Fundamentals of
SCALES AND KEY SIGNATURES

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7. Harmonic Minor Scale Structure.

a. The formula for the harmonic minor scale is minor (m), link (L), harmonic (H). The harmonic minor scale is identical in structure to the natural minor scale, except for a raised seventh (leading tone) degree. The intervals between notes of a harmonic minor scale are two half steps, one half step, two half steps, two half steps, one half step, three half steps, one half step (Figure 3-13).


Figure 3-13: Harmonic Minor Structure.

b. The whole step/half step interval relationships in harmonic minor do not correspond to any white key scale (Figure 3-14).


Figure 3-14: "a" Harmonic Minor Scale.

NOTE: Natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales have the same key signature. The raised seventh scale degree of the harmonic scales and the raised sixth and seventh scale degrees in the ascending melodic minor scales are indicated by accidentals. These accidentals will not appear in the key signature.


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Last Updated: March 31, 2012