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Home | Music Theory | Diatonic major Scale

Music Theory - Diatonic major Scale

The major scale is the foundation of all Western music. The whole body of music theory relates back to this scale in some way or another so understanding it properly is of the utmost importance.

The diatonic major scale divides up an octave with the fololowing step pattern:

TONE TONE SEMITONE TONE TONE TONE SEMITONE

As each of the keys of a piano is seperated by a semitone it is easy to find any major scale using this pattern. The key of C major looks like this on a piano keyboard:

cmajorkeys.gif - 5734 Bytes

As you can see it uses only the white notes and this is why C major is commonly used as an example (it has no sharps or flats).

If you were to start on a D, however, the same step pattern gives D major as shown below:

dmajorkeys.gif - 2029 Bytes



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