Harmonic Minor

Natural minor with a twist

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Harmonic Minor

Harmonic minor is an altered mode. Start with Aeolian, also known as natural minor, then change (b)7 to maj7. You can also start with Ionian, major, switching to b3 and b6. Here is one of the most famous pieces in the world using this scale.

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Jazz players also name this scale “Phrygian dominant” if something revolves mostly around the 5ths degree of the scale. Hava Nagila fits this description most of the way through, since it only convincingly moves to degree 1 of the harmonic minor scale at the very end.



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