Fundamentals of
SCALES AND KEY SIGNATURES

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PART A--MAJOR SCALES

1. Major Scale Structure.

a. The formula for a major scale is Major (M), Link (L), Major (M) (Figure 2-1).


Figure 2-1: Major Scale Formula.

b. The major scale is a series of eight successive ascending or descending pitches with a specified interval pattern. A major scale begins and ends with the same letter name (upper case) of the musical alphabet (A-A).

c. The scale's whole step and half step interval relationship corresponds, on a keyboard, to a white key scale from C to C (Figure 2-2).

NOTE: Upper and lower case letters are used to differentiate between major and minor keys. Upper case letters represent major keys (C Major). Lower case letters represent minor keys (c minor).


Figure 2-2: C Major Scale on Keyboard.


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Last Updated: March 31, 2012