Scale also means ladder in latin

November 4, 2016

Mat Creedon

Imagine music as  ladder & each rung is a note. 


Like a ladder,  musical notes can only go up or down in pitch.


There are only 12 different notes in music so there are only 12 rungs on the ladder.


Let me repeat that a little louder THERE ARE ONLY 12 DIFFERENT NOTES IN MUSIC!!!


Not much right :  )



All we do in music is climb up & down the ladder either in sequence e.g. 1  2  3  4  3  2  1


or by jumps 

eg. 1  3  5  7  5  3  1



In a piece of music we commonly use a selection of notes rather than all 12. 

Similar to cooking, you wouldn’t throw all the ingredients

you have in the cupboard in a stir fry, It may not taste great.


Its common to use only a few ingredients in cooking thus 

its common to use only 7 of the 12 notes in music.


We call these 7 notes a scale, the most common scale is the major scale.


Scale means Ladder in Latin


If we number these major scale notes they will be 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 then 

back to 1 where the scale begins again.


Here is our updated major scale ladder

We also number the other 5 notes missing notes.  

The complete selection looks like this.


1 b2  2  b3  3  4  b5  5  b6  6  b7  7  


This is called a chromatic scale, meaning all the notes.



Notice the red notes have lower case “b” this a flat symbol


The flat “b” means "lower in pitch"; the flat symbol lowers a note by one rung on the ladder.


The sharp “#” means "higher in pitch"; the sharp symbol raises a note by one rung on the ladder.



Here is our updated chromatic scale ladder



Can you see that its beginning to look a bit like a piano?

Hang on let me adjust it for you.


We are nearly there, let me make each rung a piano key & I will keep the numbers.

Just one more change & it will look like a piano!



Ok this looks like a piano : )

This is what we call the scale of C major because 1 starts on the letter C on the piano.

But more on that latter.


Please reload

Featured Posts

How I over came writers block

January 11, 2018

Please reload

Recent Posts

November 29, 2017

Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

© 2016 by #MatCreedon. |  Tel: +61 409 869 577