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Quick music-theory question...
Chromatic scales - ahhhh... I've answered it myself - no matter....
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BillyG
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November 17, 2015 - 11:05 am
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In western music, the chromatic scale consists of 12 notes, separated by semi-tone intervals.  

If anyone was to ask me to write out "the" ( i.e. any ) chromatic scale, I would just automatically use sharps to indicate the necessary semitones - let's say, D chromatic - and I would go D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, and clearly, Dmaj would fall out of that using the 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1 rule - i.e. D,  E,  F#,  G, A, B, C#, D - showing us there are two sharps in the key signature for D maj, as it happens

 ksdmaj.jpg...and as would be notated in the treble-clef

But now, I have my question - what if I was asked to write out the Ab chromatic scale ?

You see, initially, I would be tempted to simply start at the G# ( being the en-harmonic equivalent of Ab, in what I considered to be the 'standard, generic' chromatic scale.

And suddenly I've answered my own question - but I thought I'd share this anyway -

To create the Ab chromatic scale, of course, you would express it using flats, or, indeed, just the entire, generic chromatic-as-flattened scale - e.g.

C, Db. D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab, A  and so on - so - picking the starting point of Ab, and applying the 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1 rule to find the notes in Ab major - quite simply it is

Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G, Ab - which, also, as it happens tells us there are 4 flats in the Ab major key signature.

 ksafmaj.jpg

Sorry to have bothered y'all  -  LOL - but nice to share a bit of simple theory....  it's not rocket science really....  sometimes I just need to stop and think for a minute !!!! 

[ It is for a little program I'm writing to provide a "simple way" of getting familiar with clefs ( treble, alto, bass ), key signatures, intervals, and so on - just wanted to get it right in case it would be useful to others... ]

Bill ( a happy little bunny ! bunny_pole_dancerroflol

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coolpinkone
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November 17, 2015 - 12:16 pm
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@BillyG 

Right on!!!  Good stuff!!!

treble-1226semiquaver-1214semiquaver-1214treble-1226crotchet-1218semiquaver-1214violin-1267

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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BillyG
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November 17, 2015 - 1:08 pm
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Yeah  - @coolpinkone - it is strange - I just "find the notes" on auto-pilot - but when I have to actually stop and think about what I'm doing, or better said, WHY I'm doing that - well - that's when I get confused...  stoopid or what...  well, not really - we all come to this in different ways - LOL - and I just had to "spell that one out to myself" LOL

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coolpinkone
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@BillyG I love all the effort you put into understanding theory and sharing.  You are right, it comes to us all differently.  And for me..nothing about playing has been easy.  I am thankful for the bit of theory I absorb, and thankful that I can understand what you wrote. 🙂  I am lucky that I left my ego checked a long time ago as I have to continually take good advice and critique on my playing so that I can be the player that I want to be... I love being on the journey.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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AnnyJ
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I'm terribly slow too at music theory so I simply cheat and go to a circle picture in the back of my books; like this one:

600xNxcircle.png.pagespeed.ic.AJJQtHpwM3.pngImage Enlarger

(Source: http://www.music-theory-for-mu.....ifths.html)

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

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BillyG
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November 18, 2015 - 4:43 am
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@AnnyJ - yup - nothing wrong with that and thanks for posting it!  The circle of fifths ( or fourths going the other way ! ).  I'm a great believer in that !    

    The reason I have been "back-tracking" to fundamental principles was for a program I'm writing, and, of course, from the basic 12 note chromatic scale, and the knowledge of the tonal separations for any major scale (2,2,1,2,2,2,1) or any minor scale (2,1,2,2,1,2,2) - you also get "hints" as to finger positioning on a fretless (or indeed fretted, actually) instrument - and "which finger" should be in "which position" ( normal or "low" ) for each note - although as I say - I've played guitar for so long I kind of do it on "auto pilot" now - and my ear just tells me "how close or otherwise" I am to the intended note on the fiddle !!!!  ( it's usually "otherwise" roflol and when my intonation IS out - more often than not it will be slightly flat - but that's another matter entirely ! )

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Uzi
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Good deal @BillyG, but don't stop after Major and Minor.  Once you have those, keep on going for other scales and/or modes.  It will turn out to be very enlightening and you'll end up knowing more than almost everybody about music theory.  

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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pky
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November 18, 2015 - 11:54 pm
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I am so slow on this, what does 2212221 mean? half steps whole step? fingering pattern?

thank you!

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BillyG
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November 19, 2015 - 12:39 am
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LOL @Uzi, indeed, very true.  The relationship between "all of the fundamental notes" and the scale, or mode, chosen.  Some quite simple rules allow you to pick out all sorts of things!

@pky - yes - the 2's and 1's in my discourse refer to "semitone intervals" and not specifically fingering (but it gives a hint....).   Othere references will refer to W and H ( as in Whole step and Half step), or, indeed T and S ( Tone and Semitone ).

I just prefer numbers.  You can do math with them !  ( i.e. the sum of all the steps in ANY scale - even if it is a 5 note pentatonic scale, octave to the next octave, will add up to ????  

Well done if you said 12 thumbs-up

  )

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pky
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Thanks, and thanks for the fun math!

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Fiddlerman
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November 19, 2015 - 6:09 am
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If you look at the keys on a piano it might be clearer. Start from C and count the steps. The distance between all keys black and white are half steps. If there is a black key between two white keys the interval is 2 half steps. If there is no other key, the distance is only a half step.

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BillyG
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Absolutely @admin - suddenly it is easier to visualize the gaps (or lack of them between B and C, and E and F )...  even if you have never touched a piano, we all know what it looks like --- good point - piano.JPG 

I'll maybe start a specific Music Theory" thread - in an attempt to keep helpful stuff like this together in one place....

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Jacques
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Three things I've retained from this topic.

1. B-C is a half tone apart 

2. E-F is a half tone apart

i suppose that means that there are no sharps or flats between the four notes I.E. B#,Cb,E#,Fb do not exist in music theory as audible notes?

3. 2212221(major) and 2122122 (minor) which is inconspicuously identicle in pattern depending upon the tonic (root note).

 

thank you @BillyG because before this post I literally knew nothing about major/minor, and... Still waiting for clarification about the aforementioned notes.

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Fiddlerman
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November 19, 2015 - 9:04 am
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Thanks Bill. I was going to post an image as well but I forgot to do it. 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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BillyG
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November 19, 2015 - 10:34 am
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LOL @Fiddlerman - just helping yah out - I know you're a busy chap !

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BillyG
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November 19, 2015 - 10:57 am
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Jacques said
Three things I've retained from this topic.

1. B-C is a half tone apart 

2. E-F is a half tone apart

i suppose that means that there are no sharps or flats between the four notes I.E. B#,Cb,E#,Fb do not exist in music theory as audible notes?

3. 2212221(major) and 2122122 (minor) which is not so obviously the same pattern depending upon the tonic (root note).

 

thank you @BillyG because before this post I literally knew nothing about major/minor, and... Still waiting for clarification about the aforementioned notes.

  Glad to have clarified something for you @jaquecaviolin 

  Don't take my "absolute" word for this - but - you may well SEE a respresentation on a score, lets say of a B#  - ahhh in actual fact - from bars 38 and 39 of Violin-3 in FiddlerMan's arrangement of the Xmas piece- "War is Over" you will see this ----

bsharp.JPGImage Enlarger

Notice - the key sig is Bmajor.    In the second bar above, we see the B note sharpened.   What does that mean ?   Yes, it means although scored as B, you play it one semi-tone sharp - which is "en-harmonically equivalent" to C.   There are reasons for "describing it this way" on the sheet - but that is slightly outwith this discussion.   But you are correct in what you say - there is no note between B and C, neither is there one between E and F.    But, notational convenience on a score, yes you may see a sharped E for instance - play as an F, you might also see a flattened C in some key, and that, you would play as a B

  As far as minor scales go, there are actually 3 types (well, even more if we include some really esoteric ones) of minor scale - the natural minor, relative minor and harmonic minor.

  The "natural minor" has the same tonic as the major key it was derived from - BUT - it will NOT have the same key signature.   The "natural minor" is NOT the minor shown in the circle of fifths !!!!  [ I *believe* it may also be referred to as the "parallel minor" ]

  The relative minor does NOT have the same tonic as the major key - it starts from scale degree 6 on the major scale (and loops round) - and it DOES have exactly the same key signature as the major key it is associated with, and IS what appears on the circle of fifths.....

  I won't go further at the moment - partly to (a) let you think about it, and (b) to read this over a couple of times to make sure I got things the right way round.....  LMAO  

  For day to day things the distinctions are probably not overly important - you just play the notes you want, or as are written.  However, if you are looking to create harmonies, then an understanding of these (and wider) relationships becomes important.....

  If I've make a mistake - someone - let me know !!!

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BillyG
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.... and just a bit more for @jaquecaviolin - as a thank-you for your free-style-violin posts !!!   ----  notice how the RELATIVE minor "starts" at the 6th scale degree of the major - and uses exactly the same note, hence exactly the same key signature - and notice how the "natural minor" actually starts on the same tonic, but obeys the 2,1,2,2,1,2,2 semi tone sequence - FORCING us to add the accidentals to flatten scale degrees 3, 6 and 7 of the major scale - and we can "avoid" showing the accidentals by changing the key signature to that for C minor ( 3 flats )  [ which also happens to be the same key sig as used for Eb major - work it out ! ]narm.JPGImage Enlarger

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Uzi
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BillyG said

Jacques said
Three things I've retained from this topic.

1. B-C is a half tone apart 

2. E-F is a half tone apart

i suppose that means that there are no sharps or flats between the four notes I.E. B#,Cb,E#,Fb do not exist in music theory as audible notes?

3. 2212221(major) and 2122122 (minor) which is not so obviously the same pattern depending upon the tonic (root note).

 

thank you @BillyG because before this post I literally knew nothing about major/minor, and... Still waiting for clarification about the aforementioned notes

  As far as minor scales go, there are actually 3 types (well, even more if we include some really esoteric ones) of minor scale - the natural minor, relative minor and harmonic minor.

I think you're just a bit confused about the minor scales or at least the terminology associated with them. The three types of minor scales (disregarding modes) are natural, melodic and harmonic.  "Relative minor" only serves as a concept that relates a particular major scale to a particular natural minor scale, i. e. which major/natural minor scales share the same notes and thus key signatures, but have a different tonic. 

  The "natural minor" has the same tonic as the major key it was derived from - BUT - it will NOT have the same key signature.   The "natural minor" is NOT the minor shown in the circle of fifths !!!!  [ I *believe* it may also be referred to as the "parallel minor" ]

I think this is where the confusion comes in. If I may say so, this is possibly not the best way to view the relationship between a major scale and its associated natural minor scale.  The natural minor is the same one shown on the circle of fifths, it just that the natural minor keys are represented on the inner circle and the major keys on the outer circle. 

  The relative minor does NOT have the same tonic as the major key - it starts from scale degree 6 on the major scale (and loops round) - and it DOES have exactly the same key signature as the major key it is associated with, and IS what appears on the circle of fifths.....

This is substantially correct, but the relative minor IS the natural minor.  The relative minor scale is not a scale itself, but a relationship between a particular major scale and its relative natural minor scale which both share the same notes and key signature.  So the relative minor scale of C is the A natural minor scale and the relative major scale of the Am scale is C major. 

  If I've make a mistake - someone - let me know !!!

Absent carrying around the circle of fifths, to find the notes in any particular natural minor scale we can remember that a major scale starts 3 half steps above the tonic  of its relative natural minor scale.  As an example assume we do not know what notes are in the scale of Am. Counting upwards 3 half steps we find that B is 2 half steps and 1 more half step takes us to C.  So the relative major scale of Am is C major.   Therefore, Am will have exactly the same notes (and key signature) as the C major scale, except the notes in the relative natural minor scale will start on an A and end on the A one octave above or below.  

Conversely, to find what minor scale contains the same notes (and key signature) for any given major scale we can count backward 3 steps to find its relative natural minor scale.  Let's assume we want to know what the minor scale is for the key of G.  Counting backward 2 steps takes us to F and 1 more half step takes us to E.  Therefore the relative natural minor scale for G major is Em. 

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BillyG
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November 20, 2015 - 1:23 pm
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Now.... that is interesting....  LOL @Uzi  thank you !!!!  

This is precisely what I had hoped for !!!!!  

Now.....  let me sort this out in my mind and get back on this - argghhhh !!!   Nice...  It is "how we learn" - cool - thanks Uzi - gonna dive a bit more into what you said there and double check what I wrote - I don't wanna confuse anyone - let me check this one out ( and uncover exactly why we "appear" to differ in our understanding...  all good - often comes down to terminology - and understanding ( or otherwise, on my part, being a newcomer to theory ) - I'll get back on this - and if  my post is technically incorrect or misleading, of course I'll delete/edit/correct and re-post it !!!!  

Thanks again for the post @Uzi, always goods to get feedback, very, very welcome indeed.   thumbs-upthumbs-upthumbs-up

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BillyG
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I'm jumping in again very quickly @Uzi - is this a terminology thing that separates our "understanding" ???

I observe that you refer, more than once, to the term 

the relative natural minor scale

 - I see these (i.e "relative" and "natural" minor) as being two (slightly) different things - I see a "difference in meaning" between the terms "natural minor" and "relative minor" - I do not see them as being - either the same, or equivalent, and could not (currently, or until corrected, use the two words together in that context !) and, to re-quote - for me - the phrase "relative natural minor" sits "uneasy" with me because "I'm not sure what you mean by that" ( LOL )....

  Sorry @Uzi - running out of time here  - mid-evening here and things happening and people walking into the house completely outwith my control (oh, yes, I invited them)  LOL - let me get back on this tomorrow - I need to nail it, if not for my own satisfaction, but for the earlier posts above if they are in any way wrong or misleading....

  Catch you all later - 

  Bill

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