Major Scales and Key Signatures

THE MAJOR SCALE

Every major scale has the same pattern of intervals from bottom to top.  These intervals are either Whole Steps (W) or Half Steps (H).  A whole step consists of two half steps. The pattern is always:

W – W – H – W – W – W – H.  This can be divided into two identical four-note packages called tetrachords, with a whole step link between them.  The two half steps occur between the 3rd and 4th notes, and the 7th and 8th notes in an ascending major scale.

KEY SIGNATURES

Memorize the Pyramid of Perfect 5ths

Key signatures are defined by the number of sharps or flats that each signature contains.  The Circle of Fifths refers to a diagram with all the key signatures in order.  This makes learning key signatures easier.

SINGING MAJOR SCALES

Musicians sing melodies with solfege syllables that represent the scale degrees 1 – 7.

Do – Re – Mi – Fa – Sol – La – Ti – Do

Practice singing stepwise scales and simple melodies using solfege.


MUSIC COURSEWARE ACTIVITIES

Visitors – Select the Activity Written: Key Signature

Students – Take a test or quiz assigned by your instructor.