A Minor scale

Amin har 1
A minor harmonic scale 1 oct

Your first minor scale. ‘Harmonic Scale’ implies that these are the notes you’d use for writing harmony, i.e. chords, so it seems almost contradictory to see it in a scale, a melody, but there it is. The distinctive sound is the huge gap from F to G#, which sounds like something Arabic.

Despite the ‘harmonic’ label, you will see this used melodically at times: whatever sounds right for the situation.

Amin mel 1
A minor melodic scale 1 oct

‘Melodic Scale’ implies that this is the one used for scripting a melody, a tune. That’s why the ascending run feels the need for sharpened 6th and 7th degrees. The descending notes seem to sound best with flattened 7th and 6th degrees. The only trouble with this very natural flow comes when writing for several vocal parts, where one ascends at the same moment another descends. By obeying the rules there will be a dissonant collision.

Amin arp 1
A minor arpeggio 1 oct

That’s the arpeggio, -in other words a chord, except flautists can’t play a chord, so they play in the manner of a harp……. ‘harp’peggio, spreading the notes out in a flourish.

For those getting more ambitious and looking for the next challenge, the ABRSM would require you to go up an octave and a half. It makes for a strange scale (especially melodic) and an even stranger lumpy arpeggio, but you won’t be managing 2 octaves at this point, so go with it………

Amin har 12
A minor harmonic scale 1.5 oct
Amin mel 12
A minor melodic scale 1.5 oct
Amin arp 12
A minor arpeggio 1.5 oct