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Lesson #34: The Harmonic Minor Scale

by Tyler de Witt posted on 1999-10-18
Topic: Theory Subtopic: General
Level: Beginner Number of Readers: 73511

The Harmonic Minor Scale

A new scale will be shown in this lesson, and that's all that will be shown in this lesson. The scale is called the harmonic minor scale, and it will become important in further lessons. Here is a harmonic minor scale, starting on A:

A B C D E F   G# A
 t s t t s t+s  s

The interval structure is shown below the notes of the scale. You'll notice something different about this interval structure: the t+s. All this means is that the distance between F and G# is a tone plus a semitone, or three semitones.

As we know, we can apply this interval structure to any note we wish to start on. Example:

E F# G A B C   D# E
 t  s t t s t+s  s

We start with E, and move up a tone to F#, then up a semitone to G and so on. Int this way, the E harmonic scale has been built.

Things to remember from this lesson:

1. The interval structure of the harmonic scale is t,s,t,t,s,t+s,s
2. t+s is equal to 3 semitones.
3. Just like all other types of scales, the harmonic scale can be built on any note.


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