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What is a Scale?

Whole and Half Steps in Scales

Use of Scales

Scale Constructor

Other Tutorials:

Reading Music



Harmonic Functions

Musical Forms

Related Exercises:

Scale Ear Training

Scale Construction

Scale Identification

Key Signature Construction

Key Signature Identification

What is a Scale?

In the equal temperament tuning system, octaves are equally divided into twelve notes. A scale is a series of notes selected among these twelve notes.

Composers write melodies and build chords to harmonize melodies using the scales notes.

We can create our own scales - in the XX century many composers did - but most of the music written since the XVII century uses two types of scales: the major scale and the minor scale.

We can build a major scale using the white keys on the piano keyboard starting with C:

We can build a minor scale using the white keys but starting in A:

But what really defines the type of scale is not its first note but the intervals used to create it....

© 2011 J. Rodríguez Alvira

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