rainer wrote:I'm intrigued by the statement that there is a (and by implication only one) correct tonal method for writing chromatic scales. What is it? Is it the one which minimises the number of accidentals necessary, taking the prevailing key signature into account? What if one is temporarily in a key which is not reflected in a change of key signature?
I'm glad that you asked. The operative word here is "tonal." That is the clue to the approach I was taught. Most modern theory texts just simply state to write the elevated alteration going up (natural or sharps as the case requires), and lowered alteration going down (natural or flat depending on the key). I should specify here (if I didn't above) that I'm talking about writing chromatic scales. However, to make them reflective of tonality, there are two exceptions to the aforementioned practice: while ascending, write the lowered 7th rather than the raised 6th (to indicated the relationship to the subdominant), and when descending write the raised 4th degree rather than the lowered 5th to acknowledge the dominant key.
What do you think?