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Major and Minor
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Mouse
July 17, 2020 - 8:31 am
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I just looked at a chart and the G major and E minor both have just the F sharp. I am assuming other majors and minors are the same, too? 

My question is, why is it called both a G major and E minor when there is an F#? What is the difference? It seems to me the song would sound the same whether you called it the Key of G or the Key of E minor because the key signature is the same, F#’s, in general, F’s are sharped. Is there a clue somewhere?

Even with a clue somewhere, it still seems that it just complicates things having two names given to the same key signature. I know that minor keys usually sound dark and sad moods, but if the key signature is the same with two keys (G and E minor), would they not each have the same “mood” sound? Why complicate things by giving that key signature the same name?

I really need to find a good theory book that does not read like a first grade book. Someday, I will get one. I cannot absorb things when reading it online. I need it on paper in my hands.

Thanks

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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Gordon Shumway
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July 17, 2020 - 8:54 am
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When you begin on G, the notes are GAB, and it's major.

When you begin on E, the notes are E F# G, and it's minor.

Andrew

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Mouse
July 17, 2020 - 9:16 am
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So, every song in the Key of G starts with GAB? I heard that before, but am not sure what is being meant by it. Songs in the key of G always start with the same three notes? They all start with GAB? I never noticed that. 

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
July 17, 2020 - 10:10 am
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The diatonic scale, in the key of G, "starts" with GAB - not all songs in the key of G start with these 3 notes 🙂

A major scale (any major scale, whatever the key) obeys the simple rule - 2-2-1-2-2-2-1, or - W-W-H-W-W-W-H or T-T-S-T-T-T-S which are all different ways of saying exactly the same thing - and that "thing" is - for the Ionian ( thats major) mode - to get to the next step in the scale you move

2 semi-tones, then 2 semi-tones, then 1 semi-tone, then 2, then 2, then 2, then 1

OR

a Whole step, then a Whole step, then a Half-step, then W, then W, then W, then H

OR

a Tone, then a Tone, then a Semi-tone, then a T,then a T, then a T, then a S

The 7 (or 8 if you include the octave) note diatonic scale is a subset of the 12 note chromatic scale, and WHEREVER you start, to create a major scale, you MUST follow the 2,2,1,2,2,2,1 pattern (or either of the two others, same thing)

But - you can ALSO build a scale whose home note or tonic starts at a different "scale degree" - but still obeying the pattern (looping back on itself when you reach the end).  ( I always think in terms of the 2,2,1,2,2,2,1 pattern - it matters not which option you prefer).

So, the G major scale, MUST obey the rule - and that rule picks out the notes G,A,B,C,D,E,F# from the underlying chromatic scale ( i.e. 2 semitones from G to A, 2 to B, 1 to C, 2 to D, 2 to E, 2 to F# and finally 1 to the next G - an octave up from where you started)

If however, you use the notes in the scale of G major, but start at scale-degree 7, you'll start your scale on the E.  But this time (because in THIS case you are using the notes belonging to the pattern of G major), your steps will, from the E, be 2 to F#, 1 to G, 2 to A, 2 to B, 1 to C, 2 to D and 2 to get back the the next octave-up E

This is E minor.  It is one of the 7 "modes" in the scale of G. 

There being 7 notes in the diatonic scale, it comes as no surprise that there are 7 modes.  They all have names.  The "major" scale is Ionian mode, the "minor" scale is Aeolian mode.  Another very common mode is Dorian mode, which starts on scale degree 2.

I'm sure, in some publications, the theory can be difficult to grasp, possibly because of all sorts of different approaches, or incompletely specified fundamentals, or "assumed knowledge" - but it's not really that difficult.  You can soon figure out how scales and modes work at a piano keyboard ( even a virtual one, and there are a number of those to be found on the internet )

The piano - real or virtual - will clearly show how the 2,2,1,2,2,2,1 sequence works - and why some notes HAVE to be flattened or sharpened to make a major scale.

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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GregW
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July 17, 2020 - 12:35 pm
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cid said
So, every song in the Key of G starts with GAB? I heard that before, but am not sure what is being meant by it. Songs in the key of G always start with the same three notes? They all start with GAB? I never noticed that. 

  

from what Ive gathered it has to do more with how tune wants to resolve or feel.   chords being available help.  the last one alot of times tells more than the first.  id guess that if a tune seems to want to make its way back to E and chords center around Em and has 1# in the signature its Em.  if it seems to make its way to G and the G chord seems more common especially last chord then its G major.  simplistic view of it I know.

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Mouse
July 17, 2020 - 12:46 pm
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Oh, I get it. Thsnks.

Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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MrYikes
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July 17, 2020 - 12:52 pm
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The 6th note of a major scale is called a Major minor.   On piano it is easy to see.  C scale is all white keys.  Am scale is all white keys.  Therefore they are the same notes in each scale, but they start on different notes: sing do re mi fa so la ti do, first start on C and sing the scale, next start on A and sing the scale using the same notes as used when singing C (you will need a keyboard for this).  It just sounds off, a little weird. 

It is sometimes easier for me to think of the notes being 3,1 3,1.  Three whole notes, then a half note,  Three whole notes then a half note.  This is wrong headed thinking but it has helped me at times. 

 

But should a miner's minor be playing a major minor or should he just play a minor minor?

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
July 17, 2020 - 1:31 pm
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MrYikes said
.....

But should a miner's minor be playing a major minor or should he just play a minor minor? 

D'Oh !  LOL !   And aye on the 3,1,3,1 (especially if with your moveable "do" you hear / think the solfa name instead of C,E,G or whatever- works, whatever the key.)

Interestingly, my earliest exposure to music (primary school) just used the simple (not the full blown solfege) sol-fa - and - as much as my theoretical understanding has evolved over the years - I sometime catch myself - say playing Ashokan Farewell starting off (in my head) sol, ti, do.... lolol !  Aye, old dog, new tricks, and the teaching thereof !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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ELCB
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July 17, 2020 - 3:55 pm
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cid - I don't know if I can help, but I have to keep this simple for myself (lol).

- a key is based on a scale of notes that progress in a specific pattern of whole and half step intervals (like Billy said).

- the 1st note of a song is not necessarily the 1st note (tonic) of the key (scale), but usually the last - or feels like it could end on that tonic.

- the 1st note (tonic) of the Key (scale) and/or it's chord will be prominent in a melody

- you can drone what you think might be the 1st note (tonic) of the key while you play or listen to a melody - if it is the right key, it will sound pretty good throughout.

Now, the difference between a Major scale and it's corresponding Minor?  It is the "3rd", the third note of the "Minor" scale will be 1 half step lower (or flatted) compared to it's 3rd in the corresponding Major scale.

Then it gets worse...

- there is only 1 type of a Major scale

- there are 2 Minor scale "variants" of the Natural/Aeolian one (Harmonic and Melodic).  ...then there's also Modes Billy talked about (I'm still having issues with these)dazed - this may help a little:

https://www.schoolofcompositio.....or-scales/

 

violin-bang- Emily

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SharonC
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July 17, 2020 - 4:32 pm
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cid,

This guy Andrew Furmanczyk has done a series of Music Theory videos on YouTube that are pretty good:

https://www.youtube.com/channe.....YsyOm3k3KQ

He breaks things down pretty well.  Sometimes he rambles, & is a little quirky, but if you get past that (& his hair), you might find his videos useful.

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georgefernandis
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October 23, 2020 - 11:18 am
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Thanks..........

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