Major Scale Worksheets

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Have a spooky and booming good time teaching the major and/or minor scale pitches in this silly Halloween-themed song. Each measure moves up the notes of the scale using repeated rhythmic patterns. Then after a wood block “knock” on the door, you’ll move back down through the notes and into a surprise BOO! Includes:color coded sheet music for both C major/A minorcolor coded sheet music with alphanotes for both C major/A minorboomwhacker visual aid using long/short sounds for both C major/A minor.

When are Students of Music Theory Ready to “Really” Understand Major Scales?

Before developing a robust understanding of scales and how they work our students must first be familiar with a method of assigning the “correct” name to any note and with the principles behind whole-step and half-step intervals.

The link below gets you the handout in the graphic above this text which explains the intervals involved in constructing a Major Scale. The lower half of the handout concerns itself with minor scale construction and the difference between the two scales.

The next free handout that you can download is a very useful graphic illustration of the four most common types of scale (Major, minor, minor pentatonic and blues scale) You can distribute the sheet to your students and/or pin it up on your music classroom wall.

It is the intention that students are introduced to these handouts after they have become familiar with naming notes correctly and also the principles underpinning intervals of a whole and a half step. Please feel free to distribute them to your students during the course of your music lessons or even to pin them onto your classroom wall as a source of reference.

Studying Major Scales with Worksheets

Scales should not be covered by students of music theory until they have developed a thorough understanding of note naming along with the existence of and difference between whole and half step intervals

Below is a detail from the Major and minor scale handout that you can get by clicking the text above. It illustrates the similarities and the differences between Major and minor scales (that the minor scale can be regarded as a Major Scale with lowered third, sixth and seventh notes).

Why Learn about Major Scales?

A sound knowledge of the construction of major scales is at the heart of the study of music theory and without this understanding our students will struggle to make any real “joined up” sense of the subject? Our download features a huge range of worksheets with varying levels of graphic support (keyboard diagrams etc).

By using the resources offered in this simple download it becomes possible to take a student group from a position where they have no functional knowledge of scales and their construction to a suituation in which they are able communicate the notes (either verbally or in notated form) for any common scale.

By employing the same resources in a slightly different way during classroom sessions it becomes possible to simultaneously address the differing levels of capability and prior learning that exist within any student group.

Some learners can be busy constructing scales using worksheets containing graphics similar to the picture above in which the learner has been required to fill in the letter names in the lower part of each circle. These “early stages” worksheets feature keyboard diagrams and/or scale formulae whilst other more “advanced” students can be set to working on sheets requiring notation only with the theoretical knowledge being the responsibility of the learner?

This graduated series of worksheets is designed to challenge individual students at a level appropriate to the current stage of their musical development and to give our learners the confidence that they need to deal with this vital component of a well rounded knowledge of music theory.

What Are Scales?

It might seem like a bit of a strange question but it is a very important one? Scales can be defined as being “a set of sounds arranged in order of pitch” Dig a little deeper and you can add the fact that these pitches are composed from a “pre-determined combination of intervals” (gaps between notes) So. scales are “A set of sounds arranged in order of pitch composed of a predetermined sequence of intervals” Having then decided what scales are it is perhaps just as important is to establish what scales are not?

Scales are NOT MUSICAL NOTATION!

They are often written down in notated form but it is perfectly possible to develop a meaningful understanding of scales (and how to use them) without at this stage either writing them down on (or reading them from) a musical staff.

This is in no way to suggest that musical notation is without value and any meaningful study of how music works will probably involve notated music to a greater or lesser degree but it is worth speculating that in the early stages of understanding scales etc. it might be better not to teach them this new subject (scale construction) in a “foreign” language (notation).

It may be more effective to have our learners confident in the construction of (at least a few?) scales before introducing them to notated music?

Major Scale Worksheets In the Classroom

The image above shows a variety of our scale worksheets aimed at students with differing levels of understanding and capability. Some feature graphic assistance in the form of guitar necks or keyboard diagrams while others require learners to consider scale formula and key signatures etc. They are intended to introduce novice learners to the concept of scales and from there to help develop a more sophisticated understanding of scales and how they can be regarded and/or used.

The text below sets out how an educator might make use of our handouts and worksheets during the course of a series of music theory lessons to take students from the point where they have no knowledge of scale construction through to a stage where they are able to notate major and minor scales and key signatures directly onto music manuscript paper with no reference to visual aids at all?

It is not the intention that the journey should be made in a single session and one of the strengths of the approach outlined is that students can develop familiarity with scales at different rates as their capabilities and potential dictates.

The ethos underpinning this material is firstly to develop an awareness of the theory that underpins the construction of scales and from this point the object is to “turn that awareness of the theory into a familiarity with it”.

By the time they are familiar with the topics under study you can expect students to be able to tell you the notes of a scale without having to write anything down or without recourse to handouts with keyboards/scale formulas on them.

A First Music Theory Lesson

Distribute the handout shown (“notes on the keyboard”) which names the notes with relation to their location on a piano keyboard. It is a good idea at this stage to ensure that all students become familiar with the idea that the white (natural) notes can be identified by a single letter name whereas the black keys are more ambiguous in that they can be assigned one of two letter names depending upon the circumstances in which they are being used.

Although simple this handout is a very important one because if you are able to constantly refer students back to it you can often find out the root of any problems that they are experiencing with music theory.

Whole and Half Steps (or tones and semitones)

After you have distributed the handouts make students aware of the two different kinds of “intervals” involved in the construction of any Major (and for that matter minor?) scales.

Explain to the group that a half step (also known as a semitone) is a movement of a single chromatic step from any given given starting note (for example from the white note of C up to the black note which is labelled C# or Db.

When this has been established introduce them to the idea of a whole step (alternately known as a tone) being two chromatic steps (from C up to D or from Bb down to Ab etc.). When your students are comfortable with this idea it is a good idea to mention the “rules” of major (and for that matter minor) scale construction?

Major Scale Construction: “The Rules”

Rule no 1

The names of the notes of a major or minor scale follow the strict alphabetic sequence (if the first note of a scale is an A then it follows that the second will be a B note, the third a C note and so on)

Rule no 2

The only letter of the alphabet to appear twice within a scale is the first (or “root”) note which “bookends” the scale by featuring at the beginning and the end of it.

Rule no 3

You should not mix #’s and b’s within a scale.

Piano Keyboard – Music Theory Worksheet for Distance Learning Music

Ready to print keyboard worksheet to teach your band, choir, orchestra or piano students about the basics of the keyboard. Wonderful introduction to major scales & key signature. Definitions include: Interval, Half step, Whole step, Flat, Sharp, Natural, Natural half step, Enharmonic, Chromatic scale, Tetrachord, Major scale. Key (study guide) and blank copy are included.Looking for a full music theory curriculum for beginning or second year players in 5th-8th grade?

Bundle – Beginning Orchestra Sheet Music – Etudes for String Orchestra #1,2,3

BUNDLE – Beginning Orchestra Etudes includes 3 etudes for string orchestra based on the G and D Major scales and are written in unison for violin, viola, cello and bass. They are great for beginning or intermediate groups in elementary, middle or high school to focus on basic first position notes. Includes the scores and all parts. Etude #1 is in D Major and uses quarter and half notes. Etude #2 is in D Major and uses eighth, quarter and half notes. Etude #3 is in G Major and uses eighth, quarter and half notes.

Worksheet – Scale of Geologic Time *EDITABLE*

This worksheet has 23 Earth Science Regents questions about the scale of geologic time. There are both multiple choice and short answer questions. This makes a great homework sheet or in-class review. An editable Word document is included. Topics Addressed: Division of geologic time, Placing major events on a time line, Comparing the length of geologic time intervals, Interpreting graphs, diagrams, and tables, Earth Science Reference Tables.

Major Scales and Key Signatures Frayer Model

These Major Key Signatures Frayer Models will help your students to think critically about all fifteen major keys. Students will be asked to think about necessary sharps or flats, any special fingerings or positions, and get more opportunities to process and think through a new key signature. These could easily be left with a substitute teacher, used as bellwork or exit tickets, or even combined with class discussions for deeper learning. An answer key is NOT INCLUDED. PREVIEW SHOWS EACH FRAYER.

Chemistry: Marzano Learning Goals and Scales for Tracking Student Progress

Chemistry: Marzano Learning Goals and Scales for Tracking Student Progress this is a great way to track student progress and have learning goals and scales implemented in the Chemistry classroom. There are 10 major chemistry goals that can go along with your units that students can assess themselves on the scale. Each student will draw an element from the periodic table out of a hat. For example, I pull Co out of the hat. That is my element. I write my name down on the back of the element, hand.

Establishing the Sequence of Whole and Half Steps in any Major Scale

Make students aware of the fact that all major scales follow the same sequence of intervals (whole steps and half steps) and that this sequence, once learned on a single scale can then be transferred to all others.

Stress to your music students that if they are able to understand the construction of a C Major Scale then they have the tools to understand the construction of any Major scale as the sequence of intervals is exactly the same?

Major Scales: The Sequence of Musical Intervals

Thinking in terms of whole (W) and half (H) steps that sequence is W-W-H-W-W-W-H (or alternately tone-tone-senitone-tone-tone tone-semitone). If this were a phone number it could be remembered as: 221 2221 – “double two one-treble two one”

Now might be a good time to distribute the handout featuring the C Major scale on a keyboard?
Talk your students through the handout (or the free powerpoint demonstration that you can download now if you click this text?) pointing out the sequence of intervals and how it corresponds to the: “W-W-H-W-W-W-H”

Having analysed the construction of a single major scale now is a good time to introduce the idea that “if you can create a single major scale then you can create them all?” and that you don’t have to have the first clue about musical notation in order to understand scales completely?

By using the sequence of whole and half steps outlined above and by applying a couple of simple rules you can understand how the C major scale is constructed. From this point it is possible to use the same process to work out which notes are in any Major Scale?

From this point in the programme (in future lessons?) more “advanced” handouts can be incorporated which are concerned with developing an understanding of other scales and musical notation. We have produced a series of lesson plans (arranged into topics) that might give a more developed view as to how you might use our materials to make your teaching less stressful. We also have pages on this site dealing with topics such as chord construction and the existence of harmonic concepts such as the diatonic system etc.

As members of your student group become firstly “aware of” and then “familiar with” the fomulae and principles invilved in the construction of major and minor scales it is possible to present them with a series of worksheets which “scale down” the amount of graphic assistance on offer (there are handouts without either the scale formulae or the keyboard diagrams etc) until they feel comfortable in a situation in which they are able to write down or verbally articulate any major or minor scale purely from memory demonstrating an ability to provide either the required accidentals or key signature.

FAQ for Worksheet Major Scale

What is the major scale?

The major scale is a set of notes that are organized in an octave. The major scale is a musical scale that is often used in Western music. It is made up of eight notes, and the pattern of whole and half steps repeats on every octave. The major scale is considered to be the most common scale in Western music.

How do write the major scale on a music staff?

The major scale is a seven note scale that can be written on the staff in different ways.

There are two ways to write the major scale on a music staff: The first way is to use two octaves of the C major scale, and the second way is to use one octave of C major and one octave of F major.

The first way uses all white notes and starts with a whole step on C, followed by a half step D, then up to E which is a whole step. The next note would be F which is another whole step, followed by G which is also a whole step. The next note would be A which is also a whole stop, followed by B which is also another whole stop.

What is the difference between a major and a minor scale?

A major scale is made up of a series of whole steps and half steps. A minor scale is made up of a series of whole steps, two half-steps, and one more whole step.

The major scale is the most common type of musical scale in Western music, used in classical, jazz, and many popular songs. The minor scale has a sadder sound than the major scale and is also used in classical music and jazz.

What does the first, third, and fifth note of a major scale have in common?

The first, third, and fifth note of a major scale are the same.

A major scale is made up of eight notes that repeat in the pattern WWHWWWH. The first note of the pattern is always a whole step higher than the last note. This means that the first, third, and fifth notes are all whole steps apart from each other.

What is the interval between the first and second note of a major scale?

The interval between the first and second note of a major scale is called an octave.

The way that this interval is calculated is by doubling the first note. So, if you start with C, then the next C will be two octaves higher than the first one.

What is the interval between every other note in a major scale?

The interval between every other note in a major scale is a semitone.

How many sharps are there in a major scale?

Sharps are the notes that are found in the right hand of a keyboard. They are also known as accidentals. There are 7 sharps in a major scale.

The first sharp is called “F#” and it’s written on the second line of the staff. The second sharp is called “G#” and it’s written on the third line of the staff. The third sharp is called “A#” and it’s written on the fourth line of the staff. The fourth sharp is called “B#” and it’s written on the fifth line of the staff. The fifth sharp is called “C#” and it’s written on the sixth line of the staff. The sixth sharp is called “D#” and it’s written on seventh line of the staff.

How many flats are there in a major scale?

In a major scale, there are 12 flats and 12 sharps. This is because of the key signature that is used in major scales.

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