MELODY   &   HARMONY   CONCEPTS


#1       and       #2      

Melody over time   --------   Harmony at one time

The over all concept I present here is simply this: that Melody and Harmony are "Temporal" variations of sets of notes. Think of a set of notes ( any scale / mode...) in this fashion: ( ------ TIME FLOW ------> ) H A R M M E L O D Y O N Y
********************************************************************************** CONCEPT # 1: MELODY = NOTES OVER TIME (ie; PLAYED ONE AFTER ANOTHER). All 12 notes are available for MELODIC use, including bends! Listen to the solos of any great (even 'good') player and you will often hear all 12 notes being used. You may notice that some lines or riffs go "all over the place" in a harmonic sense - but they start and end in the "right" places. NOTE: Along with the notes, one should consider that phrasing and rhythmic feel are very important elements of music making! *********************************************************************************** CONCEPT # 2: HARMONY = NOTES AT ONE TIME (ie; PLAYED ALL TOGETHER). There are 12 notes available (not counting "Micro-tones" or "Bent notes" etc.) when playing chords (HARMONY). One should try to avoid using 3 adjacent semi-tones (example; C,C#,and D) as these CLUSTERS produce a very intense vibration. So intense as to be beyond the scope of this article. Even if you seperate the notes into different octaves, they still sound rather tense! Of course, these clusters are used in many circumstances for mood and effect.

Now, here is the real consideration:

What combinations of notes (scales) can be created based on never having the
3 adjacent note cluster?

After some experimentation, the following scale system can be deduced.

Start with the largest scale one can create without a 3-note cluster...


The 8-note "Diminished" scale : ( alternating tone/semi-tone...)

             1     2     b3     4     b5     b6   bb7     7     8(1)
              \   /  \  /  \   / \   /  \   /  \  /  \   /  \   /   
spacing:      tone   semi  tone   semi  tone   semi  tone   semi


    << Please think carefully about the following statement! >>

Scales larger than 8 notes will not only have a cluster in them somewhere,
(do the math) - you will find that "cluster" will actually be two overlapping
clusters - in other words - 4 adjacent notes -
                                 =  OUCH!


The 7-note "Diatonic" scales : ( consider these the "BIG FOUR" )

MAJOR              1     2      3     4      5      6     7     8(1)

MELODIC MINOR                  b3

HARMONIC MAJOR                                     b6

HARMONIC MINOR                 b3                  b6


The 6-note "Whole-tone" scale :


1     2      3     #4     #5     #6/b7      8(1)


So ... THE STORY SO FAR ... as a basis for this Melody / Harmony model:


There will be no scale with 9 or more notes as this would include at least a 
4 note cluster! (Again, do the math.)

8 note scale : Diminished

1     2     b3     4     b5     b6   bb7     7     8(1)

With 2 modes from any starting point: tone, or semi-tone leading.
And with 3 actual possible sets of notes (keys).

Therefore, 2 x 3 = 6 combinations.

**********************************************************************************

7-note scales : The "Diatonic" Scales

1     2      3     4      5      6     7     8(1)   MAJOR
1     2     b3     4      5      6     7     8(1)   MELODIC MINOR
1     2      3     4      5     b6     7     8(1)   HARMONIC MAJOR
1     2     b3     4      5     b6     7     8(1)   HARMONIC MINOR

NOTE: The above seven note scales will, of course, have seven modes each.
There are 12 basic keys, 4 basic seven note scales, with their seven modes.
Therefore, 12 x 4 x 7 = 336 combinations --- have fun!

Seriously though, you are really only in one key for those seven modes.
Looking at it that way, it's back to (12 x 4 =) only 48!.

**********************************************************************************

6-note scale : Whole-tone

1     2      3     #4     #5     b7      8(1)

There are only 2 whole-tone sets.
For example: Start at "C" or "C#"  (Again, PLEASE - do the math!)

**********************************************************************************

Most "other" scales are either contained within the above mentioned scales
as MODES, or have the rather tense sounding 3(or more)-note cluster!


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2011 TONY DESMARTEAU