In the last lesson, we were learning about melodic minor scales. Also, we learned that classical and popular music apply the melodic minor scale differently. While classical composers use the traditional method of use a natural minor scale in the descending section, popular composers keep the accidentals on both ascending and descending sections.
If you’re not comfortable with minor scales, I recommend you to read the previous lessons and practice. Also, if you have any question about any lesson, just leave a comment and I will reply quickly.
Remember, learning music theory is not difficult. However, you need to learn each topic little by little, and always practice.
You were left with had a homework to do: to build B Melodic Minor and G Melodic Minor scales. Here they are:
Today we will learn about harmonic fields and how to master them.
Harmonic field (or tonality) is a group of chords that are created through a specific scale. Each scale degree will have a chord, which means that each scale has seven chords which will form their harmonic field.
How to build those chords?
We start by building triads over each scale degree, which means overlapping thirds from the given scale degree.
Let’s use C Major scale as an example. The first degree will be the tonic – C. Now, if we build a C triad, it will be like this:
Or using the keyboard diagram:
We have just created a C major chord.
Notice that all notes of the triad must be part of the C Major scale. So, for C Major harmonic field, no accidentals are allowed!
Let’s now build a triad over the 2nd degree of C Major scale – D:
In the keyboard diagram:
Since only C Major scale notes are allowed, the result will be a D minor chord.
Now, if we repeat the process with all scale degrees, the result will be this:
So, C Major scale harmonic field will be the following:
These are the triads that a C Major harmonic field can create.
The next example will be G Major harmonic field. The process is the same: building triads over each scale degree:
Can you guess what triads are those? Let’s check it out:
Notice that all chords have notes only from G Major scale.
Observe some important patterns:
– Degrees I, IV, V and VIII will always result in a major triad.
– Degrees II, III, and VI will always result in a minor triad
– Degree VII will always result in a diminished triad.
So, whenever you’re building a harmonic field of any major scale, just remember the chord types for each scale degree. For example, the resulting chord from the 2nd degree of a major scale will always be a minor chord.
You can check our previous lessons about triads if you’re not familiar with that.
Now try to build the harmonic field of D Major and F Major scales.
That’s it! In the next lesson, we will discover why mastering harmonic fields is so important.