Scale Degree, Scale Step & Intervals

Scale Degree

  • Scale Degree is the position of each tone in the scale, e.g:scale degree

Scale Step

  • Scale Step is distance between two neighbor tones in the scale.
  • Half step is the smallest distance between two tones.
  • Whole step is made of two half steps.

In C-major half steps are between III and IV tone and between VII and I(repeated) tone, while the whole steps are among the rest of tones.


  • Interval is the distance between any two tones in the scale.
  • Intervals are: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth (or octave).
  • First is interval between two tones with same name, e.g:first degree
  • Second is interval between two neighbor tones, e.g:second degree
  • Third is interval between three scale degrees, e.g:third degree
  • Fourth is interval between four scale degrees, e.g:fourth degree
  • Fifth is interval between five scale degrees, e.g:fifth degree
  • Sixth is interval between six scale degrees e.g:sixth degree
  • Seventh is interval between three scale degrees, e.g:seventh degree
  • Octave is interval between eight scale degrees, e.g:octave

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