Scales and Octaves
For the two simple scales we use, the major and (natural) minor scale, it’s set of notes repeat in each octave. Therefore, if you know all seven notes of the scale you know all possible notes for your music composition on the whole piano keyboard.
E.g. the *E major scale consists of the notes E, F#, G#, A, B, C# and D#. These notes repeat over all octave, no matter where you start:
…, A1, B1, C#2, D#2, E2, F#2, G#2, A2, B2, C#3, D#3, E3, F#3, G#3, A3, B3, C#4, D#4, E4, F#4, G#4, A4, B4, …
If you tried a few major and minor scales on your keyboard, you probably noticed that there is a minor scale for each major scale with exactly the same notes.
Look at the notes of the C major scale:
Now, look at the notes of the A minor scale:
Both scales have the exact same notes, they just start at a different root note.
Scales in your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
All modern digital audio workstations should know everything about scales, as they are essential for composing music. These tools will support you by either highlighting the notes or even limit the piano roll editor to notes in the selected scale.
The following illustration shows the piano roll of Ableton Live in chromatic mode:
In the next screenshot, you see the piano roll in the selected scale: