C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (2024)

Minor scales have a dark and mysterious sound that is used to create tension and emotion in music. They’re essential scales to learn for composers and musicians, but they can be a bit confusing as there are three different types.

In this post, we’re going to be exploring the natural, melodic, and harmonic forms of C minor scale. So, if you’re ready to dive into the key of C minor, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

C Natural Minor Scale

The first form of C minor that we will look at is the natural minor scale.

It’s made up of seven notes starting on C (which is known as the keynote). It then follows the natural minor scale formula of whole and half steps.

This gives us the notes: C D Eb F G Ab Bb C

As you can see, it has three flat notes: Bb, Eb and Ab

C Natural Minor Scale in the Treble Clef

Here are all the notes of C natural minor scale in the treble clef, ascending and descending.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (1)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (2)

C Natural Minor Scale in the Bass Clef

Next up, we have C natural minor scale in the bass clef, ascending and descending.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (3)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (4)

C Natural Minor Scale in the Alto Clef

The least common of all the clefs, here we have C natural minor scale in the Alto clef, ascending and descending.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (5)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (6)

C Natural Minor Scale in the Tenor Clef

And finally, here are all the notes of C natural minor scale in the tenor clef, ascending and descending.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (7)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (8)

Natural Minor Scale Formula

The natural minor scale, like every other type of scale, is constructed by using a certain combination of intervals between each note.

The formula, using whole steps and half steps, is:

Whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step.

This is abbreviated toW W H W W W H.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (9)

Using the British terminology of tones and semitones, this would be:

Tone, semitone, tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone.

Which gets abbreviated toT S T T S T T.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (10)

C Harmonic Minor Scale

The next form of C minor scale we’ll look at is the C harmonic minor, which is slightly different from the natural minor in that it has a raised 7th note.

So, the notes in C harmonic minor are: C D Eb F G Ab B

Like C natural minor, it also has an Eb and an Ab, but, notice that the seventh note is no longer a Bb but has been raised a half step to B natural.

C Harmonic Minor Scale in the Treble Clef

First, let’s look at C harmonic minor scale in the treble clef, ascending and descending.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (11)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (12)

C Harmonic Minor Scale in the Bass Clef

Next, we have C harmonic minor ascending and descending in the bass clef.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (13)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (14)

C Harmonic Minor Scale in the Alto Clef

The least common of all the clefs, here we have C harmonic minor ascending and descending in the alto clef.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (15)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (16)

C Harmonic Minor Scale in the Tenor Clef

And now we have C harmonic minor in the tenor clef, ascending and descending.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (17)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (18)

Hamonic Minor Scale Formula

The natural minor scale, like every other type of scale, is constructed by using a certain combination of intervals between each note.

The formula, using whole steps and half steps, is:

Whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, half step, whole and a half step, half step.

This is abbreviated toW H W W H WH H.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (19)

Using the British terminology of tones and semitones, this would be:

Tone, semitone, tone, tone, semitone, tone and a semitone, semitone.

Which gets abbreviated toT S T T S TS S.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (20)

C Melodic Minor Scale

And the last type of minor scale we’ll look at is C melodic minor scale. This one is a bit different from the others, though.

When it’s ascending, it’s different from the natural in that its 6th and 7th notes are raised.

This gives us the notes: C D Eb F G A B

But, when descending, the 6th and 7th notes are flattened.

This means that it’s the same as the natural minor scale when descending, giving us the notes: Bb Ab G F Eb D C

C Melodic Minor Scale in the Treble Clef

Let’s take a look at C melodic minor scale in the treble clef, ascending and descending.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (21)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (22)

C Melodic Minor Scale in the Bass Clef

Next up, let’s take a look at C melodic minor scale ascending and descending in the bass clef.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (23)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (24)

C Melodic Minor Scale in the Alto Clef

Now we have C melodic minor scale in the alto clef, ascending and descending.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (25)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (26)

C Melodic Minor Scale in the Tenor Clef

And here’s C melodic minor scale in the tenor clef, ascending and descending.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (27)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (28)

What is the Key Signature of C Minor?

To make playing in a certain key easier for the musician to read, we can use a key signature.

This helps us know to play certain notes sharp or flat without having to read an accidental each time.

C minor has the same key signature as Eb major, which has three flats in its key signature: Bb, Eb and Ab

Here’s the key signature for C minor in the treble, alto, tenor, and bass clefs.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (29)

What is the Relative Major Scale of C Minor?

Every minor scale has a relative major scale, and every major one has a relative minor one. But what is the relative major scale of C minor?

The relative major scale of C minor is Eb major.

Here is Eb major scale, which uses all the same notes as C natural minor but starts on Eb, which is its keynote: Eb F G Ab Bb C D

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (30)
C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (31)

But how do we know that Eb major is the relative major scale of C minor?

Well, to work out the relative major key of a minor one, all we have to do is go up three half steps (semitones).

So from C, we go up one half step to Db, a second half step to D, and a third half step to Eb: C > Db > D> Eb

To learn more about the relative major of C minor, see our guide to E-Flat major scale here.

Conclusion

That’s it for our guide to the scale of C minor! We hope it helped make a bit more sense of everything.

Feel free to use this post as a reference and let us know if you have any other questions.

C Minor Scale: Natural, Harmonic And Melodic (2024)

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