I'm transcribing a Cappella melody from audio. It's. Starts on Bb, but I had something that I don't understand. The melody uses G natural, C flat, and D natural. And I don't know now what kind of key the melody is. If someone can identify the key for me. I'm going to add the sequence of the opening for more clearness. The piece starts by a downward eights Bb, Ab, G natural going backup to Ab, Bb, Cb, D natural Eb, whole note F this is the opening of the melody. I added a print screen of the first stanza if this could be of help to better understand my question.
Is this perhaps a melody from middle-Eastern (Arabic/Turkish/Greek/Balkan) music? There are several modes that could fit what you're describing:
Bb hicaz (pronounced "hi-'jaz") in its most basic form is Bb Cb D Eb F G/Gb Ab Bb ~ the G is technically a microtone between Gb & G but has "attraction" upwards for ascending phrases, and downwards for descending phrases, so for equal-tempered instruments G/Gb are often used. The tonic would be Bb, and there would be melodic emphasis also on Eb.
Bb uzzal is like hicaz, but melodic emphasis on F rather than Eb.
Eb suzinak has the same notes, but from Eb ~ Eb F Gd* Ab Bb Cb D Eb. *Gd is that same microtone between Gb/G. Tonic is Eb & there would be also melodic emphasis on Bb.
F karciğar ("`kar-jar") again has the same notes, with tonic on F & emphasis on Bb.
The key cannot be determined simply by giving the list of notes that exist in the melody. The placement and timing of the notes within the phrasing and chordal structure of the piece is much more important.
Transitional notes falling between chord changes can be just about anything without actually changing the overall key. Sometimes, labeling what key a given piece is in is a judgement call or creative decision rather than an exact science. The same notes can for example be labeled as being in the key of C major or A minor.
Indeed we can't know for sure just based on a list of notes, but considering all these notes are part of the same scale (and not decorative transitional notes), they fit perfectly in the E♭ harmonic major scale.
Now you must find out:
- If this scale is used in the rest of the melody, or if just some notes were borrowed from it in the opening;
- If E♭ is the tonal center of the melody, or if another mode of the scale is used. (If the tonal center is F for example, the scale is Dorian ♭5)
UPDATE: I played the intro on the weekend and felt like Bb was he tonal center, so perhaps I would go with peter jaques's answer. But looking at the sheet you added, seems like it is Ab, so it could be maybe a sort of gypsy minor scale with #6.