I'm Joshua, a classically trained pianist. The natural minor scale is easy to compare with the major scale when using scale degrees. Thanks again for joining me and I welcome your comments on this subject and any other. Major scales are most easily defined as a diatonic scale with seven different notes. Certain content that appears on JoshuaRossPiano.com comes from Amazon Services LLC. I'm passionate about music and share all of the tips, tricks, and great information I've learned over the years on this blog. Often there is a slight adjustment needed. Here’s how this works. Here is a quick chart for reference. I enjoy blogging about the piano, the art of performance, general music, current events and the latest in music production. In Classical music, the scale is widely used in minor pieces, especially Baroque compositions. Major and minor scales are used widely in all types of music, especially Classical and Western music. You would think that because there are twelve different notes there might be twelve different scales; but things are a bit more complicated. This is an incredibly tough question and to be honest there is no definitive answer but I’m going to provide some insights for you. For example, a chromatic scale starting on C would play a total of 12 different notes. There are 48 musical [...], link to Piano Playing And Preventing Carpal Tunnel, link to Playing Piano Music On Guitar - Helpful Tips. For a pianist, it’s one of the first scales ever taught because of its simplicity. Outside of the complete seven note scales, there are also scales that use fewer notes. Sometimes they are used as transitional material, and other times to finalize a piece. What makes the pentatonic scale unique is that it is built entirely from whole steps. We welcome your comments of additional scales not considered in this list! This can be applied to all seven notes which gives you seven more scales (or more accurately, modes) to consider. Are we done yet? Pentatonic scales are based on five notes. Scales can also be used to help modulate pieces. Each scale has a leading tone whose main role is to set up the tonic if the scale were to continue. Submediant 7. Lastly, there are the Chromatic scales. Take a look at the example below. Piano Lessons / music theory / How Many Musical Scales Are There? And while you can play a C major scale using no sharps or flats you could just as easily start on D and play no sharps or flats and have a completely new scale – called the Dorian mode. There are many types of scales from minor to major, and understanding how they all work is important. In the case of IV and V chords, the chord qualities will be major. There are also three forms of minor scales. It’s not 100% complete as there are scales that can be made by using modes of melodic minors and much more but this is a good reference point for you: – 36 Major and Minor Scales Robert Estrin Robert@LivingPianos.com (949) 244-3729. It is raised up a semitone, which now turns it into a true leading tone. The tonic is always the starting pitch and in most cases the starting key of a musical composition. This is simply a scale made up entirely of half steps. – 12 Chromatic Scales. A scale ordered by increasing pitch is an ascending scale, and a scale ordered by decreasing pitch is a descending scale. I hope you find this to be the most complete piano resource out there! What’s interesting about the natural minor scales is that they share the same exact key signature as the major scale. In total, there are 12 major scales because the major scale pattern can begin on any of the 12 notes of the musical alphabet. – 72 Additional Modes For example, A minor has zero sharps or flats in the key signature, so that means C major would be considered it’s relative major scale. The order is whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half. Those 48 musical scales are made up of major and minor forms. Whether it’s piano music, orchestral music, or modern music, the musical scale lays the foundation for those pieces. The most widely used musical scales are the 12 major scales. It’s used much more than the natural minor scale because of its strong tonality. Musical scales are an important component of music. – 12 Blues Scales This content is provided ‘as is’ and is subject to change or removal at any time. Melodic minor scales are my favorite of the bunch, mostly because they feature a combination of two different minor scales. – 12 Whole Tone Scales It’s not uncommon to have a piece start in a major key, and then modulate to the relative minor through the use of clever scale transitions. Leading Tone The scale degree names refer to their function in music, so th… From Chopin to Beethoven, scale passages are used with great effectiveness. This first chart includes many of the white key major scales. In the case of the major scale, it’s made up of patterns of whole and half steps. This includes pentatonic scales, Middle Age scale modes, and chromatic scales. The charts include suggested fingerings if you’re a pianist. The the next thing you have to consider are modes. When the scale descends in the other direction, the natural minor version of the scale is actually played. This gives the scale somewhat of an awkward sound, but you can still hear a clear leading tone to tonic. Chords can be built form any of the scales to help support the melody. This includes natural, harmonic, and melodic. In this article, I’ll dive into each of the different forms of musical scales. – 12 Pentatonic Scales To really understand a musical scale is to understand the entire structure. So, how many musical scales are there? Each note is referred to as scale degrees. You would think that because there are twelve different notes there might be twelve different scales; but things are a bit more complicated. Understanding how many and why gives us a foundation to progress into the next music theory topics. The ascending version of the scale features a lowered 3rd, raised 6th, and raised 7th. With minor scales you have two forms of each scale, the harmonic and the melodic, so you now have 36 scales. To better help you understand how the different scales are constructed I’ve included some help musical scale charts. While it’s true that there are twelve different notes and twelve different major scales, you also have to consider minor scales. Of the three types of minor scales, the natural minor is the easiest to understand. The role of the scale is important because it helps determine what sort of chords will be played throughout the piece. This is because the C major scale features no sharps or flats. Especially in some of Chopin’s etude sets and Beethoven’s sonatas, those scales serve as the melodic basis of an entire work. This could mean testing the various modes of natural, harmonic, and melodic minor to reach a specific point.