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We are now armed with enough knowledge to construct our first major scales. Major scales are defined by the pattern tone tone semitone tone tone tone semitone (TTSTTTS). If we look again at our chromatic scale ...

... take C as our starting pitch-class, and apply the major-scale pattern (TTSTTTS), we are left with only the ‘natural’ notes, i.e. those having only a letter in their name:

Because the tonic (the note on which a scale is based) of this scale is C and the pattern applied is the major-scale pattern, this is known as the scale of C Major.

C major, despite often being the first scale musicians learn (there are no pesky sharps or flats to confuse things), is actually fairly unusual in Scottish traditional music. A much more common scale is G major. G major is very closely related to C major: if we start with the same notes as C major, but take the note G to be our tonic, we're almost there:

But the pattern, starting from G is TTSTTST and not TTSTTTS. We can rectify this by replacing the pitch-class F with F♯:

In a similar manner, we can derive our next scale - D major - from G major by treating the note D as our tonic and replacing C with C♯.

The final scale we'll consider is A major. Just as we derived G major from C major and D major from G major, so we can derive A major from D major. We do this by regarding A as our tonic and replacing G with G♯:

Next: Arpeggios 1