When it comes to playing the church organ successfully, it can take years and years and practice. However, we know that with a lot of determination and passion, you will be able to play incredible organ pieces in no time at all. One of the foundational pieces of understanding music theory is mastery of the scales! While some of you may have a clear understanding of scales and how they pertain to music theory, others of you may not. That’s why we are here today to help you learn a little bit more about several of the scales.

What is a Scale?

A scale is a group of pitches that are arranged in ascending, then descending order. These pitches span an octave. However, the number of pitches included in the scale depend on what type of scale you use. Here is a breakdown of each note:

  • The first note of the scale is what’s called the “tonic.” It is the easiest note to find in any given key. Because of this, most melodies will end on the diatonic note!
  • The second note is the supertonic note.
  • The third note is the mediant, since it is the halfway point between the first note and the fifth.
  • The fourth note is the subdominant.
  • The fifth note is the dominant.
  • The sixth note is the submediant.
  • The seventh note is called the subtonic in the natural minor scale, but it’s called the leading tone for the major, harmonic, and melodic minor scales.

Major Scale

The major scale is made of seven different pitches, with the tonic note repeating an octave higher to end the scale. There is a pattern between each note that is repeated for every major scale, no matter what the starting (tonic) note may be. That pattern is whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half. As soon as you know your first note, you can use this pattern to make a scale with any note you choose!

Natural Minor Scale

Natural minor scales also have seven different pitches, with the tonic repeated at the end an octave higher. However, the pattern changes for this scale, which creates a different sound. The pattern is whole, half, whole, whole, half, whole, whole. Just like the major scale, you can repeat this pattern on any note and successfully make a natural minor scale.

Our Next Post

Scales become much more complicated as you learn them, which is why we are saving some other scales for our next blog post! Next time, we will discuss the harmonic minor scale, the melodic minor scale, and pentatonic scales. Check back regularly to learn more!

Contact Us

If you are interested in purchasing a new church organ for your church, or if you are just looking to learn to play remarkable music on a classic and unique instrument, be sure to contact us today! Whitesel Church Organs is your number one stop for organs that will never cease to amaze you and all who hear you play.