Harmonic minor scale degrees

Questions and answers


Is it true that melodic minor is typically used in popular music, whereas natural minor in classical music?


I beg to differ. What is true is that classical music considers harmonic minor default as opposed to natural minor, not just because it is used more often but due to the fact that it is to be regarded as a distinct tonality. This means that all tonalities derived from the harmonic minor have the same, unique tonal characteristics. On the contrary, melodic minor does not really have unique tonal characteristics as it encompasses triads and four-tone chords derived from harmonic minor. You can clearly see a superior-inferior relationship between harmonic and melodic minor, making the harmonic minor superior to the melodic.


When talking about melodic minor, you actually talk about a mixture; two scales with different notes playing the scale ascending and descending. That's why melodic minor should preferably be categorized as different from natural and harmonic minor. When I let my imagination fly improvising, I prefer using natural and harmonic minors to melodic minor, which doesn't necessarily mean strictly sticking to the scale but always knowing the static scale base behind.


Above all, the term popular music belongs to far too many musical genres to declare that melodic minor can be associated typically with popular music.

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