» » #14 – Major Scale Harmonic/ Melodic Tensions.

#14 – Major Scale Harmonic/ Melodic Tensions.

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Tensions are those notes of the scale that are not the notes of the arpeggio, ie the second (2/9), fourth (4/11) and sixth (6/13) note of it.

Depending on the musical context (diatonic or modal harmony) and how we want to use them (as a block in a chord or a melody), tensions may be available or not for each mode of the major scale.

How to know which ones are available and which are not? There is a very simple rule: “available tensions in major harmony are those notes that are at a distance of major second in relation to the notes of the chord” (arpeggio).

Ex1: The Second (2/9) is analyzed with the Tonic (1); the Fourth (4/11) with the Third (3) and the Sixth (6/13) with the Fifth (5).

Blog & More #14 - EX1
Following this concept, available tensions for modes in major harmony would be the following:


Blog & More #14 English - EX2A

Blog & More #14 English - EX2B

Blog & More #14 English - EX2C

Blog & More #14 English - EX2D

Blog & More #14 English - EX2E

Blog & More #14 English - EX2F

Blog & More #14 English - EX2G

Applied to harmonic contexts (chords) available notes are those that follow the above rule. In a melodic way non-available notes can be used as passing notes in a melody.

One exception to this rule is when we use modes in modal contexts, in these situations passing notes (not available tensions diatonically), are usually strong notes and features.

I hope you enjoyed another harmonic post. Soon more updates.