Scale Degrees

The notes of Major and Minor scales have specific names, called Scale Degrees. They have both a number and a name.

The Scale Degree numbers are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

The names of the Scale Degrees are:

  1. Tonic
  2. Supertonic
  3. Mediant
  4. Subdominant
  5. Dominant
  6. Submediant
  7. Leading Tone

The Scale Degrees have these names for a reason. The names relate to their function and to their position to each other on the scale, for example the Tonic is the primary tone, the Subdominant is below the Dominant, and the Leading Tone "leads" to the Tonic.

When we alter a scale tone we can indicate this by adding a sharp, flat or natural symbol in front of its number. The sixth and seventh scale degrees of the Melodic Minor scale are good examples of altered tones.