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Melodic minor pieces?


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#1 tetrachord

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 15:31

This may well have been asked before but are there any pieces that actually follow the pattern of the melodic minor scale?  I've got one pupil who's confused about the difference between the harmonic and melodic minor scales and I'm intending to go over it at her next lesson (this Sunday) so was just wondering what suitable tunes there are if any!

 

Thanks for any suggestions :)


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#2 maggiemay

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 15:57

From memory, there is something on the Piano Time (Oxford) site. I think I have a copy somewhere printed off ages ago - I'll see if I can find it.

Yes - Piano Time book 3 page 40 (topic) and A minor Minuet on p41. There is an 'extra piece to print off' online called Kings and Queens: in D minor, which uses both ascending and descending melodic minor patterns.
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#3 tetrachord

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 16:11

I probably should have said I'm a violin teacher rather than a piano teacher - sorry! :blush: I could print out the extra piece and just play the top line though :)


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#4 maggiemay

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 16:13

Duh! sorry - I should not have assumed. Will add a red-faced smiley when I find the darn things ...
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#5 ExpressYourself

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 16:19

Duh! sorry - I should not have assumed. Will add a red-faced smiley when I find the darn things ...

:blush:  :P


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#6 maggiemay

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 16:32

Thank you. : D

And now back on topic; hoping tetrachord gets some useful replies!
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#7 Jack Campin

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 18:00

Surely there's something in Bartók's "For Children" or "Mikrokosmos"? - it's common in Hungarian folk music.


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#8 Misterioso

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 18:18

Good grief - it's driving me up the wall having to sign in every time I log on to the site!!   :angry:

 

Anyway, back on topinc....

 

You don't say how old the student is, but there are a few tunes based around the melodic minor in Mary Cohen's Scaley Monsters.  There are also tunes based around the harmonic minor, so playing both may help her to sort out which notes belong in which form.  Fiddle Time Scales (the predecessor of Scaley Monsters?) also has some examples, if I recall correctly.

 

I will post again if I think of any others.


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#9 tetrachord

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 22:31

Thanks for the ideas so far!  I had actually come across Scaley Monsters before but have never got round to buying it.  I'll check out pieces and books this week :)


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#10 RoseRodent

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:09

Fiddle Time Scales has that Bach G minor thingie, but trying to track down a piece of Bach without a number is like catching water in your hands. I'll try to identify it.
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#11 BitterSweet

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:19

Greensleves.

 

Well, it doesn't follow the entire scale pattern, but it demonstrates beautifully how the "melodic" minor works in the context of the "melody" because the leading note is used both natural and sharp. I've used it before to teach the principles of melodic minors. The bonus is it's really well known, and kids love the alternative "alas, my love, you are looking bad, perhaps it's the mouldy old peas you've had..." lyrics.


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#12 ten left thumbs

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:08

Interesting question! Whatever the instrument, I'd always pondered at the lack of material (at least the lack of material I know) that demonstrates the classical melodic minor scale in a way to justify to students, why it's worthwhile bothering with it.

 

The Purcell minuet doesn't (in Piano Time 3, pg 41, just after Pauline Hall introduces melodic minor) but King and Queens (Alan Bullard, freely available from the Piano Time website) does.

 

Greensleeves - I always thought this was dorian? Though it changes at the end. (Great lyrics, thanks for that!)

 

Any other ideas? Especially in 'real' music - I mean as opposed 'stuff made up in method books to keep students busy'? I will also get busy digging....


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#13 BitterSweet

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:29

Greensleeves - I always thought this was dorian? Though it changes at the end. (Great lyrics, thanks for that!)

 
It could be. I'm not an expert on modes v. keys...
 
*googles*
 
Wikipedia has the following (albeit unreferenced) statement:

The earliest known source of the tune (Trinity College, Dublin ms. D. I. 21, c. 1580—known as "William Ballet's lute book") gives the tune in the melodic minor scale.


The link to said book was broken though.
 
Cannot for the life of me find the full set of those parody lyrics now though...
 
 
 
By the way, it should be noted in this thread that there's not a "lack of material that demonstrates the classical melodic minor scale in a way to justify to students", it's just you need to look beyond instrumental music and think about songs.
 
 
I have found that we largely teach/learn the harmonic minors first because they are the same both ways and therefore easier to play, not because they're actually the most natural pattern from an aural/theoretical point of view. If I was teaching minor keys and scales from a purely aural and theoretical point of view, I'd be teaching them natural -> melodic -> harmonic. The harmonic scale isn't a "real" scale (compared to the natural & melodic minors and major scale), so much as a theoretical construction to demonstrate how chords are usually built up in a minor key. It really is an almost unnatural invention, but we convince ourselves and our students it's the "real" minor scale by teaching it first.

 

We certainly shouldn't need to "justify" why melodic minors have to be learned and understood.
 
Most Western songs in a minor key use the melodic minor . It's the more comfortable of the two scales to sing and create melodies from. Very few songs use the harmonic minor (mostly weird modern stuff), although lots of folk music does use the natural minor. There's not a lack of resources, but you do need to think beyond graded instrumental music to find good examples of melodic minor in use.

 

I think it's actually harder to find examples of the harmonic minor scale in use in real music outwith the construction of chords...

 

(Oh, that got ranty... but I really hate the idolisation of harmonic minors, they sound exceedingly unmusical to me, coming at them as a first study singer)


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#14 maggiemay

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:37

Interesting question! Whatever the instrument, I'd always pondered at the lack of material (at least the lack of material I know) that demonstrates the classical melodic minor scale in a way to justify to students, why it's worthwhile bothering with it.
 
The Purcell minuet doesn't (in Piano Time 3, pg 41, just after Pauline Hall introduces melodic minor) but King and Queens (Alan Bullard, freely available from the Piano Time website) does.....



The PIano Time stuff has already been mentioned (erroneously!) in post number 2.
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#15 Cyrilla

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:46

Greensleeves is Dorian in its original form, I think - the different versions being a great example of musica ficta and showing the change from modality to functionality - so you just have to be careful which version you use.

 

:)


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