Major Harmonic Revisited

The last scale-of-the-day I blogged about (back on February 20) was the Major-Harmonic scale, and when I wrote my post about this particular pattern I found myself with little good to say about it (much to my own surprise). I complained about the clichéd cadence that this pattern allowed, and surmised that it may well have been the first scale to which I was impelled to give a thumbs down. This negative assessment was no doubt impacted on quite considerably by the fact that that weekend I was supposed to get my first 8 hour sleep since 2006 (pregnancy, newborn, toddler who doesn’t sleep through) and thanks to noisy hotel neighbours it just didn’t happen. But I think maybe more germane to my disdainful summary was that I was only thinking about this pattern in its C incarnation. This is an important point, because I know full well that the physical sensation of any pattern changes from one semitone to

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Scale of the Day: Major-Harmonic

This week let’s look at what I regard as being a kind of reverse of the mystery scale from the previous scale-of-the-day post.   Just as in our ‘mystery scale’ this is a major scale with a change made to only one note, but whereas last time we raised the 5th, this time we are lowering the 6th: same pitch, different degree, and very different end result. Here it is on C: It’s called Major-Harmonic in a fairly obvious way, the tail of the harmonic has been attached to the head and torso of the major pattern, and here’s our hybrid. Being, to our diatonic ears, a hybrid, one might unthinkingly assume that this scale is a curiosity, rather than descriptive of real life music-making. But take a listen to the chords this pattern makes: The most significant change from the major scale triads is the chord IV is now chord iv – yep, it’s minor. [And along with that we have

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