Second Scale Degree: Supertonic We'll learn more about what those functions are in more advanced tutorials. Even though it may seem a bit confusing at first there is a reason each one is called what it is. In this post, I’m going to look at the different names of these degrees and how they got their names. I’m Dan and I run this website. It’s in the middle of the tonic and the subdominant. Anthony, Your email address will not be published. Every major and minor scale has 8 notes. Up next we have the 3rd degree of a scale which is called the mediant. But, each scale degree has a special name too which are sometimes referred to as the technical names of the scale. Each note in a scale has a name that matches its function. Feel free to tell me what you think about the topics covered or give ideas for new tutorials that you would like to see added. Therefore, each degree of the scale is given a technical name: The word Sub means ‘below’ and it’s where we get words like submarine or subway from. Degrees are relative to the major scale. For now, it is good to know the names. This is a great article. To practice memorizing these, try taking the Scale Degree Names Quiz. It’s definitely worth learning them, especially if you’re taking a music theory exam. It’s the same super from which we get the words supervisor from (someone who is above you) or superb (something that is above your expectations). He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. We'll learn more about what those functions are in more advanced tutorials. Degrees are useful for indicating the size of intervals and chords and whether they are major or minor. The tonic is the tonal center of a key; it … It’s also where the name ‘tonic triad’ comes from as it’s a triad chord based on the tonic. Since then he's been working to make music theory easy for over 1 million students in over 80 countries around the world. As we covered in our beginner’s guide to musical scales post here, a scale is a group of notes arranged in ascending or descending order of pitch. Why is it important that we think of the sub dominant a 5th below the tonic? The 3rd (the mediant) is in the middle of the 1st and 5th notes which is why it’s called the mediant. For questions, please ask via the feedback form. Your feedback is valuable! Required fields are marked *. Just remember that the 2nd degree is above (super) the tonic, and so is called the supertonic . Graphics and audio will be created by me based on your instructions. To author a tutorial or quiz, only written content is needed. The second is the Supertonic, the third is the Mediant, fourth is Subdominant, fifth is the Dominant, sixth is the Submediant, and last the seventh is the Leading Tone or a Subtonic in a minor chord. When referring to notes of a scale, we number them as the degrees of a scale. The names relate to their function and to their position to each other on the scale, for example the Tonic is the primary tone, the Subdominant is below the Dominant, and the Leading Tone "leads" to the Tonic. These names apply to all major and minor scales. If you or someone you know would like to author some of the tutorials, please let me know by sending a message to me via the feedback form. If possible could you provide a more detailed explanation of the function of each or the degrees Relative to their degree name, ie what does the sub dominant resolve to? In music theory, the term scale degree refers to the position of a particular note on a scale relative to the tonic, the first and main note of the scale from which each octave is assumed to begin. For now, it is good to know the names. The first and eighth scale degree are given the name of Tonic. 1st - Tonic; 2nd - Supertonic; 3rd - Mediant; Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions get in touch! Although this is a handy way to remember, it’s not actually why it’s called the subdominant. beginner’s guide to musical scales post here, An Overview Of The 20th Century Music Era, 7th degree – The leading note (or leading tone). It’s where we get the name of each scale from. All of the other technical names are the same. This technical name comes from a Latin word which means ‘middle’. The dominant always wants to resolve to the tonic and so a lot of harmony revolves around the dominant chord. It is also known as the keynote because it is the most pivotal note in the scale. Answers nearly all the questions I had. Scale Degree Names. It get’s its name from being an interval of a 5th (dominant) below the tonic. The degrees of a scale But, each scale degree has a special name too which are sometimes referred to as the technical names of the scale. When building a triad chord we use three notes: the 1st, 3rd and 5th degrees of a scale. You might be wondering why, and it’s because of the same reason that the subdominant gets its name. Example 2 shows these Scale-degree Names applied to an A♭ major scale, with half- and whole-steps labeled:. Any seven note scale (diatonic scale) begins with the tonic, and other degree names are based on their position in relation to the tonic. All of the scale degree names we’ve covered so far are from a major scale. If you have any questions that weren’t covered here post a comment below. For this reason a flattened 7th note is called the subtonic. Example 3. Each scale degree also has a name for it. If you try playing a major scale you’ll notice that the 7th note sounds like it wants to lead us back to the tonic. Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 10 years helping thousands of students unlock the joy of music. Example 2 shows the notes of the A ♭ major scale in order. This means that you just start again and carry on counting the degrees from the 1st again. Lastly, we have the 7th degree which is called the leading note or sometimes it’s called the leading tone. Example 3 shows the notes of the A♭ major scale out of order, with Scale-degree Names:. Scale Degree Names.