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  • rbedwell3

Melodic minor truths III: Modulating to the key on degree II

So, after truth number I: the Melodic doesn't change its form when descending but the scale itself changes and 2: The parallel minor key is reached by using the Melodic scale, we come to the third instalment, and probably the most important or at least most commonly used role for the Melodic scale, changing to the chord or key on degree II of the Major scale.

In C Major, when the root of the Ionian mode (1 2 3 4 5 6 7) is raised by a semitone, the formula becomes (1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7) which spells the Altered mode or Superlocrian, mode VII of D Melodic. (Notice how when a root is raised, all of the intervals between the notes become smaller by one semitone.)

Now the first rule of the ascending Melodic minor applies, it resolves to the minor chord on its root, and the scale changes to D minor, so Aeolian or Harmonic minor. The C# which is now in the scale is acting as a major 3rd of an A7 chord which naturally resolves to D minor, and the mode of A is A Mixolydian b6, mode V of D Melodic. If the scale of Harmonic minor is used over the D minor chord after the cadence then the key can stay in D minor, not just the chord.

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