Everything You Need to Know About Minor Scales

Photo Credit: rjasso
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Photo Credit: rjasso
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Photo Credit: rjasso

Did you know that listening to music has proven psychological benefits? More specifically, studies have found that it can help improve memory and cognition, reduce stress, and even boost mood.

You might also be surprised to learn that the scale of the song can have an impact on your mood.

Someone who is new to music theory may be wondering what sets minor scales apart from major scales. While they are similar in some ways, there are also many key differences that you should be aware of.

Let’s explore what you should know.

They Have a Darker, More Melancholy Sound

Minor scales are typically associated with a darker, more melancholy sound. This is due to the “flatted” notes in the scale. These give a sense of musical tension and contrast compared to major scales.

To clarify, “flatted” notes are those that have been lowered by a half step (or one musical note). This results in a sound that is slightly off-kilter, which can create a more somber mood.

For this reason, minor scales are often used in film scores and other pieces of music that are meant to evoke a certain emotion or atmosphere.

They Contain Different Musical Intervals

A minor scale typically consists of seven notes, while a major scale consists of eight notes. The first, third, and fifth notes of a minor scale are generally one whole step lower than the corresponding notes in a major scale.

For example, the C minor scale contains the notes C, D♭, E♭, F, G, A♭, and B♭. Compare this to the C major scale, which contains the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, and B.

As you can see, the first, third, and fifth notes of the minor scale are all one whole step lower than their counterparts in the major scale.

They Are Used in Many Different Genres of Music

Despite their darker sound, minor scales are actually used in a variety of different musical genres. For instance, they are commonly used in jazz, blues, and rock music.

Many contemporary popular artists, such as Adele and Taylor Swift, have been known to incorporate minor scales into their musical compositions due to the somber emotions they evoke.

You can check out this resource to learn more about the C minor piano scale.

There Are Multiple Different Minor Scales to Choose From

In addition to the basic minor scale, there are several other variations that can be explored. These include the harmonic minor scale, the melodic minor scale, and the natural minor scale.

The harmonic minor scale is one of the most popular minor scales used in music composition. It is often used in classical music due to its dark and moody feel.

The melodic minor scale is another popular variation of the minor scale. The melodic minor scale has a brighter sound than the harmonic minor scale but still retains its somber tone.

The natural minor scale is the most basic form of the minor scale and is often used in folk and country. The natural minor scale has a more neutral sound than the other two variations.

Minor Scales Are Easier to Understand Than You Think

Learning more about musical theory doesn’t have to be intimidating! By keeping this info in mind and familiarizing yourself with minor scales, you can open up new musical possibilities.

Looking for other useful info that can help unlock your creativity? Check out the rest of our blog!