There are various in-depth and very involved explanations on what scales are. To read a few of the definitions, simply click on the links below. They are informative and should be examined, reviewed, and applied in any musicians playing repertoire. To simplify, I will quote from the Harvard Concise Dictionary which says:
A scale is “the underlying tonal material of some particular music, arranged in an order of rising pitches … The basic scale of European art music is the diatonic scale. It consists of five whole tones (t) and two semitones (s) in the following arrangement: t t s t t t s (e.g., c d e f g a b c’). This scale is usually referred to as a major scale (in this illustration, the C major scale) as distinguished from the pure minor scale, in which the arrangement of intervals is: t s t t s t t (e.g., c d e(b) f g a(b) b(b) c’)…” (in this case the (b) symbol represents flats).
Essentially, you have notes played one after another in order in a pattern (in the most basic form it is alphabetically – A – G) moving up and down the piano.
For a more in-depth explanation, click on these examples:
You may also visit these sites to create various scales and modes:
In addition, as a resource for piano teachers and piano students, Music Motivation® has several FREE downloadable PDF resources available on this blog website.
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