Physics of Music - Notes

Some Other Musical Scales (using western instruments)

The spacing between adjacent notes on the chromatic scale is referred to as a half step. The number of half steps between adjacent notes for the following scales are:

These examples are, of course, approximations to the actual scales used by performers. They are the closest one can expect using a keyboard and the equal tempered scale.

A good source for many additional scales is in the translation of Helmholtz's book. Some other scales, which cannot be easily played on a keyboard, and a critique of Western scales, can be found in the book by Daniélou (see below).

If you are unfamiliar with a keyboard, refer to this figure:
keyboard figure

A. Daniélou, Introduction to the study of musical scales (Indian Press, 1943).

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