How does a major scale work?

How does a major scale work?

A major scale is a diatonic scale. The sequence of intervals between the notes of a major scale is: whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half. where “whole” stands for a whole tone (a red u-shaped curve in the figure), and “half” stands for a semitone (a red angled line in the figure).

What is the major scale pattern?

A major scale contains a specific succession of whole and half steps. It is helpful to think of the pattern as consisting of two tetrachords. (A tetrachord is a four-note scale segment.) The lower tetrachord consists of the pattern whole step, whole step, half step.

What are the 4 rules of major scales?

Rule 1: The intervals in an ascending major scale, in order, are 1, 1, 1/2, 1, 1, 1, 1/2. An “ascending” scale is one that moves from left to right on the keyboard.

  • Rule 2: Every major scale has one and only one note of each “note name,” and they occur in (cyclic) alphabetic order.
  • Exercises:
  • How do you identify major scales?


    1. Identify which major scale the key represents (look for the last sharp, or last flat).
    2. Locate the relative minor scale (count down a minor 3rd).
    3. Look at the start and end chordsto determine whether the music is major or minor.

    How do you tell the difference between a major and A minor?

    The difference between a major and minor chord comes down to one, simple change: the 3rd in a scale. A major chord contains the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of the major scale. A minor chord contains the 1st, flattened (lowered) 3rd, and 5th notes of the major scale that it’s named for.

    How do you know if a scale is major or minor?

    For example, if you see a key signature with no flats or sharps, then you know it must be either C major or A minor. If the bottom note of the first chord is a C, odds are the piece is in C major. Alternatively, if that bottom note is A, the key is probably A minor.

    What is the example of major scale?

    As Example 6–8 demonstrates, the major scale can be divided into two tetrachords, each of which follows the W-W-H pattern. The two tetrachords are themselves separated by a whole step. In C major, the lower tetrachord contains C, D, E, and F, while the upper contains G, A, B, and C.

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