Category Archives: THEORY

Build Yourself A Major Scale In Any Key

scalesThe twelve notes of the chromatic scale are the building blocks of western music. In solfege, the notes of the major scale are named as: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti (or Si). Another notation that is used is the following: C    D    E    F    G    A    B. All major scales have a typical structure. Let’s have a look at the C major scale to find out more about that structure. The twelve notes of the chromatic scale, starting with C (the C at the end is not counted in the twelve since the scale is repeating itself at that point):

C – C#/Db – D – D#/Eb – E – F – F#/Gb – G – G#/Ab – A – A#/Bb – B – C

Building a major scale is simply a matter of selecting certain notes from the chromatic scale in a specific pattern. Here are some key words we need to know before understanding this pattern.

Octave: An “octave” is twelve half steps. For example, from C to the next higher C is one octave. Root: The “root” of any scale is the note on which it starts. C Major scale’s root is C because it is the first note of the scale. Interval: An “interval” describes the distance between two notes. Scales are a series of intervals. Each different type of scale (major vs. minor, for example) has its own pattern.

Half Step: A “half step” is the distance from one chromatic note to the next chromatic note. For example, C – C#/Db is a half step. Whole Step:  A “whole step” is two half steps. For example, C – D is a whole step. Enharmonic: An “enharmonic” is when two differently notated notes have the same pitch. For example, C# and Db are two different ways of notating the exact same note.

Starting on any root note, the intervals for a major scale are: Whole-Whole-Half-Whole-Whole-Whole-Half. So the C major scale looks like below,

C   D   E F   G   A   B C  (C-D: Whole step, D-E: Whole step, E-F: Half step, F-G: Whole step, G-A: Whole step, A-B: Whole step, B-C: Half step). We can use this as formula for building a major scale in any key: 2   2  1  2   2   2  1

What is “melody” in music?

melody (from Greek μελῳδία – melōidía, “singing, chanting”),also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones which is perceived as a single entity. It also is an exponential succession of musical tones which is perceived as two entities. In its most literal sense, a melody is a combination of pitch and rhythm, while, more figuratively, the term has occasionally been extended to include successions of other musical elements such as tone color. It may be considered the foreground to the background accompaniment. A line or part need not be a foreground melody. Melodies often consist of one or more musical phrases or motifs, and are usually repeated throughout a song or piece in various forms. Melodies may also be described by their melodic motion or the pitches or the intervals between pitches, pitch range, tension and release, continuity and coherence, cadence, and shape.

So Melody is the tune of the music. If you hear a song, the line that you would probably sing/hum is the melody. It is normally the highest (in pitch) notes of the song, but not always. Harmony is the notes that go with the melody that enrich its sound. These can be chords, intervals, or simply notes. In a vocal choir, the soprano normally sings the melody while the alto, tenor, and bass sing the harmony. In short a rhythmically organized sequence of single tones so related to one another as to make up a particular phrase or idea.