I see that there are quite a few questions that are essentially "is there a name for this scale" so I thought I would be more specific in the title.

Essentially I came up with a melody in a scale that I do not know how to describe. The best I can say is that it is a C locrian with a diminished 6. That is:

C Db Eb F Gb Abb Bb C

  • 1
    How exactly did you come up with the melody? Did you compose it yourself? From some musical piece? Not all melodies can be fully inscribed in a "scale", that's what's called chromaticism. On the other hand, if you found it in some theoretical or etnological source, it would help to know the source and context. Commented May 9, 2016 at 13:28

3 Answers 3


If I hear that scale, I hear the Abb as the perfect fifth G, and the Gb as a blue note. Since this scale is none of the commonly used scales, I think it is best described as "blues scale with an added b2". If you hear it differently, it may help to add the melody to your question to clarify the essence of that scale.

EDIT: Judging from the chord progression in your comment, the melody is probably in Bb minor. The melody doesn't use the 7th scale degree, and it uses both the b6 and the natural 6th. The latter is common for pieces in minor; all combinations of 6th and 7th scale degrees are possible (see also this question and its answers). So your melody doesn't use a single scale, but it is a minor melody and it uses notes from the natural minor as well as from the melodic minor scales.

  • Oh that's a good point.
    – user9252
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 20:58
  • I'm not sure how to post melodies on to StackExchange, but maybe my tentative chord progression will help you out. Cm7b5 Bbm Gm7b5 F#
    – user9252
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 21:04
  • So it doesn't have the sense of the blues scale.
    – user9252
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 21:05
  • @Zelzy - why has the Gb become F# in your chord progression?
    – Tim
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 6:27
  • 1
    Doesn't the melodic minor scale include the natural minor notes? The classical one does, though the jazz one tends not to.
    – Tim
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 8:09

Using all of the notes, but starting and finishing on Eb makes it Eb Mixolydian, and the Gb added gives it that blues feel.

  • For Eb mixolydian you miss the Ab.
    – Matt L.
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 7:41

It could be:

  • C Locrian b6
  • Db Ionian b5
  • Eb Dorian b4
  • F Phrygian b3
  • Gb Lydian b2
  • Bb Aeolian b7
  • "locrian b6" doesn't make sense, as locrian already has b6. Perhaps "locrian bb6", but I'd say answer of Matt L. is more useful. Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 6:36
  • It does. As the Locrian scale has a minor sixth, a diminished 6th is a semitone flatter, not two semitones flatter. The C Locrian scale contains the notes C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab and Bb. If you flattened the 6th twice, you'd get Abbb, not Abb.
    – Jack Smith
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 21:23
  • C Locrian b6 means "C Locrian but the sixth note (Ab) is lowered (to Abb)." C Locrian bb6, however, means "C Locrian but the sixth note (Ab) is flattened twice (to Abbb)." Likewise, Locrian #2 doesn't mean "Locrian with an augmented second" It means "Locrian with a raised second (i.e. the minor second is raised by a semitone making it a major second)"
    – Jack Smith
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 21:40
  • Downvote me if you want. My judgement stands.
    – Jack Smith
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 21:44
  • I would say a correct term for a locrian scale with natural second is "locrian ♮2". This is e.g. the choice of wikipedia, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half_diminished_scale The notes are given w.r.t. ionian scale, the same as is used for chord symbols. Indeed some people write the way you do, but I would say it's confusing. With "locrian #2" it's easy to guess the intention, but "locrian b6" is ambiguous. Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 22:18

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