Music Theory Education


13. Major Scales.

13. major scales

Grade 1. lesson 13 major scales

Major Scales

C major G major D major and Fmajor

The Four Major scales named are used for
the Grade 1. music theory examinations.

We have already discussed the scale of C major, it is the one
which does not use any sharps or flats.
Remember we saw how the semitones fall between the two sets
of white keys E/F and B/C

The next scale we are going to discuss is the scale of
G Major
To keep our semitones in the correct places, we need to use
one sharp in this scale.


scale of G major = 1 sharp F#

With the notes B and Cstill being the 3rd and 4thposition we
do not need to raise or lower either note, they are already
a semitone, because no note comes between them.

Because the 7th degreeof the scale is F natural, we need to
sharpen this note.
You see in the example above it is nowFsharp.
Making the required semitone between the 7th and 8th notes.


Next Comes the D major Scale

This scale requires two sharps to keep the semitones in
their correct places
F# and C#

scale of D major = 2 sharps F# and C#


Looking at the first four notes, we see our first sharp on the 3rdnote.

By making the F into F sharpwe are keeping with our pattern of
the semitones, being between the 3rd and 4thnotes of the scale.

The same applies with the 2nd set of four notes
(do you remember how we called them the second tetrachord)

Notice how it is the 3rd note of the second tetrachord we have
sharpened to make the semitone come
between the 7th and 8th notes of the scale


The Scale of F Major

This time we will require a Flat sign
B Flat

scale of F major = 1 flat B flat

To keep our semitones in their correct places we need
the use of a Flat Symbol.

By lowering the Bnote to a B Flatit brings our
3rd and 4thnotes a semitone apart.

The E and Fare already a semitone, so no need for change there.


music theory lessons grade one


Music Theory lessons grade 1


containing 18 detailed lessons

This book contains all the information for major scales
required for grade one examination, set in lesson13 of this book

  This book along with the grades 1 to 5 is following closely with the syllabus of the ABRSM

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

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The Four Major Scales
written descending

Notice we have written the numbers starting with 8 and
working down.

You will need to remember to count backwards with the
descending scales, otherwise you will get your semitones in
the wrong places

major scales descending C G D and F 


Major Scales
Ascending and Descending


scales ascending and descending


When you are working out the semitones etc... in your scale
it is important you remember to look at the Clef,
are you writing in, the Treble or the Bass,
do not forget to LOOK


Degrees of the Scale


Starting on the first tonic note, each time we move up to the next note
we have moved one degree higher.

We always count the degrees on the ascendingscale.
The First and Last notes in each scale are called the


You will need to know the degrees of the C. G. D. and F major scales
for the Grade 1. examination.


Here is a chart showing all the degrees of
each major scale

table chart for scales degrees C G D and F major



Major Scales



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