2

Sorry if I'm not using the right terminology. (I am self taught and mostly just fiddle around in a DAW).

I happened upon this scale / mode but I don't know what it's called.

C,C#,E,F,G,G#,A#

C,C#,E,F,G,G#,A#

  • 1
    It would be a bit more correct to label the notes of the scale as follows: C, Db, E, F, G, Ab, Bb. – Phil Freihofner Mar 21 '17 at 6:58
  • I have no formal music training so I'm curious... why is this? – Anthony Audette Mar 21 '17 at 7:12
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    It is a convention to use the letters as scale degrees. If C and C# are two degrees of a scale it is better to use C and Db. If you use the same letter with different accidentals, it is implied that the note is more a single note being altered or ornamented, kind of like pulling a guitar string up a half-step to play a blue note (or pulling up from the minor to the major 3rd). The two sound more like the 'same' degree being played differently rather than each being its own scale note. It is kind of subtle and I don't know if I explained that very well. – Phil Freihofner Mar 21 '17 at 7:27
  • No, I understand fully. That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for clarifying for me. – Anthony Audette Mar 21 '17 at 20:58
  • Note G, Ab(G#) are a semitone apart, C, Db(C#) are a semitone apart. For a harmonic minor, 2nd and 3rd note are 1 semitone apart, 5th and 6th note are a semitone apart, the rest are a full tone apart except the 6th and 7th note which is a minor second apart. From there you can deduce the key – Ariana Mar 24 '17 at 15:06
8

It's one of the modes of F harmonic minor which consists of the notes F, G, A♭, B♭, C, D♭, E.

X: 1
M: C
K: Cmaj
L: 1/8
FG_A_B c_def||

If you consider it a mode that start on C, then it's C Phrygian Dominant which is also known as C Spanish Phrygian.

X: 1
M: C
K: Cmaj
L: 1/8
C_DEF G_A_Bc||
5

In Klezmer music, this scale is known as "freygish" or more formally as "Ahava Raba." If you were to start on Bb and play the same notes, it has the name "Misheberakh" or "Ukrainian Dorian." Both of these scales are modes of the European harmonic minor.

  • 1
    Can you add anything else about when to use "freygish" or "Ahava Raba?" I've seen both, but don't know when one of the other is the appropriate name to use. – Michael Curtis Mar 21 '17 at 19:57
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    I learned these terms from a book: "The Compleat Klezmer" by Harry Sapoznik. I don't have much direct experience with people who play in this style, and don't really know when it is okay to use the common term and when to use the formal term. My interest came from researching and writing background music for an old German silent film called "The Golem" (from 1920). – Phil Freihofner Mar 22 '17 at 3:51

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