Welcome back to our music theory introduction. Notebooks at the ready? Then we’ll begin. 😉
Enharmonics – notes at the same pitch with a different name
As you can see on the keyboard/fret board below some notes have 2 different names.
A major scale always follows the same structural format. Taking any starting note a major scale can be constructed by adding notes at intervals as follows.
Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Tone, Semitone (T, T, S, T, T, T, S).
C-D, D-E, E-F, F-G, G-A, A-B, B-C – examples in C Major
In the case of C major this is all white notes without sharps or flats. All other major keys (starting on notes other than C) have at least one sharp or flat, and therefore at least one black note on the keyboard, to maintain the pattern of tones and semi tones.
For example the scale of G major contains the notes G, A, B, C, D, E, F sharp and back to G. The F needs to be sharpened to keep the E and F a tone apart and the F and G a semi tone apart to maintain the major scale pattern.
Note: All major and minor scales must feature ALL letter names; and each only ONCE. This means that if a scale has the note “A” in it cannot then have “A#” (or “Ab”) but instead must use the enharmonic “Bb”. If “A#” was used in this scale the next note would be C (the pattern never features 2 consecutive semitones) and the scale would have 2 As (A and A#) and no B.
- We’ll take a little break from theory for a week or 2. And now ….. for something completely different……..