study jazz, if there is only major, where do you fit diminished scale, but the half diminished ? how about augmented ?

Diminished and augmented scales would Usually go over a dominant seventh chord, sometimes over other things but mostly thats where I put them. half diminished scales functions over -7b5 chords, Maybe a dominant flat five if you wanted a bluesy sound. Really None of these apply to how you would approach a I or VI- ( with the exception of running a Diminished chord over based on the major 7 on a I major 7, [If its a Major 7 and not a 6 or triad or something]).

How about gypsy "wedding music" modes ?

A stronger emphasis on minor tension tones.

Crap.
Some people come with big words, phrases meant to shock... THERE IS NO MINOR !!! but when to find really solid arguments they fail.

Bu-Hu !!! Beware of the attack of NO MINOR, the Apocalypse of minor scales it's upon us...

C- for being too dramatic.

Kazmo
Kazmo
• Member since: Mar. 26, 2006
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 20
Musician
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-06 20:09:55

In the end, with that logic, scales don't exist, and are indeed just a figment of our imagination. Heck, frequencies are just invisible Mudkips flying through the air and wizzing past our ears at different speeds.

Seriously, scales exist, whether they are major or minor. There are of course different types of scales, using different amounts of notes, or even notes we (North Americans) never heard of (Eastern Asia has some pretty interesting scales).

Your friend needs a talkin' to. :P

If you love trance: Kazmo's Beats!

durn
durn
• Member since: Mar. 19, 2001
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 19
Musician
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-07 15:41:37

Holy crap. I'm glad I just do everything by ear. :P All this theory shit is way over my head -- too much thinking involved!!

I'd rather just sit at my keyboard and play. :)

JackRocker
JackRocker
• Member since: May. 27, 2009
• Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 11
Musician
Response to Minor Scales Dont Exist! 2010-01-07 15:47:17

At 1/6/10 01:33 PM, Bjra wrote:
At 1/6/10 11:11 AM, JackRocker wrote:
At 1/6/10 02:25 AM, Back-From-Purgatory wrote: Hamburgers don't exist either, only Cheeseburgers.

Get me?
actually bossman, it's the cheeseburger that doesn't exist. it's merely a hamburger with cheese.
actually its neither. its a royale with cheese

dammit, the man speaks the truth.