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Thread: What mode is this?

  1. #1
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default What mode is this?

    I have come across a beautiful tune which is listed as being in G minor. Indeed the first and last notes are G's and All B's and E's are flatted. All G's, A's, C's, D's are naturals. All well and good. But throughout the tune there are many F-sharps and no F-naturals at all.

    Does this scheme have a formal name? Or is it just some construction like "G minor sharped 7th" (or "G Aeolian sharped 7th")?

    The tune is only a few years old, but it sounds ancient. The F#'s give it a haunting quality. It is called the Cross of Savannagh, by Zoe Conway. I am pretty sure it is on Youtube.
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  2. #2
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mode is this?

    Maybe I found it. Is this the G Harmonic Minor? If so, is the harmonic minor commonly used?
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  4. #3
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mode is this?

    So-called Harmonic Minor, I guess. An Aeolian scale with a sharp 7th. It is used in Classical and Pop music. It adds a hint at Arabian super-sadness, kind of exotic to Western music and therefore attractive.
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  6. #4

    Default Re: What mode is this?

    If so, is the harmonic minor commonly used?
    I went and looked because I forgot most of what I learned about the minor scales. I thought Yesterday by the Beatles was but it is melodic minor. A couple that were listed as harmonic minor are Misirlou by Dick Dale and the intro to White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane.

  7. #5
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mode is this?

    I think Britney Spears' Hit Me Baby One More Time is one example.
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  8. #6
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    Default Re: What mode is this?

    In jazz standards you will often find the iim7b5 V7b9 progression. The harmonic minor scale is what produces those chords, hence the scale to use to improvise on those changes. The chords of an A harmonic minor would be: Am(maj7), Bm7b5, Cmaj7th(#5), Dm7, E7b9, Fmaj7, G#dim7. The harmonic minor scale produces a major V chord, (which would be a minor chord in natural/aeolian minor). I'm thinking such as in tunes like "Minor Swing" which typically has the major V7 chord. I began getting my head around harmonic minor by playing the scale beginning on its 5th scale tone. The E7 mode would be: E,F,G#,A,B,C,D. Note that a note 1/2 step above the triad is played, then the 7th and root of the chord. Easy to remember and apply. The jazz minor (melodic) also provides major V7 chords. A Jazz minor (melodic) would produce these chords: Am(maj7), Bm7, Cmaj7#5, D7, E7, F#m7b5, G#m7b5. The IV7 would add the #11 (same as flatted 5th into the chord's mode), The V7 chord has addition of a sharped 5th into the chords mode. An easy way to play Jazz (melodic) minor is to simply lower the third scale tone of a major scale. I've really enjoyed getting into these scales and modes and trying to figure out how to apply them. Hope this is helpful.
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  9. #7
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mode is this?

    There's always Greensleeves. Has a raised sixth as well.
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  10. #8

    Default Re: What mode is this?

    "G minor" is the most correct name. The F# is the leading tone and probably part of a D or D7 chord. It is there as part of the harmony and is called harmonic minor. The tune is not "in" harmonic minor, it is just used as part of the harmony. This is very usual, especially in modern music.

    It would NOT be "G aeolian with a #7", because "aeolian" means the pure diatonic natural minor scale.

  11. #9

    Default Re: What mode is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
    I went and looked because I forgot most of what I learned about the minor scales. I thought Yesterday by the Beatles was but it is melodic minor. A couple that were listed as harmonic minor are Misirlou by Dick Dale and the intro to White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane.
    Misirlou is not harmonic minor. It uses the Freygish scale or the double harmonic scale.

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  13. #10

    Default Re: What mode is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    There's always Greensleeves. Has a raised sixth as well.
    Greensleeves is a VERY old song and is played with natural sixths and sevenths or raised sixths and/or sevenths. It comes in many different flavors.

  14. #11
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mode is this?

    FYI, the tune that caught my attention on this follows. Thanks for the informative replies from all.
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