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I was jamming on a music piece and found that this scale fits the harmony.

I have found the scale by using my ear, I see it is very similar to diminished F scale but can't find what scale it is. Here are the keys : F Gb Ab A B C D Eb <<< EDITIED

The song is on Am. Melody line : E E F D | D D E C | C C D B

Harmony_________________ : Dm chord| Am chord| here Gb as only a tone.

from the Gb voice or tone I have derived the scale mentioned above.

I think it is a jazzy scale. Do you know a scale like this ?

Thanks in advance

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What is the harmony that it fits? Did you mean A#, as you've put it before A ? Generally scales will have one of each letter name, to make the notes easier to read when on a stave. Thus, possibly, F-Gb-A-Bb-B-C-D-Eb,with the B being a b5 (Cb)? –  Tim Apr 19 at 9:40
    
I have edited and included the harmony and melody line. I'm interested to know if there is a scale like this also ? –  Was.Francis Apr 19 at 9:52
    
The song has an E in it, whereas your notes include an Eb.Should the 'song be IN Am, rather than ON Am? - Just trying to clear up red herrings! –  Tim Apr 19 at 10:02
    
sorry for misconceptions. Yes I meant "in Am" aha so my scale does not fit maybe only its first notes fit. So from where did the Gb tone come ? Is it a leading tone ? (It sounds nice) –  Was.Francis Apr 19 at 10:18
    
Is the next bar Gmaj? If so, the Gb is an F# leading tone/note. –  Tim Apr 19 at 10:38

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This can be called an F Dimished scale. In classical music theory it would usually be called an Octatonic Scale. It is a mode of limited transposition (it has a constantly repeating tone-semitone interval pattern). It has a number of interesting properties, for instance, the scale contains a pair of diminished 7th arpeggios, a semitone apart.

For any particular starting pitch, there are two possible Octatonic scales: one starting with a tone; one starting with a semitone. Interestingly, there are only three possible Octatonic scales (if you consider them by pitch set, and ignore the starting note). For instance, the scales starting: E-F; F-Gb; F#-G. All other Octatonic scales will contain EXACTLY the same notes as one of these scales (hence "limited transposition").

As this scale has 8 notes, two of the pitch names always have to have the same letter (Ab and A in your example). This is also sometimes reflected in chord types associated with this scale; for instance the Gb, Ab and A in this chord would make it a b9/#9 chord, even though, in theory, it has two thirds.

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1  
- just like the diminished chords - there's only really 3 of those, with several names each. –  Tim Apr 19 at 11:53
    
Yes I agree with Tim. Bob Broadley thank you for your info ! –  Was.Francis Apr 19 at 11:56

I agree with Bob Broadley's comprehensive answer. For better understanding here's a visual image of this scale. The symmetry is apparent:

Octatonic scale

In the context of Am key (based on the C diatonic scale). The dominant would be E7. It it a good place for alterations. In that case a different mode of this octatonic scale could work well, a half-tone lower, based on E. This way the E octatonic would contain the E7 chord (E Ab B D), as well as its alterations: b9 (F), #9 (A), b5 (Bb) and 13 (Db) in addition.

The other thing is that both F and E octatonic contain the Ab diminished chord which work well with the Am chord. In fact these two added together make up the A harmonic minor scale. It is used widely - eg. from Bach to Latin jazz.

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Bearing in mind there are two often used octotonic scales, the halftone/tone, and the tone/halftone, it's confusing to talk about 'F and E octotonic', as they could well be the same set of notes! If they are not, then both together will contain every note known to Man ! Assuming you mean the E half/whole, that would contain E,F,G,G#,A#,B,C#and D. Not a harmonic minor. If you meant F,F#,G#,A,B,C,D,Eb that's not either. Can you help me to understand ? –  Tim Apr 19 at 14:30
    
First thank you for your information. I meant F,F#,G#,A,B,C,D,Eb so it is not ? I'm trying to figure out why they used F# key in the harmony. –  Was.Francis Apr 19 at 16:20
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Ah, sorry if the answer was not clear. I meant the canonic octatonic scale, ie. the one with the lowest entropy. In this case it is the half/whole. In general we can think about 3 different modes of this scale. One making the 110... pattern (half/whole), 101 (whole/half) and 011... pattern (without a common name). This one on the image can be called F half/whole (or equally Gb whole/half, etc.) and the one I was talking about that could be also suitable can be called E half/whole. As for the reference to the A harmonic minor: Am chord + Ab dim chord together make up the A harmonic minor. –  Bohumir Zamecnik Apr 20 at 17:00

It is in fact a half/whole diminished. It goes up the scale insteps that alternate between a semitone and a tone. The oppo. to this, is, unsurprisingly, the whole/half diminished scale. No prizes for working out the configuration !

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Thank you ! for this information –  Was.Francis Apr 19 at 11:53

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