Major Scale Module

The Major Scale module produces pitch voltages representing the notes in the major scale.

Note Watcher displaying the scale

The major scale is also known as the Ionian modal scale. It is arguably the most important and certainly the most common scale.

The pattern of intervals is simply 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.

The pattern of semitone steps between notes is 2 2 1 2 2 2 1. The small yellow numbers show these semitone differences. Another way of looking at this pattern is W-W-H-W-W-W-H where W is a whole tone and H is a half tone. You might recognise this pattern as that of the notes on a keyboard going from C to C.

In music theory there are 15 major scales in total but in a regular equal temperament tuning system some of these scales have identical pitches so we end up with only 12 scales that sound different. Take a look at the Circle of Fifths for an explanation of how this works but the table below provides a summary of some of the details.

Major TonicCGDAEB/CbGb/F#Db/C#AbEbBbF
Number of #1234567
Number of b7654321
Relative MinorAEBF#C#G#/AbEb/D#Bb/A#FCGD
Key signatures

The number of # and number of b rows show the number of sharps or flats in the key signature.

It’s a bit confusing but one can think of B and Cb as just different names for the same scale. Likewise Gb =F# and Db = C#.

A regular 1 V/Octave control voltage fed to the module’s KEY IN socket controls which of the 12 keys is used. If nothing is connected then the key defaults to C.

The KEY IN signal is used to transpose the scale by simple addition so will handle octave offsets and non-standard tuning, but it’s also used to update the helpful yellow note value labels. So the module is expecting the KEY IN voltage to be relatively stable. For clarity (and to a lesser extent from an efficiency point of view) it’s therefore best if things like vibrato or glides are added after this module .

Individual pitch outputs can be used for transposition, to build chords or be used in generative music patches.

The commonest application is perhaps to connect the S-Poly chord signal output from the SCALE OUT socket to Adroit modules that utilize scales.

Other scale modules.


The Major Scale module is part of LSSP XL.