Musical “Scale” explained in simple words

A scale is nothing more than a set of fixed internals between notes. So a scale is any set of musical notes ordered by (1) fundamental frequency or (2) pitch.

(1) The fundamental frequency, is defined as the lowest frequency of a periodic waveform.
(2) Pitch is a perceptual property that allows the ordering of sounds and can be compared as “higher” and “lower”.

A scale ordered by increasing pitch is an ascending scale, while descending scales are ordered by decreasing pitch.Some scales can also contain different pitches.

Scales are typically listed from low to high. Most scales are octave repeating, meaning their pattern of notes is the same in every octave. An octave-repeating scale can be represented as a circular arrangement of pitch classes, ordered by increasing (or decreasing) pitch class. For instance, the increasing C major scale is C–D–E–F–G–A–B–[C], with the bracket indicating that the last note is an octave higher than the first note, and the decreasing C major scale is C–B–A–G–F–E–D–[C], with the bracket indicating an octave lower than the first note in the scale.

The distance between two successive notes in a scale is called a scale step. So an octave is a collection of 12 Notes. That is why in a standard guitar the same musical notes repeat after 12 frets.

One Response to Musical “Scale” explained in simple words

  1. Nelson says:

    Very informative post, i’m regular reader of your site.

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