Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #22185  by d-v-s
 Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:28 am
I've been reading some music theory recently, and I came across this statement about Cadences:
A V7 chord will naturally want to move to a I chord; that's true of major keys where V7->I, and minor keys where V7->i. This is the strongest resolution in music and it's called the authentic cadence.
The bit about minor keys confused me a bit, because I've always dealt with major keys. There wasn't anything else on this topic, and I couldn't find anything else about it on the internet, so I'm turning to you guys for clarification.

Looking at a minor key, let's take Amin, for example, would it look like this?
Code: Select all
Amin Bdim Cmaj Dmin Emin Fmaj Gmaj
i    ii*  III   iv   v    VI  VII
In this case would the authentic cadence be Emin7 -> Amin?

 #22194  by Rev_Roach
 Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:37 am
In your theory research have you come across something called the harmonic minor scale? It is just like the natural minor scale (AKA aeolian mode) that you listed except the 7th is raised, in this case G# instead of G.

It is called the harmonic minor because it is usually just used for chords, or harmonizing. Taking advantage of this scale you use V or V7 (G or G7) instead of v or v7 (Gm or Gm7). This makes the cadence stronger. This G# is called the leading tone, and for very good reason. It leads back to A, the tonic.

 #22228  by d-v-s
 Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:03 am
rev, thanks for opening another door for me. I checked out the harmonic minor scale. NICE!! The raiased 7th gives that scale a very exotic and exciting sound.

In case anyone else is reading this, I just want to add some notes on the harmonic minor - cuz quite frankly your post confused the hell outta me until I did some more research on the harmonic minor.

As you stated, the harmonic minor scale is the same as the natural, but with the raised 7th.

A minor natural = A B C D E F G
A minor harmonic = A B C D E F G#

The resulting triads for the harmonic minor are:
i min = ACE
ii dim = BDF
iii aug = CEG#
iv min = DFA
V maj = EG#B
VI maj = FAC
vii dim = G#BD

So, the main change here is the fact that the V is now an Emaj as opposed to the natural minor, where the V was minor.

The harmonic minor scale could be used over something where you're jamming over Emaj-Amin, or any V-i movement.