About This Chapter
Scales, Keys, and Modes - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
You may have learned to play scales on an instrument as a child, but do you know how many different types of scales exist in music? In this chapter, you'll learn about three fundamental music concepts - scales, keys, and modes. Our instructors have broken this chapter down into smaller lessons so you can learn about chromatic scales, minor keys, and church modes in individual videos. We'll take a look at the steps between notes in a scale and how some scales use different numbers of notes. This chapter is designed to teach you:
- The types of musical scales
- How to determine major and minor scales
- The scales used in different genres of music
- What a musical mode means
- How the notes are arranged within scales
|Understanding and Building Musical Scales: Definitions and Types of Scales||Learn the definition of a scale and the parts of a scale.|
|The Chromatic Scale||Understand this twelve-pitch scale and its equal spacing between pitches.|
|How to Determine Major Key Signatures in Music||Take a look at how to recognize and hear when a piece of music is in a major key.|
|Placing Key Signatures on the Grand Staff||See how the treble and bass staves can be combined to show more notes at once.|
|The Difference Between the Key and the Key Signature||Explore what key means in music and why it is different than the key signature on a staff.|
|The Circle of Fifths||Examine this visual representation of relationships among the tones of the chromatic scale.|
|How to Determine Minor Key Signatures in Music||Learn how to listen to or look at a piece of music and determine that it's in a minor key.|
|The Minor Scale Pattern||Understand the pattern of whole and half steps that characterizes minor scales.|
|Performing Scales||Take a look at some tips on performing scales.|
|Degrees of Scales||See how the notes in a scale are related by degrees.|
|Pentatonic Scale||Explore this scale that uses five notes per octave.|
|Whole-Tone Scale||Learn about this type of scale in which the degrees are whole steps.|
|Diminishing Scale (Octatonic Scale)||Examine this eight-note musical scale often used in jazz music.|
|Blues Scales||Look at the scales commonly used in blues music and why they are fundamental to the genre.|
|Church Modes: Ionian and Aeolian Modes||Understand these modes and notes involved in scales used in church music.|
1. Understanding and Building Musical Scales: Definitions & Types of Scales
What is a 'scale' in music? How do tonality, pitch, and accidentals play a role in making a scale? What kinds of notes make up a scale? What is the difference between a Major scale, minor scale, blues scale, and pentatonic scale? Learn all about scales in this lesson!
2. Chromatic Music: Definition, Scale & Harmony
This lesson will examine the history and theory behind chromatic music, which was once a symbol of insanity in the musical arts. Test your knowledge at the end with a short quiz.
3. Key Signature in Music: Definition & Concept
In this lesson, we're talking about key signatures. We'll learn how to properly write them, how to quickly identify them, and why they're used in the first place.
4. How to Determine Major Key Signatures in Music
What is a key signature? How can you tell the key of a song by just looking at it? Are there flats and sharps in all songs? What are some common key signatures in the Major tonality? Find out in this lesson!
5. How to Determine Minor Key Signatures in Music
Key signatures are useful in playing and understanding music, but how do you know if the key signature is for a Major or a minor key? Find out in this lesson!
6. Understanding the Circle of Fifths: Explanation & Chord Progression
The musical equivalent of the color wheel, the circle of fifths is an arrangement of musical keys that represents musical relationships between keys. This lesson will look at the how and why of the circle of fifths.
7. Major Scale: Definition & Intervals
You hear it in commercials, pop songs, film music, and even ringtones! Learn what the major scale is, why composers like to use it, and even the special formula you can use to make a major scale on any note!
8. Minor Scale: Patterns, Chords & Intervals
In this lesson, you will learn about minor scales, chords and intervals. You will also learn how music in minor keys sounds more dissonant than major keys because some of the notes are lowered a small amount.
9. Pentatonic: Definition, Scales & Songs
In this lesson, you will learn about pentatonic scales and how to build them. You will also learn the difference between major and minor pentatonic scales, as well as what kind of music uses pentatonic scales.
10. Modality: Definition, Principle & Effect
Modality is the precursor to the modern musical scale; its origins can be found in ancient Greek music theory. In this lesson, we'll explore the principle of modality in relation to musical scales and discover how scale degrees build modes.
11. What Is a Tetrachord? - Definition & Examples
There are many ways to build a chord. In this lesson, we're going to explore tetrachords by defining the term, talking about where they come from, and looking at some of the ways they can be built and used.
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Other chapters within the AP Music Theory: Exam Prep course
- AP Music Theory Exam: Question Types
- AP Music Theory: Fundamentals of Music
- AP Music Theory: Rhythm, Meter, and Metric Organization
- AP Music Theory: Aural Skills
- AP Music Theory: Spacing, Voicing, & Position
- AP Music Theory: Intervals, Triads & Seventh Chords
- AP Music Theory: Melodic Composition
- AP Music Theory: Harmonic Composition
- AP Music Theory: Nonharmonic Tones
- AP Music Theory: Phrases & Forms
- AP Music Theory: Texture
- AP Music Theory: Performance Terms
- AP Music Theory: Voice Leading
- AP Music Theory: Songs & Genres
- AP Music Theory Flashcards