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Pitch Class Collection
Week 3
Write the letter names of the pitch
classes in each excerpt, writing each
letter name only once, in any order.
Pitch Class Collection: the group of pitches used in a piece of music (no
duplications or any particular order)
Diatonic: the set of seven pitch classes in a single key (Mozart example)
Chromatic: All 12 possible pitch classes (Webern example)
The diatonic collection is a subset from the chromatic collection
Scales: differ from pitch class in that they are ordered
Chromatic Scale: made up entirely of half steps
Start on given pitch
If no key signature, use sharps ascending and flats descending
Chromatic Scale (Cont.)
If a key is indicated:
First write the underlying major scale
Then, raise the pitches going up and lower them going down
This may result in mixed accidentals
Whole Tone Scale:
Whole Step, Whole Step, Whole Step, Whole Step, Whole Step, Whole Step
The spelling is different at the end
All thirds are major so all triads are augmented
Major Scale:
Whole Step, Whole Step, Half Step, Whole Step, Whole Step, Whole Step, Half Step
Start on given pitch without altering it
Use all seven letters once and repeat the first again at the end-no other repeats!
Use only sharps or only flats, not a combination of both
You can also think of major scales as two tetrachords a whole step apart
**The spelling of a scale DOES MATTER! The goal is to make it as easy to read as possible while remaining within
the tonal framework given!
Writing Major Scales:
1. Write the given pitch on the staff
2. Write pitches with no accidentals on every line and space from that pitch to the next pitch an octave higher
3. Label the spaces between pitches (under the staff) with the major scale formula (WWHWWWH)
4. Add appropriate accidentals to the left of the appropriate notes
Scale-from the latin Scalae or Italian Scala meaning “stairs” or “ladder”
Beginning tone is the Tonic and is usually repeated at the end of the scale
The tonic is crucial to the sound and structure of music
Each pitch of a scale is called a Scale degree or Scale step
Each scale degree has a number and a name:
Pentatonic Scales
Only 5 of the diatonic scale degrees
Major Pentatonic: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6
Do, Re, Mi, Sol, La
**Why use scales?
“think” in multiple keys-functions, harmonies, etc.
Sight-reading: melodies often feature segments of scales
Understanding tendency tones and resolution