What is the Major Diatonic Scale? Definition and Examples

What is the Major Diatonic Scale – In every musical instrument, of course, there will be a basic tone that makes it sound more harmonious. The scale itself is one of the most important elements in a piece of music that is useful for producing beautiful and pleasant tones to listen to. In a sense, scales are the result of a combination of tones that have certain intervals.

One of the scales most often used in a song is the major diatonic scale. As a music lover, of course you have to understand what a major diatonic scale is and its characteristics, as well as examples of songs that use these scales. In this article, we will discuss it in more detail.

What is the Major Diatonic Scale?

According to a book entitled Tone and Rhythm by M. Noor Said (2020), the meaning of the major diatonic scale is a scale that is arranged with pitch spacing or intervals in the form of 1-1-½-2-2-2-2/2. In music, pitch or interval is the distance between one note and another. An example of a major scale is C major which consists of do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, and do.

Difference between Major and Minor Diatonic Scales

To be able to distinguish between the two types of diatonic scales, you must first understand the meaning of each of these terms. If explained using the genre of the song, then usually the major diatonic scale will be used for songs that are cheerful and fun. This is certainly different from the minor diatonic scale which usually gives a more melancholic impression to songs or music that uses this type of scale. Not only that, the distance between the notes of the two types of scales is also different.

Where the major diatonic scales have intervals between notes, namely 1-1-½-1-1-1-½, while minor diatonic scales have intervals between notes, namely 1-½-1-1-½-1-1. . Actually, we can see the difference from the impression and the interval directly. So, you will not feel confused and have difficulty in distinguishing which songs or music use major scale types and which songs or music use minor scale types. Here, you only need to know and pay attention to the impressions and intervals to be able to recognize them.

Characteristics of the Major Diatonic Scale

Actually, from the explanation regarding the meaning of the major diatonic scale above, of course you already know some of the characteristics that exist in this scale, namely the properties it has and also the interval it applies. However, only by knowing the characteristics above, you will certainly feel less able to understand this type of scale clearly. Therefore, let’s take a good look at some of the characteristics possessed by the major diatonic scales below.

1. Cheerful and Fun

Every type of scale that exists in the world of music will certainly have an impression or characteristic that is different from one another. As for the major scale itself, it will show a more cheerful and pleasant nature. So when you listen to a song or music that uses this scale, it is very likely that the song will have a cheerful and fun impression. With its pleasant impression, this song will make you feel more excited after listening to songs that use major diatonic scales.

2. Make a Valuable Impression

Besides being able to give a cheerful and fun impression, songs or music that use major diatonic scales can usually also give a valuable impression. Therefore, the major diatonic scale is a scale that is often used in songs with the theme of struggle. There are several patriotic songs or national songs that use major diatonic scales, because these scales are full of enthusiasm. Surely this will fit perfectly with the criteria for a struggle song that really requires an impression like that.

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3. Prefix and Suffix of the Major Diatonic Scale

Basically, this major diatonic scale will start with the root note “do” in the first note. Then, this type of scale will end with the do key which is an octave higher than the previous do key. So, even though the prefix and suffix of the basic tone of this type of major diatonic scale have the same name, the octaves themselves will be different from one another. This further indicates that this type of scale will be different from other types of scales.

For more details, the order of the notes in this type of major diatonic scale is do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, and do. The order of these tones is among the most common. So that we can conclude that this type of scale is included in the type of scale that is most often used in a particular song or music.

4. Interval Patterns on the Major Diatonic Scale

The interval pattern in the major diatonic scale is 1-1-½-1-1-1-½. Where this interval pattern will also be a differentiator between the types of major diatonic scales and other types of scales. Every type of scale in the world of music will certainly have its own interval pattern. Which will later become its own characteristic for this type of scale. Therefore, to understand the characteristics of the major diatonic scale, you must first know what kind of interval pattern is used.

Features of the Minor Diatonic Scale

Almost the same as the major diatonic scale which has its own characteristics. The minor diatonic scale is the same way. This type of scale has its own characteristics, which you must understand clearly. Following are some of the characteristics possessed by minor diatonic scales, including:

1. Is Melancholic and Gentle

Songs that use this type of ladder will produce a soft and melancholy impression. Generally, songs that are in the ballad genre will use a minor diatonic scale type, so that the song can give a melancholy impression. Songs or music that have a melancholy and gentle impression are quite liked by many young people to adults. When you’re listening to a song or music that has a melancholy impression, it’s likely that the song uses a minor diatonic scale.

2. Prefix and End of Minor Diatonic Scale

These next characteristics are also one of the differences between the major and minor diatonic scales. If the sequence on the major diatonic scale is do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do, then the sequence for the minor diatonic scale is la, si, do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, which in that case would equal A minor. When the tone sequence is understood more deeply, then you will know more and more about the reasons why this type of scale will produce a song or music that has a soft and melancholy nature.

3. Interval Patterns on the Minor Diatonic Scale

Not only are the properties and impressions different from the major diatonic scales, the interval patterns in the minor diatonic scales are also different from other types of scales. For the interval pattern in the minor diatonic scale, namely 1-½-1-1-½-1-1. With the difference between the interval patterns in it, it is not surprising that the nuances produced from the two types of scales are different. So, it can be said that the characteristics of the two types of diatonic ladders include the basic knowledge that exists in the world of music.

To further clarify information about the two types of diatonic scales, you need to know some examples of songs that use diatonic scales. By paying attention to the tone in the example, you will understand more about the definition of this type of scale. Therefore, let’s take a good look at some examples of the songs below.

Examples of Songs Using Major Diatonic Scales

As we discussed earlier, for songs that use the major diatonic scale type, it will produce a cheerful and fun impression and be more enthusiastic. With such a character, this makes many patriotic songs or national songs use this type of scale. The following are some examples of children’s songs as well as national songs that use major diatonic scales, including:

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– Delman ride
– My balloon
– From Sabang to Merauke
– See my garden
– Halo-Halo Bandung
– Garuda Pancasila
– Manuk Dadali
– Ampar-Ampar Bananas
– Wake Up Youth Youth
– Forward Undaunted

Examples of Songs Using the Minor Scale

In contrast to songs or music that use major diatonic scales, songs or music that use minor diatonic scales will produce a sadder, gentler, and melancholic impression. This is a very basic difference between songs or music that use major diatonic scales, and songs that use minor diatonic scales. Below are some examples of songs that use the minor diatonic scale type, including:

– A moment of silence
– Gratitude
– Indonesian Heritage
– Take the Moon
– Morning Star

By understanding some examples of songs in these two types of diatonic scales, you can judge for yourself the differences between these types of songs.

Why Scales Are Included in Basic Knowledge in the World of Music?

Scales are often referred to as one of the basic knowledge in the world of music that must be learned and understood if you want to work in the world of music. This statement appears not without reason, because the scale is very important in the world of music, so it should not be missed. Not only that, learning and also understanding scales can also help you to do various things in the world of music. So that it will also benefit you. The following are the benefits that you will get when you learn scales well.

1. Makes It Easy To Play Musical Instruments

When playing a musical instrument, of course we are required to be able to read notes which are usually in a songbook. The notes are closely related to the scales discussed earlier. So, by learning and understanding scales well, it will be easier for you to play the instrument you like. Thus, you can also create beautiful harmony in the same music.

2. Increase Concentration

For the next benefit, this is actually included in the benefits of learning the art of music. But because basically scales are part of the art of music, the benefits of this one can also be referred to as the benefits of learning the scales in music. When you want to play a musical instrument, of course you have to understand the notes. Where usually this will happen for beginners who want to learn certain musical instruments. By learning about these scales, you will be better able to concentrate on playing your favorite musical instrument.

3. Add Knowledge About the World of Music

Music is also one of the interesting things to learn. In addition, music can also include a song, musical instruments, and various other musical arts that many people often don’t understand. When you want to enter the world of music, especially for musical instruments such as the violin, piano, and also the guitar, then you must know about the scales in them.’

Because, each tone can give a different impression from one another. So that it will become one of the basic sciences that must be understood. For example, between the major diatonic and minor diatonic tones. If a song or music using a major diatonic scale will give a cheerful impression, then it is different from a song using a minor diatonic scale which gives a more melancholy impression.

4. Can Create Various Kinds of Songs

Not a few people think that someone who can create a song with various genres is a genius. Therefore, if you want to get this title, then you can start by understanding the various scales first. As previously discussed, that each scale will give a different impression. Therefore, we can conclude that when you can recognize the scales in the world of music, then this will make you have great abilities in creating various types of songs with different genres.

For someone who has been involved in the world of music for a long time, information about the characteristics and also the interval pattern in the major diatonic scale may include basic knowledge that has been memorized by rote. However, this is different from some people or beginners who have just entered the world of music. Of course, they still have questions about this knowledge. So, with this article, we hope that the various explanations discussed above can be a learning reference for those of you who want to get involved in the world of music.

This is an explanation of what the major diatonic scale is and how it differs from the minor diatonic scale. How, are you interested in learning more about music?

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