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I've noticed a pattern in chord progressions and melodies where I like to use the b7 and b6 chords with a major tonic and there are several modern songs that like to use this pattern as seen in a recent question leaving me to think that the following pattern is common.

 1  2  3  4  5 b6 b7

I've never hear of a scale though containing this combiniation of notes though. Is there a name for this scale?

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Yes, it's the 5th mode of melodic minor, and it's usually called Mixolydian b6 or Mixolydian b13. Other names for this scale, in my opinion slightly less fortunate, are Aeolian Dominant or Hindu scale. You can find even a few more obscure names for it in the article linked above. However, in a jazz context I've only come across the name Mixolydian b6 (or b13).

  • Interestingly, when I first saw the title of this question, I immediately thought it should be named "Aeolian Dominant", even though I don't think I'd ever heard that name before. I even googled the name before clicking through to read the full question. – Caleb Hines Jan 6 '15 at 13:44
  • @CalebHines: Yeah, Aeolian Dominant makes sense as an analogy to Phrygian Dominant, but I've never heard anyone use this term. – Matt L. Jan 6 '15 at 14:03
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    All scale names are unfortunate... it's not like ancient-greece Aeolian music probably sounded much like present-day tunes in a natural-minor key. – leftaroundabout Jan 11 '15 at 13:03
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While Mixolydian ♭6 is valid, of course, I've heard another name for it: Melodic Major.

Why? I'm guessing that it's "melodic" because it lowers major's 6th and 7th degrees (just as melodic minor alters the 6th and seventh scale degrees). Obviously, "major" because it has the major third.

I've also heard of a harmonic major, being major with the lowered 6th degree only.

For A minor: Natural-Harmonic-Melodic have F G A; F G♯ A; and F♯ G♯ A respectively.

For C major: (Natural)-Harmonic-Melodic have A-B-C; A♭-B-C; and A♭-B♭-C respectively.

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Bruckner 4 uses an E-flat scale of this type at the end -- one of my favorite scholars refers to it simply as "dark Eb Major!"

  • Who is that scholar? – Richard May 31 at 1:16
  • Not to drop names, but Will Carragan's the author of "dark Eb Major!" – urbie4 Jun 5 at 19:36

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