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Basic music theory in two illustrated pages

Basic music theory in two illustrated pages

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Published by Sam Frantz
Without using standard notation, I wanted to create a concise document that explains the very basics of musical harmony.
I hope that people find this useful.
Without using standard notation, I wanted to create a concise document that explains the very basics of musical harmony.
I hope that people find this useful.

More info:

Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Sam Frantz on Sep 01, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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06/15/2014

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The Chromatic Scale, the Major and Minor Scales, and the Musical Intervals
By Sam Frantz © 2001
There are only twelve unique notes in the chromatic scale. The
major scale
sounds like ”Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do”,
and it contains only seven unique notes. The letter names of the notes are not important in determining the structure ofa scale, only the relative distances between the scale steps. The piano keyboard is laid out such that the white keys forma major scale beginning with C. But a major scale can be constructed in any key by following the same relative spacingof scale steps. Specifically, from the starting point, go up 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, and 1. Notice that this adds up to 12, which meansyou end up exactly where you started, only one octave higher.ChromaticScaleMajorScaleStep
+1+150 07
C A A AC CD D DE E EF F FG G GB B B
I II III IV V VI VII I II III IV V VI VII I II III IV V VI VII
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1212346 891011 01234 56789101113 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
 
PerfectUnisonMajorSecondMajorThirdPerfectFourthPerfectFifth MajorSixth MajorSeventhPerfectOctave
Major NinthMajor TenthPerfectEleventhPerfectTwelfth
 
(minorsecond)
 
(minor third)
 
(diminished fifth)
 
(minor sixth)
 
(minor seventh*)
 
0 2 4 5 7 9 111 3 6 8 10
C
In common usage, perfect and major intervalsare referred to by their simple numeric names
 –
 
“second”, “third”, “fourth”, “fifth”, “sixth”, “octave”.
 The minor intervals are referred to by their
full names (“minor third”, etc.). The exception
 is the seventh, where the
minor 
uses the simple
name, and the major is called “major seventh”.
 
+2 +2 +2 +2 +2
Note that the
minor scale
can also be played onthe white keys of a piano. The starting note isthree semitones lower than the starting tone forthe major scale, so the structure looks like this:
Musical Intervals
An
interval
describes the distancebetween two notes. Interval names arebased on the scale step numbers, butare measured in (chromatic) semitones.
 
+1+2 +2 +2 +2+1+2
A AC D E F GB

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