In this music theory lesson, we will explore the C sharp melodic minor scale. The C# melodic minor scale is a diatonic scale that begins and ends on C#. It was specifically designed to enhance melodies. When ascending, the melodic minor scale is identical to a major scale, except for a lowered third. On the other hand, when descending, it follows the pitches of a natural minor scale.
NOTES ON THE C# MELODIC MINOR SCALE
The C# melodic Minor Scale notes ascending are: C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#, B#
The scale notes of the C# melodic minor descending are: C#, B, A, G#, F#, E, D#
C# MELODIC MINOR INTERVALS
The C# melodic minor scale is unique because it raises the sixth and seventh degrees by a semitone on the way up, while maintaining the same pattern as the natural minor scale on the way down. This adjustment transforms the minor 2nd interval between the 5th and 6th notes into a major 2nd interval. Additionally, there is another major 2nd interval between the 6th and 7th notes. A major 2nd interval is equivalent to a tone or a whole step, such as E-F# and F#-G#. The intervals for the C# melodic minor scale are shown below for one octave, and it’s important to note that these intervals remain the same for all ascending melodic minor scales.
The descending melodic minor scale has the same intervals as a natural minor scale, which are displayed below.
THE MELODIC MINOR SCALE FOMULAR
The melodic minor scale formula is based on the natural minor scale but rather than being the same notes both ascending and descending they are different.
- On the way up we have a sharpened 6th and 7th degree
- On the way down these are lowered so the scale becomes it’s natural formula.
HOW TO PLAY THE C# MELODIC MINOR SCALE
To play both the ascending version of the melodic minor scale, you can refer to the diagram below. The fingerings are labeled beneath the scale.
To play the C# melodic minor scale in desending, you can refer to the diagram provided below.
The melodic minor scale can be played in various positions on the guitar.
THE KEY SIGNATURE OF THE C# MELODIC MINOR
The melodic minor scale is commonly used in compositions that are in a minor key. For example, if we play the C# melodic minor scale, our piece will be in the key of C natural minor. It’s worth noting that C# minor is the relative minor of the E major scale. Both of these scales share a key signature of four sharps..
C# MELODIC MINOR ON CLEFS
Below is the C# Melodic Minor Scale written in the treble clef, bass clef, alto clef and tenor clef including both ascending and descending.
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