Basic Music Theory Lesson 2: Major Scales Part 1


The major scale (also called Ionian) is the building block from which all other scales and chords are derived.  There are two rules which must be followed when building a major scale.

1. All major scales must consist of two tetrachords connected by a tone:

This is the C major scale.



2. All major scales must follow an alphabetical order.

This is the G major scale.


Notice the F#. As you learned in lesson 1, F# is the same note as Gb. However, even though the scale sounds the same regardless what we name that note, we can not call it Gb. If we did, the scale would be spelled as follows.


G A B C D E Gb G    <—– incorrect

This would break our alphabetical order rule and so is therefore theoretically incorrect.

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