The Bunny, The Boy, and the Whole Tone Scale

The large grey bunny bounced on his tummy as though in low gravity.

"When playing the whole tone scale"' said he'"that was popularized by De Beussy' I think of the keys as "E" anfd "F" respectively".

The small boy looked in wide-eyed wonder at he.

"But how" said he (the boy). The bunny said "it's easy, when playing in the key of "E" you play the black keys 3, and the white keys under the 2, and in "F" you play the 2 black in isolation, and the white keys under the 3..."

The small boy rubbed his ears in disbelief. "But what about the other keys".

The bunny smiled. "when you play the whole tone you play the "every other" notes on the keyboard..." The bunny paused... "yes?" said the boy expectantly. "Well..." continued the bunny "in every set of things there be, there can only be another set of "every others"...every other note,.. and every other one(note)..... every other color... and every other one(color), so I think we can agree that there cannot be 3... but only 2, and "E" and "F" will do, being right next to each other,... too"

When the boy was released from his dumbfounded spell, he said "Omigosh" and "By golly! that's swell!"

But the bunny was sad, and said "But it does'nt sell." The small boy placed a compassionate hand on his shoulder... "Oh, well...."

"You see the problem is really a problem of 3, when the first third and five sound non-harmoniously. It does'nt agree with "standing wave" mathematics you see, but playing the 1, 4 and back to the octave gives a heady "RUSH", don't you y y zeeee?"

At first the boy was awe-struck, but now taken aback. Surely all this gibberish and muck, had fallen off of the track!

"But how can that be!, all of the notes are "whole" notes (not 4 beats, do not confuse). I never play "part" of a sound, it's the whole thing I use."

The bunny responded with knowing allusion to the conflict of which he spoke and the ensueing confusion.

"My dear boy, now I accept that what bothers you is "tone" when it should be "step". They should have called it the "whole step" scale." but this cleared up the confusion not, he had uttered it to no avail.

"You see when you ascend the "whole tone scale" one note at a time, you skip a note (or a key) and make a "whole step". A whole step has to be seen judiciously, as it makes no distinction between black and white key. When starting with "F", and heading towards "A", you then go to "G"and the notes that are skipped are the respective sharps three. Upon landing on "B", you must shift polarity, because then you must play the two sharps of "D" and of "C", not neccesarily respectively, (and do not touch those white keys)."

Although the rabbit could talk and the rabbit could wrangle, it was the bunny the small boy now wanted to strangle.

"Enough, no more, I reaaly can't say, just what do I do when "whole stepping" from "A"!"

"WEll, you would skip the note right next to it, which is a black key, and not coincidentally, the sharp of note "A".When skipping the sharp after playing the "A", you will see that it's "B" most necessarily, today.

"And after "B"?"

"Shift polarity."

"Play "C" and "D"?"

"No, just their "sharps", respectively."

"And skipping the "E" from atop the "sharp D", you come back to the "F", which is it's said key".

The boy stared in realization.

"Now I can see!"

"But what about the other scales?"

The bunny grimaced and thought and scrounched his brows together, then letting out a yelp said "I will see wether,.. I can conjure a primer, for this major dilemma."

"If you play the whole tone scale" started the bunny.

"Yes?" said the little boy anticipatingly

"In the key of "E"


"In an ascending manner"


"You will most probably finally reach "C"."

"So what is the answer to this "major" dilemna?

The boy was begining to think it was'nt much of a primer.

"Why "major" is right, and the scale of that name, when starting with "C" has the very first same... 3 notes as the whole tone scale."

"But after the 3?"

"You stick to the white,... naturally."

And after a while, the boy had to agree, that the whole step pattern would change,... dramatically. After the 3, the boy could now see, he would land on the "F", the note touching the "E". He lined up his notes to see what his pattern would be.

"Let's see..."

"From the "C" it's a whole step from the "D" and to "E", but to "F" it's a half step so thats "C" whole "D" whole "E" half "F"."