• Scale Degree Seventh Chords Of The Harmonic Minor Scale

    in Piano

    Post image for Scale Degree Seventh Chords Of The Harmonic Minor Scale

    In today’s lesson, I’ll be showing you the scale degree seventh chords of the harmonic minor scale.

    The harmonic minor scale is a chromatic variant of the natural minor scale and it is important that we cover its scale degree seventh chords the same way we’ve covered the scale degree seventh chords of the natural major scale so that we can find some other interesting seventh chord qualities that we may not necessarily find in the natural major scale.

    Before we get started in this lesson, let’s take a look at the harmonic minor scale.

    A Quick Review On The Harmonic Minor Scale

    One of the easiest harmonic minor scale to play on the keyboard is the A harmonic minor scale. Due to the fact that the harmonic minor scale is a chromatic variant of the natural minor scale, if you’re familiar with the A natural minor scale:

    …raising its seventh degree (which is G):

    …by a half step (to G#):

    …produces the A harmonic minor scale:

    One of the reasons why the seventh degree of the harmonic minor scale is raised is to create the leading note feeling which exists when the interval between the seventh and eight tone of any given scale is a half step.

    So raising G:

    …by a half step (to G#):

    …produces the A harmonic minor scale:

    Following the same procedure, you can form the harmonic minor scale in all twelve keys by raising the seventh degree of the natural minor scale (for leading note reasons.)

    “Here’s Another Example…”

    Raising the seventh degree of the D natural minor scale:

    …which is C:

    …by a half step (to C#):

    …produces the D harmonic minor scale:

    “Here’s The Harmonic Minor Scale In All Twelve Keys…”

    C harmonic minor scale:

    C# harmonic minor scale:

    D harmonic minor scale:

    Eb harmonic minor scale:

    E harmonic minor scale:

    F harmonic minor scale:

    F# harmonic minor scale:
    G harmonic minor scale:

    Ab harmonic minor scale:

    A harmonic minor scale:

    Bb harmonic minor scale:

    B harmonic minor scale:

    Scale Degree Chords Of The Harmonic Minor Scale

    We’ll be learning the scale degree seventh chords of the harmonic minor scale now that we’ve covered the harmonic minor scale in all twelve keys.

    “Pay Attention…”

    The underlying scale for our chord formation in this segment is the A harmonic minor scale:

    Right before we delve into the formation of seventh chords, let me throw more light on what seventh chords are.

    A seventh chord is basically a chord that encompasses seven degrees of a given scale (which is the harmonic minor scale in this case.)

    In this context, we can say that a seventh chord is a chord that encompasses the seven degrees of the harmonic minor scale.

    Due to the fact that we’re focusing on a class of seventh chords that are structured in third intervals, which are known to music scholars as tertian chords, we’ll be stacking notes together in third intervals until seven degrees of a scale is encompassed.

    “Check It Out…”

    Using the A harmonic minor scale:

    …let’s form the chord of the first degree.

    A third from A:

    …is C:

    …a third from A-C:

    …is E:

    …a third from A-C-E:

    …G#:

    Altogether, we have A, C, E, and G#:

    …which for all intents and purposes is a seventh chord, encompassing seven degrees of the A harmonic minor scale from A to G#:

    The seventh chord formed:

    …can be broken down to the A minor triad:

    …and an A major seventh interval:

    …known as the minor major seventh chord.

    The minor quality is derived from the third tone (which is C):

    …while the major quality is derived from the seventh tone (which is G#):

    Suggested Reading: Minor Major Seventh Chords.

    The Scale Degree Seventh Chord Of The Second Degree

    The second scale degree seventh chord in the A harmonic minor scale:

    …can be formed from B:

    A third from B:

    …is D:

    A third from B-D:

    …is F:

    A third from B-D-F:

    …is A:

    Altogether, that’s the B half-diminished seventh chord, consisting of the B diminished triad:

    …and a B minor seventh interval:

    In a nutshell, the second scale degree seventh chord of the A harmonic minor scale is the B half-diminished seventh chord:

    Suggested Reading: Half-diminished Seventh Chords.

    The Scale Degree Seventh Chord Of The Third Degree

    The third scale degree seventh chord from the A harmonic minor scale:

    …can be formed from C:

    A third from C:

    …is E:

    A third from C-E:

    …is G#:

    A third from C-E-G#:

    …is B:

    Altogether, the chord formed is the C augmented major seventh chord:

    …which can be broken down into a C augmented triad:

    …and a C major seventh interval:

    So, the third scale degree seventh chord of the A harmonic minor scale is the C augmented major seventh chord.

    Suggested Reading: Augmented Major Seventh Chords.

    The Chord Of The Fourth Degree

    The fourth scale degree seventh chord from the A harmonic minor scale:

    …can be formed from D:

    A third from D:

    …is F:

    A third from D-F:

    …is A:

    A third from D-F-A:

    …is C:

    In a nutshell, the fourth scale degree seventh chord of the A harmonic minor scale is the D minor seventh chord:

    …which can be broken down into a D minor triad:

    …and a D minor seventh interval:

    In a nutshell, the seventh chord of the fourth scale degree of the A harmonic minor scale is the D minor seventh

    chord:

    Suggested Reading: Minor Seventh Chords.

    The Chord Of The Fifth Degree

    The fifth scale degree seventh chord from the A harmonic minor scale:

    …can be formed from E:

    A third from E:

    …is G#:

    A third from E-G#:

    …is B:

    A third from E-G#-B:

    …is D:

    So, the fifth scale degree seventh chord of the harmonic minor scale is the E dominant seventh chord:

    This scale degree seventh chord can be broken down into the E major triad:

    …and an E minor seventh interval:

    …respectively.

    Suggested Reading: Dominant Seventh Chords.

    The Chord Of The Sixth Degree

    The sixth scale degree seventh chord from the A harmonic minor scale:

    …can be formed from F:

    A third from F:

    …is A:

    A third from F-A:

    …is C:

    A third from F-A-C:

    …is E:

    Altogether, the sixth scale degree seventh chord of the harmonic minor scale is the F major seventh chord:

    …which can be broken down into the F major triad:

    …and an F major seventh interval:

    Suggested Reading: Major Seventh Chords.

    The Chord Of The Seventh Degree

    The seventh scale degree seventh chord from the A harmonic minor scale:

    …can be formed from G#:

    A third from G#:

    …is B:

    A third from G#-B:

    …is D:

    A third from G#-B-D:

    …is F:

    Altogether, the seventh scale degree seventh chord of the A harmonic minor scale is the G# diminished seventh chord:

    Final Words

    Here are the scale degree seventh chords of the harmonic minor scale…

    …seven different seventh chord qualities.

    In a subsequent lesson, we’ll be learning how these chords can be used in chord progressions and jazz improvisation.

    Thank you for your time!

     

    P.S.

    Kindly check out our 16 week chord revival program if you’d love to learn more about these seventh chord qualities.

    Click Here To Check It Out Now

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

    songtutor600x314-4jpg



    { 0 comments… add one now }

    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: