Table of Contents
The major scale comprises of half step and whole step. We have discussed the whole step and half step in the previous lesson where a half step is referred to as the very next note from the starting note. Where else the whole tone is referred to as two half steps.
The scale is a sequence of particular notes in a particular order. Among those order major is one. Most commonly spoken and used scales are major, minor, augmented and diminished.
As said there is an order for each and every scale. Likewise, the pattern for the major scale is
W – W – W – H – W – W – W – H
‘W’ stands for the Whole step and ‘H’ stands for Half step.
In lesson 1 we saw the chromatic notes definition and detailed half step and full step definition. So continuing the major scale we have to start from any note from the chromatics to get the major scale.
As a practice, we shall start from the note ‘c’ and apply the major scale formula to get the C major scale.
Applying the formula to obtain the major scale was applied on the C note. Thus formed the ‘C’ major scale “C – D – E -F -G -A -B -C “. This is applied to all the pitch and thus will form the major scale of the particular pitch. Consider forming the major scale for the pitch ‘G’. So let us apply the formula W – “W – W – H – W – W – W – H” for the pitch ‘G’.
Major Scale Key Signature
Major scale of all the pitch can be memorized or it can all be seen in a particular pattern to understand. Let us put it in an easy way to memorize and understand all the major scale key signatures. All the pitch in music will have a key signature and the key signature will be indicated by sharps and flats in the starting of the music after the clef indication. As we know G major scale is having one sharp, That is ‘f’ sharp.
The above image puts the major scale key signature easy by ascending the sharps. It is now easy to memorize the major scale key signature since the sharps are increasing when the pitch is changing. If you look closely the pitch will move in the interval of 5th. From ‘G’ to ‘D’ the interval is 5 and from ‘D’ to ‘A’ the interval is 5.
As there are seven sharps likewise there are also seven flats.
In this, all the flats are arranged in the interval of 4th . From ‘F’ to ‘Bb’ the interval is 4. From Bb to Eb the interval is 4. So when the interval move by 4 the no of flat increases and it makes it understand it and memorize it better.
You may have noticed that there are three pairs of major keys that would sound exactly the same—that is, they would be played on the very same keys of the piano keyboard.
- B major = C♭ major
- F♯ major = G♭ major
- C♯ major = D♭ major
Notes that have the same pitch but that are spelled differently, like E and F♭, are said to be enharmonic. Keys can be enharmonic as well, such as the three pairs of keys shown above. If two major keys are not enharmonic, then they are transpositions of each other.
Minor Scale Key signature
The minor key signature is easy to relate with and understand. The minor scale is related to the major scale. We can relate the minor scale with a major in two different aspects. One is relative and the other is parallel.
Both of them are related to the major scale, Parallel minor is the exact minor scale of the major scale taken. Consider the C major scale, The parallel minor of C major is c minor which has 3 flats Bb, Eb, and Ab. The relative minor is the efficient way to find the minor key signature and the accidents in it. The 6th pitch of the major scale is the relative minor of that major major scale. Again let us consider the C major scale as an example. The 6th pitch of the C major scale is A. So the relative minor of the C major scale is A minor. Here both the major and the relative minor shares the same key signature. So C major and A minor have zero sharps and zeros flats.