Major and Minor Scale Manipulation

Major\Minor Manipulation

Craig Gonci
[email protected]
Hillside Elementary School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments
Music Production




General Music


PC’s with Sibelius Compass and Mac’s with Logic Express and Garageband


40 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Basic computer and sequencing skills (Click and drag, the piano roll, etc.)

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 4: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
MENC 6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.


Computers with sequencing software and midi file of traditional kids songs


Student Will be able to

  • Identify the scale degree(s) needed to change a melody from Major to minor
  • Manipulate Major songs to sound Minor
  • Compose a simple melody in major and then change it to minor



  1. Play a song melody of your choosing in major and then minor, ask the students the difference between the two sounds
  2. Have student open which ever song file you wish (Lets say Mary Had a Litle Lamb) to start with and press play.
  3. Tell the students that by moving one note in that melody down a half step will change the sound from major to minor. Ask them to experiment with moving the notes to find the specific note that needs to be changed.
  4. Have the class Identify the note, hopefully it will be the third.
  5. Load another song and have the students repeat the procedure.
  6. You can focus the lesson only on the 3rd or you can add the 6th and 7th if you please, just pick a song that is appropriate, such as Twinkle, Twinkle little star for the 3rd and the 6th.
  7. Have students create an eight bar melody in major, then change it to minor.


It will be fairly easy to see and hear if you students are understanding the concept of the raised and lowered third. Students can save their melody as midi files for your evaluation later, or to use in a later composition

Follow Up:

I would follow up this lesson with some chordal and melodic ear training, either on the piano as a group or on a computer with something like Aquallegro or Music Ace, or any other CAI software

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