This section will teach you about sclaes and the different keys, as well as the basics of music.
Relative and Parallel Scales |
Pentatonic Scales |
Chromatic Scale |
Whole tone scales |
Circle of 5ths |
The term scale comes from the Italian word scala which means ladder. A scale is a series of eight consecutive notes that follow a certain pattern of construction using whole and half steps.
Major and Minor Scales
A major scale is built on the following pattern:
The minor scale has three forms to it:
Relative and Parallel Scales
Major and minor scales use the same key signature are called relative scales.
Major and minor scales that have the same tonic note are called parallel scales.
A pentatonic scale is built on a five note scale. The scales were found in early Oriental and American Indian music. There is no leading tone used which gives the scale its unique sound. The scale has two forms. The first one uses the group of two black keys followed by a gap and then three black keys.
Pentatonic Scale Starting on Db
The second one uses a group of three black keys followed by a gap then two black keys.
Pentatonic Scale Starting on Gb
A Chromatic scale is built utilizing all of the half steps in the given scale. When ascending it uses sharps, when descending, it uses flats.
Whole tone scales
A whole tone scale is comprised of six notes made up of whole steps.
Whole Tone Scale
A key is a series of notes forming a given major or minor scale.
The key signatures of all the major keys and their relative minor keys are shown in the Circle of 5ths. On the right side of the circle are all the keys that employ sharps in their key signatures. The interval of a fifth exists between these keys.
On the left side of the circle are all the keys that employ flats in their key signatures. It is important to note that the interval of a fourth exists between these keys.
Enharmonic notes are two pitches that look differnt but sound the same. The same holds true for key signatures. Although the keys differ in their use of sharps and flats, the actual pitch when played is the same. There are 3 keys that are enharmonic with each other. They are listed between the lines drawn on the diagram.
There are fifteen major and minor key signatures.