Saturday, 27 January 2018

What is Relative Minor

What is Relative Minor?  The short answer is that it is the notes you get from playing a Major Scale from the sixth Degree:

Major: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C                            G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G
Relative Minor:      A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A                             E-F#-G-A-B-C-D-E

The slightly longer answer is that a scale is collection of notes which work together, based on the harmonic series.  It was agreed - in Western Europe at least - that the Major Scale sounded good.  

C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C sounds good. The tonal centre is C and the notes gravitate to it.
B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B sounds bad - at least in Western Europe - B is the tonal centre and tension is at the base of the scale, due to the semi-tone between the first two intervals B and C.

There are seven combinations - one starting on each note.  These combinations are called the Church Modes.  They sound interesting and add a lot of colour to Music.  I will write on the Church Modes if you like.  Post a comment to let me know.

The Church Modes fell out of fashion as more and more Music was made using the sequences which started on the first degree and music which started on the sixth degree.  The first degree became known as the Major Scale and the sixth degree as the Minor.

I have given C Major and its Relative Minor (A Minor) and G Major and its Relative Minor E Minor above.  The same knowledge works for every Major Scale.  If you know the Major Scale, you can find the Relative Minor by counting to the sixth degree. 

Robin's Experience and Style

Robin Thornton - Teacher At a young age, I decided that I wanted to be a Musician. I did not believe that I could support...