MusicDish e-Journal - August 22, 2017
MusicDish Advertising Network
» HOME » INSIDER SCOOP » CAREER TIPS » MUSIC SPOTLIGHT » MUSICDISH*CHINA
» INDUSTRY INTERVIEWS » NEWS BEAT » DIGITAL SKOOL » OPEN REVIEW » MUSICDISH EDELWEISS
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

Piano Power: Diatonic Scales
Part 2
By Richard Prokop, Greenacres Press, Inc.
(more articles from this author)
2000-08-20
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

In the previous article Diatonic Scales (Part 1) you were left to construct the remaining major scales which use sharps. They are A, E, B, F#, C#. Here's what they look like upon completion:

A MAJOR

E MAJOR

B MAJOR

F# MAJOR

In the example above the seventh step E#, if played on the piano, is actually the note F. The relationship, E# = F, (where the same note can be represented by different symbols) is known in music as an enharmonic relationship. So if E# = F then why not write the above scale as:

Well, changing step 7 from and E# to an F certainly makes it easier for a pianist to read. And, to any listener, the scale would sound the same. However, it doesn't quite look like a major scale anymore. If you recall, our original definition of a major scale is a series of eight consecutive notes. Perhaps I should have stated it more clearly in the definition--the phrase, "consecutive notes" implies consecutive letter names. Therefore, the sixth step (D#) must be followed by some kind of an E (in this case an E#).

Now that we've cleared up that matter, look at ex.5 below. It contains not only an E#, but also a B# which is the enharmonic equivalent of C.

C# MAJOR

In C# Major, all of the letters of the musical scale have been sharped and we have reached the end of the line for major scales that use sharps. What would happen if we went on to G# Major? Does it even exist? Well, theoretically it does. However, it would be impractical for a composer to employ because the seventh step would have to be raised to Fx (the 'x' being the symbol for a double sharp) and Fx is the enharmonic equivalent of G. So, it can get really confusing.

Here is what G# Major would look like with Fx on the seventh step:

G# MAJOR (Theoretical)

With G# Major, we have begun a new theoretical cycle of scales whose roots (first note of the scale), comprised of ascending fifths (G#, D#, A#, E#, B#...), are similar in their development to the original cycle (G, D, A, E, B...) though far more complicated from a visual perspective.

Can you see the similarities between G# Major (ex.5a) and G Major (ex.5b)? G Major was derived from C Major whose notes were all naturals (meaning no sharps or flats were present) and a sharp was added to the seventh degree. Similarly, G# Major was derived from C# Major whose notes were all sharps and a double-sharp was added to the seventh degree.

In the same manner, D# (containing an Fx and Cx) would be similar to D (containing an F# and C#). A# would be similar to A. E# would be similar to E...and on and on.

G MAJOR

Major Scales That Use Flats

In the above major scales, the sharp sign (#) was used to raise notes a half step. In the following scales we will be using the flat sign (b) to lower notes a half step. Initially, when we constructed our first few scales, we began on C and went up five steps (ascending fifth) from C to G to construct a new scale. Let's try going down five steps (descending fifth) from C to F and construct a new scale from that point.

When constructing the sharp scales, corrections were always made that involved steps 6-8. With the construction of flat scales, our focus shifts to steps 3-5. Looking at the above example, we notice that most of the conditions (whole and half steps intervals) have been met. However, interval 3-4 (A-B) is a whole step and should be a half step. Additionally, interval 4-5 (B-C) is a half step and should be a whole step.

Remedy: Lowering the B to a Bb serves the dual role of changing interval 3-4 to a half step (A-Bb) and interval 4-5 to a whole step (Bb-C).

F MAJOR

Looking at F Major we notice following:

* The root of the scale (F), is the 4th note of the C scale (and is also five steps below C).
* A newly flatted note (Bb) was added at the 4th step of the scale.
* It is the exact same set of notes as the C scale, except for the new note, Bb. Therefore, we could say that F Major inherited all of the notes of C Major, except for the Bb.

To construct our next scale, we would count backwards in the F Major scale (ex.7) from step 8 to step 4 (F-E-D-C-Bb). We arrive at Bb and construct a new scale from that note:

Once again, everything looks fine except for steps 3-5. D-E is a whole step and should be half step, while E-F is a half step and should be a whole step. We remedy the problem by lowering E to and Eb.

Bb MAJOR

Looking at Bb Major we notice following:

* The root of the scale (Bb), is the 4th note of the F scale (and is also five steps below F).
* The root of the scale (Bb), was newly flatted in the prior scale (F Major).
* A newly flatted note (Eb) was added at the 4th step of the scale.
* It is the exact same set of notes as the F scale, except for the new note, Eb. Therefore, we could say that Bb Major inherited all of the notes of F Major, except for the Eb.

Let's construct one more of the flat scales in the cycle of descending fifths. Counting down five steps in Bb Major, we arrive at Eb and begin our construction on the Eb an octave below:

Once again there is a problem with steps 3-5. G-A is a whole step and should be a half step. A-Bb is a half step and should be a whole step. We remedy the situation by lowering the A to an Ab.

Eb MAJOR

Looking at Eb Major we notice following:

* The root of the scale (Eb), is the 4th note of the Bb scale (and is also five steps below Bb).
* The root of the scale (Eb), was newly flatted in the prior scale (Bb Major).
* A newly flatted note (Ab) was added at the 4th step of the scale.
* It is the exact same set of notes as the Bb scale, except for the new note, Ab. Therefore, we could say that Eb Major inherited all of the notes of Bb Major, except for the Ab.

You should now have enough information to construct the remaining major scales that use flats. They are: Ab, Db, Gb and Cb.

In the next article you will learn about key signatures and intervals. Intervals--the distance between and including two notes--are easy to understand if you have a firm grasp of the major scales. In the meantime, practice saying the letter names to all of the major scales out loud until you have memorized them. Be able to easily recite them going both up and down. Don't panic, there's only a finite amount of information to learn.

Example: D Major

Going Up: D-E-F#-G-A-B-C#-D
Going Down: D-C#-B-A-G-F#-E-D


Home » Career Tips » Piano Power: Diatonic Scales
Permalink:http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=1433
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top


MusicDish Advertising Network

Career Tips

» The Production Music Association Now Accepting Entries For The 2017 Mark Awards

» Aloft Hotels And MTV Spotlight Top Asia Pacific Music Talent

» Deadline Looms - The 22nd Annual USA Songwriting Competition

» Midem Artist Accelerator Call For Entries Open

» Deadline Upcoming: USArtists International 2016-2017

Career Tips Directory



» [2017-08-15] What's Next In Music? Focuses On China; This Year's "What's Next In Music?" Will Include A Panel Called "Focus Market: China"

» [2017-08-14] Because Acquires Majority Of Former London Records Catalogue; Because Group Acquires Warner Music 90, Encompassing A Majority Of Former London Records Catalogue

» [2017-08-10] BMG Expands In Canada To Build Its Records Business; BMG Is Scaling Up Its Recorded Music Operations In Canada With Dedicated A&R, Marketing And Promotion Resources In Toronto For The First Time

» [2017-08-10] Live Nation Responds To Growing Demand For Electronic Music In Asia With New Business Unit; The First Bill From Live Nation Electronic Asia Will Be A Tour From TiŽsto Supporting His Forthcoming Album CLUBLIFE VOL. 5: CHINA

» [2017-08-07] Streaming Music Services Help UK Entertainment Double Its Growth Rate; Ed Sheeran Trumps Star Wars And Fantastic Beasts To Deliver 2017's Biggest Seller So Far

» [2017-08-07] Paul Rosenberg Named CEO Of Def Jam Recordings; Paul Rosenberg, Renowned For Developing And Supporting The Careers Of Artists Including Eminem, 50 Cent And D12, Among Others

» [2017-08-07] PPL And PRS For Music Launch Music Recognition Technology Pilot; Pilot Includes Iconic Nightclubs Ministry Of Sound And Fabric And Major Club Chain The Deltic Group

» [2017-08-06] Discogs Releases 2017 Mid-Year Marketplace Analysis Nielsen Vs. Discogs - Database Highlights; Highlights Include Discogs (15% Growth) Versus Nielsen (17% Decline)

» [2017-08-02] MusicDish Review: Kenn Rowell Music Video "It's Good To Be Back"; Kenn Rowell, The Rhythm Guitarist, Lead Singer/frontman And Main Songwriter For The NYC Based Old School Punk 'n Roll Band, The Baghdaddios, Released His Solo Album

» [2017-08-02] Fake Artists And Fake Streams: Fact Or Fiction?; Many Irreputable Entrepreneurs Are Now "selling Streams" On Services Such As Spotify

» [2017-08-02] Legendary Rock Group Journey To Sponsor IndyCar Driver Ryan Norman; Journey's Latest Venture Will See The Band Spinning Its Wheels And Going In Circles - Totally On Purpose

» [2017-08-02] Viberate Enables Musicians To Charge For Their Performances In Cryptocurrencies; Viberate Will Allow Musicians To Start Offering Gigs To Event Organizers In Exchange For Crypto Coins Such As Bitcoin And Ether
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR

Roger D'arcy Release 'Ordinary Man' As The First Track From His New Album The House Of Heads On August 24

Hybrid Studios Joins Earthquaker Devices Studio Program

A Timeless Voice And A Violin - A Duet Like No Other

Caspar McCloud Releases First Acoustic Worship Album "Pictures Of Jesus"

Missing Link Music Signs Bluegrass Songwriter Of The Year Daryl Mosley

Missing Link Music Signs Jazz Icon Najee

The Village People's Iconic Cowboy Randy Jones Sets Summer On Fire With A Cascade Of Remixes For Single 'Hard Times'



Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2017 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships