The Major Scale
Musical scales are simply a series of notes (or pitches) in a definite order that have a specific mathematical relationship to each other. The most popular scale in Western music is the major scale, and it will no doubt sound very familiar to you. You can hear a major scale on the piano easily by starting with your right thumb at middle C and then playing just the white notes in ascending order until you get to the C above middle C. Don't worry about the fingering—for now you can play each note with any finger you want just so you can hear the sound of the major scale. The major scale you just played, C D E F G A B C, consists of seven different notes. The two C notes are considered the same note played an octave apart, and are not counted twice. Amazingly, the seven notes of the major scale account for the bulk of all music written in the Western world.
FIGURE 8-1: C major scale