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#1705340 - 07/01/11 12:01 AM Which scale includes all 5 black keys
saurabh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 50
Loc: India
Can anyone please tell me which scale covers all 5 black keys?

thanks in advance

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#1705347 - 07/01/11 12:23 AM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
scepticalforumguy Offline
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Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
B maj, C# maj (Db maj)and Gb maj (F#maj) to name a few.
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#1705353 - 07/01/11 12:34 AM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
AllShookUp Offline
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Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 111
Loc: Pike County, PA
That's a very interesting question, but why do you ask? There are more musical scales than religions.
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#1705368 - 07/01/11 01:13 AM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
findingnemo2010 Offline
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Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1588
b major
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#1705551 - 07/01/11 11:41 AM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
ukbuk Offline
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Registered: 10/30/10
Posts: 86
Loc: UK
Since I like to be a clever arse now and then, D#/Eb minor pentatonic uses ONLY the black keys (no white keys at all). smile
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#1705618 - 07/01/11 01:27 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: AllShookUp]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7164
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: AllShookUp
There are more musical scales than religions.


This is the most clever answer smile

Any combination of notes can be called a scale and many are not "officially" named.

However, among major scales, F#(Gb), B(Cb), C#(Db) (and all other enharmonic variations) are generally known to use all the black keys.
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#1705833 - 07/01/11 07:02 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1362
Loc: Sweden
Jazzwee, by enharmonic variations, do you mean only the relative minor scales of the major scales concerned*, or are there other enharmonic variations?

*For the record, the relative minor scales of the B, Gb/F# and Db/C# major scales, are Ab/G# (minor), Eb/D# (minor) and Bb/A# (minor), respectively. Hope I got this right!


Edited by Pianotehead (07/01/11 07:02 PM)
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#1705845 - 07/01/11 07:26 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7164
Loc: So. California
LOL - Pianonotehead, yes relative minors are certainly in there but I said 'Major Scales' to avoid that.

I'm sure someone will prove how smart they are by pointing out also the enharmonic double flats and double sharps...:)
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#1705885 - 07/01/11 08:40 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1362
Loc: Sweden
I wasn't trying to prove how smart I am, I thought everybody knew that. ha I was just curious*, because of this elegant phrase of yours, enharmonic variations, if there were other such variations than the relative minor scales of major ones.

So the question still is: what are the other enharmonic variations, I mean of the major scales to be exact, and prevent any (major) misunderstanding.


Edited by Pianotehead (07/01/11 08:40 PM)
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#1705910 - 07/01/11 09:35 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
Michael Steen Offline
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Registered: 03/26/07
Posts: 369
Loc: Sciota, Pennsylvania
BTW, when I first learned to play the B major scale, I couldn't BELIEVE how easy it was compared to the C major scale! I had been afraid, initially, of the black keys, but that cured me.

I mean I know that it all begins with middle C on the circle of 5ths, but if you want to scare the beginning student, start him on the C major scale. If you want to show him that scales are nothing to be afraid of, start him on the B major.
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#1705961 - 07/01/11 11:14 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: TheodorN]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7164
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: Pianotehead
I wasn't trying to prove how smart I am, I thought everybody knew that. ha I was just curious*, because of this elegant phrase of yours, enharmonic variations, if there were other such variations than the relative minor scales of major ones.

So the question still is: what are the other enharmonic variations, I mean of the major scales to be exact, and prevent any (major) misunderstanding.


I didn't mean you Pianonotehead smile . I meant keys like double sharps and double flats like I stated. Dbb, B##, and such rarely encountered nonsense.
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#1705979 - 07/01/11 11:49 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1362
Loc: Sweden
No problem, however I've seen those double flats/sharps on scores, never played from such a sheet though.

Don't understand it, seems a bit far fetched to raise or lower a note more than once. Can I expect to see a middle C in sheet music for some advanced piece, and I'll actually be playing it far down the bass, because of a huge number of flat signs? laugh

All joking aside, I probably shouldn't be worrying about this, I'm up to my knees trying to keep time in simple rhytms, consisting of nothing but quarter and eight notes,plus a few dotted ones.
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#1706412 - 07/02/11 09:57 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
Frito Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/11
Posts: 151
Loc: Eastern US
I have heard that Irving Berlin played only in the key of F#! He enjoyed playing primarily on the black keys. His piano had a lever that moved the strings in relation to the hammer, so that he could play in other keys while keeping the same fingerings for the key of F#.

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#1706420 - 07/02/11 10:08 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: Frito]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2466
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Frito
I have heard that Irving Berlin played only in the key of F#! He enjoyed playing primarily on the black keys. His piano had a lever that moved the strings in relation to the hammer, so that he could play in other keys while keeping the same fingerings for the key of F#.


One of his transposing pianos is on display at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philly.

Supposedly he said that the key of C was for those who "study music"!
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#1706427 - 07/02/11 10:27 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8839
Loc: Georgia, USA
Although my “by-ear” favorite keys are F major, C major, and G major (in that order) I too am learning to appreciate and play in the black key scales.

F# is particularly nice. I also like Bb because the lowest Bb in the bass sounds really nice. I also like Eb. A lot of gospel songs and church hymns are in Eb and Ab.

Someone here once mentioned a formula for easily identifying the key signature in most written music, but it escapes me at the moment… lots of very smart folks of the PW forums.

Rick
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#1706441 - 07/02/11 10:54 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: Rickster]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3425
Loc: Maine
Major keys:

Sharps, move a half step up from the last #, that's the key. E.g. Sharps F#, C#, G#, D#. Last sharp is D#. Move a half step up: key is E major.

Flats, the next to last flat is the key. E.g. Flats Bb, Eb, Ab, Db. Next to last flat is Ab: key of Ab major. Memorize one flat (Bb): key of F major.

Minor keys:

work out the major key, then count three half steps down for the Minor key. E.g. Sharps F#, C#, G#, D#, A#. If it were major, would be B major. If it's minor, count down A#, A, G#. Key of G# minor.
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#1706445 - 07/02/11 11:12 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
PianoStudent88 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3425
Loc: Maine
Double sharps and double flats are to preserve the correct spelling of chords.

The basic rule is that in a root position triad or seventh chord, the letters (ignoring sharps and flats) skip a letter each time. For example, Cdim7 is C, Eb, Gb, Bbb (that's for the fully diminished C chord). And Baug is B, D#, F##.
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#1706551 - 07/03/11 09:05 AM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: Andy Platt]
Frito Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/11
Posts: 151
Loc: Eastern US
[quote=Andy Platt One of his transposing pianos is on display at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philly.

Supposedly he said that the key of C was for those who "study music"! [/quote]Iwonder if any of these "transposing pianos" are still available in a rebuilt state. Might be really great for playing popular music. Reminds me of using a capo on a guitar.

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#1706755 - 07/03/11 05:21 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: Frito]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: Frito
[quote=Andy Platt One of his transposing pianos is on display at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philly.

Supposedly he said that the key of C was for those who "study music"!
Iwonder if any of these "transposing pianos" are still available in a rebuilt state. Might be really great for playing popular music. Reminds me of using a capo on a guitar. [/quote]

On the west coast of Canada they're still available, but quite rare. Very interesting instruments because they also have extra keys at the bottom like a Bosendorfer, or at least the ones I saw have this.
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#1706880 - 07/03/11 09:55 PM Re: Which scale includes all 5 black keys [Re: saurabh]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 402
Loc: Montreal Canada
There is also one of the pentatonic scales... try it from F# smile

John
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