The New Method for Tenor Banjo

Tenor Banjo(plectrum), online tutorial by William C. Stahl

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Melodic Minor Scale
The Harmonic Minor Scale has its seventh degree raised by an accidental, and the sev­enth degree raised, is played both in ascending and descending.
Harmonic Minor Scale
A Relative Minor Scale or Key is one formed directly from the fundamental Diatonic or Major Scale. All minor keys have the signature of their relative majors. A minor, has no signature because its relative, C major, has none. E minor has the signature of G major, one sharp, and so forth. The minor mode is, therefore, in one sense, subordinate to the major mode, and the keynote or Tonic (first or foundation tone of any major or minor scale) of the relative minor is always a minor third below the tonic of its relative major. There is (but should not be any) great difficulty in determining whether a piece be written in a major or minor key. The first few measures indicate in nearly every case, plainly enough, whether the major or minor is the predominating mode.
The scale of a relative minor key commences upon the sixth degree of the major scale, and we find that the Harmonic Minor Scale contains six notes that are precisely the same as those used in the major scale, but the seventh note in the minor scale must be raised by an accidental, in order to form a leading note to the scale. As the seventh note in all maj­or and minor keys must be made to fall within one semitone of the Tonic note. As the seventh degree of the minor scale is always raised a semitone by an accidental, and that accidental must be prefixed to the note itself whenever it occurs in a selection, but must not be added to the signature.
Many students have found that a concluding chord or note indicated the key in which the piece was written, but it will also be found that the rules of musical form permit that a piece may begin in a minor key and end in the major of the same keynote, or else in the relative major. Or, in another case, it may open in A minor and end in A major, or C major. But it may, of course, also end in the minor or major key in which it is written.
While in theory, we have but one minor key, that which has been known as the Harmonic Minor. We frequently form the scale called the Melodic Minor with the sixth as well as the seventh degree raised a semitone by accidentals in ascending, while in descending the sixth and seventh are made natural. The principal object in altering the Harmonic Minor Scale has been for melodic purposes, and for this reason the Melodic Minor Scales will be used in this method in relation to the major scales.
As the relation of the minor key to the major key is, and has been, a '•mystery"to many students and players, I will define the Harmonic Minor Scale on the following page as a con­clusion to the elementary part of this method.