Scales – Visual Aids to Scale Building

Scales – Visual Aids to Scale Building

Visual Piano Scale Tabs–Tetrachord View

Scales – Visual Aids to Scale Building

Scales Visual Aids F1

 

Scales Visual Aids F2

Explanation

Piano scales have shapes similar to piano chords. Use these shapes as a visual aid to scale structure.
We will use broken lines for scales and solid lines for chords.
Table 1 gives C and the sharp scales.
Table 2 gives C and the flat scales.

Structure of Major Scale (Ionian)

Scales are built in two halves called tetrachords (Lower and Upper.) Each tetrachord contains four notes.
x    x    x x    x    x    x x                         T= Tonic
T    1   1 ½   1    1   1 ½                        1= whole tone (two piano keys)
Lower            Upper                            ½ = ½ tone (one piano key)

Interval      Whole: Whole: Half: Whole: Whole: Whole: Half
Piano keys T     2      2     1      2      2      2      1
           do   re      mi    fa     so    la      ti    do

Building Scales

If you take the upper tetrachord of the C major scale and add a tetrachord to the right you get all the scales for the sharp keys.
If you take the lower tetrachord of the C major scale and add a tatrachord to the left you get all the scales for the flat keys.

Observation:

All the scales in the area of the two black keys (C, Db, D, Eb, E) have the same shape for both tetrachords.

Scales – Right-Hand

Scales – Left-Hand