Major Scales & Harmony


Is a simple system of letters that help us write down the sounds we actually want to play or sing. These letters represent a different frequency or pitch. The heptatonic scale has 7 pitches per octave. These 7 main musical notes are called A, B, C, D, E, F, and G.Key Sigs Alphabet

On the Staff, there are 5 lines and 4 spaces.
The treble clef – Every Good Boy Does Fine & FACE.


The sequence of intervals between the notes of a major scale:

  • W W H W W W H (whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half)

fixedThese are the intervals we learn to hear and sing with the Solfege System.

Key of Cwwhwwwh

On the piano, Key of C Major:

keyboard wwhwwwh

A major scale has a first, third, and fifth degrees that form a major triad.

major triadA major triad is a chord that has a root note, a major third (M3) above this root, and a perfect fifth (P5) above this root note.

chord is any harmonic set of pitches consisting of two or more (usually three) notes (or pitches) that are heard as if sounding simultaneously.

Harmony – Simultaneously singing notes that are within a chord that is in the key of the song.

Let’s sing these Major Chords.

sing these chordsNotice these chords have a root note, 4 half steps from the root (M3) and 7 half steps from the root (P5)

Also notice between the third and fifth degrees of these triads, there are 3 half steps, which is a (m3)

Remember, when counting half steps, don’t count the note you begin on!

sing these chords chromatic









12 pitches of the chromatic scale – each note with a half step above, and next week will learn about corresponding key signatures.

chromatic scale

Chromatically raised pitches in Solfège syllables

In a major key, mi and ti form a semitone with the pitches above them in the scale. As a result, they are not usually chromatically raised. The other scale degrees—d, re, fa, sol, and la—can all be raised by semitone without reproducing another tone in the scale. In each case, the vowel of the solfège syllable is changed to “i” to reflect the higher pitch. Do becomes di, re becomes ri, and so on.

Following is an ascending chromatic scale, using these raised syllables for chromatically altered tones. Diatonic scale steps are in bold.

do di re ri mi fa fi sol si la li ti do