You might be wondering why, and it’s because of the same reason that the subdominant gets its name. Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions get in touch! For this reason a flattened 7th note is called the subtonic. The natural minor scale is ever so slightly different though as the 7th degree of the scale is an interval of a tone (whole step) below the tonic instead of a semitone (half step) like the leading note. Download my free eBook with all my favourite music theory resources. Scale Degree Names. It get’s its name from being an interval of a 5th (dominant) below the tonic. Feel free to tell me what you think about the topics covered or give ideas for new tutorials that you would like to see added. Your email address will not be published. These names apply to all major and minor scales. It’s also where we get the name for the 4th degree of the scale which is the subdominant. It’s in the middle of the tonic and the subdominant. All of the scale degree names we’ve covered so far are from a major scale. Second Scale Degree: Supertonic It is also known as the keynote because it is the most pivotal note in the scale. Why is it important that we think of the sub dominant a 5th below the tonic? The 6th degree of the scale is called the submediant. It’s also sometimes called the keynote as this note tells us what key we’re in. Although this is a handy way to remember, it’s not actually why it’s called the subdominant. When referring to notes of a scale, we number them as the degrees of a scale. One way you can remember this note is that it’s one note below the dominant, and so is the subdominant. beginner’s guide to musical scales post here, An Overview Of The 20th Century Music Era, 7th degree – The leading note (or leading tone). It’s called this because it usually leads into the note above (the tonic). © Hello Music Theory 2020 | All rights reserved | Sitemap. This technical name comes from a Latin word which means ‘middle’. Authors are compensated. Just remember that the 2nd degree is above (super) the tonic, and so is called the supertonic . If you have any questions that weren’t covered here post a comment below. Each note in a scale has a name that matches its function. Thanks Dan, this is a well explained and informative piece; answered all my questions. The first and eighth scale degree are given the name of Tonic. Any seven note scale (diatonic scale) begins with the tonic, and other degree names are based on their position in relation to the tonic. It’s where we get the name of each scale from. For questions, please ask via the feedback form. Since then he's been working to make music theory easy for over 1 million students in over 80 countries around the world. Example 2 shows the notes of the A ♭ major scale in order. When building a triad chord we use three notes: the 1st, 3rd and 5th degrees of a scale. Each note in a scale has a name that matches its function. If possible could you provide a more detailed explanation of the function of each or the degrees Relative to their degree name, ie what does the sub dominant resolve to? Example 2 shows these Scale-degree Names applied to an A♭ major scale, with half- and whole-steps labeled:. To author a tutorial or quiz, only written content is needed. The most important note in a scale is the 1st degree and it’s called the tonic. We’re going to jump a few notes ahead now to the next most important note in a scale which is the 5th degree called the dominant. It’s the same super from which we get the words supervisor from (someone who is above you) or superb (something that is above your expectations). Degrees are useful for indicating the size of intervals and chords and whether they are major or minor. It’s definitely worth learning them, especially if you’re taking a music theory exam. Your feedback is valuable! If you try playing a major scale you’ll notice that the 7th note sounds like it wants to lead us back to the tonic. We could number them 1-8, but this would get confusing when we start to talk about other numbers such as beats in a bar, chord numbers and fingering for instruments such as piano or guitar. For now, it is good to know the names. In this post, I’m going to look at the different names of these degrees and how they got their names. If you or someone you know would like to author some of the tutorials, please let me know by sending a message to me via the feedback form. The degrees of a scale But, each scale degree has a special name too which are sometimes referred to as the technical names of the scale. Just remember the mediant is in the middle of a triad (between the tonic – 1st degree, and the dominant – 5th degree). We'll learn more about what those functions are in more advanced tutorials.

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