Original Scale : How and Why

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by amit82cse, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. amit82cse

    amit82cse Silent observeR

    You people must be familiar with the song "Hum hai is pal yahan" from movie "Kisna". Here is the melody of first two lines on two different scales:

    Hum hai is pal yahan, jaane phir ho kaha

    Hum hai is pal yahan, jaane phir ho kaha

    1. When a song can be played on any scale then how the music director decides on what scale to use for a given song?
    2. If we deviate from the original scale then are we doing any harm or injustise to the song? In other words what is the importance of "original scale"?
  2. dennis

    dennis The Bhangra King

    What you are calling scales is not scales but Key
    U play a song in a particular key......If you change the key the pitch(?) of the song will change.
  3. amit82cse

    amit82cse Silent observeR

    A scale is a list of all the notes in a key.

    Music in a particular key tends to use only some of the many possible notes available; these notes are listed in the scale associated with that key.

    So i dont think, i am saying anything wrong?
  4. amit82cse

    amit82cse Silent observeR

    And pitch is basically the difference in the tone you will get while playing the same key on frets 1 to 4 OR playing the same key on frets 8 to 12.
  5. bjr

    bjr Lady of the Evening

    A lot of factors decide what scale you're putting the song in...I'm not sure about music directors but for songs in general.

    a) The singer. Duh! No explanations needed here.

    b) For bands...especially the progressive type, it's to do with the riffs they create....and on what instruments they're creating them on. Eg- You'll seldome see a guitarist make a song on the F# key while a piano dude might not have the same hangup.

    Each scale has a seperate feel of it's own. The best way to bring it out is with extended chords...add9th, dom9th, 13th, major 9th etc. etc. A lot of these extended chords use open strings...take for example 2 of my favourite extended chord shapes....[xx6640] and [xx11 11 9 0]. These are pretty much dripping with the flavour of the E scale...or perhaps a Bsus4. Even a riff like the one in "Mama I'm coming home" where the guitar is basically playing the E major scale backwards and the first two strings open after every note.

    c) For music composers and movie score writers, the harmonies define the scale to a large extent. I don't think I can really explain this technically since I do not really know too much about other instruments...I'd appreciate it if someone else could.

    Hope this helps a little. My good deed for the day.

    edit: The importance of the scale is just the same as the importance of standard tuning...convenient when playing with other people. Not all instruments are as scale-switch friendly as the guitar hence it is best if we prepare songs in the standard key.
    sixstringsin likes this.
  6. amit82cse

    amit82cse Silent observeR

    from @bjr's post it is clear that fight over "original scale" is bogus. I have seen empteen number of comments in tabs forum fighting and pointing that this is right scale, this is wrong scale, this is original scale, but actually all are good as long as you can sing in that pitch or scale.

    So i think there is no harm that even if Jal is singing Aadat in C#m scale, I can very well sing the same song on Cm.
  7. zing

    zing Machine Head

    @amit - note bjr's edit - when u compare the original key of the song with the key ur playin, ur assumin that both the instruments r tuned to exactly same pitch .... if either is tuned up/down the comparison is meaningless...

    if both r tuned same then changing the key will definitely change the 'sound' - a lot of the impact of the song is bcos of the pitch of its notes - playin it low can make it sound flat n lose its impact
  8. zing

    zing Machine Head

    wen u change the pitch u r basically changin the key - i learnt this the hard way - long time back on stage... the pianist started in C & i started singin in Bb ... never forgot that lesson ... lolz

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