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# Created: 2021-07-19; Modified: 2022-05-22


Essential Concepts

Studying the Major Scale

Heptatonic scale: it has seven notes per octave

Diatonic scale: Heptatonic scale & the interval pattern consists of 5 whole steps and 2 half steps & the 2 half steps are placed evenly (each half step are maximally separated). There are 7 interval patterns in total that belongs to diatonic scale, two of them are heavily used.

We use scale degree to identify a particular note in a scale. Mostly we number the starting note (base note) as 1.

More specifically, we have aliases for notes in diatonic scale family. The first note is called tonic. One whole step below tonic (minor 7th) is called subtonic. One half step below tonic (major 7th) is called leading tone. The 5th note is called dominant. The inverse of dominant (major 4th) is subdominant.

Major Scale can be decomposed into smaller “atomic” parts of intervals and chords.

For intervals, we have Major 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th; perfect 4th and 5th.

For chords, we first have Major Triad (2 whole steps + 3 half steps) and Minor Triad (3 half steps + 2 whole steps). The I/Tonic Chord (C+E+G), IV/Subdominant Chord (F+A+C), V/Dominant Chord (G+B+D) are three instances of Major Triad inside C Major Scale.

Also there are Major 7th Chord (Major Triad + Major 7th) and Dominant 7th Chord (Major Triad + Minor 7th).

Other important scales

Manipulating Scale


Essential Concepts