Etude 40-Augmented Scale Variations Over V7 to I

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This is another etude with a decidedly “modern” sound to it. In it, I’m using two different augmented scales to move from dominant 7th chords to tonic. One scale is used over dominant, and another (a half step lower) is used over tonic. But there’s a slight variation: Over the dominant chord I’m slightly altering the augmented scale by converting it into diatonic triads, then adding a fourth note that is not in the scale in order to create a four-note diatonic melodic cell. Take a look at the example below:

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In the first two measures I’ve organized the augmented scale (C, Db, E, F, Ab and A natural) into two diatonic triads: A minor and Db major. But, as you can see, I’ve added a fourth note to each four-note group: I’ve added a G natural to the A minor triad (first four notes) and an Eb to the Db triad (second four notes). These four-note melodic cells are connected by half-step leading tones (G to Ab; Eb to E natural). There are lots of tensions over the G7 chord that seek resolution: Ab (the lowered 9th), Db (functioning as the enharmonic equivalent of the raised 11), and Eb (the lowered 13th).

But these tensions never actually resolve in the traditional sense. Instead, the energy of the tensions over the G7 chord simply move to a different set of tensions (the originally used augmented scale transposed down a half step: B, C, Eb, E natural, G and Ab) over the C maj7.  But this augmented scale is organized to outline the tonality of the C major triad, so even though there are tensions, there is a sense of resolution and color difference.

Click the link below for a free, downloadable pdf of this etude. If you’d like to explore further with these concepts, please consider my e-books, Augmented Scale Diatonic Triad Pairs, and Four-Note Diatonic Triad Cells: Comprehensive Studies in Leading Tones.

Augmented Scale Variations Over V7 to I-pdf