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Minor Scale

A minor scale is a Scale which starts on a chosen note and progresses by a pattern of Intervals which is:

Tone-Semitone-Tone-Tone-Semitone-Tone-Tone

That is, for example the scale of A minor:

A B C D E F G A

The interval is the 'gap' between two notes, so between A and B is a whole Tone, between B and C is only a Semitone, between C and D is a whole Tone, etc.

On a fretted stringed instrument, this is equivalent to 2 frets, 2 frets, 1 fret etc.

Each Minor scale is associated with a major scale by sharing the same notes. The key of A minor is the relative minor of C major - both can be played on the white notes of a piano starting with A or C respectively.

In folk music, the minor is often used as it has a sadness in its sound that is useful for ballads. The common minor keys are Am, Em, Bm (the relatives of C, G and D) and often a tune will modulate from major to minor and back again in a typical 2-part A-B tune.

The modern minor scale is based on the Aeolian Mode.

See Also:


Major Scale