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Scale degree names[1] (C major scale).

In music theory, a scale degree or scale step is the name of a particular note of a scale[2] in relation to the tonic (the note of the scale that is considered the most important). The degrees of the traditional major and minor scales may be identified several ways:

These names are derived from a scheme where the tonic note is the 'center'. Supertonic and subtonic are, respectively, one step above and one step below the tonic; mediant and submediant are each a third above and below the tonic, and dominant and subdominant are a fifth above and below the tonic.
Subtonic is used when the interval between it and the tonic in the upper octave is a whole step; leading note when that interval is a half step.
  • in English, by the "moveable Do" Solfege system, which allows a person to name each scale degree with a single syllable while singing.

Scale step may also refer to the distance, or interval, between two successive scale degrees. The number of scale degrees and the distance between them together define a scale.

See also


  1. ^ Benward & Saker (2003). Music: In Theory and Practice, Vol. I, p.33. Seventh Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-294262-0.
  2. ^ Kolb, Tom (2005). Music Theory for Guitarists, p.16. ISBN 063406651X.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Degree". Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.

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