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Degrees Of Scale

A musical scale is a series of Pitches arranged in an ascending or descending order from a starting note - the Tonic. The other pitches in the Scale are the degrees of the scale which we often refer to rather loosely as Notes. It is a handy and accepted shorthand.


In the Scale of C major, the Tonic is C and the third degree of that scale is E.

In the Scale of G Major, The Tonic is G and E is the 6th degree of that scale.

This reflects the fact that although the note is called E in both cases, it was not the same Pitch in early tunings and therefore, not the same 'note'.