Major Scales

A scale is a succession of notes ascending or descending from a given note (called tonic) to a note one octave higher or lower.
A major scale is an eight note scale which uses each note of the music alphabet once and follows a specific pattern of half steps and whole steps.  Each note of the scale is given a number.  In all major scales, half steps appear between the third and fourth, and seventh and eighth notes of the scale.  The interval between all the other notes is a whole step.

Scales are an important fundamental for students to learn in order to achieve the highest ability in reading music.  The 12 major scales are designed around the 12 different key signatures. Once a student learns a certain scale, he or she should be able to read a piece of music in the same key with more confidence.

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Scales can all be identified by intervals.  The pattern is W W H W W W H.  As long as the student is starting on the correct note, any scale can be figured out using this interval method.

wh

To be sure that an instrument is starting on the correct pitch, see the chart below.

 

Concert Scale C F Bb Eb

G#

Ab

C#

Db

F#

Gb

B E A D G

C instruments:

flute, oboe, bassoon, trombone, baritone, tuba, mallets, timpani, piano, violin, cello, bass, guitar

 

C F Bb Eb

G#

Ab

C#

Db

F#

Gb

B E A D G

Bb instruments:

clarinet, trumpet, tenor saxophone

 

D G C F Bb Eb

G#

Ab

C#

Db

F#

Gb

B E A

Eb instruments:

alto and baritone saxophone

 

A D G C F Bb Eb

G#

Ab

C#

Db

F#

Gb

B E

F instruments:

French horn

 

G C F Bb Eb

G#

Ab

C#

Db

F#

Gb

B E A D



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