Numbers on top are the steps from the tonic: -7-6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C D E F G A B | C D E F G A B | c d e f Octave 1 below | ^ Reference octave | Octave above
So, the scale we are playing is in the reference octave the C note of which is the tonic note. Thus we may say,
Steps | Roman | English | Degree | Result played from | numeral | name | name | by modifying tonic | notation | C major scale -4 IV subdominant 4th G A B C D E F -3 V (dominant) 5th F G A B C D E -2 VI submediant 6th E F G A B C D -1 VII (leading note) 7th D E F G A B C 0 I (tonic) 1st C D E F G A B 1 II supertonic 2nd B C D E F G A 2 III mediant 3rd A B C D E F G 3 IV (subdominant) 4th G A B C D E F 4 V dominant 5th F G A B C D E 5 VI (submediant) 6th E F G A B C D 6 VII leading note 7th D E F G A B C
This concept is valid to both major and minor scales, just the names and notations differ slightly as discussed.
Read the explanation - Scale Degree - I, II, III, IV...in a Scale:
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