The Major Scale (Music Theory Lesson)



The Major Scale (Music Theory Lesson)

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A scale is a selection of certain notes within an octave. The first scale that we will discuss is the major scale.

The major scale is constructed with this formula. W's represent whole steps and h's represent half steps.




Let's build a C Major Scale. Our starting note will be C.




From the C, we will take a whole step to D.




From the D, we will take another whole step to E.




Next, we will go up a half step to F.




From F, the whole step will take us to G.




Next is another whole step to A.




The last whole step takes us to B.




Finally, the half step returns us to C.
C major is: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C.




Next, we will build the Eb Major Scale. Our starting note will be Eb.




The first whole step takes us to F. The second whole step takes us to G.
Notice that the half step from G takes us to Ab, not A.




The whole step from Ab takes us to Bb.




The next whole step takes us to C.




The next whole step takes us to D.
Finally, the half step from D returns us to Eb.
Eb major is: Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C, D, Eb.




Notice that Eb Major has three flats (Both Eb's only count once).




For our final scale, we will build the D Major Scale.




The first whole step takes us to E.
From the E, the second whole step takes us to F#.




The half step takes us to G.




The whole step takes us to A.
From A, the whole step takes us to B.
From the B, the whole step takes us to C#.




Finally, the half step returns us to D.
D major is: D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D.




Notice that D Major has two sharps.




It is possible to build any major scale - just start on the first note and follow the formula.
(W=whole tone, h=half tone)













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