06 May

Flat Scales & Circle of Fourths

In this article, we are going to learn the flat scales & circle of fourths.

Let us, deep-dive, into major scales and its analysis. As we already know, major scales sound happy. They are one of the most common types of scales, popularly used in Bollywood music.  

The 12 major scales can be further classified into –

6 sharp scales6 flat scales

Flat Scales: (#)

The last 6 major scales are called as the flat scales. Note that, no sharps appear in a flat scale.

The order of these 6 sharp major scales is decided by using the Circle of Fourths.  

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Sharp Scales

F major scale

Bb major scale

Eb major scale

Ab major scale

Db major scale

Gb major scale

What is Circle of Fourths?

For the last 6 sharp major scales, the next scale in the sequence is the 4th note from the current scale. 

For Example,

1. Let the current scale be F major scale – F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F. The fourth note is Bb. So, the next scale in the sequence would be Bb major scale. 

2. Let the current scale be Eb major scale – Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C, D, Eb. The fourth note is Ab. So, the next scale in the sequence would be Ab major scale. 

All 6 Flat Major Scales in a Table

Tip: Remember the names of flats in the order of their origin i.e Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb. And these too are in the intervals of fourths.

F major scale
Bb major scale
Eb major scale
Ab major scale
Db major scale
Gb major scale
Bb
Bb, Eb
Bb, Eb, Ab
Bb, Eb, Ab, Db
Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb
Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb

Tip:

  1. Every new scale has only one new flat in addition to all the flats from the previous scale.
  2. This new flat is the 4th note from the scale. 

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