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Diatonic intervals

Assign a number to each note of the diatonic scale. Begin on 1. End on 8.

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

Diatonic 4ths and 5ths

The diatonic 4th of C is F. The diatonic 5th of C is G. As you will see, memorising the diatonic 4ths and 5ths is all you need to do to memorise the diatonic scales.

And it is even simpler than that. Memorise the ascending sequence of alphabetic 5ths: FCGDAEB. Reverse this sequence and you have the ascending sequence of alphabetic 4ths: BEADGCF.

There is one flat in the diatonic scale of F.

F G A Bb C D E F

The 5th of F is C. There are no flats in the diatonic scale of C.

C D E F G A B C

The 5th of C is G. There is one sharp in the diatonic scale of G.

G A B C D E F# G

The 5th of G is D. There are two sharps in the diatonic scale of D.

D E F# G A B C# D

The entire pattern is in the diagram. Remember FCGDAEB. The diatonic scale of C has no sharps or flats, the diatonic scale of F has one flat, the diatonic scale of Bb has two flats, the diatonic scale of G has one sharp, the diatonic scale of D has two sharps. The first sharp is F#, the second sharp is C#, the third sharp is G#, the first flat is Bb, the second flat is Eb, the third flat is Ab.

>>> diatonic 5ths
diatonic 4ths <<<

Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F C G D A E B F# C#
7 6 5 4 3 2 1   1 2 3 4 5 6 7
number of flat notes
in the diatonic scale
  number of sharp notes
in the diatonic scale
            |           |    
            >> order of entry of sharp notes    
            1 2 3 4 5 6 7    
            F# C# G# D# A# E# B#    
            Fb Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb    
            7 6 5 4 3 2 1    
            order of entry of flat notes <<    
                             

Stepping through the closeness of the diatonic 4ths and 5ths

The diatonic scales of F and C are very close.

F is the diatonic 4th of C. One note in F is a semitone lower to what it is in C.

C D E F G A B C      
      F G A Bb C D E F

The diatonic 5th of C is G. One note in the diatonic scale of G is a semitone higher than what it is in C.

      C D E F G A B C
G A B C D E F# G      

Step through the diatonic scales. The diatonic 4ths and 5ths are very close.

G A B C D E F# G            
      C D E F G A B C      
            F G A Bb C D E F

Step down the diatonic 4ths, up the diatonic 5ths

C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#                                          
      F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#                                    
            B C# D# E F# G# A# B                              
                  E F# G# A B C# D# E                        
                        A B C# D E F# G# A                  
                              D E F# G A B C# D            
                                    G A B C D E F# G      
                                          C D E F G A B C

 

C D E F G A B C                                          
      F G A Bb C D E F                                    
            Bb C D Eb F G A Bb                              
                  Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb                        
                        A Bb C Db Eb F G Ab                  
                              Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db            
                                    Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb      
                                          Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb


Music Theory


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