Sunday, January 18, 2009

More About Major Diatonic Scales

C Major Diatonic Scale (including octave)

As discussed in class, all major diatonic scales have the same relationship of whole steps and half steps.  A half step is the distance between any two ascending and descending notes.  On a keyboard that could be any key, white or black.  Whole steps are two consecutive half steps.  Many of the white keys on the piano are a whole step apart -- in other words they are separated by a black key.  E & F and B & C are not.  Therefore, we say that they are a half step apart.

In order to play the C major diatonic scale (all white keys on the piano) we follow a pattern of whole step-whole step-half step-whole step-whole step-whole step-half-step.   You can try this on the key board posted below and observe it on the video posted above.

When transposing the C scale into a different key that starts on a different home note, the pattern of whole and half steps is the same.  Look at the video of the D scale above.  You can see that to maintain the pattern of whole-whole-half-whole-whole-whole-half, it is necessary to play and F# and a C# instead of F and C.

Section One's assignment for Wednesday, 1/21 is to figure out how to construct a diatonic major scale is F, G and one other key of your own choosing (not C or D) and write them down using notation on staff paper indicating the correct accidentals. 

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