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Elements of Pitch. Kostka /Payne Chapter 1 – Part One. Keyboard and Octave Register. Ledger Lines. CLEFS. Movable Clefs. Half Steps. A half step is the distance from a key on the piano to the very next key (white or black.). Using only white keys, there are two half steps in each octave.

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elements of pitch

Elements of Pitch

Kostka/Payne Chapter 1 – Part One

half steps
Half Steps

A half stepis the distance from a key on the piano to the very next key (white or black.)

Using only white keys, there are two half steps in each octave.

whole steps
Whole Steps

A whole stepskips the very next key and goes instead to the following one.

Using only white keys, there are five half steps in each octave.

the major scale
The Major Scale

The major scale is a specific pattern of small steps (called half steps) and larger ones (called whole steps) encompassing an octave.

major scale e flat
Major Scale -- E-flat

We can make the Ebscale conform to the major scale pattern by adding accidentals

minor scales
Minor Scales

Always begin with the parallel major scale.

Lower the following scale degrees for each form of minor.

Natural

Harmonic

Melodic

The descending Melodic minor is the same as the natural minor scale

minor key signatures
Minor Key Signatures

Minor key signatures conform to the natural minor scale, no matter which minor scale type is actually in use.

Relative Minor (shares the same key signature):

Determine the major key signature and then identify the minor 3rd (step and a half, or 3 half steps) below.

Parallel Minor (shares the same tonic note but has different key signatures.)