The Scale

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A scale is a basic building block of all music, because it forms the basis of both melody and harmony. Learning about scales will take you far along in your musical knowledge.

In Chapter 13 we learned about how the notes appear on the staff. We also learned the basic relations between the notes, as defined by half steps (the distance of one fret on the guitar) and whole steps (the distance between two frets). A scale is defined as a special relationship of half and whole steps.

In this chapter we learn that tunes are composed by selecting notes from a succesion known as a scale. We discover that a note may be raised a half step with a sharp sign ( ) or lowered with a flat sign ( ), and that this enables us to keep the same note relationships when moving a song to a higher or lower range of notes. We learn the purpose of key signatures, and how a melody may be transposed from one key to another. Finally we play some tunes from notation to put these ideas into practice.