Scale Note Names (April 2015)

The 7 note major scale has note names, these names are used to describe the musical relationships between notes in the scale.

The names describe the function of each note.

There is a tonal centre or main note, it's name is the Tonic.

Each note has a different level of musical tension to resolve back to the Tonic.

The note names are listed in association with the C Major scale:

C Tonic
D Supertonic
E Mediant
F Subdominant
G Dominant
A Submediant
B Leading Tone

The logical formula is for C Tonic to be in the centre so that notes resolve to the Tonic from either side of the Tonic.

F Subdominant
A Submediant
B Leading Tone (Subtonic for natural minor)

C Tonic

D Supertonic
E Mediant
G Dominant

Degrees of Tension in the C Major Scale.

C...1st
E...3rd and
G...5th degrees are the strongest tones because they are triad chord tones, the C major chord.

The D...2nd and A...6th degrees of the C major scale cause more tension because they are not chord tones but are a safe distance from the chord tones not to cause too much tension.

Degrees
C...1st
D...2nd
E...3rd
G...5th
A...6th form the Major pentatonic scale.

These degrees create very little tension.

F...4th and B...7th degree cause more tension because they are both a semi tone from a chord tone and require resolution.

B...7th. Resolution is more favorable to move up to a chord tone.

F...4th. Resolution is less favorable to move down to a chord tone.

16 Apr 2015