Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In a purely theoretical space, I noticed some interesting properties of a scale which I determined to be the Magen Abot Scale.

The scale I am interested in is:

C Db D# E F# G# A B


1 b2 #2 3 #4 #5 6 7

My question is, does anyone know of specific recordings using this scale? It has a strange sound and I would love to hear how it is used. I don't think I would be able to verify on my own, by listening, if a recording is using this scale or not.

share|improve this question

more of a comment, but a little long for comment box

I think the ♯2 is more likely to be perceived as a ♭3 unless the two 2s are really used as alternate paths from 1 to 3.

This looks to me like two scales superimposed, a C major and a A melodic minor. You've got lots of dominant diminished chords that can resolve to C-E-B (omitting the altered ♯G) and lots of dominant chords that can resolve to A-C-E. So this scale might arise during a modulation from C to A-minor or vice-versa.

share|improve this answer
I agree b3 seems more intuitive but was told #2 is the more common notation for this scale so I went with #2. It is cited as a Jewish scale, but I'm not sure how it is used or what it sounds like therein. – Matthew James Briggs Oct 11 '13 at 13:48

I may be well off mark here, but it is a 9 note scale, looking like a mode of C# harmonic minor, with the addition of a major 6th note. The mode being based around C. Sadly, can't find any tunes that seem specifically to use it.

Or - could be, using Db and Eb as C# and D# respectively, construed as the Aeolian of E (C# natural minor) with an added C (b6 or #5).

share|improve this answer

I figured out why I was having trouble finding examples. It seems Magen Avot is a more typical spelling.

share|improve this answer
Hmm. Both these examples uses the harmonic minor scale a lot (or mainly) with some variations (such as b7). I didn't hear any minor seconds (b2) or major thirds (3) (with one exception), but a lot of perfect fifths (5) and natural seconds (2). So to my ears these examples don't use the scale formula you listed. I only had a quick low focus listen though. (As a side note different modes of the harmonic minor scale are at the core of jewish klezmer music.) – Ulf Åkerstedt Nov 9 '13 at 20:54
I couldn't tell from listening what scale was being used but was going off of the titles. Thank you for checking. – Matthew James Briggs Nov 10 '13 at 4:20

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.