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There are so many ways to arrange notes. How come these two scales, the major and minor , have stand head and shoulders above the rest? I try to answer this question in a short essay. To read it click here.

You can download a pdf version of this chart by clicking here. It has an extra page with a mnemonic to help you remember the order of sharps and flats in the keys signatures.

The difference between major and minor thirds is the cornerstone of music theory. How can you learn to tell them apart? One way is to apply the “Frere Jacques test”. Frere Jacques uses the major third. If you try this tune on a minor third it sounds a bit miserable. Here’s the tune first in F major, then our hero protests in Dm (the relative minor sharing the same key signature) then later in F minor (the parallel minor). Did he get out of bed to ring the bells? Click here and you might find out.

At one time you just needed C, Cm and G7. But chord symbols have gradually grown more elaborate. READING CHORD SYMBOLS is a guide through the rules that musicians use. Click here to read or download.