Minor 3rd, flattened 3rd, when did that change?

What's Hot
2»

Comments

  • BradBrad Frets: 387
    @TheBigDipper I get where you’re coming from and I did think it was an emotional reaction as much as anything. In much the same way people get vexed about minims, crotchets, quavers getting called half, quarter and eighth notes etc. I guess we’ve all got our little things that irk us eh? smile 

    I completely agree that understanding a minor 3rd being the same as a b3 isn’t, or shouldn’t be difficult. And to be honest I think the same way as yourself when it comes to minor keys for the most part... wink

    But out of interest, how would you deal with being faced with say Cm7b5?

    Regarding Nashville numbers, I would expect Cm to be written as 1m, although I’ve VERY rarely had to deal with NN in a written context, it’s pretty much always in an aural capacity. And in those cases the tonality has probably already been defined so the chord are said as usual and anything different would said as such. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • vizviz Frets: 8002
    I wouldn't be able to sightread a Nashville-style chord chart. If the key is Cm, do they write the Cm chord as 1 or 1m? 


    6. 
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • sev112sev112 Frets: 1302
    viz said:
    sev112 said:

    What confuses me more is what/why the Dom7 uses the e.g. Bb in CMaj scale.  (To me it’s just a m3 interval above the 5th.) : 

    CMaj (C E G) and Cmin (C Eb G),  
    CMaj7 (C E G B ) and Cmin7 (C Eb G Bb)
    but C7 is (C E G Bb) ?

    apart from the fact that it is nice, why in theory terms does the Dom7 have the Bb ?


    Just answering that point seeing as you ask @sev112 and because the history is interesting and useful. And I'm going to speak from the perspective of a classical musician, just so you get the history of it. Like if you were asking a question about quantum mechanics, I'm just being Newtonian for a minute And I'm putting it all in context of a major diatonic key.

    So, "Dominant" has a specific meaning in classical music; it's the name given to the 5th note (or "degree") of the scale, and similarly it's given as the name of the 5th chord too - "Chord V". Like Tonic is the name of Chord I, Dominant is the name of Chord V.

    But (in a major key), unlike a 7 chord on the Tonic, which as you rightly say is a maj7, the 7th on the V Chord is a minor 7th. We call it a Dominant 7th, but the word Dominant doesn't (originally) refer as much to the 7th interval, as to the chord position. So it doesn't (originally) mean any old lowered 7th, it refers specifically to the 7th on the V chord, which happens to be a minor 7th (but see three paragraphs down).

    To restate, the origin of the phrase "Dominant 7th" isn't rooted in the 7th per se, it's rooted in the fact that Chord V is the Dominant chord.

    Of course, because chord V is the only major diatonic chord to deploy a minor 7th, the term Dominant 7th has become synonymous with the minor 7th interval. So people use it interchangeably with minor 7th, to the annoyance of pedants.

    Now it gets interesting. Because it's often useful to deploy a minor 7th on other major chords besides the V (eg if you want to treat another non-V chord as though it were a V chord - called a secondary dominant - or if you simply want the sound of a minor 7th on any other major chord, like in the blues, where the I, the IV and the V all have a minor 7th), the word "Dominant 7th" has cemented itself in our lingo to apply to those chords too. So now it basically means a chord in any position that happens to have a major 3rd and a minor 7th.

    So, your question: why does the Dom 7 in C major have the Bb, well, a pedant would say:

    "It doesn't. The Dominant in C major is the G chord. If it's played as a G7, then it has a minor 7th, the F, and it's called the Dominant 7th chord (with its dominant 7 interval, G -> F). However if you do want a minor 7th on the C chord, which is a Bb, then you have to call it a minor 7th. Unless the C7 is temporarily acting as a V chord, and resolving to an F chord, which is called a "Secondary Dominant" and does indeed have a dom7. But if it's just a minor 7th on the Tonic chord, then it's a minor 7th not a dom7."

    I hope that has clarified things. I'm sure it's made it worse though, sorry lol. It's hard to write this stuff.
    Bloomin fabulous:) many thanks @viz ;
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • GreatapeGreatape Frets: 859
    edited May 1
    Philtre said:
    Soon we'll get "flatted minor third" for the 2nd note...
    You do see double flats occasionally on written music.

    Plus, see the difference between a diminished 7th chord and a half-diminished 7th...
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 5503
    If you're in a minor scale the 3rd is the 3rd - flattening it makes it a 9 ! IMHO etc
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • DominicDominic Frets: 9507
    When did this happen ?
    Around the same time that Rubbish became Garbage
    A take-away became Take-out
    Wearing a shirt became 'Rocking' a shirt
    and young couples started 'Packing on the PDA '
    ............and stupid kids started calling the Police 'the Feds '
    Basically an import from that shit hole on the other side of 'The Pond '
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 1450
    I think I first came across it when I had some jazz guitar lessons in my mid 20's which would be circa 1980. Not that I'm a jazz guitarist. I just took a few lessons, after 11 years as a self taught guitarist, because I got stuck trying to work out how players like Larry Carlton could fit in those interesting jazzy lines.

    My jazz teacher would often write out scales and chords in terms of their interval formulas. So I'd guess it came from a 'jazz theory' way of looking at things, as stated by @Brad earlier.

    I don't mind either way of looking at things. But I like to think in terms of intervals when used in the context of scale or chord formulas, so the use of b3 is good for me. 

    For example, I'd write the formula for a harmonic minor scale as:
    1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6,7

    If someone asked what 'C' was in the scale of A harmonic minor, I'd probably say the 3rd. The use of the word 'minor' has already set the context in describing the scale.

    If someone asked what interval 'C' was above a root note A, I might say minor 3rd, or I might say b3. In this case, no context has been specified so I'd default to relating things to major scale intervals.
    It's not a competition.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom
  • vizviz Frets: 8002
    edited May 4
    I think I first came across it when I had some jazz guitar lessons in my mid 20's which would be circa 1980. Not that I'm a jazz guitarist. I just took a few lessons, after 11 years as a self taught guitarist, because I got stuck trying to work out how players like Larry Carlton could fit in those interesting jazzy lines.

    My jazz teacher would often write out scales and chords in terms of their interval formulas. So I'd guess it came from a 'jazz theory' way of looking at things, as stated by @Brad earlier.

    I don't mind either way of looking at things. But I like to think in terms of intervals when used in the context of scale or chord formulas, so the use of b3 is good for me. 

    For example, I'd write the formula for a harmonic minor scale as:
    1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6,7

    If someone asked what 'C' was in the scale of A harmonic minor, I'd probably say the 3rd. The use of the word 'minor' has already set the context in describing the scale.

    If someone asked what interval 'C' was above a root note A, I might say minor 3rd, or I might say b3. In this case, no context has been specified so I'd default to relating things to major scale intervals.

    I don’t know how I’d write it, but I much prefer referencing minor scales off natual minor, so if I were using numbers at all I’d probably try and write something like “(minor) 123456 #7 8” or 1m 23456#78, or “i iidim III iv V VI viidim 8” or something for harmonic minor. I do know it’s not elegant. Maybe I’d just say “it’s a minor scale with 123456#78”. 

    Because for me the important thing about harmonic minor is that the 7th is raised compared to natural minor, not that the 3 and 6 are lowered compared to major. Ie I want to show it’s a kind of minor scale, not that it’s a kind of major scale.  But I think I am the odd one out on here. Good banter. 
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 2587
    viz said:
    <snip>

    Because for me the important thing about harmonic minor is that the 7th is raised compared to natural minor, not that the 3 and 6 are lowered compared to major. Ie I want to show it’s a kind of minor scale, not that it’s a kind of major scale.  But I think I am the odd one out on here. Good banter. 
    No, you're not alone. I'd do the same. I start from the point that some things have major key tonality and some have minor key tonality. It sets everything else up. I accept that there are a whole bunch of talented musicians out there who refer everything back to the major scale intervals, but it loses information (for me) about the music being described. 

    If you know the relative degrees of the two scales (the tone, tone semitone thing) then it's straightforward to say a harmonic minor is the minor scale with the 7th degree sharpened. 

    And then we guitarists start to get into describing chord names by using numbers that relate the notes to the degrees of the major scale. So, even though I think of a minor triad as being the 1st, 3rd and 5th of the minor scale, I'll write it down for someone else as 1, b3, 5. 

    Nurse!  
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 1450
    edited May 4
    viz said:
    <snip>

    Because for me the important thing about harmonic minor is that the 7th is raised compared to natural minor, not that the 3 and 6 are lowered compared to major. Ie I want to show it’s a kind of minor scale, not that it’s a kind of major scale.  But I think I am the odd one out on here. Good banter. 
    No, you're not alone. I'd do the same. I start from the point that some things have major key tonality and some have minor key tonality...


    I think and hear things that way as well. I think of (and hear) the harmonic minor as a natural minor with a raised seventh. It's then a matter of what interval formula do you use to describe the scale or chord?

    I'd write the interval formula for a natural minor (i.e. Aeolian) as:
    1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7

    But I don't hear it as a major scale with those interval modifications. I hear it as a natural minor scale as a starting point. The interval formula is just neat convention to describe it.

    Regarding minor scale intervals, the use of 3rd, minor 3rd or b3 are just different views of the same thing. As as analogy, one might describe a point in 3D space in terms of Cartesian or spherical coordinates. It's the same point in space, just two views of the same thing.

    It's not a competition.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 2587
    <snip>
    Regarding minor scale intervals, the use of 3rd, minor 3rd or b3 are just different views of the same thing. As as analogy, one might describe a point in 3D space in terms of Cartesian or spherical coordinates. It's the same point in space, just two views of the same thing.

    Of course. Aubergine or eggplant - it's still the same vegetable. But now some of us need to know two words for the same thing to communicate with someone else who only knows one of the words. And as for courgette or zucchini....   ;)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • vizviz Frets: 8002
    edited May 4

    Regarding minor scale intervals, the use of 3rd, minor 3rd or b3 are just different views of the same thing. As as analogy, one might describe a point in 3D space in terms of Cartesian or spherical coordinates. It's the same point in space, just two views of the same thing.



    Good analogy
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • BradBrad Frets: 387

    But I don't hear it as a major scale with those interval modifications. I hear it as a natural minor scale as a starting point. The interval formula is just neat convention to describe it.
    I think that’s the problem... and I’d argue it’s either being explained in the wrong way or misinterpreted. IMO it just describes things for what they are, not necessarily instructions to do something. 

    Rather than seeing things as adjusted from the major scale, personally I look at them related to a given root and it just makes things more consistent, particularly with things that don’t fit neatly into maj/min tonality or where things change key a lot.

    I’d be interested to know how would anyone describe a m7b5 chord?

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • sev112sev112 Frets: 1302
    I think this is related, because some are saying it depends on what the music feels/needs eg the minor scale etc, but might just be a side step like my earlier question about Dom7 was. Apologies

    here goes anyway.

    after 40 years of playing instruments and learning some theory along the way, and getting some grades,  I still don’t know how to CORRECTLY determine from looking at a piece of sheet music whether it is in a major or minor key.

    I think I might be able to make a guess : viz key signature with no flats or sharps, so CMaj or Amin.  If I see lots of A notes at the beginning or ending of bars/phrases it might be Aminor, and if I see lots of C notes doing the same it might be CMajor.  But I don’t KNOW.

    I think this is important . Imagine I am busking playing my trumpet and a piano accordionist walks by and says “can I jam with you”, because he needs to play chords (while I am only playing single notes) do I say CMajor or Aminor, and does it matter a jot ?  Or do I say “if you are feeling in a happy mood we’ll be in CMajor, but if you are feeling moody we’ll play in AMinor”?


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • ArchtopDaveArchtopDave Frets: 830
    edited May 4
    As is often the case with discussions like this, I agree with the comments made by @Brad. You do need to employ a certain amount of flexibility in applying Music Theory; I call it "Musical Mental Gymnastics". For example, A♯can be Bb, or Cbb - the same note, but described differently depending on it's context. It's the same with chords, group of chord tones can be given a number of names. I'm doing a very interesting little jazz course at the moment which is quite focussed on this kind of concept. As @Brad has mentioned the m7b5, a Dm7b5 chord can also be seen as a Fmin6 when needed.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • BradBrad Frets: 387
     As @Brad has mentioned the m7b5, a Dm7b5 chord can also be seen as a Fmin6 when needed.
    Or Bb9. 

    sev112 said:
    I think this 

    after 40 years of playing instruments and learning some theory along the way, and getting some grades,  I still don’t know how to CORRECTLY determine from looking at a piece of sheet music whether it is in a major or minor key.

    I think I might be able to make a guess : viz key signature with no flats or sharps, so CMaj or Amin.  If I see lots of A notes at the beginning or ending of bars/phrases it might be Aminor, and if I see lots of C notes doing the same it might be CMajor.  But I don’t KNOW.

    I think this is important . Imagine I am busking playing my trumpet and a piano accordionist walks by and says “can I jam with you”, because he needs to play chords (while I am only playing single notes) do I say CMajor or Aminor, and does it matter a jot ?  Or do I say “if you are feeling in a happy mood we’ll be in CMajor, but if you are feeling moody we’ll play in AMinor”?
    Yep that’s pretty much the rule of thumb. Looking at the end of a piece often helps too if things are a little ambiguous. 

    And I agree it is important. Your note choices and phrasing needs to tie in with the harmony. Despite being the same pool of notes they have different implications depending on the context. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • vizviz Frets: 8002
    edited May 4
    sev112 said:
    I think this is related, because some are saying it depends on what the music feels/needs eg the minor scale etc, but might just be a side step like my earlier question about Dom7 was. Apologies

    here goes anyway.

    after 40 years of playing instruments and learning some theory along the way, and getting some grades,  I still don’t know how to CORRECTLY determine from looking at a piece of sheet music whether it is in a major or minor key.

    I think I might be able to make a guess : viz key signature with no flats or sharps, so CMaj or Amin.  If I see lots of A notes at the beginning or ending of bars/phrases it might be Aminor, and if I see lots of C notes doing the same it might be CMajor.  But I don’t KNOW.

    I think this is important . Imagine I am busking playing my trumpet and a piano accordionist walks by and says “can I jam with you”, because he needs to play chords (while I am only playing single notes) do I say CMajor or Aminor, and does it matter a jot ?  Or do I say “if you are feeling in a happy mood we’ll be in CMajor, but if you are feeling moody we’ll play in AMinor”?




    Fantastic question, and brilliant segue from the dom7 and harmonic minor discussion!

    The very raison d’être for harmonic minor is (was originally) to describe a MAJOR 3rd on the dominant chord of a minor key, where otherwise it would be a minor v chord. So in A minor, the dominant can be E or E7 (not Em) in the harmony, with a major 3rd, which is the G#. That’s why it’s called harmonic minor.

    (In classical music harmonic minor is almost never used on the tonic, it’s only used in 5th mode over the Dominant. So the scale would have a m2, a M3, and a m6 and m7. The 4th and 5th are perfect as normal). The scale is called Phrygian Dominant (for obvious reasons) and it’s the scale that Yngwie plays all the time. 

    So, if the piece were A minor, you’d almost certainly see G#s spattered throughout the piece, over a chord that you’d find was a V or V7 chord. 

    If it were in C major, it would be quite weird to see G# notes. (There might be Ab occasionally if it’s modulated to C minor but that’s by-the-by)


    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom
  • PhiltrePhiltre Frets: 3279
    edited May 4
    Brad said:
     As @Brad has mentioned the m7b5, a Dm7b5 chord can also be seen as a Fmin6 when needed.
    Or Bb9.
    Not on its own. It could be if there was a Bb played (or implied) in the bass part, say.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • BradBrad Frets: 387
    Philtre said:
    Brad said:
     As @Brad has mentioned the m7b5, a Dm7b5 chord can also be seen as a Fmin6 when needed.
    Or Bb9.
    Not on its own. It could be if there was a Bb played (or implied) in the bass part, say.
    Hmmm I get what you’re saying, slightly different situations granted. @ArchtopDave saying how Dm7b5 is an inversion of Fm6 whereas I’m saying it’s the upper part of a Bb9, so I guess saying it’s part of a Bb9 would’ve been clearer. 

    But you could say the same for any number of chords... on its own is it Dm7b5 or Fm6? Root, implied root or harmonic context would be needed in any case. Anyway, I fear it’s veering off topic about how to name 3rds :smile:
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • PhiltrePhiltre Frets: 3279
    edited May 4
    Brad said:
    Philtre said:
    Brad said:
     As @Brad has mentioned the m7b5, a Dm7b5 chord can also be seen as a Fmin6 when needed.
    Or Bb9.
    Not on its own. It could be if there was a Bb played (or implied) in the bass part, say.
    Hmmm I get what you’re saying, slightly different situations granted. @ArchtopDave saying how Dm7b5 is an inversion of Fm6 whereas I’m saying it’s the upper part of a Bb9, so I guess saying it’s part of a Bb9 would’ve been clearer. 

    But you could say the same for any number of chords... on its own is it Dm7b5 or Fm6? Root, implied root or harmonic context would be needed in any case. Anyway, I fear it’s veering off topic about how to name 3rds smile
    Agreed.

    As for veering off topic...that reminds me...

    Tabs. I fucking hate tabs! How on earth are you supposed to tell the note lengths in tab? You can't! What's wrong with learning to fucking read music!!!???? Lazy fucks.

    /rant

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 3reaction image Wisdom
Sign In or Register to comment.