The Chromatic Scale
All twelve notes together make up the musical alphabet and form what is called a chromatic scale. Music is about what notes to play (melody), and how long you should play them (rhythm). You've learned about harmony (which is what happens when you play two or more notes together at the same time) in Chapter 7. Here is the complete chromatic scale, moving in half-steps from the note E:
E, F, F/G, G, G/A, A, A/B, B, C, C/D, D, D/E,(E).
FIGURE 8-1 shows how the chromatic scale looks written out in standard musical notation.
Notice that in musical notation the sharp () and flat () signs come in front of the note. A natural sign () in front of a note means that you play that note without making it sharp or flat — as it is naturally played.