What is a musical scale?

Music is the language of the soul where the sound is organized in time intervals to deliver a pleasant rhythm. To put in layman’s terms, while rhythm can be understood as beat, the high and low notations of that beat can be the pitch. These pitch notes at different levels can be understood as scale.

The scale is a set of musical notes ranging from low pitch to high pitch usually, where the pitch is a fundamental frequency and scale can be demonstrated at any pitch level. The row of musical notes when played on a certain pitch level, can be understood to be played on a certain scale.

Types of Scales

There are many scales in the various types of Music available in the world. Coming to Western Music, there are 36 popular scales which means 12 different Major scales and two types of minor scales having 12 different types each, called harmonic and melodic. Along with these, there are many other types of scales such as Chromatic scales, Additional scales, Pentatonic scales, diminished, blues, whole tone etc.

Musical Scales are defined as per the time intervals or by the number of different pitch classes they contain. Indian Music contains various ragas depending upon the ascending and descending scales called as Aarohana and Avarohana respectively, where the notes usually differ from each other scales. The Aarohana and Avaraohana are important to understand the raga.

There are different names for notes on a scale such as Tonic, Supertonic, Mediant, Subdominant, Dominant, Submediant, Leading tone, Tonic or Subtonic.

While there are different types of Music in the world, each one has a different pattern, where the notes are played in different scales to produce melodious tunes at different pitches.