What is a Scale?
(The Music Wheel displays the major and minor diatonic scale pattern of eight ascending tones).
Depending on your vocal range, you may sing along more easily with a song that is played in the Key of D. Refer to The Music Wheel slice that says D major. You will be singing notes in the range of the D major scale displayed on the staff—an eight note ascension from D to D. (Notice that the B minor scale is also included—an eight note scale ascending from B to B; this is to reveal how closely related it is to its major relative).
What is a Chord?
(The Music Wheel lists its chords as triads--three harmonic tones whose root name is the top-most letter of each chord: DF#G; GBD; AC#E.)
Referring to the D major slice, what chord progressions will a song played in this Key be employing? They will be the D major family of chords listed in that slice--I, IV, and V chord progressions—DF#A; GBD; AC#E--(and often some of their related minors listed beneath them). These are the chords you would be using when playing a keyboard, a guitar, a mando, or a banjo.
What is a Key?
The Music Wheel lists twelve major Keys--plus two enharmonic keys--printed in WHITE. It also lists twelve minor Keys--plus two enharmonic keys--printed in BLACK.
The “ Key” of D major is printed in WHITE; and its related “Key” of B minor is printed in BLACK. These alphabetical letters indicate the “ Key”.
The “Key” signature is symbolized by the sharps or flats printed on the staff. Notice that whether the song be written in D major or B minor, the key signature will remain the same as you see on the staff.
What is a Staff?
The Music Wheel staff consists of five horizontal lines & end-brackets printed in BLACK with its representative major key printed in WHITE layered behind it. Printed on the staff is a treble clef symbol indicating the higher frequencies of musical tones. The staff is the instrument where notation occurs for “reading” musical tones such as the scale; and the staff is used for identifying the key by displaying its sharps or flats symbols --or lack of any as in the key of C major and A minor.
Glossary of Musical Terms
chord — two or more tones voiced together
diatonic scale —The key of C (for example) voices c,d,e,f,g,a,b,c in ascending tones & semi-tones.
enharmonic keys —notated differently on staff, but voiced identically
key signature —symbols expressed in sharps (#) or flats (b) on a staff to indicate the key in which the composition is to be voiced
octave —interval measuring eight diatonic degrees (such as c,d,e,f,g,a,b,c for the key of C; also referred to as:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)
root — the fundamental note of any chord
staff —five horizontal lines for placing musical notation on and between the lines
treble clef —symbol indicating soprano tones ( middle to higher range on a standard piano keyboard)
tonic — the key note of any scale, root or tone name of a chord (as the tonic C chord is listed C,E,G—triad form)
triad —C,E,G is a C chord called a triad—consisting of its root (C) with its third and its fifth tones voiced together