Need Help about scales!

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by piyushsood2312, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. piyushsood2312

    piyushsood2312 New Member


    I have a major doubt about musical scales!
    See, the harmonic scale is composed of all the 12 notes in the music. And what are other scales! They are just the combination of some particular notes out of those 12 notes. So, in the sense harmonic scale is the father of all the other scales.

    Now my question is if we already had a scale(which is really basic and really easy to learn) then what was the need to invent the other scales??

    Ok i think i can invent one more scale right now den! the scale name would be "nonatonic scale" and it would take some particular 9 notes from the harmonic scale. would this be considered a scale in musical theory? If not, why not and then what makes "pentatonic scale" so famous then(what speciality it has that is not there in my "nonatonic scale")? And if yes, then I have studied "Permutations and Comnbinations" in 12th standard :D

    Thanx. I hope my doubt is cleared here!
  2. tirtha2chester

    tirtha2chester New Member

    Google is your friend...

    Here's what Wikipedia states:

    "The notes of a scale are ordered in pitch or pitch class. A measure of the distances (or intervals) between pairs of adjacent notes provides a method to classify scales. For instance, a major scale is defined by the interval pattern T-T-S-T-T-T-S, where T stands for whole tone, and S stands for semitone. Based on their interval patterns, scales are divided into categories including diatonic, chromatic, major, minor, and others."

    So you just can't go on creating scales out of random choice...

    Secondly, scales are derivatives of modes... For example, for a particular set of notes that can form a diatonic (the common 7- note) scales, the aeolian mode corresponds to the minor scale... The ionian mode corresponds to the major scale...

    Similarly, the harmonic minor scale, another heptatonic scale, is a derivative of the natural minor which is has its 7th sharped (raised by a half step).....

    Just as heptatonic scales exist, so do pentatonic scales which have no half steps...
    The minor pentatonic is equivalent to the natural minor minus the 2nd and the 6th....

    Just as the pentatonic scales exist, so do octatonic and like you mentioned, nonatonic scale, decatonic and undecatonic scales,but they are less common....

    You can play as many notes as you want as long as you are musically sound...
  3. wylder

    wylder New Member

    The reason we have scales is to limit our note choices from the available 12 notes in an octave.

    Now why would we want to limit our note choices? That's so that when you improvise a jam with someone else everybody knows where the song is going. So why is it important for others to know where your solo is going?

    Because the basis of music lies in melody, harmony and rhythm agreeing with each other. Unless the melody (your guitar solo or a vocal solo) agrees with the harmony (multi-part choir or backing instruments/orchestra), your music is going to sound bad. So when you pick a scale to play on, all other instruments will have to stick to the chords within that key and the melody too can be based on that key only. This allows you to solo freely but within the rules (i.e., the notes of the scale).

    You can make your own scales but that would be of only academic value unless everyone else you jam with uses it too as intended. Moreover, besides including notes in your scale, you will also need to figure out the right chords that can make the notes in your scale sound melodic.

    If you were to talk of inventing your own scales, mathematically the number of scales you can come up with is infinite because scales like chords, technically do not have to be limited to 1 octave. Also the ascending and descending pattern for the scale need not be identical...
  4. piyushsood2312

    piyushsood2312 New Member

    Thanx For the replies both of you.!!!

    Got the answer i wanted :)

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