Aeolian Mode (natural minor scale)

Key of A:   A B C D E F G A

Below is the pattern for the Aeolian mode or scale using whole and half steps. 

 W= whole step,   h = half step,  m3 = 3 half steps ( or a whole step + a half step ).

  W    h   W   W   h   W   W

A ^ B ^ C ^ D ^ E ^ F ^ G ^ A

Half steps: on a piano, are the distance between any two adjacent keys, white or black.

Whole steps: a whole-step is two half-steps combined. A whole-step above a key on the piano is two keys to its right, while a whole-step below a key on the piano is two keys to its left.

The name Aeolian was originally derived from the inhabitants of Aeolis. This area is the Aeolian Islands and the adjacent coastal district of Asia Minor. This musical mode was used by the ancient greeks. It is also known as the Natural minor scale, which is a diatonic scale that is built by starting on the sixth degree of its relative major scale. It is a seven note scale with the eight note being the same note name as the first, but up one octave. In Hindustani music this scale or thaat is called Asuvari. In Carnatic music the equivalent scale or melakarta would be Natabhairavi. The sound of this scale will often be connected to sadness or melancholy but can be quite beautiful and emotive.