Part 1, “The Tones,”
- Understanding musical tones
- Assigning names to specific pitches
- Putting notes on a staff
- Using the treble, bass, and other clefs
Ok... I'm Going In
What is Music?
Definition I like the most : Music is a succession of tones arranged in a specific rhythm.
What is Pitch?
Pitch describes the specific frequency or tuning of a tone.
(Frequency is a measurement of how fast air molecules are vibrating.) I
know its a little out there bare with me.
Pitch normally relates to percussion instruments such as drums and
cymbals in terms of un-pitched or non-pitched instruments. The tones
they produce can be high or low, but typically don’t correspond to
specific note pitches.
What the Hell is Frequency?
If you plug a microphone into an oscilloscope, and then hum a tone
into the microphone, the oscilloscope will measure the frequency of the
tone. This is actually a measurement of how fast the molecules of air
are vibrating; the faster the vibrations, the higher the pitch.
Vibrations are measured in cycles per second, and there are a hella
lot of them. (Cycles per second are often called hertz; abbreviated Hz.)
So if you were to hum the pitch we call middle C (the white key in
the exact center of a piano keyboard, or the third fret on the A string
of a guitar) "Don't knock me on the guitar if its wrong just tell me , I
got that info from a VST lol ", the oscilloscope will measure 256Hz
that is, the air is cycling back and forth 256 times per second.
The “standard”pitch today is the A above middle C, which equals
440Hz; all the other notes are pitched in relation to this note.
The Solfeggio Method called Solfeggio or Solfège (pronounced sol-FEZH) each of the seven notes of a scale has its own name.
Here's a brief wiki : Solfeggio is a method of naming musical tones
using a set of syllables do, re, mi, and so on.These syllables come from
the initial syllables of the first six words to the Hymn to St. John;
the seventh syllable(Ti) is derived from the name St. John, in Latin.
Tone Solfeggio name and Pronunciation
1 Do Doh
2 Re Ray
3 Mi Mee
4 Fa Fah
5 So (Sol)
6 La Lah
7 Ti Tee
8 Do Doh
First half of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” looks like using the Solfeggio method:
Mi , Re , Do, Re, Mi, Mi, Mi ,Re, Re, Re, Mi, So, So
Why do the keys have letters?
The accepted way of naming specific musical pitches uses the first seven letters of the alphabet A, B, C, D, E, F, and G.
"Only problem i have with this method myself is that you can sing or play more than one A." or any note to be exact.
To figure out which A (or F or C) to play, know that the C located in
the very middle of the piano keyboard is called middle C. (It’s the C
in the middle of the keyboard easy to remember.) All other notes can be
described relative to middle C as in “the F above middle C” or “the D
below middle C.”
First half of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” would look like this:
E ,D, C ,D, E, E, E, D, D, D, E, G, G
Some musicians identify the specific pitch by placing a number after
the note name. Using this method(which is sometimes called scientific
pitch notation), the lowest C on a grand piano is notated C1. The next C
up from that is C2;then C3, C4, and so on and the same for all the
other notes. (In this notation, middle C is C4.)
Why use sheet music when I got FL Studio piano roll, Idk I'm just giving the knowledge.
The basic music staff is composed of lines and spaces
The staff has precisely five lines and four spaces. Each line or
space represents a specific pitch. The pitches are determined by the
clef at the beginning of the staff; the staff we’re looking hopefully
will be using what is called the treble clef. Looks like a cursive
There are notes off the staff how do i figure those out?
Notes higher than the F at the top of the staff are written in the
lines and spaces above the staff. For example, the first space above the
staff is the first note after F: G. The first line above the staff is
the first note after G: A.
Just as you can add lines and spaces above the staff, you can also
add lines and spaces below the staff to describe lower notes. For
example, the first space below the staff is the first note before E: D.
The first line below the staff is the first note before D: C.
The lines you add above or below a staff are called ledger lines.
Okay...Long deep breath (Turns on B.O.B Beast Mode)
We have been looking at a staff that represents the notes just above
middle C on the piano keyboard. The notes of this staff are determined
by the type of clef that appears at the beginning of the staff and there
are several different types of clefs.
The Treble Clef
The clef we’ve been working with so far is called the treble clef; it looks like this:
As you’ve already learned,(Hopefully) in real-world terms the treble
clef is positioned just above middle C. The bottom line of the treble
clef staff is an E; the top line is an F.
Droppin a little more wiki on ya : A clef is a graphical symbol,
placed at the beginning of a staff or piece of music, that establishes
the pitch of a specific line or space on the staff; thus it determines
the pitch of all the other notes on the staff.
The treble clef, like all clefs, fixes the position of a single pitch
from which you can figure out where all the rest of the notes go. In
the case of the treble clef, the pitch it fixes is G, which is the
second line on the staff. (If you look closely at the treble clef
itself, you see that the big round part of the clef circles around the
second line of the staff.) For this reason, the treble clef is sometimes
called the G clef and the clef itself looks a little like a capital G.
If you ever have trouble remembering which note goes with which line
or space on a staff, here’s an easy way to remember them. The lines of
the treble clef staff are assigned, bottom to top, to the notes E, G, B,
D, and F. You can remember the lines by recalling the first letters in
the phrase “Every Good Boy Does Fine.”The spaces of the treble clef
staff are assigned, bottom to top, to the notes F, A,C, and E. You can
remember the spaces by remembering the word “FACE.”
The Bass Clef
When you need to write music below the treble clef, you can use a
different clef, called the bass clef. The bass clef is positioned just
below middle C, and is sometimes called the F clef. (That’s because the
two dots on the clef surround the fourth line, which is F.)Here’s what
the bass clef looks like, with the notes of a bass clef staff:
Some Webster, I grow tired of wiki sometimes : The word bass, as in
“bass clef,” is pronounced base like the bottom of things, not like the
An easy way to remember the lines of the bass clef is with the phrase
“Good Boys Do Fine Always.” (The first letter of each word describes
each line of the staff, from bottom to top.) To remember the spaces of
the bass clef, remember the first letters in the phrase “All Cows Eat
The Grand Staff (( If u trying to get into music school your going to need this))
This staff, called the grand staff, links together a treble clef
staff and a bass clef staff.(That’s because you play the piano with two
hands; each staff roughly corresponds to each hand.)
The grand staff
When you use a grand staff, it’s important to note that the two
staffs neatly flow into each other. The A at the top of the bass clef
extends above that staff to a B and a C. The C is then linked to the
treble clef, goes on up to a D, and then the E on the bottom line of the
treble clef.The neat thing is that the C which just happens to be
middle C is halfway between each staff. So when you write a middle C on a
grand staff, it might extend down from the treble clef staff or extend
up from the bass clef staff,depending on where the surrounding notes are
However, you might run into what is called an octave clef,which looks
like a normal treble or bass clef with the number 8 either above or
below the clef. When you see this type of clef, you’re supposed to
transpose the normal treble clef notes either up (if the 8 is above the
clef) or down (if the 8 is below the clef ) an octave.
I wont discuss anymore clefs until later own for the purpose of trying not to confuse people.
Okay for those that just want the goods , here's the skinny
The absolute LEAST U NEED TO TAKE FROM THIS
- Music is a succession of tones arranged in a specific pattern; a tone is a sound that is played or sung at a specific pitch.
- There are many different ways to describe a specific pitch. You
can describe a pitch by its vibration frequency, by where it lies
numerically compared to other pitches, or by using the Do Re Mi
- Established music notation assigns letters to the seven basic
pitches, A through G. The letters repeat as you generate higher pitches.
- Pitches are assigned to specific keys on a piano keyboard, and to specific lines and spaces on a musical staff.
- The clef placed at the start of a staff determines which notes
appear where on the staff. The most used clef is the treble clef; the
bass clef is used for lower-pitched instruments and voices.
I will try to post some exercises as well for practice...But don't
hold me too it.. I have to jet for class now. Any Feedback is great
O an also I'm a student in the field of Digital Animation, like
Pixar looking stuff . I make skeletal structures and controls for the
models (Characters) basically a Character Set-up artist. My portfolio is
here : http://www.adriandwalker.comjust peep the demo reel all graphics and after effects work done by me. The music too lol.
Part 1, “The Tones,” Exercises
I can't take full credit for these got em from a teacher's edition
book in the library a few mins ago. I did how ever take the answers out
That should do it , roughly for part 1.
Answer Key here
Part 1, “The Tones,”
All About Intervals
- Changing pitches with sharps and flats
- Understanding half steps and whole steps
- Counting the intervals between notes
- Using major, minor, perfect, diminished, and augmented intervals
I'm a little worked up this morning. Gf broke up with me , because
apparently all I do is study music and go to school. Smh... she was
special to me. Anyway I got a question yesterday about sharps and flats.
Here shortly that question will be answered. Its funny tho because it
was my music that got her involved with me in the first place.
Everything here in this section I'm going to discuss related to the C
Major scale. All white keys from C up to the next C on the keyboard.
These concepts can be applied to any scale tho.
Ok straight into it no more crap about my GF
Sharp or Flat
Lines and spaces on a music staff correspond exactly to the white keys on a piano.
But what about those black keys? Where are they on the staff?
There are 7 main pitches in a Western musical scale (A through G), but that is a bit over simplified.
There actually are 12 possible notes in an octave, with some of them falling between the 7 main pitches.
Definition: An interval is the space between two pitches.The smallest interval in Western music is a half step; intervals are typically measured in the number of half steps between the two notes.
Black keys are called sharps and flats. Sharps and
flats are halfway between the pitches represented by the white keys on a
piano; a sharp is above a specific key and a flat is below a specific
Another way to think about it is : a sharp raises the natural note; a flat lowers the note.
Like the black key above the middle C key, for example. You can refer
to this key as C-sharp, because it raises the pitch of C. It also can
be called D-flat, because it lowers the next white key up, D. It may be a
little confusing, but it’s true C-sharp is the same note as D-flat. And
whenever you have two notes that describe the same pitch like C-sharp
and D-flat the notes are enharmonic.
Definition : Two notes that sound the same but can be spelled differently are called enharmonic notes.
On a music staff, sharps and flats are designated by special
characters placed before the affected note. These characters, called accidentals, look like this:
Definition: Any modification to a natural note is called an accidental. Sharps and flats are accidentals; the natural sign (used to return a sharped or flatted note to its natural state) is also an accidental.
The third character is called a natural. When you see a natural sign on a piece of music, it means to return the specific note to its natural state, without any sharps or flats. (Hope i remember to photoshop that right)
You can also add sharps and flats to any note even those keys on a piano that don’t have black notes between them.
So, for example, if you add a flat to the C note, you lower it to the
next note on the keyboard which happens to be B natural. (This means B
natural is the same pitch as C-flat.)
How 2 Step
(I got 2 step by Unk stuck in my head now.)
Smallest interval in Western music is the half step.
On the piano keyboard , half steps appear between the white keys B
and C and between E and F. In all other cases they appear between a
white key and a black key for example, D to D-sharp, or F-sharp to G.
Definition : In some musical circles, a half step is called a semitone, and a whole step is called a tone.
Two half steps equal one whole step. The interval between F and G is a whole step; the interval between B and C-sharp is also a whole step.
Now that I some what skated you stuff about steps, it’s a little easier to understand how sharps and flats work. When you sharpen a note, you move the pitch up a half step.When you flatten a note, you move the pitch down a half step.
Take the note C, for example: When you add a flat to C, you take it
down a half step. Because the first key (white or black) to the left of C
is the white key B, this means C-flat equals B. When you add a sharp to
C, you take it up a half step. The first key to the right of C is the
black key we call C-sharp. (This black key is also the first key to the
left of D, which means C-sharp is the same as D-flat.) ((It helps if you
have a keyboard to visually apply this to))
For the guitar players : On a guitar, a half step is the distance of a single fret. A whole step is the distance of two frets.
((And no I don't play guitar , but i do have a wonderful book on how to learn the blues sadly I have yet to learn how to play more than three chords strings be killin my fingers))
You can use the step method to describe the intervals between two
notes although once you get more than a few steps away, the counting
becomes a tad difficult. When you’re trying to figure out which note is
seven half steps above middle C (it’s G, in case you’re counting), it’s
time to use another method to describe your intervals.
A more accepted way of describing intervals is to go back to the
seven main notes of a scale and revisit the relative numbering method.
You can use the numbers of the scale to denote the basic intervals
between notes, and thus apply this numbering to any scale.
Break down time
((I wake up early in the morning
round the crack of dawning....wave to my neighbors like wass up ((say wass up))
As you learned ( I hope ) you can use numbers to describe the seven
main notes in any scale. The first note is numbered one, the second note
is numbered two, and so on. This method of numbering actually describes
the seven degrees of a musical scale.
There also are Fancy musical names you can use in place of the
numbers, which you might run into in some more formal situations. The
following table presents these formal degree names.((This is for the
(O you fancy Huh)
Degrees of the Scale Degree Name
First (Root) Tonic
Seventh Leading Note
Eighth (Octave) Tonic
All this dominant and sub dominant stuff will become more important when I cover about chord progressions.
Few more terms you need to know before we proceed. When two notes of
the exact same pitch are played by two different instruments or voices,
they’re played in unison. Two identical notes with the same name, played eight degrees apart, form an octave.
Today's wiki: (The word octave comes from the Latin word octo, for “eight” because an octave is eight notes above the beginning note.)
For example, if you go from middle C to the next C up the keyboard, that’s an octave; F to F is another octave … and so on.
Musical degrees come in handy when you’re describing intervals
between notes. Instead of counting half steps and whole steps, you can
simply describe an interval by using these relative numbers.
Definition: The lowest note of an interval, chord, or scale, is called the root. (take that wiki)
For example, let’s say you want to describe the interval between C
and D. If you count C as number one (the first degree), D is number two
and the interval between them is called a second. The interval between C
and E (the first and third degrees) is a third; the interval between C
and F (the first and fourth degrees) is a fourth … and so on.
here's what the basic intervals, starting with a unison and ending with an octave, with C as the root look like :
This is some side stuff I thought was pretty dope.
When you examine the frequencies of two notes, as discussed in the
previously ( My First Post), you find that the second note in an octave
is an exact multiple of the first note. For example, the A above middle C
has a frequency of 440Hz; the A an octave above that has a frequency
twice that, 880Hz. For this reason two notes with the same name have the
same sound, even if they’re pitched an octave or more higher or lower.
Major and Minor Intervals
(I get crazy I I Get Crazy) But seriously its about to get Crazy on this post.
When describing intervals by degree, you still have to deal with
those pitches that fall above or below the basic notes the sharps and
flats, or the black keys on a keyboard.
When measuring by degrees, you see that the second, third, sixth, and
seventh notes can be easily flattened. When you flatten one of these
notes, you create what is called a minor interval. The natural state of
these intervals (in a major scale) is called a major interval. Here is what these four intervals look like, with C as the root, in both major and minor forms.
Prob will be my last post for today on this, I was hoping to finish
intervals today but there is just so much to cover and I'm really kinda
sad about my GF. Lets make Perfect Intervals!!!!!!!!!!!
Certain intervals don’t have separate major or minor states (although
they can still be flattened or sharpened). These intervals fourths,
fifths, and octaves exist in one form only, called a perfect interval.
You can’t lower these intervals to make them minor or raise them to make
them major; there’s no such thing as a minor fifth or a major octave.
The intervals, because of their acoustical properties,are perfect as-is.
Remember, we’re dealing with intervals within a Major scale.Minor scales have different “natural” intervals between degrees of the scale.
Another Side note for the smarties:
Why is a perfect interval so perfect? It all has to do with
frequencies, and with ratios between frequencies. In a nut shell,
perfect intervals sound so closely related because their frequencies are
closely related.For example, a perfect octave has a ratio of 2:1
between the two frequencies the octave is twice the frequency of the
starting pitch (which is called the fundamental).If the fundamental is
440Hz, the octave above is twice that frequency,or 880Hz. Similarly, a
perfect fifth has a ratio of 3:2, and a perfect fourth has a ratio of
4:3. Other intervals have more complex ratios, which makes them less perfect.
For example, a perfect third has a ratio of 5:4, not quite as simple or
as perfect. Put into a series, each increasingly complex interval ratio
forms what is called a harmonic series, and the intervals (in order) are called harmonics. But don’t get hung up on all the math; what’s important is that you know what the perfect intervals are, not the math behind them.
The three perfect intervals, with C as the root.
Augmented and Diminished Intervals
You know that perfect intervals can’t be major or minor.
That doesn’t mean that they can’t be changed.
You can raise and lower fourths and fifths but, the result is not called major or minor. When you raise a perfect interval a half step, it’s called an augmented interval. When you lower a perfect interval a half step, it’s called a diminished interval. So don’t call the new intervals major or minor call them augmented or diminished.
if you use C as the root, F is a perfect fourth away from the root.If
you sharpen the F, the resulting note (F-sharp) is an augmented fourth
above the root.
Like , G is a perfect fifth above C. When you flatten the G, the resulting note (G-flat) is a diminished fifth above the root.
"Side Note": ((An augmented fourth and a diminished fifth are enharmonically the same note.))
A picture of key augmented and diminished intervals, with C as the root
Now this next part can be confusing. Just give it some time to soak in.
Other types of intervals can also be called diminished and augmented
and these intervals have nothing to do with the perfect intervals.
You can also create a diminished interval by lowering a minor
interval by another half step. For example, F to D-flat is a minor
sixth; if you flatten the D-flat ( yes , its a double flat an its real)
the resulting interval is called a diminished sixth.
You can also create an augmented interval by raising a major interval
by another half step. For example, F to A is a major third; if you
sharpen the A (to A sharp), the resulting interval is an augmented
You don’t have to deal with either type of diminished or augmented
interval that often. But its still good to know what they are!
It doesn't Stop at the Octave
You don’t have to stop counting intervals when you get to the octave.
Above the octave are even more intervals ninths, tenths, elevenths, and
they just keep going for the most part.
Intervals that span more than an octave are called compound intervals
because they combine an octave with a smaller interval to create the
larger interval. For example, a ninth is nothing more than an octave and
a second; an eleventh is an octave and a fourth … and "You know You
Know how the story go..you dun jock my style..You done stole my Flow"
This table should help visually clear things up.
Ninth Octave plus second
Tenth Octave plus third
Eleventh Octave plus fourth
Twelfth Octave plus fifth
Thirteenth Octave plus sixth
Fourteenth Octave plus seventh
Compound intervals can have all the qualities of smaller intervals, which means a compound interval can be (depending on the interval) major, minor, perfect, augmented, or diminished.
Intervals in Half Steps
Have to take a short pause to help a client...Mite be back tonight or
I mite not. Please PM me any suggestions that you think would in prove
this thread. Or If you like the way it is just let me know, Its nice to
have some feedback every now and then. Makes me feel like I'm not
wasting my time posting.
Intervals in Half Steps
It might be easier for you to think of all these intervals in terms
of half steps. The following table shows how many half steps are between
these major and minor intervals.
Half Steps Between Intervals
Interval Number of Half Steps
Perfect unison 0
Minor second 1
Major second 2
Minor third 3
Major third 4
Perfect fourth 5
Augmented fourth 6
Diminished fifth 6
Perfect fifth 7
Minor sixth 8
Major sixth 9
Minor seventh 10
Major seventh 11
Minor ninth 13
Major ninth 14
Minor tenth 15
Major tenth 16
Perfect eleventh 17
Augmented eleventh 18
Diminished twelfth 18
Perfect twelfth 19
Minor thirteenth 20
Major thirteenth 21
Minor fourteenth 22
Major fourteenth 23
Take special note of those intervals that are enharmonically
identical such as the augmented fourth and the diminished fifth. What
you call that particular interval depends on which direction you’re
heading, and which notation is the easiest to read in a given piece of
The Absolute LEAST U NEED TO TAKE FROM THIS
- The smallest interval between any two notes is called a half step. Two half steps equal one whole step.
- A sharp raises the value of a note by a half step. A flat lowers the value of a note by a half step.
- The intervals between any two notes are described in terms of
degree. For example, the interval between the first and third notes is
called a third.
- In a major scale, seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths are
called major intervals. You can create a minor interval by flattening
- In a major scale, fourths, fifths, and octaves are called
perfect intervals.When you flatten a perfect interval, you create a
diminished interval;when you sharpen a perfect interval, you create an
- Putting eight notes together to form a scale
- Creating major and minor scales
- Discovering the different modes within a major scale
The first two sections I talked about the seven key notes (A through
G), and how they relate to each other. I also should have mentioned the
word “scale” to describe all seven of those notes together. ( I hope, I
didn't go back to see if I did )
Here I will further examine the concept of the musical scale, which
is seven notes all in a row, in alphabetical order. (If you count the
first note, repeated an octave higher at the top of the scale, it’s
There are so many different types of scales
You can have a major scale, a minor scale (actually three different
types of minor scales), or any number of different modes within a scale.
I know it sounds confusing , but it’s really simple once you understand
how scales are constructed ,using different intervals between the
(What’s a mode, you ask? YOU MUST READ ALL OF THIS TO FIND OUT!)
How many Notes Equal One Scale Again?
A scale is eight successive pitches within a one-octave range. All scales start on one note and end on that same note one octave higher.
Example, every C scale starts on C and ends on C; an F scale starts
on Fand ends on F; and they all have six more notes in between.
The first note of a scale is called the tonic, or first degree, of the scale.The second note is called the second degree, the third note is called the third degree, and so on until you get to the eighth note, which is the tonic again.
The major exception to the eight-note scale rule is the scale that includes all the notes within an octave, including all the sharps and flats. This type of scale is called a chromatic scale, and (when you start with C) looks something like this:
Side Note: Don’t capitalize the word“minor,” or any of
its abbreviations. Major chord notation is (almost) always capitalized,
and minor chord notation is (almost)always lowercase.
With saying that, any given scale has specific relationships between
the different degrees of the scale. That’s how you describe different
types of scales: A major scale has different intervals between specific
notes from those you’ll find in a similar minor scale. These different
intervals give each type of scale its unique sound.
The most common scale is called the major scale.
Major scales are happy scales;they have pleasant and expected
intervals at every turn. (Like the “Do Re Mi FaSo La Ti Do” Just imagine
Justin bieber singing it)
The mirror image of the major scale is the minor scale. Minor scales are sad scales; the intervals between the notes sound a little depressing.
Both major and minor scales can start on any note from A-flat to
G-sharp. No matter which note you start with, each scale has its own
specific combination of intervals between notes.
Sorry for the long break I normally post up here like a mad man or
something , but yesterday soundclick over drafted my bank for the 2nd
time so im (78.47) in the hole. I know isn't it wonderful. Life of a
college student I'm already in debt up to my eye balls and now i have no
pocket money. Smh.... Major Scales
What makes a major scale major are the specific intervals between the
notes of the scale. Every major scale uses the same intervals, as shown
in the following table.
The Intervals of the Major Scale
Note Half Steps to Next Note
Another way, the intervals in a major scale go like this: whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half.
Starting your major scale on C (the C Major scale), you end up
playing all white keys on the piano. C Major is the only major scale
that uses only the white keys; all the other scales have black keys in
Side Note : Love in This Club-Usher, uses this as like its main
thing. I think its by PoLo Da Don, Dont quote me on the spelling of his
name i didn't google it because I'm short on posting time.
Make things easy, the following table shows all the notes in the 15 major scales:
The 15 Major Scales
Note that several of these scales are enharmonic. (Remember
that word? It means two notes that are identical, but spelled
differently.) So C-sharp Major and D-flat Major are just different ways
of describing the same notes, as are F-sharp Major and G-flat Major, and
B Major and C-flat Major.
Tip: When playing a piece of music, you typically stay within
the notes of the designated scale. Any notes you play outside the scale
are called chromatic notes; notes within the scale are said to be diatonic.For example, in the C Major scale, the note C is diatonic; the note C-sharp would be chromatic.Even though chromatic notes might sound “different” than the normal scale notes,they can add color to a piece of music. (chroma means “color.”
Minor scales sound a little less “up” than major scales.Because the
third note of the minor scale is a minor interval, where as the third
note ofthe major scale is a major interval. That little half step
between a minor third and a major third makes all the difference! Not to
confuse you; there actually are three types of minor scales: natural,
harmonic, and melodic. I'll go in depth on each scale separately.
Easiest minor scale to construct is the natural minor scale
You can think of the natural minor in terms of its corresponding major scale. When you start and end a major scale on the sixth note, instead of the tonic, you get a natural minor scale.
Example: Play a C Major scale (C D E F G A B C). Now move up
to the sixth note or just move down two notes. (It’s the same thing up
six or down two both put you on the A.) Now play an eight-note scale,
but using the notes in C Major. What you get A B C D E F G A is the A
minor (natural) scale.
Each natural minor scale shares the same tones as a specific major scale.
(Which ones you say? Well I got a table for you)
The following table shows you which minor scales matches up with what major scales.
Relative Major and Minor Scales
Major Scale Related Natural Minor Scale
C Major A minor
C-sharp Major A-sharp minor
D-flat Major B-flat minor
D Major B minor
E-flat Major C minor
E Major D-flat(C-sharp) minor
F Major D minor
F-sharp Major D-sharp minor
G-flat Major E-flat minor
G Major E minor
A-flat Major F minor
A Major F-sharp (G-flat) minor
B-flat Major G minor
B Major G-sharp minor
C-flat Major A-flat minor
Every natural minor scale uses the same intervals, as shown in the following table.
The Intervals of the Natural Minor Scale
Note Half Steps to Next Note
Another way, the intervals in a natural minor scale go like this: whole, half, whole, whole, half, whole, whole.
To make things super simple for you, the following table shows all the notes in the 15 natural minor scales.
The harmonic minor scale is similar to the natural minor scale, except the seventh note raised a half step. Some musicians prefer this type of minor scale because the seventh note better leads up to the tonic of the scale.
The following table details the intervals between the notes in the harmonic minor scale.
(Break...Have to put in other scales pictures, mite be all for today.
I really got to wrap this section up soon or I'm going to have to do a
super amount of exercises to cover them all )
Kinda had a Fail in Fl a moment ago..smh...But Auto SAVE SAVED ME LOL
The harmonic minor scale is similar to the natural minor scale,
except the seventh note raised a half step. Some musicians prefer this
type of minor scale because the seventh note better leads up to the
tonic of the scale.
The following table details the intervals between the notes in the harmonic minor scale.
The Intervals of the Harmonic Minor Scale
Note Half Steps to Next Note
Another way, the intervals in a harmonic minor scale go like this: whole
and a half
Side Note: The seventh note of any scale is sometimes called the leading note because it leads up to the tonic of the scale.
The 15 Harmonic Minor Scales
Side Note (VERY IMPORTANT ONE): The “X” you see before several of the notes in the previous table is a double sharp. It means you raise the base note two half steps.
The only problem with the harmonic minor scale is that the interval
between the sixth and seventh notes is three half steps and you rarely
have an interval in a scale wider than two half steps. (It’s hard to
So the melodic minor scale raises both the sixth and seventh notes of
the natural minor scale by a half step each, resulting in the following
The Intervals of the Melodic Minor Scale
Note Half Steps to Next Note
Put another way, the intervals in the melodic minor scale go like this: whole
Making things easier , the following table shows all the notes in the 15 melodic minor scales.
If three minor scales weren’t enough to deal with, some music theorists use this melodic minor scale only when you’re going “up” the scale. (They call this the ascending melodic minor scale.) Going back down (the descending melodic minor scale), they use the notes in the natural minor scale.
So the sixth and the seventh degrees are raised on the way up, but not
on the way down. Theorists are split on this issue, however; some use
the melodic minor scale both ascending and descending, and others use
the two different scales. It’s okay to use a single scale ,as presented
here, as long as you’re aware of the alternate way of doing things.
(And after this section its Quiz time )
Before I jump into this last section because its almost quiz time. I
would like to know from the people that are reading and taking
information from this series to give me a little feedback.
What one thing from this list would (You) find most helpful to add?
- A way to ask spefic questions, and have them answered in a timely manner.
Video Lessons via You-tube embedded right here on the forum
- PDF down loadable Lessons (This would probably be weekly)
- Audio (Only) lesson that matches with post (current lesson)
- Audio mp3's of scales and intervals , etc (would be by piano)
Respond to this by simply in-boxing (Private message or PMing) me the
number before the item you want to vote for. If you don't know how to
do this, just click the envelope that's under my name
Another brief distraction from theory , Go vote for me here :
Thanks in advance for all that will vote.
If a scale is a combination of eight successive notes (in alphabetical order, of course), do any eight notes make a scale?
Here's the wiki ( In a nut shell on modes ) : Modes date all the way
back to the ancient Greeks, and the findings of Pythagoras and
Aristotle. In fact, it was Aristotle’s student, Aristoxenus, who
formalized the Greek scheme of modes, which included the Dorian, Ionian,
Lydian, and Phrygian.The name of each mode was based on the final note
of the mode.The number and use of modes were expanded in the era of the
medieval church,where they were called church modes and used in the form
of plain song called Gregorian chant. The last discovered mode,
Locrian, is actually a theoretical mode; it was never used in the same
context as the other church modes.Chronologically, modes were around
long before scales. The major and minor scales we use today came after
the introduction of the various modes, and were,in fact, based on the
Ionian and Aeolian modes, respectively.
Note: modes are arrangements of intervals in and of themselves. In practice, any mode can start on any note.
There are seven essential modes, each of which can be thought of as
starting on a different degree of the major scale. You stay within the
relative major scale;you just start on different notes.
Example: the Dorian mode starts on the second degree of the
major scale.In relation to the C Major scale, the Dorian mode starts on
D, and continues upward (D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D). The same holds true for the Phrygian mode,which starts on the third degree of the related major scale in C Major: E, F,G, A, B, C, D, E.
Modes are very important when constructing melodies. When you create a
melody based on a specific mode, you get to create a different sound or
feel while staying within the notes of a traditional major scale. You
just start and stop in different places. (Melodies based around specific
modes are called modal melodies.)
Musicians, play the Ionian mode all the time without really knowing it. Because the Ionian mode starts on the tonic of the related major scale and contains the exact same notes as the major scale.
The following table details the half steps between the notes of the Ionian mode
The Intervals of the Ionian
Note Half Steps to Next Note
The C Ionian mode consists of the following notes:
Dorian mode can be thought of as starting on the second note
of a major scale. It sounds a little like a natural minor scale, but
with a raised sixth. (To get an idea what Dorian mode sounds like,
listen to the Simon & Garfunkel song“Scarborough Fair”; it’s
composed entirely in Dorian mode.)
The Intervals of Dorian Mode
Note Half Steps to Next Note
D Dorian is relative to the key of C, and consists of the following notes:
Phrygian mode can be thought of as starting on the third note of the
related major scale. Like the Dorian mode, it sounds like a natural
minor scale but with a lowered second degree.
The intervals between notes in the Phrygian mode are as follows.
The Intervals of the Phrygian Mode
Note Half Steps to Next Note
E Phrygian is relative to the key of C, and consists of the following notes:
Lydian mode can be thought of as starting on the fourth note of a
major scale. It’s an almost-major scale, but with a raised fourth.
The intervals between notes in the Lydian mode are as follows.
The Intervals of the Lydian Mode
Note Half Steps to Next Note
F Lydian mode is relative to the key of C, and consists of the following notes:
Mixolydian mode can be thought of as starting on the fifth note of
the related major scale. Like the Lydian mode, it’s sort of major
sounding, but in this case with a lowered seventh.
The intervals between notes in the Mixolydian mode are as shown in the following table.
The Intervals of the Mixolydian
Note Half Steps to Next Note
In the key of C, the Mixolydian mode consists of the following notes:
BREAK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL we're almost at the end of this
lesson people just hold on. 1 more mode..Wait 1 more mode...Smh
Aeolian mode contains the exact same notes as the natural minor
scale. Itcan be thought of as starting on the sixth note of the related
The intervals between notes in the Aeolian mode are as follows.
The Intervals of the Aeolian Mode
Note Half Steps to Next Note
You use the Aeolian mode a lot when you play blues and jazz tunes. A
Aeolian is relative to the key of C, and consists of the following
Last one !!!!!!!!!11
Locrian mode can be thought of as starting on the seventh note of the
related major scale. It’s probably the weirdest sounding of all the
modes,because all the leading notes are in all the wrong places.
Back in olden times, Locrian was a mode that existed in theory only;
it wasn’t used in actual music. Today, however, the Locrian mode is used
in some jazz music, and in some new music compositions.
The intervals between notes in the Locrian mode are as follows.
The Intervals of the Locrian Mode
Note Half Steps to Next Note
B Locrian is relative to the key of C, and consists of the following notes:
The Absolute LEAST U NEED TO TAKE FROM THIS
- A scale consists of eight notes whose letter names are in successive alphabetical order.
- Scales can be either major or minor. (And there are three different types of minor scales!)
- All major scales have the same intervals between different notes, no matter what note they start on.
- A mode, like a scale, consists of eight notes in a row but
aren’t limited to just major and minor. Modes are derived from the
ancient Greeks and(later) the medieval church, and can be thought of as
starting on different degrees of the related major scale.
BaM Take that. smh..one mode...smh..like I would stop on one mode. (Mite be awhile before pictures go up fingers cramping)
Major and Minor Keys
- Understanding major and minor keys
- Determining key by using key signatures
- Using the circle of fifths
- Applying accidentals and changing keys
If you’re writing music within the C Major scale, you have it easy.
All the notes fall in the lines and spaces of the treble and bass clefs;
no sharps or flats are necessary.(And, if you’re playing the piano, you
don’t have to use those tricky black keys!)
However, if you’re writing music using another scale, you have to use
accidentals to raise and lower notes beyond the white keys on the piano
keyboard. For example, if you’re using the F Major scale, you have a
pesky B-flat to deal with.
Now, you could put a flat sign in front of every B-flat in your
music. However,you’ll end up writing a lot of flats which would suck.
There’s an easy way to designate consistent flats and sharps
throughout an entire piece of music, without noting each and every
instance. This approach requires the knowledge of musical keys which just happen to correspond to the musical scales i talked about in the previous lesson.
Key to Success
When a piece of music is based on a particular musical scale, we say
that musicis in the “key” of that scale. For example, a song based
around the C Major scale is in the key of C Major. A song based around
the B-flat Major scale is in the key of B-flat Major.
When you assign a key to a piece of music (or to a section within a
larger piece),it’s assumed that most of the notes in that music will
stay within the corresponding scale. So if a piece is written in A
Major, most of the notes in the melody and chords should be within the A
Major scale. (There are exceptions to this, of course; they’re called accidentals; they’re discussed later in this lesson.)
Using Key Signatures
One of the convenient things about assigning a particular key to a
piece of music is that it enables you to designate the appropriate
sharps and flats upfront, without having to repeat them every time they
occur in the music.
Here’s how it works.
You designate a key by inserting a key signature at the very start of
the music,next to the first clef on the first staff. This key signature
indicates the sharps and flats used in that particular key. Then, when
you play through the entire piece, you automatically sharpen and flatten
the appropriate notes.
For example, let’s say you write a song around the F Major scale. The
F Major scale, if you recall, has one flatted note: B-flat. So next to
the first clef on the first staff, you put a flat sign on the B line.
Now, when you play that song,every time you see a B, you actually play
The same would apply if you were playing in the key of G, which has
one sharp:F-sharp. You put a sharp sign on the top F line on the first
staff; then every time you see an F, you play an F-sharp.
Just as there are 15 major scales (including three enharmonics),
there are 15major keys; each with its own key signature. The following
table shows what each key of these key signatures looks like, along with
its corresponding scale.
Some Tips : How can you quickly determine which key signature
you’re looking at?It depends on whether the key signature contains
sharps or flats.
If the key signature includes flats, the key (no pun intended) is to
look at the next-to-last flat the one that’s next to the farthest one on
the right.This note determines the key signature.
For example, if a key signature has two flats, you look at the
next-to-last flat and determine that the key is B-flat, which it is. If
the key signature has three flats, you look at the next-to-last flat,
and determine that the key is E-flat. It’s pretty simple.
But what do you do if there’s only one flat? There’s no next-to-last
flat! For the key signature with a single flat, the key is F. You’ll
have to memorize that one, as you will the key with no flats or sharps
which is the key of C.
If the key signature includes sharps, the method is different. What
you want to remember here is that the last sharp in the key signature
represents the seventh degree of that particular scale, so that the
tonic of the scale is the next note up.In other words, look at the last
sharp and the next note up is the key.
Take, for example, the key signature with one sharp. That sharp is on
the note F sharp,so the next note up tells you that the key is G. If
the key signature has two sharps, the last one is on the note C-sharp,
and the next note up is D which is your key. And so on for all the other
sharp key signatures.
The key signatures used to indicate major keys also can represent
natural minor keys. As you remember from earlier, a natural minor scale
is based on the same notes as a major scale, but starts on the sixth
note of the scale. This same method applies to keys, so that (for
example) the key of A minor uses the same notes and the same key
signature as C major.
The following table shows the 15 minor keys, with their corresponding key signatures and scales.
The Circle of Fifths
There’s a quick way to remember how many sharps or flats to include
with each key signature. This method is called the circle of fifths; it
works like this.
Starting with the key of C, for every perfect fifth you move up, you
add a sharp.So the key of G (a perfect fifth up from C) has one sharp.
The key of D (a perfect fifth up from G) has two sharps … and so on.
The circle of fifths works in the other direction for flats. For
every perfect fifth you move down from C, you add a flat. So the key of F
(a perfect fifth down from C) has one flat. The key of B-flat (a
perfect fifth down from F) has two flats … and so on.
The following drawing shows how all the major keys relate in the
circle of fifths. When you move clockwise around the circle, you’re
moving up through the fifths (and the sharp keys); when you move
counterclockwise, you’re moving down through the fifths (and the flat
The next figure shows the circle of fifths for the 15 minor keys. It
works just the same as the major-key circle; move clockwise for the
sharp keys, and counterclockwise for the flat keys.
Accidents Will Happen
When you assign a key signature to a piece of music, it’s assumed
that all the following notes will correspond to that particular key.
How, then, do you indicate notes that fall outside that key?
First, it should be noted that you can play outside a key. For
example, it’s okay to play the occasional B natural when you’re in the
key of F, which normally has a B-flat. ,certain types of music regularly
employ non scale notes.
Note: Jazz and blues music often add flatted thirds and
sevenths within the designated major key, which give these styles their
When you decide to write a note that isn’t within the current key,
you have to manually indicate the change in the music by using sharp,
flat, or natural signs. When musicians see the inserted sharp, flat, or
natural, they know to play the note as written, rather than as indicated
by the music’s key signature.
These “outside the key” notes are called accidentals or chromatic notes; they’re quite common.
For example, let’s say a piece of music is in the key of F, which has
only one flat(B-flat). You want your melody to include an E-flat, which
isn’t in the key. So when you get to that note, you insert a flat sign
before the E to indicate an E-flat. It’s as simple as that.
The same theory would apply if you want to include a B natural in the
same piece, instead of the expected B-flat. If you simply insert a
natural sign before the B, you’ve accomplished your mission.
Note: An accidental applies only from that point in the measure to
the end of the measure. It doesn’t affect those notes in the measure
before the accidental appears.
When you change a note with an accidental, that accidental applies
until the end of the current measure. At the start of the next measure,
it’s assumed that all notes revert to what they should be, given the
current key. So if you flat an E in measure one of an F Major melody,
the first E you write in measure two will be assumed to be natural; not
The one exception to this rule occurs when you tie a note from the
end of one measure to the beginning of the next. The accidental carries
over thanks to the tie to that first note in the second measure, as you
can see in the following example.(Ties will be explained later.) Note that the accidental doesn’t apply to any subsequent notes in the second measure; it applies only to the tied note.
If you think other musicians might be confused about whether a note
has reverted back to normal, it’s okay to use a courtesy sharp, flat, or
natural sign.(This is a sign placed within parentheses.) This reminds
the reader that the note has reverted back to its normal state. You
don’t have to use courtesy signs like this, but when the music is
complicated, it can be quite helpful.
Tip:The half-step modulation is most common in twentieth-century popular music,
and can add a “lift” to the end of a pop song. The fourth or fifth
modulation is more common in classical music of the seventeenth through the
Some long pieces of music don’t always use the same key throughout
the entire piece. In fact, some short pop songs change keys midway
through. It’s allowed.
When you change keys in the middle of a song, it’s called modulating
to another key. You can modulate to any key, although the most common
modulations are up a half step (from E Major to F Major, for example),
or up a fourth or fifth(from E Major to either A Major or B Major, for
When you want to change keys, you indicate this by inserting a new
key signature in the first measure of the new key. It’s as simple as
that, as you can see in the following figure. (Note that some composers
and arrangers also insert a double bar whenever there’s a key change.)
Tip: If you want, you can alert musicians to a key change by
placing the appropriate sharps and flats at the very end of the last
staff of the old key as well as with a new key signature in the
following measure. This approach is entirely optional; it’s perfectly
acceptable to signal the key change with a single key signature in the
first measure of the new key.
The only complicated key change is when you’re changing to the key of
C which has no sharps or flats. You indicate this by using natural
signs to cancel out the previous sharps or flats, like this:
The Very Least You Need to Take From This
You use key signatures to indicate what scale your music is based on.
The sharps and flats in a key signature are automatically applied throughout the entire song.
- To indicate notes outside the current key, use accidentals—sharps, flats,and natural signs.
- To change the key in the middle of a piece of music, insert a new key signature
Part one down-loadable PDF Here : http://www.megaupload.com/?d=JJHP0OVX