Scales

Clairnote makes it easy to see the interval patterns of major and minor scales. Each type of scale has a consistent visible pattern. For example, the C major scale begins with three solid notes, followed by four hollow notes. Each major scale has this same “3-solid, 4-hollow” pattern (or vice-versa: 3-hollow, 4-solid). It reflects the pattern of whole step and half step intervals that make up the major scale (W-W-H-W-W-W-H).

C major and C minor scales in Clairnote music notation

Minor scales also have their own particular visual pattern. As shown above, each natural minor scale has a “2-solid, 3-hollow, 2-solid” pattern (or vice-versa). This reflects its particular combination of whole steps and half steps (W-H-W-W-H-W-W).

This works because half steps are always one solid note and one hollow note, while whole steps are always two solid notes or two hollow notes. In traditional notation there is no visual distinction between whole steps and half steps, which makes it very difficult to see and understand the interval patterns of scales. The clear and consistent visual appearance of intervals in Clairnote makes this much easier.

You can easily see these visual patterns in the scales shown below.

Major Scales

All major scales in Clairnote music notation

Natural Minor Scales

All minor scales in Clairnote music notation

Other Minor Scales

So far we have only considered the natural minor scale that contains the notes found in minor key signatures. Other minor scales such as the melodic minor scale, harmonic minor scale, and others also have their own distinct interval pattern. Just like major and natural minor scales each of the interval patterns of these scales correspond to an easily visible pattern of notes in Clairnote. While an image would be better, here is a brief summary of various minor scales:

  • Natural minor: W-H-W-W-H-W-W. Note pattern: 2-solid, 3-hollow, 2-solid (or vice-versa)
  • Harmonic minor: W-H-W-W-W-H-W. Note pattern: 2-solid, 3-hollow, 1-solid, 1-hollow (or vice-versa)
  • Melodic minor (ascending): W-H-W-W-W-W-H. Note pattern: 2-solid, 5-hollow (or vice-versa)

Summary

Scales provide a good illustration of how Clairnote represents intervals clearly and accurately. A musician can easily see and grasp the basic interval patterns of major and minor scales — scales and patterns that are found in a broad range of music. Next, take a look at illustrations of how all the basic intervals appear in Clairnote.

Next: Intervals