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Thread: Scale Degrees & Circle of Fourths

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    Scale Degrees & Circle of Fourths

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    I hear Scale Degrees & Circle of Fourths can help you play music by ear real good! I would like to learn em but I have no idea what they are and when i look it up they almost seem like they're talking alien! Anyone knows what they are and where to find them? I hear chords are involved... what are the chords to learn??

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    Scale Degrees are simply the position of notes within a particular scale.

    Check out the following links (also accessible from my sig).

    Major
    natural minor
    harmonic minor
    melodic minor


    Circle of fourths is a jazz term for the cycle of fifths (a Baroque term).

    Both terms are based around the concept of half-close (ii-V) and half-close prepared Perfect Cadences also know as ii-V-I progressions.

    Jazz refers to this as the circle of 4ths because bass movement is by moving up a 4th (you can move down the octave within the same chord and then move up a 4th to the next chord).

    The Baroque term is about the fact that as you progress around the key centers you are consistently moving up a fifth:

    Gb - Db - Ab - Eb - Bb - F - C - G - D - A - E - B- F#/Gb

    (again, you can move down the octave within the same chord and then move up a 5th to the next chord).

    There are several way to interpret this:

    Key based circle of fourths, e.g.

    C-F-Bm7b5-Em-Am-Dm-G7-C

    I-IV-vii7b5-iii-vi-ii-V7-I




    or

    Am-Dm-G#dim7-CAug-F-Bm7b5-E7-Am

    i-iv--vii7b5-III#5-VI-ii7b5-V7-i




    Major key based circle of fourths

    C - F - Bb - Eb - Ab - Db - Gb/F# - B - E - A - D - G - C

    I - IV - bVII - bIII - bVI - bII - bV - VII - III - VI - II - V - I




    It is not necessarily a grand path to hearing chord progressions any more clearly, but it will certainly help with chord recognition in general and movement from chord to chord becomes a little more easy to apprehend as you are listening to new music.
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
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    Quote Originally Posted by bandcoach View Post
    Scale Degrees are simply the position of notes within a particular scale.

    Check out the following links (also accessible from my sig).

    Major
    natural minor
    harmonic minor
    melodic minor


    Circle of fourths is a jazz term for the cycle of fifths (a Baroque term).

    Both terms are based around the concept of half-close (ii-V) and half-close prepared Perfect Cadences also know as ii-V-I progressions.

    Jazz refers to this as the circle of 4ths because bass movement is by moving up a 4th (you can move down the octave within the same chord and then move up a 4th to the next chord).

    The Baroque term is about the fact that as you progress around the key centers you are consistently moving up a fifth:

    Gb - Db - Ab - Eb - Bb - F - C - G - D - A - E - B- F#/Gb

    (again, you can move down the octave within the same chord and then move up a 5th to the next chord).

    There are several way to interpret this:

    Key based circle of fourths, e.g.

    C-F-Bm7b5-Em-Am-Dm-G7-C

    I-IV-vii7b5-iii-vi-ii-V7-I




    or

    Am-Dm-G#dim7-CAug-F-Bm7b5-E7-Am

    i-iv--vii7b5-III#5-VI-ii7b5-V7-i




    Major key based circle of fourths

    C - F - Bb - Eb - Ab - Db - Gb/F# - B - E - A - D - G - C

    I - IV - bVII - bIII - bVI - bII - bV - VII - III - VI - II - V - I




    It is not necessarily a grand path to hearing chord progressions any more clearly, but it will certainly help with chord recognition in general and movement from chord to chord becomes a little more easy to apprehend as you are listening to new music.
    Thank you! this made it better! I still don't really understand and is the chords playing scale degrees or chord progressions? I'm confused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DAHTrump View Post
    Thank you! this made it better! I still don't really understand and is the chords playing scale degrees or chord progressions? I'm confused.
    Chords can be thought of in two ways:

    1. independently built based on internal interval structure
    2. built on the individual notes of the scale, i.e. on scale degrees


    In the progressions above, the chords are shown as being built on specific notes within a scale - so the Roman numerals are indicating which scale degree the chord is built on whilst also showing which type of chord is to be played.
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
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    Bandcoach, you are way on top of this! I remember you from IDMforums.com too. you are always on point.

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    as I do you, apopheniaConfabulation
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
    Abnormal thoughts and insights available here
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    thanx for the reply on the other thread bandcoach... and the valuable information. i was actually on my way there to post but i stopped in here and saw you...lol

  8. #8
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    A further thing to consider is ear training

    go to http://www.teoria.com and check through their ear training progam
    Last edited by bandcoach; 02-21-2011 at 05:57 AM.
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
    Abnormal thoughts and insights available here
    Tutorials and other ideas available here
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