How Music Works
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The Major Scale

The Major Scale

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(2.6)  Notes of the G Major Scale

Taking a set of notes from one key to another is called transposing.  Here we will be transposing the Major scale, but the term is also used when changing the key of a piece of music.

Let's start by transposing the Major scale to the key of G, the fifth note of the C Major scale.  You will soon see the reason for this choice.

To find the notes of the G Major scale, we follow the interval pattern of the Major scale (2-2-1-2-2-2-1), starting with the note G.  This gives us the following seven notes:

Here we have an interesting problem, because the last note of the scale has an ambiguous name.  Should it be called F# or Gb?  There is a simple rule to answer this question for any Major scale:

Each of the seven letters of the alphabet must be used exactly once when naming the notes of a Major scale.  Sharps and flats are added to adjust the notes to the correct pitch for the scale.

Using this rule, we can see that the name of the last note of the G Major scale should be F#, otherwise there would be two G notes and no F notes.

As you can see, the key of a song determines not just the notes of its scale, but also how they are named.

 

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