Examples of the chromatic, major, and minor scales.—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

In music, primary pitches of a key or mode arranged within an octave. Scales are distinguished by the pattern of the intervals between adjacent notes. A scale can be seen as an abstraction from melody—that is, the pitches of a melody arranged in stepwise order.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on scale, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up scale? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More