E Flat Major Scale

The E flat major scale consists of the following notes :

Eb   F    G    Ab   Bb   C    D

There are 7 different notes in the scale. When the scale is played, the first note is usually repeated at the end, one octave higher. In this case, that’s the note Eb. This kind of “rounds off” the scale, and makes it sound complete. Therefore, the final Eb will sometimes be included in examples and diagrams, depending on the situation.

Here’s what it sounds like:

Scale Position

Each note has its own specific position within the scale. For example, Ab is the 4th note, or degree, of the scale. F is the 2nd degree, and so on. The chart below shows the position of each note within the scale:

Sharps And Flats

The E flat major scale contains 3 flats:  Eb, Ab, and Bb.

The scale of a piece of music is usually indicated by a key signature, a symbol that flattens or sharpens specific lines or spaces on the staff. Instead of putting a flat symbol next to every single E, A, and B, it’s much easier to just place a key signature at the beginning of the music, which automatically flats these notes, so that the music conforms to the Eb scale.

So in this case, the key signature is 3 flats, and it looks like this:



E Flat Major Scale On the Piano

It’s an excellent skill to be able to quickly and easily visualize scales on the piano.  The key to doing this is focusing on which white keys and which black keys are part of the scale. Also, we have to keep in mind the two zones that make up each octave register on the keyboard.

Scale visualization for Eb major:

white keys: the first two in each zone (C, D, F, and G)

black keys: all except the first in each zone (Eb, Ab, and Bb) 

Here’s what it looks like (spanning one octave):

And here it is with the scale degrees indicated:

Notice the unique major scale pattern: Whole, whole, half; whole, whole, whole, half.

All scales are infinite – they go on forever in both directions. The diagrams above show the scale over one octave, but keep in mind that this same pattern repeats itself across the keyboard.

Put It In Writing

Now we will take a look at the E flat major scale in music notation.  Here it is in all 4 commonly used clefs – treble, bass, alto and tenor:

The rest of the notation examples will be shown in treble clef, but all the examples are provided for reference in the others 3 clefs as well at the end of this lesson.

The next example shows the notes of the scale, along with the note names and scale degree numbers:

And here is one more example displaying the unique major scale pattern:

Solfege Syllables

Solfege is a musical system that assigns specific syllables to each scale degree, allowing us to sing the notes of the scale and learn the unique, individual sound of each one. It’s a great way to train your ears to know what you’re hearing!

The following chart shows the solfege syllables for each note in the E flat major scale:

Here are the solfege syllables on piano:

And in music notation:


All major scales can be split in half, into two major tetrachords (a 4-note segment with the pattern 2-2-1, or whole-step, whole-step, half-step). It’s much easier to remember 4-note patterns than 7 or 8-note patterns, so breaking it down into two parts can be very helpful.

The lower tetrachord of an E flat major scale is made up of the notes Eb, F, G, and Ab.

The upper tetrachord is made up of the notes Bb, C, D, and Eb.

These two 4-note segments are joined by a whole-step in the middle.

It’s helpful to see this on a piano diagram:

And here they are in music notation:

Traditional Scale Degree Names

In traditional harmony, special names are given to each scale degree. A lot of harmony textbooks use these names, so they’re useful to know.

Here’s a chart of the scale degree names for the E flat major scale:

And here’s an example in music notation:

Finally, here’s a chart showing scale degree numbers, solfege syllables, and traditional scale degree names, all in one, to clarify the relationship between all these:

Notation Examples In Bass Clef

All the notation examples used in this lesson are provided below in the other three clefs, beginning with bass clef:

Notation Examples In Alto Clef

Here are the notation examples for alto clef:

Notation Examples In Tenor Clef

The final set of examples, for tenor clef:

Practice Quiz

E Flat Major Scale Quiz

Test your knowledge of this lesson with the following quiz:

Image Attribution:
practice makes perfect. by Jukie Bot ©2013 CC by 2.0