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Common Western Musical Scales

Common Western Musical Scales

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Published by Romeo Mana

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Published by: Romeo Mana on Aug 08, 2009
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08/16/2010

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Common Western Musical Scales
The spacing between adjacent notes on the chromatic scale is referred to as a half step.The numbers of half steps between adjacent notes for the common musical scales used inwestern music are:
Major: 2-2-1-2-2-2-1
 Natural Minor: 2-1-2-2-1-2-2
Harmonic Minor: 2-1-2-2-1-3-1which are all 7-note (heptatonic)
scales
.The major and natural minor 
scales
occur in pairs which share the same set of notes, butstart in a different place. For example, if you stick to the white keys on the piano and startyour scale on C, then it is the C major scale. If you start on A, it is the A minor scale.Since there are seven possible starting notes, you get seven possible "modes." The Greeksgave them all names.
Modes Using Notes ABCDEFGStartingNoteAncientGreek NameCommentsA
Aeolian(or Hyperdorian) Natural Minor 
B
Myxolydian
C
LydianMajor Scale
D
Phrygian
E
Dorian
F
Syntolydian
G
Ionian(or Hypophrygian) 
(Note: in 16th century Europe, Glarean of Basle assigned names to the modes using many of these sameGreek names. While Glarean's assignments are in more common use today, they do not match those of theancient Greeks. SeeJean's book ,page 168, or Helmholtz's book ,pages 245 & 269 for more info on the different assignments)

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