What is a scale?

A scale, quite simply, is a pattern of notes. This pattern will slice up an octave into a collection of distances. The notes at either end are thought of as our tonal center, a concept that will be explained throughout this book. We use scales in writing melodies, as well as harmonies. These patterns are rather simple to derive, and empower the student with the ability to write music.

In this chapter, we will first examine the major scale. We will then examine the minor scale, and two small variations on the minor scale as well. We will also learn when it is appropriate to use sharps versus flats.