Music Theory Scales

Music theory scales are the backbone of any musical composition. This is a discussion on how to use this theory to maximize the song potential. Practically, because when you write a song, you have to decide what type of musical scales you would like to target.

Music theory scales are divided into two major categories:
1. Major Scale
2. Minor scale.

Although there are other scales aside from the two (like blues, chromatic, etc) but the above 2 are the most and basic.

First it is important to relate the notes to it’s key with emphasis on sharp:
By the musical sharp is defined as increase in pitch by one half step. So for example, an increase in pitch from “do” to “re” is a whole step, and increase from “do” to “do sharp” is a half step increase. Sharp is associated with increasing pitch streams.

C= “do”
C#= “do sharp”
D= “re”
D#= “re sharp”
E= “mi”
F= “fa”
F#= “fa sharp”
G= “so”
G#= so sharp
A= “la”
A#=”la”
B=”ti”
C=”do”

Visualising this in the musical staff, you can see this following notes:

Ascending notes

The classification of major and minor scales are further classified into #, b and no sharp/no flat scales. Let me start on the most basic musical scale, the C major scale. This scale has no sharp or flats.

Below is the C major scale:

C major scale

C major scale is the most common scale widely used in the nursery songs and traditional songs. But pop songs of the 60’s as well modern type of songs do employ C major scale. Songs such as “Let it be” by “Beatles”, “Superman” by “Five for fighting” are done in C major scale.

It is very simple to write songs in C major scale because you will not worry if a particular note will be affected by a sharp or flats. To find the minor equivalent of a major scale, simply pitch down it’s associated pitch 3 steps.

For example: The associated pitch of a C major scale is “do”, pitching down 3 steps is do-ti – la
So “la” is the resulting 3 half steps down. Looking at our guide above, the associated key is “A”, then it is an “A minor” or “Am.
The minor scale of a C Major is Am. You can also some details of this in the # minor scale pages of this site.

Please see on the other pages on this site where I illustrate the # major scales and it’s minor.


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