Enharmonic Equivalents Lesson 2: Major Scale

Enharmonic equivalents are a relatively easy thing to comprehend but I wanted to dig a bit deeper because there is more to it than just the same tones but different note names.

Enharmonic equivalents affect the way that you write and read music. We are going to be taking a look at the major scale and how enharmonic equivalents are used in these scales.

CIRCLE OF FIFTHS

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There are 13 major scales and out of those scales, there are two pairs of enharmonic equivalent major scales.The circle of fifths documented above show the order of the major scales based on how many sharps and flats that they have.

If you want to learn more about the circle of fifths check out my video here.

The diagram below shows the two pairs of enharmonic equivalents that correspond with the major scale.

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The diagram above shows the two pairs of enharmonic equivalents being:

F♯ Major / G♭ Major
C♯ Major / D♭ Major

The F♯ major scale and G♭ major scale both have 6 notes that are either sharp or flat. The C♯ Major has 7 sharps and the D♭ Major has 5 flats but you can see from these scales that they have the same notes jut different note names. Hence making them enharmonic equivalents.

G♭ Major Scale: G♭ – A♭ – B♭ – C – D♭ – E♭ – F♭ – G♭
F♯ Major: F♯ – G♯ – A♯ – B – C♯ – D♯ – E♯ – F♯
D♭ Major: D♭ (C♯) – E♭ (D♯) – F – G♭ (F♯) – A♭ (G♯) – B♭ (A♯) – C – D♭ (C♯)
C♯ Major: C♯ (D♭) – D♯ (E♭) – E♯ (F♮) – F♯ (G♭) – G♯ (A♭) – A♯ (B♭) – B♯ (C♮) – C♯ (D♭)

As you can see above, these scales are virtually the same but different note names and number of sharps and flats vary.

I hope this lesson helped you and if you need a refresher on modes check out my first lesson here.

My paperback and e-book “No-Nonsense Guide to Music Theory, Scales, and More!” is available now!

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