Hi I was wondering how I would go about composing a piano piece using the tonality of a Hungarian minor scale and what chords I could use that would fit with this. Thanks


The process for creating chords from scales is actually pretty simple. First, write out the notes in the scale and give each note a number, for the A Hungarian Minor Scale this would be:


To get a basic triad chord, you take the 1-3-5 notes. This is a process called "stacking thirds" because the notes are a third apart.

Taking the 1-3-5 notes gives: A-C-E which is an Am chord. You can then add any extensions you want such as the 7th, which would be G#, or the 6th which would be an F, etc.

Then you repeat this process by moving to the next note in the scale and assigning it the number "1".


All the notes are still the same, but we just shuffled them around to give the next note in the scale (the B note) the number "1".

Taking the 1-3-5 notes gives: B-D#-F which is a Bb5 chord. Then as before you can add any extensions, 7th (A note), 6th (G# note), etc. that you want to this chord.

Repeat this process moving to each of the notes and you will have all of the chords which are built from this scale.

  • Just to riff off your excellent answer, you can use some simple 1-3-5 chords to establish a bass line and play a melody overtop it. When you take the time to see all the keys on the piano that fit within the key of your choosing, have fun walking up and down the scale. – sova Nov 27 '15 at 10:13

You could start out by experimenting with the diatonic triads built from the scale. In cm they would be cm D(b5) Eb(#5) F#dim G Ab bm. For more colour, try four tone chords: cm(maj7) D7(b5) Ebmaj7(#5) F#dim7 Gmaj7 Abmaj7 bm6.

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