How Music Works
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The Major Scale

The Major Scale

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(2.3)  Notes of the C Major Scale

The Major scale is so fundamental to our system of music, that the names of our notes are based on it.

It is no coincidence that we use only the first seven letters of the alphabet to name the twelve notes of chromatic scale.  Each of these letters corresponds to one of the seven of the notes of the Major scale.  This is true no matter what the root note of the scale is.

The C Major scale works very neatly in this way.  As you can see, its seven notes are:

Songs using these notes are said to be in the Key of C.  Given the interval pattern of a scale type, the root note of a scale is the 'key' that tells you the other notes.

Major scales in other keys are made from different notes, but the same seven note letters are still used, in a different order, together with sharp (#) and flat (b) symbols to preserve the Major scale pattern of intervals.

The C Major scale is the only key where all of the notes are natural (without sharps or flats).  We'll see later why this privilege belongs to the key of C.

 

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