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• Difficulty: 10
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Welcome to a new lesson - all about scales!

What is a Scale?

- It is an ascending or descending series of notes where each note is referred to as a scale degree. Scales may be described as tonal, modal, diatonic, derived or synthetic, and by the number of tones included. The musical scale is based on octaves. Standard western scales have 12 notes per octave. Notes in the scale are separated by whole and half step intervals of tones and semitones, so scales in traditional Western music consist of seven notes, made up of a root note and six other scale degrees whose pitches lie between the root and its first octave. Note that you will often hear 8 tones in a scale - but the 8th tone is actually a repeated 'first' (or root note).

On a side note, Non-Western (or Exotic, Eastern, Arab etc) scales, use tones half-way between western notes, leading to 24 notes. India has 22 notes, but what is most interesting is that the distribution of notes within the octave also varies! Music of India theoretically offers about 40 tunings, imagine that! (None of these scales are covered in this lesson.)

Although mathematics are involved in the sphere of music, nobody for sure knows how mathematical relationships work in relation to tones and scales.

There are over 1000 musical scales worldwide, it is simply impossible to find and learn all, mostly because of different tunings and playing approaches.

Many cultures use simple scales, two tones, three, four or five tones. American Indians use pentatonic scales - and China, Tibet, Mongolia, Oceania, India, Russia, and Africa do too. Pentatonic scales are the most widely used musical scales in the world.

When watching this lesson, you will realize that all these scales have something in common: sonority, but also uniqueness as well as stunning similarities.

Many of these scales have different names but the same tonality. This is explained in the accompanying parts.

Unlike most composers who write their songs and disregard which scales will be used, here I'm doing the opposite - I have made a composition which is adapted to the scales. Enjoy!

Numbers indicate video parts in which the scale is shown:

1. Major natural - video part 2
2. Minor natural - video part 3
3. Major pentatonic - video part 4
4. Diminished - video part 5
5. Harmonic Minor - video part 6
6. Blues Major - video part 7
7. Hungarian minor - video part 8
8. Balinese - video part 9
9. Minor pentatonic - video part 10
10. Bartok - video part 11
11. Whole tone - video part 12
12. Arabian - video part 13
13. Dorian mode - video part 14
14. Ethiopian Tizita minor - video part 15
15. Chromatic - video part 16
16. Phrygian mode - video part 17
17. Enigmatic - video part 18
18. Iwato - video part 19
19. Byzantine - video part 20
20. Lydian mode - video part 21
21. Super Lydian mode - video part 22
22. Mixolydian mode - video part 23
23. Kumoi - video part 24
24. Locrian mode - video part 25
25. Locrian minor mode - video part 26
26. Neapolitan minor - video part 27
27. Neapolitan major - video part 28
28. Spanish - video part 29
29. Spanish 8 tone - video part 30
30. Melodic minor - video part 31
31. Aeolian mode - video part 32
32. Hirajoshi - video part 33
33. Hindu - video part 34
34. Japanese - video part 35
35. Altered - video part 36
36. Yo - video part 37
37. In Sen - video part 38
38. BeBop - video part 39
39. Yona Nuki major - video part 40
40. Blues minor - video part 41
41. Half Whole - video part 42
42. Hungarian major - video part 43
43. Algerian - video part 44
44. Persian - video part 45
45. Symmetrical - video part 46

Video parts 47-52 cover free improvisation using various scales.
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