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EMT Lesson Two  How to build musical scales

Major scales

Scales generally fall into two categories:

We will start by looking at how major scales are built. A major scale is formed by following this sequence of intervals:

Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Tone, Semitone

For example, the scale of C major will have the following notes and intervals.

Figure 4. Scale of C major   (Enlarge)

Figure 4. Scale of C major

Figure 5. Notes and intervals of C major scale   (Enlarge)

Figure 5. Notes and intervals of C major scale

We have used the scale of C major as this scale has neither sharps (#) nor flats (b). Sharps and flats are represented on the keyboard by black notes.

We will now build the scale of A major (Figure 1) using our major sequence of intervals.

Figure 6. Notes and intervals of A major scale   (Enlarge)

Figure 6. Notes and intervals of A major scale

The notes of the A major scale are therefore: A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G#,A

Next: Minor scales