- The musical word scale is used in the same sense as in "a
scale of charges" or to "scale a ladder" (nothing to
do with the scales of a fish!).
- The normal meaning of the word scale is as follows:
- A scale is any set of notes which either all ascend or all descend in
small steps, and all the notes belong to a single
- A ladder is in fact a very good analogy; the lines and spaces of
the stave are the rungs, and to climb it,
you have to step on each rung in turn:
- A key
defines a scale, and a scale defines a
key; both define what
notes belong to the key
and therefore what the
key signature is.
- Since there are two main types of
key, there are two types of scale:
- Major scale
- Minor scale - and there are two types of minor scale,
the harmonic and melodic versions.
- There is one exception to all this, which is the
chromatic scale - this is a scale including
every note, in other words, proceeding upwards or downwards by
- More basic questions remain, however, such as:
I try to answer these questions in scales from scratch
- How is a scale made up?
- What are the gaps between notes in a scale?
- Why does Western music use the notes that it does?
- Why are some notes on a piano white and some black?
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