Take the 2-minute tour ×
Musical Practice & Performance Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 by Liszt from John Thompson's Grade 3 (the key singanture is Cm) there is the following scale + 2 following notes:

D E F# G A Bb C D Eb F#

Is there a name for this scale?

EDIT: This is the surrounding of the passage: enter image description here

share|improve this question
    
Which measure is this? I'm staring at a copy of it right now and I can't seem to find this part. –  American Luke Apr 30 '12 at 2:27
1  
Hungarian Rhapsody by which composer? Opus number? –  NReilingh Apr 30 '12 at 3:40
    
The Opus number is S.244. –  American Luke Apr 30 '12 at 17:10
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

With the D as the root you could consider it to be a D Phrygian dominant (also known as Freygish, Mixolydian b9 b13, or Mixolydian b2 b6). Being a klezmer scale this makes sense in a Hungarian oriented piece.
The E doesn't really fit, but that's ok I think. (With E instead of Eb it would be a Mixolydian b6.)

Without knowing the surroundings, the passage looks to me as being a D dominant to a following Gm.


EDIT: In relation to the question edit.

Well written music! So the harmonic context could be described as

    | Cm | Gm/D | D7(b13) D7(b9b13) | Gm |

Acually I'm not sure the whole phrase should be seen as belonging to one scale. I think you may have to look at it as two scales. Also you have to decide if you want to think about it in the context of the tonality or in the context of the current chord or function.

If you look at the phrase as a melody in the context of the (temporary) tonality G minor - which is well stated in the build up and resolution - then the melody is conforming to first

(1) a G ascending melodic minor scale (with the E)

that turns into

(2) a G harmonic minor scale (with the Eb).

I.e tones

    (1) G A Bb C D E F#
    =>
    (2) G A Bb C D Eb F#

If you look at the phrase as a phrase in the context of the current chord - the dominant D - then you first have

(3) a D mixolydian b6 scale (with the E)

that turns into

(4) a D mixolydian b2 b6 scale (with the Eb).

I.e tones

    (3) D E F# G A Bb C
    =>
    (4) D Eb F# G A Bb C

As you see it's the same tone materials. The mixolydian scales are built on the fifth degree (the dominant) of respecive minor scale.

Or, as luser droog suggests, you could look at it all as a G melodic minor scale using tones of both the ascending and descending variants. It depends on what you want to convey when you use the name of the scale. It's up to you to decide how you want to look at it given the context you want to apply it to.
Or ask a music professor. ;-)
In context of the provided music sample I'd personally stick to my pre-edit answer, but I really don't think it matters. Tell me which ever and I'd have an understanding of what you meant. It's really just normal tones in the G minor tonality, although the augmented second of Eb-F# and the following suspension on Bb gives an exciting feeling.

Now Ulf, stop ranting already!

share|improve this answer
1  
I also think that luser droog's answer is valid. These are just different ways of looking at the same thing. –  Ulf Åkerstedt May 1 '12 at 6:31
    
A comment about klezmer: In a klezmer context the D Freygish would not have to resolve to Gm, but would instead likely be the tonic of the piece. It is common to emphasize this by ending with a bass statement such as with the notes D - A - D. –  Ulf Åkerstedt May 1 '12 at 6:37
    
I was thinking this might be it, but when luser droog posted his answer, I thought G Melodic Minor more the likely of the two. –  American Luke May 1 '12 at 18:46
    
:-) And I'm thinking it doesn't really matter. I just wanted to give an alternative interpretation when posting my answer. –  Ulf Åkerstedt May 1 '12 at 20:55
1  
You can easily patch-in the E as a chromatic passing tone. –  luser droog May 27 '12 at 21:38
show 2 more comments

This set of notes comprise G Melodic Minor. The B♭ gives you the minor character in the third scale degree from G. The E and F come in two flavors; E♮ and F♯ define the top end of a G Major scale; E♭ and F♮ give you the top of a G Natural Minor scale. Typically you choose flavors to follow the melody (hence "Melodic"), but alternating between the two creates a sort of tension that can drive a subsequent key-change.

Edit: Under my interpretation, the D is the root of the chord, but not the scale (btw, F♮ is not present which my theory would seem to require).

But I think Ulf has a valid perspective as well, and if you were to extract the scale from the piece as reuse it, you probably would relate it to D to distill the right flavor.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

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.