The Major Scale Pattern
A major (or minor scale) has 7 different pitches (notes) organized in a specific pattern of steps, or intervals, between each note.
An Ascending and Descending C Major Scale in 1 Octave.
The steps are either whole steps (two neighboring white keys with a black key in between or reversed), or half steps (two white keys with no black key between or between any neighboring black and white key).
Half steps (or semitones) are the smallest interval on a piano. It's the step from a white key to a black key next to it, or the other way around.
There are two places where the white keys have no black key between them; between E-F and B-C. These are half steps (semitones).
The Piano Keyboard: The smallest distance from any note to the very next is called a half step, or a semitone.
of half (H) and whole (W) steps that create the specific sound of a major scale is organized
On this keyboard you can see how the pattern of whole and half steps (or tones
and semitones) looks like in the scale of c major:
The C Major Scale on a Piano Keyboard
Whole steps skip one key between them. In the C major scale (above), you can see that the whole steps have a black key between them.
Starting from the left, between the 3rd and 4th yellow dot, there is only a half step. Likewise between the 7th and 8th dot.
So, starting from C (first dot), the pattern of whole (W) and half (H) steps is:
And that is the major scale pattern!