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The Scales

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A scale is a succession of choosen sounds with intervals settled in the interval of one octava. Board of the intervals and their names :

INTERVAL
NAME
NOTATION
1 half-tone Minor second 2m or 2b
1 tone Major second 2
1 tones and half Minor third 3 m or 3b
2 tones Major third 3M
2 tones and half Perfect fourth 4
3 tones Augmented fourth
Diminished fifth
4#
5b
3 tones and half Perfect fifth 5
4 tones Augmented fifth
Minor sixth
5#
6m or 6b
4 tones and half Major sixth
Diminished seventh
6
dim 7
5 tones Augmented sixth
Minor seventh
6# or 6+
7
5 tones and half Major seventh 7M
6 tones Octava 1

The scale that we all know is the major diatonic scale, called also ionian mode :

SCALE C D E F G A B C
NOTATION
ANGLO-SAXONNE
C D E F G A B C

What does diatonic scale mean ? It means that all the notes of the scale have a different name, and that the interval of the succession of the choosen sounds is neighbouring at about 1 tone or 1 half-tone.


Let's analyse now the successions of intervals that define the major scale in C tonality :

C/D D/E E/F F/G G/A A/B B/C
1 tone 1 tone 1/2 tone 1 tone 1 tone 1 tone 1/2 tone

Analysis of the C major scale, by using the board of intervals :

NOTATION
INTERVAL
NAME
C 0 Tonic 1
C to D 1 tone Major second 2
C to E 2 tones Major third 3M
C to F 2 tones and half Perfect fourth 4
C to G 3 tones and half Perfect fifth 5
C to A 4 tones and half Major sixth 6
C to B 5 tones and half Major seventh 7M
C to C 6 tones Octava

Scheme of the major scale or ionian mode

1 tone 1 tone 1/2 tone 1 tone 1 tone 1 tone 1/2 tone
1 2 3M 4 5 6 7M


What is tonality ?

In the little lexical of the musical terms by Marc Pincherle, Maurice Emmanuel defines the tonality being a set of melodic and harmonic phenomenons that are organized around the tonic.

The tonic is the note that gives its name to the tonality and that is the foundation of the system. All is articulated from this note..

Let's build together the major scale in D tonality :

D --1 tone-->E--1 tone-->F# --1\2 tone-->G--1 tone-->A--1 tone-->B--1 tone-->C# --1\2 tone-->D

What about trying together to build the major scale in the Eb tonality ? ;-)

Eb --1 tone-->F --1 tone-->G --1\2 tone-->Ab --1 tone-->Bb --1 tone-->C --1 tone-->D --1\2 tone-->Eb

It's up to you to build the major scales in the following tonalities, but be careful, keep it in your mind :one cannot have 2 times the same name of note in the diatonic scale :

C# Db D Eb mi F F# Gb G Ab A Bb B

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Karima, on the 19-09-1999

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