Exploring the Whole Tone Scale | Music Theory | Composition | Berklee Online

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A classic “dream sequence” sound, the whole tone scale is just that – all whole steps. The scale provides a nebulous, unsettled feeling with its lack of fa-mi or ti-do resolution. In this free music theory lesson, Kari Juusela introduces the whole tone scale, and provides some quick examples for composing with its two possible transpositions.

About Music Theory and Composition 4
This core music theory course is the fourth of a four-semester curriculum that continues to build a foundation for your musical development. The materials covered in Music Theory and Composition 4 will help you express your musical ideas as applied to composition for film, TV and video games.

You will learn more about the essential elements of music theory and composition that will help you build your own musical language. You will further expand your knowledge of harmony and melody and expand your knowledge of scales, chords, and rhythms.

This music composition course is designed to take you from a strong review of level 3 topics—the standard deceptive resolutions of V7, classical and contemporary analysis techniques, polychord voicings, non-chord tones, approach tones, and approach tone harmonization—to topics like deceptive resolutions of dominant function harmony, contiguous dominant patterns, modal melody and harmony, hybrid voicings, quartal and quintal harmony, exotic scales, 12-tone technique, minimalism and other important twentieth century compositional techniques. We will review the rhythmic elements of Indian, Latin American, and African music and delve into the musical intricacies of the music of Indonesia, China, Japan, and Korea.

It also continues the unique feature of blending and exploring both traditional and contemporary harmony in order to give you a historical understanding of current topics.

Music Theory and Composition 4 also features a topic called “Rhythm Jam” that will introduce you to many new and exciting rhythmic concepts such as nested tuplets, the Fibonacci series, metric modulation, hemiola, phase, Jahlas, and additive rhythm. Through forum questions you and your classmates will engage in discussions about musical creativity, craft, and inspiration.

Each week you will be asked to engage with your classmates and instructor as you work your way through the topics. Included in each topic are a number of activities and exercises designed to help you more thoroughly experience and understand the material presented.

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adelina setiawan says:

It's like vocaloid's Crazy Clown

Samuel Leask says:

Thanks for explaining!

Pupil Mover says:

I remember back when I first learned this scale. *cue memory sequence music

dearjem says:

thank you! 🙂

Oboe Files says:

I wrote this arrangement incorporating the whole tone scale 🙂 thanks for the tips! https://youtu.be/Tm8mD2JmBHM

John Lennon Fanatic says:

Thanks for showing this, James Bernard used the Whole Tone Scale in the Hammer Film Dracula.

Eric Jean says:

very interesting!

joey4track says:

Can't tell if that's the reflections of the keys or if this man has rare Coloboma. Great lesson, what an interesting scale thanks

MisterBassBoost says:

Great content. Keep it up!

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