Major Scales

Major scales are built from tones and semitones, with the pattern TTS TTTS. (T=tone (whole step), S=semitone (half step))

You should already know the scales of C, D, G and F major which are covered in ABRSM Grade One Music Theory.

In Grade Two ABRSM there are three new major scales which you need to know: A, Bb and Eb major. 

A Major Scale

The A major has three sharps – F#, C# and G#.

Here’s the scale of A major ascending (going up) and descending (going down) in the treble and bass clefs:

A major scale ascending and descending

Bb and Eb Major Scales

Bb major has two flats – Bb and Eb. Here’s Bb major in full:

Bb major scale

Eb major has three flats – Bb, Eb and Ab. Here’s Eb major:

Eb major scale

Tip! All major keys which have the word “flat” in their name have flats in the scale but no sharps, and all keys with the word “sharp” in their name contain sharps but no flats!

That’s another reason why we always write Eb in the scale of Bb major, and never D#, for example.

Remember, in a scale, you can use each letter name only once, except for the first and last note.

Major Scales Exercises

Point your mouse at the stave (tap on mobile devices) to reveal the answers. 

Which Scale?

1. Name the key of each of these major scales, and say whether it is ascending or descending.

a. G major descending 

b. D major descending 

c. A major ascending 

d. F major ascending 

e. E flat major descending 

f. B flat major ascending 

Completing Scales

2. Complete these scales, (which all start on the tonic), by adding the missing notes in the places marked *.

a. E flat major 

b. B flat major 

c. A major 

d. D major