Sarvagyajain
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#1
Hi All,

I want to know why Major scale has TTSTTTS pattern? What is the basis of this pattern? Why is it better than TSSTTTT or any other combination of tones & semitone?

Regards,

Sarvagya Jain
Mathedes
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#2
It sounds nice.

(And the C Major scale on piano is all white keys, which this pattern is derived from.)
We're all alright!
jazz_rock_feel
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#3
We all had a meeting about 2 or 3 weeks ago and agreed on what the interval pattern for the major scale was going to be. You shoulda been there, twas a real barn burner.
Quote by Mathedes

(And the C Major scale on piano is all white keys, which this pattern is derived from.)

What an insane statement.
Ahteh
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#4
Quote by Mathedes
.

(And the C Major scale on piano is all white keys, which this pattern is derived from.)


I think it's pretty safe to say it's the other way around.
cdgraves
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#5
because that's the definition of the major scale. You can use any interval patterns you want to make a scale, they just won't be the Major scale.
HotspurJr
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#6
Quote by Sarvagyajain
Why is it better than TSSTTTT or any other combination of tones & semitone?


There are three huge advantages of the major scale pattern.

First, it provides 7 clear, distinct harmonious relationships with the tonic note, with clear resolution.

Second, it connects each major with a relative minor

Third, it's a pattern that works in all keys.

Before the major scale and "keys" were invented, patterns of notes were used that didn't have that kind of flexibility. Each instrument was set up for a certain pattern, and instruments in different patterns couldn't easily play with each other. The major scale and minor scale (I actually think the major scale is derived from the minor scale, not the other way around, historically) work because of their incredible flexibility and strong sense of resolution.

That being said, diving down the "why is music like this" well tends not to yield satisfactory answers. There's a lot of stuff that is the way it is just because it is that way.
steven seagull
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#7
Quote by Sarvagyajain
Hi All,

I want to know why Major scale has TTSTTTS pattern? What is the basis of this pattern? Why is it better than TSSTTTT or any other combination of tones & semitone?

Regards,

Sarvagya Jain

Harmonic series, I *think*
Actually called Mark!

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jazz_rock_feel
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#8
Quote by HotspurJr
(I actually think the major scale is derived from the minor scale, not the other way around, historically)

I don't think the minor was necessarily derived from the major scale, but the major(ish) scale was definitely around first and is more prevalent in the world. You can pretty simply explain the major scale with the overtone series, you can't do that same with the minor scale (unless you pretend the undertone series is a real thing).
Hail
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#9
it contains the most primitive perfect cadence (I IV V I), an incredibly important example of the tonic->subdominant->dominant relationship that solidifies the tonic and gives credibility to the harmonic sequence. accidentals can go nuts, but the major scale is the "fall-back" for any major key so it's easier to address it as a scale to introduce it to beginners so they don't go accidentally make some atonal shit before understanding cadences, tension, and resolution.

i'd prefer it if we just made atonal shit by default though
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Jet Penguin
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#11
A major scale is two major tetrachords (TTS) separated by a whole step.

I may be mistaken, but I believe the ancient Greeks used a major tetrachord to tune up, and considered an octave to be two major tetrachords and a whole step apart. (Which it is).

Eventually this would become the basis for harmony in European music.
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Hail
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#12
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
What a dream world that would be.


i go to sleep to the soundtrack of begotten

naked

in the middle of a field, in a pentagram of goat's blood and urine

art students, come at me
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Junior#1
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#15
Oh Begotten. The film that desensitized me to, well, basically everything.

FYI: don't watch it when you're 8 years old.
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Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
Hail
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#16
Quote by Junior#1
Oh Begotten. The film that desensitized me to, well, basically everything.

FYI: don't watch it when you're 8 years old.


back in high school my friend told me you could trip on LSA (flower seeds) and he told me to watch it as a joke after i took them thinking i'd have the common sense to look it up before i torrented it. he also thought i wouldn't go buy the seeds, grind them up, and capsule and ingest them.

12 hours later, i had school and refused to come out from under my blanky

if that experience doesn't ruin drug experimentation for a stupid 16 year old...

if i had a dollar for every dumbass thing i did in high school i'd probably be able to afford a future

also: thread successfully derailed
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Sleepy__Head
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#17
Quote by Jet Penguin
A major scale is two major tetrachords (TTS) separated by a whole step.

I may be mistaken, but I believe the ancient Greeks used a major tetrachord to tune up, and considered an octave to be two major tetrachords and a whole step apart. (Which it is).

Eventually this would become the basis for harmony in European music.


The Greeks definitely subdivided the octave into 8 tones, but those tones were sometimes quarter tones rather than always being semitones and tones. The WIKI article makes for an interesting read if you're into history of music.

I'm not sure anyone knows for sure how they tuned their instruments, partly because there's very little surviving music, partly because what does survive is written in a kinda, sorta solfege system, and partly because written accounts of music methods usually come with a bucketful of confused and confusing philosphy thrown in.

In general there is nothing stopping you from using other kinds of arrangements of tones and semitones. The harmonic and melodic/jazz minor scales aren't formed from the TTSTTTS interval pattern, for example. You don't even have to divide the octave up into tones and semitones - the harmonic minor has a tone and a half step in it, for example.

I had a bit of a thing for creating these kinds of interval patterns at one time. The only thing I'd say is that I ended up writing using a tone row, or I end up trying to apply abstract musical rules to the interval pattern to give the piece some kind of internal logic. The former approach is easier, the latter quite hard and potentially quite confusing because there are many tonal rules and you end up having to take fairly arbitrary decisions over which ones to use and which ones to ignore. And also the music tends to sound ****ing terrible. But that probably says more about me as a writer than it does of the general approach.
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#18
Quote by Hail


Cool. Well that gives me something to watch at work tomorrow.
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oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
Hail
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#19
Quote by Sleepy__Head
Cool. Well that gives me something to watch at work tomorrow.


i hope you work in a daycare
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#20
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i hope you work in a daycare

Win!
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Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
food1010
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#21
Quote by steven seagull
Harmonic series, I *think*
Yeah pretty much.

All of the intervals in a scale have some sort of even frequency ratio. For example an octave is a 2:1 ratio. If we look at A4 (440 Hz), an octave up is just double that, so A5 is 880 Hz. An octave down is half, so A3 is 220 Hz.

The interval of a perfect fifth is a 3:2 ratio, which would be 440 x 1.5 = 660. A perfect fourth is 4:3, or 440 x 1 1/3 = 586 2/3. A major third is 5:4, or 440 x 1.25 = 550. Here's a nifty little chart I wrote up:

P1 | 1:1 | 440
P8 | 2:1 | 880
P5 | 3:2 | 660
P4 | 4:3 | 586 2/3
M3 | 5:4 | 550
M6 | 5:3 | 733 1/3
M2 | 9:8 | 495
M7 | 15:8| 825
I could go on and put in the m2, m3, A4/d5, m6, m7, but you get the point.
See how nice all that lines up? Now this is only in Just Intonation, which is not the system we use. The reason we don't use this system is because when you transpose it, some notes might be a little bit off from where they were in another key.

To make up for that, someone along the way came up with the system we use today, called Equal Temperament, specifically 12TET (12 tone ET), which divides the octave into 12 equal semitones, sacrificing the nice integer ratios that just intonation had for the notes in a single key. The advantage of this is that if you change keys you don't have to retune your instrument. However, since it doesn't use the precise ratios, certain intervals don't sound perfectly in tune (the major third is the biggest culprit of this), but at least they're equally out of tune in all keys. To the untrained ear, this difference is unnoticeable, but it would be noticeable in just intonation.

Anyway, if you're interested, the formula for the half-steps in 12TET is to multiply the given note by the twelfth root of 2 (or 2 to the 1/12th power) to get a semitone up, or change that 1 to however many semitones you want. For a perfect fifth, you would take your initial pitch (440 for example) and multiply it by 2 to the 7/12th power, which is roughly 1.498307, you get roughly 659.26 (although the decimal doesn't end there, it keeps going infinitely). See how that's not as nice a number as 660?

Here's a good chart to look at to see the difference between just intonation and 12TET: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_temperament#Comparison_to_just_intonation

Anyway, I'm rambling. You get the point. Either that or I just confused the hell out of you. I'm sorry if that's the case.
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Sarvagyajain
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Join date: Jan 2013
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#22
Thanks All for the replies.

What I understood from the replies is that there is no logic behind this pattern. Probably, TTSTTTS was once formed by someone & named it as Major scale.

Regards,

Sarvagya Jain
TheHydra
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#23
Quote by Sarvagyajain
Thanks All for the replies.

What I understood from the replies is that there is no logic behind this pattern. Probably, TTSTTTS was once formed by someone & named it as Major scale.

Regards,

Sarvagya Jain

It was actually invented by one Charles G. Major in the late 1700's. He invented a pattern of intervals that would be optimal for a perfect V-I cadence, and named the two central notes C and G, after his initials. He would then fill in the rest of the scale from A to G, reasoning that G was the letter for the perfect note, and was therefore unable to be surpassed. A prominent early adopter of this new scale was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who wrote hundreds of pieces with it, even pushing new boundaries by starting the interval pattern on different notes of the Chromatic scale (much to the chagrin of James Chromatic, who was angered by the attitude people had taken in shoehorning his 12 tones into small boxes of pre-packaged sounds. His complaints were largely ignored by his peers.) For a while it was actually referred to as "the Mozart scale", but an early 19th century music history movement brought its creator back into the limelight and it became known as the Major scale.
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#24
The scale wasn't "formed by someone".

Melodies were created. Those melodies used certain notes that people found appealing. Those melodies were handed down and passed around. Some were good and survived. Some were not so good and were either changed to sound better or were discarded

Most cultures share the pentatonic scale. It seems to be universally appealing to humans. Most likely this has to do with the chain of fifths and the harmonic series.

From there some cultures developed their musical palettes to include many more notes and some only a few extra notes. Our culture happened to develop melodic ideas that commonly used two extra notes on top of the pentatonic.

After some time and continuing cultural development of melodic ideas someone decided they would organize a this phenomenon into some kind of system. They looked at all those melodies and looked for commonalities. They arranged the notes into an order from lowest to highest and noted the similar distance between each of the notes. And we had scales.

This is all just hypothetical but I'm pretty sure it would have gone something along those lines.

The reason the semitones are where they are has to do with the pentatonic scale. Note that the semitones are spread as far apart as they can be from each other.
Si
Sarvagyajain
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#25
What I meant was it is like a song being composed by someone & liked by many which eventually becomes the basis of many more songs.
Sleepy__Head
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#26
Quote by Sarvagyajain
What I understood from the replies is that there is no logic behind this pattern.


Depends what you mean by 'logic'. If you mean 'an a-prior system of rules' then the answer is no. If you mean 'reasons why things ended up like that' then the answer is yes, except that the reasons are involved, complex and - to some extent - largely historical.

As far as being creative with interval patterns goes just feel free to do what you like. Music is an art, not a science, and the test of the art is what sounds good. If Messiaen can create chords by stacking one of each type of interval on top of one another (minor 2nd, major 2nd, minor 3rd, ..., major 7th, octave) I would say it's certainly something that's been explored by other composers with varying degrees of success.
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#27
Quote by TheHydra
It was actually invented by one Charles G. Major in the late 1700's. He invented a pattern of intervals that would be optimal for a perfect V-I cadence, and named the two central notes C and G, after his initials. He would then fill in the rest of the scale from A to G, reasoning that G was the letter for the perfect note, and was therefore unable to be surpassed. A prominent early adopter of this new scale was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who wrote hundreds of pieces with it, even pushing new boundaries by starting the interval pattern on different notes of the Chromatic scale (much to the chagrin of James Chromatic, who was angered by the attitude people had taken in shoehorning his 12 tones into small boxes of pre-packaged sounds. His complaints were largely ignored by his peers.) For a while it was actually referred to as "the Mozart scale", but an early 19th century music history movement brought its creator back into the limelight and it became known as the Major scale.


Ah, but did you know Mr. Major was close friends with Mr. Alexsandr Edmund Minor, although later they fell out because Major came to believe Minor stole his best work?
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food1010
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#28
Quote by Sarvagyajain
Thanks All for the replies.

What I understood from the replies is that there is no logic behind this pattern. Probably, TTSTTTS was once formed by someone & named it as Major scale.

Regards,

Sarvagya Jain
What I understood from this post is that you clearly didn't read all of the responses.

Sorry for the cynicism, but it's pretty true.

I like the way Sleepy Head put it. There is a lot of logic behind the pattern; in fact, way too much to explain if you want to go into the psychology about why our brain interprets certain sounds to be more pleasant than others or how certain sounds make us feel a certain way. In fact, a lot of that is still unknown. We just kind of accept it for what it is.

To sum up my post from earlier, a lot of it has to do with how the sound waves line up. For example, since an octave is exactly double the frequency, each wave of the lower note lines up with every second wave of the higher note in exactly the same place. That may be hard to understand without a visual, so here you go:



That is one cycle of the lower frequency (purple) and two cycles of the higher frequency (green). Notice where they both start their cycle. See how two cycles of the higher note line up with exactly one cycle of the lower note? That's what makes a harmonic octave have the kind of "ring" that it does. Here's another good visual:



Notice how the lowest C lines up with the one above it after one cycle (of the lower one. Now look at that second C to the G above it. Notice how it takes two cycles of the C to line up with the G? and three cycles of the G to line up with the C above it? and so on.

This is called the "harmonic series." Play the 12th fret harmonic on any string on a guitar. Hear how it's an octave up? If you measure from the nut to the 12th fret, you'll notice that it's the same distance as the 12th fret to the bridge. On a 24" scale guitar, that'll be 12 inches. It's an octave because you're dividing the string in half, effectively doubling the frequency. This is called the "first harmonic." The 7th fret harmonic is an octave and a fifth up from the open string and divides the string into three parts. The fifth fret is two octaves, divides the string into four parts.

You can actually see how the string vibrates in sections. If you play the fifth fret harmonic, you'll see that the string does not vibrate at the 12th fret. You can actually put your finger on the string there and the note will still ring out. That's actually what the second picture is showing. It's not the sound waves, it's actually showing the string vibrating in sections at all the harmonics. It's still a good way to visualize the sound wave though.

Eh, now I'm getting into fun facts that aren't really that useful. I'll stop there...
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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Last edited by food1010 at Jan 31, 2013,
20Tigers
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#29
^That's some hardcore music geek porn right there. Great pics.
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food1010
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#30
Quote by 20Tigers
^That's some hardcore music geek porn right there. Great pics.
That's the kind of shit you should have to enter your age before you can see it. "For mature audiences only."
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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#31
Maths & science FTW.

Where's ma owl. I can feel some rotatin' comin' on.
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Sarvagyajain
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#32
Yes Food1010, I didn't read all the posts for the sake of not getting confused. I think I have had enough of understanding on TTSTTTS pattern.

Thanks All for your valuable views.

Regards,

Sarvagya Jain
steven seagull
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#33
Quote by Sarvagyajain
Thanks All for the replies.

What I understood from the replies is that there is no logic behind this pattern. Probably, TTSTTTS was once formed by someone & named it as Major scale.

Regards,

Sarvagya Jain

That's not what people are saying at all, on the contrary, it's EXTREMELY logical and based on some very fundamental scientific facts as food has demonstrated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oShLg8JCHCg
Actually called Mark!

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cdgraves
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#34
Asking for some "logic" (other than physics) behind the major scale pattern presumes a pre-existing musical frame of reference that would dictate the logic of scale patterns. It's actually the other way around - the major scale pattern dictates the logic for the rest of music. The major scale is a foundational concept in the written musical tradition.