Major Scale Fingering - Piano

Scale Fingerings for the 15 Major Scales

Published: 22 Mar 2021 Updated: 20 Jul 2023Visits: 295Code: PL01

INSTRUMENTS: Scales Main: Piano Others: Piano
Subjects: Scales • Major • Piano • Ionian

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Major Scale Fingering - Piano


Scale fingerings for the 15 Major Scales: C, G, D, A, E, B, F#, C#, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb.

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Even just learning just a few of the common major scales is a good goal for any musician regardless of your main instrument.

You might ask Why only 15 major keys in western tonal music?.

In Western tonal music, there are 15 major keys because of the way the musical system is structured. The major scale is the foundation of tonal music, and it consists of seven different notes, each with its own unique pitch. When you build a major scale, you follow a specific pattern of whole steps ( W ) and half steps ( H ):

W W H W W W H

The 1st major scale is C Major itself (C D E F G A B C`), which has no sharps or flats, making it the most straightforward and fundamental key in Western music. You might have caught that the C was used again, violating our no repeats criteria below, this is to satisfied the need for are ear to hear a finality, a resolution of the scale to it's tonic, in this case C .

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Major Scale Fingering - Piano…

Here's a practical explanation of why there are 15 major keys:

  • In Western music system there are seven letters used – the first letter of the alphabet: ( A B C D E F G ). For the FUll DIatonic Major scale a seven are used, in-order with no skips or repeats.
  • There are 12 different notes in the Western music system (C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B) — The Enharmonic Equivalents for F and C for determining the major scales and the associated key. Since the pattern for a major scale consists of seven unique notes, if you started on any of the 12 notes and followed the pattern, you would end up with 12 possible major scales.
  • However, to maintain consistent tonal relationships and ensure that each note in the scale has its own unique name (no double sharps or double flats), you can only use certain notes as the starting tonic. These notes are the white keys on a piano, which include the letters A through G without any sharps or flats.
  • Therefore, starting on each of these 7 white keys (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) and following the pattern of whole and half steps, you will get 7 unique major scales.

7 (unique starting notes) x 2 (versions of the same scale with Enharmonic Equivalents ) and teh C Major scale = 15 major scales

In summary, there are 15 major keys in Western tonal music because of the combination of the 7 unique starting notes and the requirement for consistent tonal relationships and unique note names in the scales. These 15 keys form the basis of much of Western classical and popular music.

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