Scales

Clairnote makes it easy to see the interval patterns that make up 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 scale in Clairnote music notationC minor scale 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 a solid note and a 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 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. “W” indicates a whole step and “H” indicates a half step.

Major Scales

All major scales in Clairnote music notation

Natural Minor Scales

All natural minor scales in Clairnote music notation

More Scales

So far we have only considered the major and natural minor scales that contain the notes found in major and minor keys. Other types of scales such as melodic minor, harmonic minor, and pentatonic each have their own distinct interval pattern that corresponds to an easily visible pattern of hollow and solid notes in Clairnote, as you can see in the images below.

Melodic Minor Ascending

All melodic minor ascending scales in Clairnote music notation

Melodic Minor Descending

All melodic minor descending scales in Clairnote music notation

Harmonic Minor

“m3” indicates a minor third.
All harmonic minor scales in Clairnote music notation

Major Pentatonic

“m3” indicates a minor third.
All major pentatonic scales in Clairnote music notation

Minor Pentatonic

“m3” indicates a minor third.
All minor pentatonic scales in Clairnote music notation

As you can see Clairnote represents intervals like whole steps, half steps, and minor thirds clearly and consistently. That makes it easy to see and understand the basic interval patterns that make up scales — common patterns that are found in a broad range of music.

To explore scales further, use the “AudioVisualizer” on the Clairnote home page to see and hear various scales. Or check out the intervals page to see how Clairnote represents other common intervals.

Next: Intervals