I know that the augmented scale has a sharpened 4th and 5th, and a diminished scale has a flattened 3rd and 5th, but doesn't a diminished scale have other flats in it as well? Could someone please go into greater detail as to how and why the diminished and augmented scales are formed the way they are, and also what modes they relate to? Also, is a half-diminished scale just a diminished scale with a minor seventh or is it even a scale at all? Sorry for all the questions, just please try and go into deeper detail about everything with augmented and diminished scales. Thank you

2 Answers 2


First of there isn't an "official" augmented scale. What people typically refer to as "the augmented scale" is actually a scale known as the Lydian Augmented scale which is built from the third mode of the ascending melodic minor scale.

Lydian Augmented Mode from A Melodic Minor

C  D  E  F♯  G♯  A  B  C

The "Diminished Scale" is either whole-half step or half-whole step repeating intervallic patterns. These are called octatonic scales because they have eight notes; these scales are symmetrical - they repeat at the interval of a minor third.

Half-Whole Diminished Scale

C  D♭  E♭  E  G♭  G   A  B♭   C

The chord would that goes with this: C7b9 or Eb7b9 or Gb7b9 or Bb7b9... notice the minor thirds between the roots.

Why a dominant chord for the diminished you ask? Because when you have a scale that has both a minor and a major third, the minor third is notated a #9.

The Db = b9,

the Eb = #9

E = Major 3rd

Whole-Half Diminished Scale

C  D  Eb  F  Gb  Ab  A  B  C

The chord would that goes with this: or Eb° or Gb° or ... again, notice the minor thirds between the roots.

The half diminished scale mode of the ascending melodic minor scale starting on the 6th scale degree which in C looks like this:

C  D  E♭  F  G♭  A♭  B♭   C
  • Your half-whole scale is heptatonic; it misses an E. It is also worth mentioning that the "half diminished scale" is usually (and better) called "Locrian ♮2".
    – Matt L.
    Jun 29, 2016 at 20:27
  • Is there a rule for the spelling of notes for the dim. scales?
    – Tim
    Jun 29, 2016 at 21:59
  • @Tim as far as I know, it goes by the same rules as if you were putting notes to a prime row where you would just use all sharps or all flats. In the context of an actual piece I would base it on the harmony to spell the notes used correctly.
    – Dom
    Jun 29, 2016 at 22:13
  • Okay, thank you for clarifying. The diminished scales all make good sense to me now. But Why is it called Lydian augmented if it starts on the 3rd scale degree instead of the fourth? Wouldn't it be Phryggian? @Dom Jun 30, 2016 at 20:02
  • @CaineDodson that only applies to Major. This scale is called lydian augmented because it is a lydian scale with an augmented 5th.
    – Dom
    Jul 1, 2016 at 4:23

I'm not sure you guys have gotten it right about the Augmented Scale. The formula should be Root, Minor 3rd, Major 3rd, Perfect 5th, Minor Sixth, Major Seventh, Octave.

So a C Augmented scale would go: C D# E G Ab B C and as there's only 6 tones in the scale before we come to the root again, it's a Hexatonic Scale.

The Diminished scale(s) have (as other people mentioned) the Whole-Half tone movements or the Half-Whole tone movements throughout the scale, so a C Diminished (Whole-Half) would be C D Eb F Gb Ab A B C


the Diminished (Half-Whole) would be C Db Eb Fb Gb G A Bb C, making them Octatonic Scales.

  • More technically - C aug. scale - C Eb E G G# B - it's two aug triads, C E G# and Eb G B. The second is a min 3rd away, or possible an aug 2nd, making it D# Fx Ax. I like the simpler first!
    – Tim
    Nov 8, 2016 at 13:37
  • 1
    Skoven's augmented scale consists of two augmented triads correctly spelt: G B D# and Ab C E.
    – Rosie F
    Nov 8, 2016 at 15:31
  • Skoven's scale also has only one instance of each given pitch, instead of having two types of Es and two types of Gs.
    – Richard
    Nov 8, 2016 at 20:56

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