So today we will discuss about Scales and Octaves.
From our last discussion you must have been familiar with musical Notes right?
If you have missed that article, don’t worry here it is. Let us begin.
In our last post we have said that octave is the
complete cycle of one note let’s say C to either next or previous C.
That means 12th note from start. Comes to a part of confusion, it’s
name, Octave. For those who have a knowledge on numerals must be thinking Oct
refers to the number 8 but we are noticing the octave gets complete after
12 notes. My friend you are right, you will understand this in following
Try to play all 12 notes one by one gradually from the
start. It will sound awkward. To make this sequence sound lot better we skip
few notes from the sequence. You can press 4 keys to reach the end of the octave,
you can press 5 keys to finish the octave, and most popularly 8 keys to
complete the cycle. From these sets of 8 keys, of course the most popular, the
cycle got it’s name as octave.
Now scales, this could be any certain gradual sequence
with any number of keys to complete the octave. Things to keep in mind are that
the sequence should be gradual, that you can move only in one direction until
you reach the destination note.
Let’s talk about some maths here. We have 12 notes to
overcome, we need at least 2 notes to cover the octave, assuming we press each
keys only one time, we could have 239500800 possible combinations of scales! Sounds
scary right?? Things get even scarier if we press a key twice or more.
Now don’t you fear, we just need only few scales in
our day to day practice.
Let’s skip all those horrible combination, today here
we will know only most vitals. These are:
It’s really most vital scale and this is because most
chords are derived on the basis of this scale. If we consider starting with a
root note, we have 12 notes to start with. So by logic there has to be 12 Major
Scales. Now number becomes scary? Don’t panic yet, we have a shortcut or say
formula behind this.
Before starting our formula let’s get familiar with
the Root note, or the note you are starting with.
Half-Step, which means the note right next to the note you presently are.
Whole-Step, which means the note which comes after skipping one note.
Now here’s the formula: R W W H W W W H
For reminding all the notes, C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B
May also be written as, C Db D Eb E F Gb G Ab A Bb B
Let’s take C as root note, now by using our formula,
R is C, after a whole step that is after skipping one
note we reached D, in same way next whole step will land in E, now there is a
half step and that means we have to land right next to F, after that we get
another whole step and land at G, in same manner next we get A, then B so we
have covered all the notes in that octave and with next half step we reach C of
next octave. Hence our first Major is complete. It will look like C D E F G A B
C. Interesting to note that C Major scale is the only Major scale which is comprised
of only natural notes.
This thing may feel too complicated at first sight, but
no one reach the peak without any effort. If you have a Piano, Guitar,
Harmonium, Violin or other instrument in which you can play individual notes,
try this thing right now. If you don’t have one, you may take out a paper and
draw keys in it and take a glace through it. You may also download any virtual
piano app and practice with it.
Now take a look at all 12 Major scales.
C Major: C D E F G A B C
C# Major/Db Major: C# D# F F# G# A# C C# (Following
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db(Written in Flat style)
D Major: D E F# G A B C# D or we can write as D E Gb G
A B Db D
D# Major/Eb Major: D# F G G# A# C D D# or Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
E Major: E F# G# A B C# D# E or E Gb Ab A B Db Eb E
F Major: F G A A# C D E F or F G A Bb C D E F
F# Major/Gb Major: F# G# A# B C# D# F F# or Gb Ab Bb B
Db Eb F Gb
G major: G A B C D E F# G or G A B C D E Gb G
G# Major/Ab Major: G# A# C C# D# F G G# or Ab Bb C Db
Eb F G Ab
A Major: A B C# D E F# G# A or A B Db D E Gb Ab A
A# Major/Bb Major: A# C D D# F G A A# or Bb C D Eb F G
B Major: B C# D# E F# G# A# B or B Db Eb E Gb Ab Bb B
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