Definition of harmonic minor in US English:

harmonic minor

(also harmonic minor scale)


  • A scale containing a minor third, minor sixth, and major seventh, forming the basis of conventional harmony in minor keys.

    • ‘There are, of course, seven modes of the harmonic minor scale, just as there are with the diatonic scale, none of them have common names, and it is only the harmonic minor which is tonally effective.’
    • ‘Liszt, composer of the Hungarian Rhapsodies, presents the sound patterns of gypsy music with their harmonic minor scale specialities, the Csàrdàs rhythm and cymbal-reminiscent strains.’
    • ‘In one of his pi compositions, Cummerow constructed the piece by assigning each digit from 1 to 8 to a note of the A harmonic minor scale.’
    • ‘The harmonic minor is just one of many scales that can be used to provide different color to minor chords (others include melodic minor, phrygian, dorian, etc.)’