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Oct 31 / Greg

Classical Music Piano Scales And Chords Pt. 1

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Here is a series where I will present all the classical music piano scales and chords that are in common usage in Western Art Music. This includes the classical modes.

This presentation can be used as a practice routine for scales, chords and arpeggios.

The series presents a way to get to know the keyboard from a different angle and if followed through in all keys, will result in players having a far greater understanding of the keyboard and an enhanced ability to read music.

1. the classical major, harmonic minor, melodic minor and chromatic scales.
2. the classical modes – Ionian (major scale), Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian.
3. the major and minor pentatonic scales.

1. the diatonic triads of the major scales.
2. the diatonic seventh chords of the major scales.
3. the dominant 7th with augmented 5th (V7+5) chord.
4. the French augmented 6th chord.

The higher order fundamental discords, (9ths, 11ths, 13ths) are not considered, as they are extensions of the dominant 7th chord.
The German and Italian augmented 6th chords are not included, as they are ‘re-spellings’ of dominant 7th chords. (In the case of the Italian augmented 6th chord, it is a re-spelling of a dominant 7th with a note omitted.)
The embelished 7ths, altered 7ths and higher-order discords as used in Jazz are also not included – they are not commonly used in traditional Classical music harmony.

Even so, there will be plenty here to keep a curious student of the keyboard busy.

Exploring the C key – ‘everything’ on C
Part 1.  The common scales on C

All things on C -  the scales 1

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The scales from left to right are major, harmonic minor, melodic minor. The flats in brackets are the altered notes of the descending melodic minor scale.

all things on C -  the scales 1a harmonic chromatic scale

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The harmonic chromatic scale.

all things on C -  the scales 1b diminished scales

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The full-half step diminished scale and the half-full step diminished scale.
Part 2.  The modes on C

All things on C - the scales 2 - modes

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From top left: Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian

C Dorian is the Bb major scale
C Phrygian is the Ab major scale
C Lydian is the G major scale
C Mixolydian is the F major scale
C Aeolian is the Eb major scale
C Locrian is the Db major scale

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Greg Norman’s Piano lessons and/or Music Theory lessons…
Styles: Classical, Modern
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Post-Graduate, AMEB/ABRSM exams
Suitability: Ages 7 years and up to any age, any experience level. Lessons are weekly.

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  1. Katherin / Mar 28 2013

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

  2. Greg / Apr 17 2013

    Thank you Katherin. It is a free WP theme and my partner Thea does all the site work. She has customised bits & pieces of the blog. 🙂

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