Unit 3: Scales and Key Signatures Flashcards Preview

Music Theory > Unit 3: Scales and Key Signatures > Flashcards

Flashcards in Unit 3: Scales and Key Signatures Deck (12):

major scale

series of notes that moves by step; the word 'scale' comes from the Latin word 'scala', which means 'ladder'



sets of four notes; 'tetra' is the Greek prefix for 'four'; the pattern is W-W-H is used in both the lower and upper part of the scale


scale degree numbers; scale degree names

individual notes in a scale


key signatures

major and minor scales can be formed on any starting note


relative keys

for every major scale there is a minor scale that shares the same notes and the same key signature


natural minor form

uses the unaltered notes of its relative major scale



the seventh degree of a natural minor scale


harmonic minor form

form that has a raised seventh scale degree


leading tone

raised seventh scale degree in harmonic minor form results in a leading tone instead of a subtonic


melodic minor

raised sixth and seventh scale degrees when ascending, and lowered sixth and seventh when descending


parallel keys

keys that share the same tonic


to determine the key of a melody:

- the given key signature; it could represent a major key or its relative minor

- the starting note; melodies often begin on the tonic or dominant

- the melodic outline; melodies often outline the tonic triad or scale of their key

- the appearance of the leading tone; in minor keys, the leading tone is often included, but the absence of the leading tone does not rule out the possibility of a minor key

- the final note; many melodies end on the tonic note