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Tetrachord combinations and scales

Tetrachords show up in music theory at various times. Most commonly, we see them along the first half of a diatonic scale. It’s only for notes, and it always begins and ends with the span of a perfect fourth. So there are only four variations: the major (2-2-1), minor (2-1-2), upper minor (2-2-1), and harmonic (1-3-1). They are abbreviated with numbers describing how many semitones between each note. When you take these and combine them together across an octave, you come up with all sorts of different skills. From these, you can derive new harmonies, modes, or melodic ideas without needing to worry about what the heck they are named. Tetrachords aren’t something you hear people talk about a lot, but they are great for creative experimentation.

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