This Installment: “Tonal Conditions part 3”
Hello my friends. First I would like to start the year off by thanking all of you who have supported instrumental (especially guitar) music, it is an almost impossible task to stay focused on the craft of music without feeling the pressure of at some point wondering “is it ever going to be different” in the industry, where the music is 4th or possibly 5th on the things that you allow you to make a consistent living at playing music (doesn’t make sense to me either). I have been very lucky in being able to work in some really high profile situations and with some of the finest musicians in the world in several genres of music, and I never EVER forget that it is the people that go to the shows, buy the CDs, and love the music, that are really the ones who make it happen. I just want to say THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!
Now on to business at hand, lets jump back into tonal condition studies picking it back up with an introduction to the COMPOSITE TONAL CONDITION. First off, is the composite tonalities are unique in the sense.
1. Is not always mediated over by the 3rd interval as is the case in MOST situations. However, this will not change the interval count.
2. This is THE TRUE QUIAD TONALITIES, in the sense that they have 2 mediants.
3. Even though these tonalities have 2 mediants they are neither Major or Minor.
4. Some composite tonalities have 9 tones (notes) which make them symmetrical,
however they are still diatonically correct.
5. On the other hand some composite scale forms contain only 7 tones
(notes) although they are not considered symmetrical they still fall within the
framework of the diatonic system.
Lets use to key of C Major for these examples, however once again as in EVERY case these ideas can and should be worked in ALL keys.
The composite tonalities are as such: SUSPENDED TONAL CONDITION.
This is really cool because it allows you to become more unrestricted and frees your playing and thinking up from the boundaries of Major, Minor related ideas. The suspended tonality offers us another unique opportunity, because that it is based on 2 of the 3 TRUE “perfect intervals” 1 of which would be the root or key center, this in and of itself is something different. We need to understand that for an interval to be considered “perfect,” that would mean that it would remain unchanged through ALL the tonal conditions. That would only leave us with 2 intervals that would fit that description, namely the 2nd and the 4th. Upon further examination, we find that apart from the ROOT, the ONLY other intervals that remain consistent (unchanged) are in fact the 2nd and the 4th ,example: compare the first 5 intervals of the Major C D E F G, Minor C D bE F G, Augmented C D E F #G, Diminished C D bE F bG, and you’ll notice that the 2nd and the 4th are the same!!!!! This is a great thing because since the mediant is based on the 2nd and the 4th intervals, the 3rd , the 6th and the 7th (which really determine most tonalities anyway) can be added to give the effect of a Major or Minor type of vibe (wow that sounded really right out of the 70s) without being tied to either of them.
The SUSPENDED TONALITY is as such: The triad and quiad forms look like this C D G, or C F G, or C D F G, of course the arpeggio shapes would be the same except they would extend for 2 octaves and any one of these shapes would supply the chords, but the scale looks just a bit different because it has no 3rd interval, and in fact the tonality the musician using it wishes to inflect can be done by using “implied tonal equivalents” namely the 6th and 7th intervals example to produce a Major feel inside of the suspended tonality you would play C D F G A B C. To get a minor feel you would simply flatten the 6th and the 7th intervals as such: C D F G bA bB C, this would work the same way with any other tonality you wish to “imply” Dim, Aug, and etc.
Next lets touch on a pretty easy one here. In fact it’s so easy that a lot of people mistake it for something else, mostly something that it really is ha ha! It’s Major and Minor!!! The Pure Composite Tonality. It has two 3rds, one Major and the other one Minor (or flat). They would look like this in scale form:
C D bE E F G A B C
(b means flat)
would be the Major version and the Minor version would be
C D bE E F G bA bB C.
(b means flat)
You should notice a very chromatic feel in this one. Now here’s the harmonic construction is as such (sense there’s two 3rds Major and Minor there’s only one) C bE E G. As always the arpeggio is the same as the harmonic construction except it extends for 2 octaves.
I hope that you are experimenting and as always finding ways to make your playing to grow.
Till then Roast those Frets!
Mikhal……..The Electric Warrior……….