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Ch 2: Types & Characteristics of Scales

About This Chapter

Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do! Let's explore musical scales. Join us on an in-depth review of the patterns and musical structures used to create beautiful melodies.

Types & Characteristics of Scales - Chapter Summary

In this chapter, you can study various types of musical scales and learn how to determine the key signatures in both major and minor scales. Our expert music instructors guide your exploration of chromatic music, octatonic and pentatonic scales, and modality system of music. They can help you define, explain, and demonstrate these important structures used for creating musical arrangements. When you have completed this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Differentiate between and explain the types of musical scales
  • Define and describe chromatic music and key signatures
  • Explain and demonstrate the circle of fifths
  • Explain major and minor scales and determine intervals and key signatures for each
  • Compare and demonstrate the octatonic scale, pentatonic scale, and modality system

These lessons are presented in text and video format and are used to teach the topics in this music-oriented chapter. Our professional instructors have designed this chapter with your best learning outcome in mind. The lesson transcripts, Timeline feature of the video player, and self-assessment quizzes will be valuable tools for you to use in your study and progress toward your mastery of scales.

11 Lessons in Chapter 2: Types & Characteristics of Scales
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Understanding and Building Musical Scales: Definitions & Types of Scales

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!

Chromatic Music: Definition, Scale & Harmony

2. Chromatic Music: Definition, Scale & Harmony

This lesson examines the history and theory behind chromatic music, which was once a symbol of insanity in the musical arts. Take a look at chromatic scales and harmony, and learn about the tricky Neapolitan 6th chord.

Key Signature in Music: Definition & Concept

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.

How to Determine Major Key Signatures in Music

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!

How to Determine Minor Key Signatures in Music

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!

Understanding the Circle of Fifths: Explanation & Chord Progression

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.

Major Scale: Definition & Intervals

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!

Minor Scale: Patterns, Chords & Intervals

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.

Octatonic Scale: Definition & Properties

9. Octatonic Scale: Definition & Properties

In this lesson, you'll learn about the octatonic scale, a synthetic scale that has fascinated composers since the 1800s. Learn about the scale's history, its fascinating properties, and how to build an octatonic collection yourself.

Pentatonic: Definition, Scales & Songs

10. 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.

Modality: Definition, Principle & Effect

11. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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