- A series of notes following a specific pattern of intervals. For example:
- Chromatic scales express all 12 half steps of an octave. On the piano, a chromatic scale is played with every white and black key between two of the same notes.
- Diatonic scales are built with a pattern of 5 whole step intervals and 2 half steps (with no more than three, and no less than two whole steps in a row). The C major scale – a diatonic scale – is played with every white key between two C’s.
See major scale and minor scale.
- A series of notes used for practicing a musical instrument. Scales are played repeatedly until perfected, and often target a specific skill such as dexterity, speed, pitch-perception, or sight-reading.
- scala musicale (It)
- échelle musicale (Fr)
- Tonleiter; Skala (Ger)