Root note
C
Scale type
Common
Scale name
Major
Notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C
Semitone pattern: 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1
Numeric formula: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

The music scale calculator will help you find scale notes - be it notes in a major scale, notes in a minor scale, or something more exotic, like the Spanish eight tone scale, you'll probably find it in our long list of music scales.

The calculator also gives the semitone pattern and the numeric formula of a particular scale. While scale notes tell you what sounds you can use within a given scale, the semitone pattern shows what intervals occur in it, and the numeric formula tells you how to build that scale.

If you're interested in music, here are a few other calculators which may be useful:

How to use the music scale calculator?

  1. The music scale calculator lets you find notes in a scale, the numeric formula, and the semitone pattern. All three results are displayed by default, but in the advanced mode (below the calculator) you can choose what you want to be shown.

  2. Choose the root note - the first note of a scale, upon which the scale is built. For example, if you're looking for notes in C major, you obviously should choose C as the root note. Skip this step if you don't care about music scale notes and just want the semitone pattern.

  3. Select the category into which you think your scale falls. If you're not sure, check the list of music scales at the bottom of the article (some categories are pretty arbitrary).

  4. Pick the name of the scale.

  5. Check the results at the bottom - scale notes, the numeric formula, and the semitone pattern.

Read on to find out what the numbers in the formulas mean and how to build scales.

Notes in a major scale

Let's have a look at the semitone pattern of the major scale:

2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1

The digits represent the number of semitones (half steps) between consecutive notes (called degrees of a scale). 1 means one semitone, 2 means two semitones (a whole tone), 3 means three semitones, and 4 means two whole tones.

The major scale pattern above says: there are 2 semitones between the first and the second note of the scale, 2 semitones between the second and the third note, 1 semitone between the third and the fourth, and so on.

Example:

Let's build an A major scale using the above pattern:

  • First note is the root note - A.
  • Second note has to be 2 semitones (a whole step) higher than A, so it's B.
  • Third note - from B we go another step up. Between B and C there's a half step, so we need to raise C by a semitone. You get C♯.
  • Fourth note - 1 semitone up from C♯ is D.
  • Fifth note - 2 semitones up from D is E.
  • Sixth note - 2 semitones from E is F♯.
  • Seventh note - 2 semitones from F♯ is G♯.
  • Eighth note in the major scale is just the first note again - A.

This way we found the notes in A major scale:

A, B, C♯, D, E, F♯, G♯, A

How to find notes in a scale?

Using the numeric formula, you can build scales based on the major scale. The numbers in the numeric formula stand for the degrees (notes) of a scale. 1 is the root note, 2 is the second note, and so on.

The accidentals next to the numbers tell you whether you should raise (♯) or lower (♭) the note of a major scale to get the target scale. If you have two sharps/flats, you raise/lower the note by a semitone twice.

Example:

Let's build a C minor scale:

  1. The starting point is C major which you can build using the semitone pattern:

    1:C 2:D 3:E 4:F 5:G 6:A 7:B 8:C

    (The first note is C, the second is D, and so on...)

  2. Then we check the formula for the natural minor scale:

    1, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, ♭7, 8

  3. Now we apply the formula for the minor scale to major scale notes:

  • First note doesn't change, it's just 1 so C.
  • Second note also stays D.
  • Third note - there's a flat sign next to the 3, so we have to lower the third note of C major scale - E - by a semitone. We get E♭.
  • Fourth note stays the same - F.
  • Fifth note stays the same - G.
  • Sixth note - ♭6 means we lower A by a semitone. We get A♭.
  • Seventh note - we lower B and get B♭.
  • Eighth note stays C.

Here's the result - C minor notes:

C, D, E♭, F, G, A♭, B♭, C

The list of music scales

Here is the alphabetical list of music scales included in the music scale calculator and the categories they are assigned to:

Id
Scale name
Category
1
Acoustic
Ethnic
2
Aeolian
Modes
3
Algerian
Ethnic
4
Altered (Dominant)
Jazz
5
Arabic
Ethnic
6
Ascending Melodic Minor/Jazz Minor
Jazz, Modes of Melodic Minor
7
Augmented
Other
8
Balinese/Pelog
Ethnic
9
Bebop Dominant
Jazz
10
Bebop Dorian/Minor
Jazz
11
Bebop Harmonic Minor
Jazz
12
Bebop Major
Jazz
13
Bebop Melodic Minor
Jazz
14
Blues
Common
15
Blues Major
Jazz
16
Blues Minor
Jazz
17
Chinese
Ethnic
18
Chromatic
Other
19
Dorian
Modes
20
Double Harmonic Major/Byzantine/Arabic
Ethnic
21
Egyptian
Ethnic
22
Enigmatic
Other
23
Half-Whole/Dominant Diminished
Jazz
24
Harmonic Major
Other
25
Harmonic Minor
Common
26
Hawaiian
Ethnic
27
Hirajōshi
Ethnic, Japanese
28
Hungarian Minor Scale/Double Harmonic Minor/Gypsy Minor
Ethnic
29
Iminished/Whole-Half
Jazz
30
In/Sakura Pentatonic
Ethnic, Japanese
31
Insen
Ethnic, Japanese
32
Ionian
Modes
33
Iwato
Ethnic, Japanese
34
Locrian
Modes
35
Locrian ♮2/Half-Diminished/Aeolocrian'
Jazz, Modes of Melodic Minor
36
Lydian
Modes
37
Lydian Augmented/Lydian ♯5
Jazz, Modes of Melodic Minor
38
Lydian Dominant/Lydian ♭7/Acoustic/Mixolydian ♯4/Overtone/Lydomyxian'
Jazz, Modes of Melodic Minor
39
Major
Common
40
Major Pentatonic/Chinese Mongolian
Ethnic
41
Melodic Minor
Common
42
Minor Pentatonic
Common
43
Mixolydian
Modes
44
Mixolydian ♭6/Melodic Major/Hindu/Myxaeolian'
Jazz, Modes of Melodic Minor
45
Natural Minor
Common
46
Neapolitan Major
Ethnic
47
Neapolitan Minor
Ethnic
48
Oriental
Ethnic
49
Persian
Ethnic
50
Phrygian
Modes
51
Phrygian ♮6/Dorian ♭2/Assyrian/Phrygidorian
Jazz, Modes of Melodic Minor
52
Phrygian Dominant
Ethnic
53
Prometheus
Other
54
Romanian Major
Ethnic
55
Spanish Eight Tone
Ethnic
56
Super Locrian/Altered (Dominant)'
Jazz, Modes of Melodic Minor
57
Tritone
Other
58
Two-Semitone Tritone
Other
59
Ukrainian Dorian/Romanian Minor
Ethnic
60
Whole Tone
Other
61
Yo
Ethnic, Japanese
Rita Rain