The Concept of Scale


The concept of scale can be used in art and cinema to establish the relationship between objects and how large they are compared to other objects. It can also be used to determine the relative importance of an object or character within a scene.

Scales are important for music because they give musicians a way to orient themselves among notes. They are also useful in improvising and composing.


Intervals are the differences between successive notes on a scale. They are the building blocks of all harmonies and melodies in music theory.

A semitone is the smallest interval. In Western music, most diatonic intervals are semitones.

However, there are many types of non-diatonic intervals. Some of them are so tiny that they are almost imperceptible to the human ear.

These are called commas and microtones.

They describe small discrepancies, observed in some tuning systems, between enharmonically equivalent notes.

In addition, they can be enlarged or diminished.

Augmented intervals are wider by one chromatic semitone than perfect or major intervals, while diminished intervals are narrower by one chromatic semitone.

In Western music, the naming of intervals is usually based on their number (also called diatonic number) and quality. For example, a major third is an interval with a major quality (M3).


The distance between two adjacent notes on a scale is called a step. A half step is equal to a semitone, while a whole step is equal to two semitones.

Scale steps are a common way of organizing musical patterns. They can also be used to shift an entire pattern up or down, or transpose a pattern from one key to another.

In Western music, scales are often based on a tonic–a central note that is heard at both the beginning and end of a scale. The notes of a major scale, for example, are labeled with numbers recording how many steps above the tonic they are.

A half step is the smallest interval between notes. It is between the first and second note of the major scale.


A scale is a weighing device that can weigh anything from a kilogram to micrograms. They are used in many industries and can be found in places such as food processing, retail, healthcare and manufacturing.

In a scale, weight is measured in units of mass, like kilograms, pounds, ounces or slugs. These measures of mass are independent of gravity and do not change if the object is moved.

Scales and balances that measure mass use a beam that is suspended from one end with a standard weight (known mass). The object in the measuring pan can then be weighed against the beam until fine balance is achieved.

To determine the accuracy of a scale, it is important to calibrate it with a known calibration weight that meets certain standards and has been manufactured, maintained and cross-checked by an approved laboratory. In the United States, all new commercial weighing or measuring devices must be inspected by the FDACS’s Bureau of Weights and Measures to ensure they are accurate.


Measurements are the process of determining the magnitude of an object or event. This is usually done with the help of physical signals and a reference signal that has been subdivided or multiplied to suit the range of measurement required.

Ratio scales of measurement are the most common type used in scientific and engineering applications. These are based on the International System of Units (SI) and are defined without using an artifact as a standard.

The ratio type of measurement is a unique scale in that it considers the absolute value of zero which is not included in the interval scale of measurement.

The four primary scales of measurement are nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio. Each has specific properties that determine how to properly analyse data. These properties include identity, magnitude, equal intervals and a minimum value of zero.

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