Hi guys I found this scale whilst playing and I really like it

st t t t t st t 

st: semitone
t:  tone (whole step)

Not sure if this is an altered mode or a scale.
Any clues ?


2 Answers 2


That is a Dorian ♭2 scale, or the second mode of the melodic minor scale. It may also be called the Phrygian ♮6 scale, or sometimes the Javanese scale. @Tim points out that this scale may also go by the name Phrygidorian. Here is a link to the question about names for melodic minor modes mentioned by @Tim.

This scale can be played with ♭9sus4 chords. It is often played in modal jazz tunes.


Or Phrygian ♮6 mode maybe? If you would like to accentuate the major degree in a predominantly minor scale.

  • 1
    Phrygian natural 6 is another name for Dorian b2 (or b9).
    – Tim
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 9:38
  • I was trying to find thenatural symbol and then gave up and wrote #6 (hoping that the context would be understood). Apologies. Also, although they are equivalent scales, their purposes would vary. This is why modes exist. In one case the second degree of the Dorian scale is flattened. This could be regarded as a movement into darker territories. A composer could accentuate this. In the second case, the minor sixth degree of the Phrygian scale is raised to form a natural sixth degree. This is an opposite viewpoint than the first. Again this is all just semantic arguments from my side. Commented May 16, 2017 at 9:51
  • Nothing wrong with this nomenclature (natural 6th, that is). You can enter unicode codepoints on many systems with Ctrl-Shift-U, followed by the codepoint. ♯ is U+266F, ♭ is U+266D, ♮ is U+266E.
    – user39614
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 10:41

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