# Major Scale Construction

The major scale is constructed like this:

TONE, TONE, SEMITONE, TONE, TONE, TONE, SEMITONE

So if we use Cmajor as an example,
C D E F G A B C

 C – D TONE D – E TONE E – F SEMITONE F – G TONE G – A TONE A – B TONE B – C SEMITONE

So Using the following:

TONE, TONE, SEMITONE, TONE, TONE, TONE, SEMITONE

We can make all major scales:

Lets use Dmajor as an example:
D E F# G A B C# D

 D – E TONE E – F# TONE F# – G SEMITONE G – A TONE A – B TONE B – C# TONE C# – D SEMITONE

Other ways of working out scales can be done like this:
For scales that have sharps(#)

C D E F G A B C

Go up to the fifth degree of the scale to G and start following the musical alphabet through to the octave.

G A B C D E F G

Retain the sharps (#) from the previous scale – (with Cmajor we have no sharps or flats)

Add a sharp (#) to the seventh note:

G A B C D E F# G

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So using this again:

G A B C D E F# G

Go up to the fifth degree of the scale to D and start following the musical alphabet through to the octave.

D E F# G A B C D

Retain the sharps (#) from the previous scale – (with Gmajor has an F#)

Add a sharp (#) to the seventh note:

D E F# G A B C# D

———————————–

Follow this through and you will get all the major scales that have sharps in their key signature.

A major scale has the notes: A B C# D E F# G# A

E major scale has the notes: E F# G# A B C# D# E

B major scale has the notes: B C# D# E F# G# A# B

F# major scale has the notes: F# G # A# B C# D# E# F#

C# major scale has the notes: C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#

——————————-
Major scales with flats (b)
Again using Cmajor as our starting point.

C D E F G A B C

Go up to the fourth degree of the scale to F and start following the musical alphabet through to the octave.

F G A B C D E F

Retain the flats (b) from the previous scale (Cmajor has no sharps or flats)

Add a flat (b) to the fourth note

F G A Bb C D E F

——————–

So following this through:

Take Fmajor:

F G A Bb C D E F

Go up to the fourth degree of the scale to F and start following the musical alphabet through to the octave.

Bb C D E F G A Bb

We now have our next major scale that has flats in it – this being Bb major

Retain the flats (b) from the previous scale (Bb major already has, as you can see a Bb)

Add a flat (b) to the fourth note

Bb C D Eb F G A Bb

Bb major scale has the notes Bb C D Eb F G A Bb

Eb major scale has the notes Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb

Ab major scale has the notes Ab Bb C Db Eb G Ab

Db major scale has the notes Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db

Gb major scale has the notes Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb

Cb major scale has the notes Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb

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Each note of a scale has a name – below using Cmajor as an example – the table shows both the name and the number of each degree of the scale – the numbers are always represented by a roman numeral

 Note Degree of scale Name C I TONIC D II SUPERTONIC E III MEDIANT F IV SUBDOMINANT G V DOMINANT A VI SUBMEDIANT B VII LEADING TONE
Updated: September 18, 2009 — 11:45 am

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