That is certainly true as it comes to the intervals. However, I'd say musically the difference of major and minor is also very context related. Let me explain:
Due to cultural reasons, supposedly, we expect certain intervals and connections in certain scales, which we find sound particularly agreeable, and which allow us to contextualise the notes we hear. E.g. we expect sth like a base note or a 5th in certain context, and that makes us regonize whether the melody is in c-major or a-minor.
Take for example the first 6 notes of the U.S. national anthem (and let's assume it is in c and therefore these are g e c e g c2). As we interpret the first note as a 5th, the second as a major 3rd and the 3rd as the keynote (and the following notes as an arpeggiated major chord: 1 3 5 8 ), this melody sounds clearly major to us. Of course, one could also interpret it as a melody in minor, which would very uncommonly start at the 7th and go down via the 5th to the 3rd and so on. As this strongly contradicts our listening habits, however, this interpretation needs strong focussing (I think I would not manage). Even if you'd put an a as a keynote under the melody, it still sounds somewhat majorish, as the melody does not properly connect the 5th and the 1st of an a-minor scale (the keynote "a" not appearing at all in that pattern).
With the A-156 this becomes apparent e.g. when you look at ranges. Basically, in the major mode your parallel minor scale is limited from one octave to a minor third ( 3 notes ) ranges. Whatever voltage source you will use, you will have to switch it to at least 2 octaves to use a minor scale, which means that you'll somewhat loose one octave (more or less, depends on the song). If your voltage source is the seq, loosing half an octave is already sth, also because controlling becomes more difficult if you switch to 4 octaves instead of two on the seq, as you are simply not using devices in optimal ranges. Also programming becomes less intuitive if you can no more take advantage from the fact that the keynote can be addressed easily by the far left, while center (in 2 octaves mode) is the octave, and far right is 2 octaves. Run-time rerogramming (this Tangerine Dream sort of thing) becomes much more difficult and more liky to go wrong.
Even more apparent this becomes, if you use a different CV source. If you control pitch by the Theremin for example, it will be very hard to precisely hit the key not 'a' in a-minor when A-156 is switched to "major mode", as you could easily hit 'g' accidently, and with no input (hand movement) the tune will drop down to c instead of to the keynote. The same applies for using somewhat 'random' CV sources such as oscillators. They will tend to contextualise the melody rather as major, cause you can hard make these source start at the 6th only. More examples could be found...
So, all in all the A-156 is a powerful device. And yes, it is possible to use it in a natural minor scale with some - excuse me when I use that term - 'work arounds'. But I think, that is not using the full range of possibilities and options this device provides, which is why I would like to let it be re-programmed.
(Now that I think of it, one could re-program the major scale to start at the keynote of the parallel minor. This would much easier cover both scales, cause you still could use in major, while loosing only two notes instead of six. This would basically use the approach of a piano's keyboard. )
--- In Doepfer_a100@yahoogroups.com, David Holt <dave_3283@...> wrote:
> But the natural minor scale is just the major scale starting on the 6th. So you don't need a natural minor scale for the same reason you don't need a myxolydian scale.