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Arts and Humanities
Chapter 3: Scales, Keys, and Modes
Terms in this set (61)
the tone on which the scale is built (Do)
the prefix "super" means "above the tonic". (Re)
in the median position, halfway between tonic and dominant (Mi)
the prefix, "sub", meaning below, refers to the pitch a fifth "below" the tonic, or the lower dominant. (Fa)
refers to the pitch dominating the tonality. It is a perfect fifth above the tonic. (So, Sol)
the median pitch, in between the lower dominant (the subdominant) and the tonic. (La)
in the natural form of minor the sixth scale degree is just a half step above the fifth (b6), the "melodic minor" scale raises the 6th degree up to a whole step above the fifth degree (6) - this in the context of a minor key is called the "raised submediant".
in the natural minor scale the 7th scale degree is a whole step below tonic- it is not a "leading tone" - this b7 scale degree is called the "subtonic": one whole step below the tonic (b7).
leads upward toward resolution to the tonic (Ti)
sharps, flats, etc.
note that "double sharps" (x) "double flats" (bb) do exist.
1 b3 4 b5 5 b7, a six note scale (seven if you count the octave) that does not have a 2nd or a 6th but includes a b5 in addition to the 5th. The lowered notes are referred to as "blue notes"
Circle of Fifths
demonstrates the relationship of the tonal centers to each other. Each ke signature that requires sharps appears around the circle to the right (clockwise) with each key a fifth higher, The key signatures that require flats appear around the circle to the left (counter-clockwise), each a fifth lower.
Chromatic scale (Chromaticism)
a symmetrical scale with all pitches spaced a half step apart. (Written with sharps when ascending and flats when descending).
within the scale, notes that naturally occur in a standard major or minor scale, without being modified by accidentals other than those in the relevant key signature.
a specific series of pitches based on a pattern of whole and half steps that define a tonality.
The name (example "key of G minor" refers to both the tonal center (G) and modality (minor).
written at the beginning of every staff, shows which pitches are to be sharp or flat consistently throughout the piece, and helps determine the key or tonal center (tonality).
Major and Minor Pentachord
The first five notes of the scale- 1 2 3 4 5, the minor pentachord differs in that it has a lowered third scale degree: 1 2 b3 4 5.
a four note group that consists of the pattern: W W h The major scale is made up of two major tetrachords separated by a whole step.
(W W h) W (W W h)
created with a pattern whole steps and half steps: 1 W 2 W 3 h 4 W 5 W 6 W 7 h
The half steps are between degrees 3-4 and 7-8. The major scale is two "major tetrachords" (W W h) separated by a whole step.
the 7th scale degree is raised both ascending and descending, but leaves the other notes the same as natural minor. This creates a leading tone that provides a more convincing harmonic pull to tonic while retaining the characteristic color of minor.
(Ear training note: Melodically, the calling card of this scale is the distinctive half steps separated by a m3rd: 5 to b6 separated by W+h up to 7 - 1)
During the Common Practice Period this was used most often when harmonizing melodies... the W+h distance between b6 and the raised 7th is a difficult interval to sing or use melodically.... which leads to use of the melodic minor scale.
Melodic Minor (ascending / descending)
the minor pentachord followed by raised 6th and 7th scale degrees (same as the upper tetrachord in major), which gives a more smooth and convincing lead up to the tonic, while descending the notes are lowered (b7, b6) as in natural minor.
(ear training note: If you hear a minor pentachord but the last four notes "sound like major" then it is melodic minor.)
Natural Minor (Aeolian)
In "natural" or "pure" form of the minor scale there are no alterations from the key signature.
Note that the half step between scale degree 2 to the b3 gives the minor scale it's characteristic sound. Also note that natural minor has a whole step between seventh and the tonic (the b7 is called the "subtonic") which fails to lead the seventh to the tonic with the same intensity as the half step 7 to tonic in major - which is to say that there is no leading tone in natural minor.
built on 2nd degree of parent major:
natural minor with raised 6th
built on 3rd degree of parent major:
natural minor with b2
built on 4th degree of parent major:
major with raised 4th (#4)
built on 5th degree of parent major:
major with lowered 7th (b7).
the relative minor: built on 6th scale degree of the relative major.
built on the 7th scale degree of parent major:
natural minor with b2 and b5.
an issue of scale type, that defines a key signature as being major or minor.
Moveable-Do Solfeggio System
each solfege syllable corresponds to a specific scale degree. Do in A major is A, Do in G major is G.
Octatonic Scale (Diminished Scale)
eight note scale - the diminished scale is a symmetrical scale of alternating whole steps and half steps (h w h w h w h w etc.)
Parallel key (parallel major or parallel minor)
major and minor keys with different key signatures but with the same tonic are called parallel. (example. F major vs F minor)
note that the parallel minor scale has a b3, b6, and b7 in comparison to the parallel major.
Relative Key (relative major or relative minor)
relative major and minor keys share the same key signature (have the same pitches)- the tonic of the relative minor is the sixth scale degree (or submediant - La) of the relative major key.
The use of natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales within one composition is generally referred to as scalar variance.
the principle of organizing a composition around a "key note" / tonic. Used in reference to the pitch center.
the diminished scale- alternating Whole and half steps. 1 2 b3 4 b5 b6 6 7. Features four pairs of tritones.
has seven tones including the octave (6 unique tones) each a whole step apart- this is an "artificial scale" because the altered notes do not represent a standard key signature and therefore accidentals are required to create the pattern. It is also symmetrical.
are an ordered collection of pitches in whole- and half-step patterns. The word "scale" comes from the Latin word "scale" meaning "stairs" or "ladder."
scales built with a pattern of whole and half steps.
How many major scales are there?
15 major scales- however three are enharmonic: B and Cb, F# and Gb, and C# and Db.
Sequence of sharps:
F C G D A E B
Sequence of Flats:
B E A D G C F
Placement of the key signature
between the clef and the meter signature.
The accidentals are not put on ledger lines, the flats follow a consistent "up then down" sequence, while the sharps go "down, up, down, down, up , down"
sounding the same but written or notated differently (ex. F# and Gb)
What are the three forms of minor:
natural (1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7)
harmonic (1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7)
melodic (1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 - ascending,
(1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 - descending
they all begin with the same five notes (the minor pentachord)
Scale Degrees are labeled by
scale degree number (ex. 1 2 b3)
scale degree name (tonic, super tonic)
solfege syllable (do, re)
Active Tones and Resolution Tones in major:
in major the active tones are : 4, 6, and 7.
The main resolution tones are 1 and 3 (since the are resolved to by half step), while 5 is resolved to by whole step.
7 (the leading tone) is the most active- has the most musical energy to move to resolve. 7 resolves up a half step to 1.
It is this feeling of tension and release that moves music forward.
4 resolves by half step to 3.
6th resolves downward by step to 5th.
2nd resolves downward by step to tonic.
scale with seven tones - such as major and minor.
has five tones, they are very common and found all over the world. There are five rotations of the "anhemitonic" (meaning no half steps... thus no active tones) pentatonic scale. The most common is:
C D E G A C
1 W2 W 3 Wh 5 W 6 Wh
others would be like modes of this pitch set:
D E G A C
E G A C D
The standard solfeggi syllables are: 1
The standard solfeggi syllables are: 2
The standard solfeggi syllables are: b3 and 3
Me (b3), Mi (3)
The standard solfeggi syllables are: 4
The standard solfeggi syllables are: 5
So, or Sol (5)
The standard solfeggi syllables are: b6 and 6
Le (b6), La (6)
The standard solfeggi syllables are: b7 and 7
Te (b7) Ti (7)
The scale degrees of the Whole Tone Scale are:
1 2 3 #4 #5 #6 , or 1 2 3 b5 b6 b7
The scale degrees of the Blues Scale are:
1 b3 4 b5 5 b7
The scale degrees of the diminished:
1 2 b3 4 b5 b6 6 b7 (w h w h etc.)
The "whole half pattern" of the natural minor scale is: (hint know what scale degrees the half steps are between
W h W W h W W
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