Jimmy's Chord Theory TOC Lesson 2
SEMITONES: C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C
"See dee ee ef gee ay bee seeeee."
"Those are the notes of a C scale you've played
one million times and didn't ask yourself why they
were not in alphabetical order or why note names
used letters of the alphabet, am I right?" he asked.
Staring in disbelief I nodded yes.
"GREEKS, Jim, GREEKS started the alphabet thing."
Only they had a five note scale called the PENTATONIC
renaissance and dug up all the forgotten music and
gave their own names to everything. That's why musical
instructions written on every piece of music is
in Italian, feenay, cah-poh, ak-sel-er-RON-doh.
Fa so la ti do, capeesh?
Da Capo al Fine
Remember, I said the notes had to be in a
CERTAIN ORDER so that you could create a SCALE.
Close your eyes and imagine the keyboard of a piano.
YESNO YES NO YES YES NO YES NO YES YES
It's called thewestern ear phenomenon and there is
no believable explanation why Westerners heard
good notes or semitones in this particular order.
One idiot proposed that the Greeks were happy
with the first eight semi-tones and the Neareasterners preferred
the last eight semi-tones and the tourists put them together.
I'll skip the blow by blow and let it suffice that
its grand and glorious name became:
Sounds like a disease. And it spread over the known
world, pushing back the areas of gray.
A small footnote here,
formula, take (play) one half tone and skip the
next, take another half tone and skip the next, now,
take two more half tones without skipping, next, skip
over one more half tone and keep alternating until
you come to the note that has the same name as the one
you started with. Do this as you go up the scale and
do so in reverse as you go down the scale ever mind-
full to play the same notes backwards and forwards.
up: C D E F G A B C
down: C B A G F E D C
NEXT: LESSON 4
ŠJimmy Warner Design, 2016