As the Harmonic Minor Scale is created for Harmonic reasons so the Melodic Minor is created for melodic reasons.  The Harmonic minor scale raises the 7th degree of the scale in order to create a strong resolution to the I chord but in so doing it also produces an augmented 2nd interval between the 6th and 7th degrees of the scale which melodically is not always desirable due to its strong eastern influenced character.

  • A . B . C . D . E . F  (augmented 2nd)  G# . A = Harmonic Minor Scale

Harmonically this interval provides the V major or V7 chord, in the key of A Minor as follows:

  • V chord – E – G# – B = Major     or     V7 – E – G# – B – D

To correct the augmented 2nd “melodically” the 6th was also raised thereby producing the Melodic Minor scale as:

  • A . B . C . D . E . F# (raised 6)  G# .  A

However, because the scale now had so much forward motion due to the raising of the two degrees it didn’t want to descend quite as nicely as the Natural Minor so ultimately the Melodic Minor scale became a combination of the two, Melodic Minor ascends and Natural Minor descends as:

  • Ascending  – A . B . C . D . E . F# (raised 6)  G# .  A Descending – A . G . F . E . D . C . B . A

In other words the Melodic Minor ascends with raised 6 and 7 and descends with lowered 6 and 7.  The harmonization of the scale is as follows (ascending only):

  • A minor . B minor . C augmented . D major . E major . F# diminished . G# diminished

The complete harmonization of the Harmonic Minor Scale in the key of A would be as follows:

  • A minor . B diminished . C augmented . D minor . E7 (maj) . F major . G# diminished

Of A Natural Minor:

  • A minor . B diminished . C major . D minor . E minor . F major . G major .