Music Theory Reference

C major scale

The most basic and important scale is the C major scale. Its full name is the natural C major scale, where “natural” means that no black keys are used to play it on the piano.

Let’s play the white piano keys starting and ending with the C note:

C major scale

If you measure the intervals between each pair of adjacent notes in the scale, you’ll get the following pattern: “tone - tone - semitone - tone - tone - tone - semitone”. This is the major scale pattern. It is a very important scale and is worth memorizing. Using the pattern one can build the major scale starting on any note. The major scale is also used to analyze chords and their progressions in songs.