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The Major Scale

Dean Cutinelli - Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele & MandolinThe Major Scale

The major scale (or Ionian scale) is probably the most commonly used musical scale. It is one of the diatonic scales. The major scale is made up of seven notes with the eighth duplicates the first at double its frequency. Which is referred to as being an octave higher from the starting note of the scale. The sequence of intervals between the notes of a major scale is: whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half

 The History 

The Ionian mode of ancient Greek civilization was not
used in western  music until the late middle ages. At that point ecclesiastic music scholars began to separate the Ionian mode and Aeolian mode and use them as the foundation for what would become the staple of western music thereafter; the Major and natural minor scales respectively.

In 1000 CE Guido D’Arezzo made many improvements in music theory. He first improved and reworked standard notation to be more user-friendly by adding time signatures. Then he invented solfege. This is the vocal note scale: do, re, mi, fa, so, la ,ti, do.

Who Uses It

You can hear this scale in many styles and genres. This is the primary scale for Classical, jazz, pop, rock, blue grass,country and more. The major scale has also been know to be altered to change the sound of the scale. These are commonly referred to as modes. The changing of one note in the major scale changes the sound and the way it maybe used. Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian are major scales with one note being made sharp or flat. This give the scale a different sound.

Regardless if you play guitar, piano, saxophone, clarinet flute, or violin the major scale  is a must know for all musicians. 

Please feel free to contact us to come in a learn all about the major  scale and anything else pertaining to music from one of our great instructor at the Colorado School of Music in Golden CO.  We offer private lessons for all levels and most instruments.

Thanks for reading!

Dean Cutinelli

info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com

303-526-9865

 

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