ScaleMaster
Documentation

v1.1.0 - release notes

Scales

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Getting to the scales table is just one click on the scales button in the center toolbar, typing ctrl-1 or selecting the Scales menu item in the Window menu. The scales table then displays highlighting the current selection. ScaleMaster has over 200 scales to chose ranging from pentatonics to the chromatic scale.

 

Playback

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To play the current scale in reference view just click the play button in the center toolbar or select the Play item in the Scale menu. Additionally the notes of a scale can be played individually simply by clicking them in the notation view.

Note: Playback of scales in reference mode is not tempo adjustable.

 

Scales Table

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The scales table has several header elements. From left to right we have a chord filter assignment popup, a numeric vs alpha sort button (currently showing 123 indicating numerical sort), a sort direction button (currently showing an up arrow indicating ascending sort) and finally a documentation link button leading back here (?). We can see that all scale entries in the table have a item number, a scale name and a type (i.e. pentatonic).

While sorting the scales table is fairly intuitive we should remark that sorting by numbers will render an interesting result. In an ascending sort for example we get the pentatonics on top sorted alphabetically, then the hexatonics also sorted alphabetically, then the heptatonics and so on. That explains why in the image above Spanish Phrygian is ranked before Auxiliary Diminished Blues.

Now let's get to another interesting item, the chord filter which is displayed when clicking on the popup menu button next to the little chord icon in the top left corner of the view shown above.

 

Chord Filter

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The chord filter when set to anything other than none will remove all scales from the list that don't contain chord tones specific to the selection. If selecting Maj as in the image above all scales that do not contain a major third and a perfect fifth will be filtered out.

 

Root Assignment

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Root assignment in ScaleMaster is mainly done in the circle of fifths window. Popup the window via click, ctrl-2 or the Circle of Fifths item in the Window menu and click a button. There is also a Root sub menu under the Scale menu which houses a couple of more esoteric choices like B#.

 

Summary

In order to fully utilize ScaleMaster it is important to understand that this is a document driven app. For a reason. In most cases it is therefore much better to create new documents for new scale types we are interested in rather than using the same document over and over and changing its scale. An added benefit of the document approach is that one can keep around a couple of favorites or practice scales for future reference.

However, the browser buttons and accompanying menu selections (cmd-[ and cmd-]) will allow you to scroll back and forth through changes made in the same document. Once a new document is selected though, these options go away as the browser is initialized for the new document.

The next chapter will focus on the second biggest interface part in ScaleMaster - the instrument.

 

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