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victoria Williams Music Theory

Victoria Williams

LmusTCL BA Mus (Hons) MISM

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3. Major Scales

Grade Two Music Theory Lesson 3: Major Scales 

Suitable for:  ABRSM Grade 2   GCSE   AP Music Theory Beginners 


Major Scales

Major scales are built from tones and semitones, with the pattern TTS TTTS. (T=tone (whole step), S=semitone (half step))

You should already know the scales of C, D, G and F major which are covered in Grade One Music Theory.

In Grade Two ABRSM there are three new major scales which you need to know: A, Bb and Eb major. For Grade Two Trinity there are no new major scales to learn.


A Major Scale

A major has three sharps - F#, C# and G#.

Here's the scale of A major ascending (going up) and descending (going down) in the treble and bass clefs:

A Major scale


Bb and Eb Major Scales

Bb major has two flats - Bb and Eb. Here's Bb major in full:
Bb major scale - music theory

Eb major has three flats - Bb, Eb and Ab. Here's Eb major:
Eb major scale - music theory


Tip! All major keys which have the word "flat" in their name have flats in the scale but no sharps, and all keys with the word "sharp" in their name contain sharps but no flats!

That's another reason why we always write Eb in the scale of Bb major, and never D#, for example.

Remember, in a scale, you can use each letter name only once, except for the first and last note.



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