Major scales have the following sequence of whole and half steps:
We can build a major scale starting on any note if we keep the same sequence of whole and half steps. Below we build another major scale but this time starting on a D. We say this is the D major scale:
Why do we write accidentals at the beginning of the staff? These accidentals are called key signatures. In the previous and following examples, the key signature using F and C sharp implies that every F and C are sharp. See Key Signatures for more information.
Beethoven used this scale to write his Ode to Joy in the last movement of his 9th Symphony: