I have heard much talk anout the lydian chromatic concept however i find it very confusing i have heard people talk about a lydian chromatic scale and all kinds of lydian scales but idk how they are used or applied could someone please provide an overview of the concept

  • 2
    Look for George Russell's book "Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization".
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 8:19

1 Answer 1


It's quite a large subject, pioneered by George Russell, who, back in 1953, theorised that actually, all the notes in a major scale didn't fit that well (in a nutshell). The 4th note from the major scale was an 'avoid' note. He postulated that using the circle of 5ths, a series of notes which did work better together would be : (in key C for example) C G D A E B F♯. So, F♯ was better suited than plain old F - In a key C situation. Reasoning - each note is the dominant of the next in the series, so had a distinct 'pull' to that next one.

The concept goes a heck of a lot deeper, quickly, and there's no opportunity to expand it here. Except to say he came up with an exhaustive list of scales which could work in a key. I guess it involves all the 12 chromatic notes..!

Research is onerous, but worth a read; good luck!

  • Thanks for the answer, know where to find the book though i cant find a copy at a reasonable price, is it not manufactured anymore?
    – beastmode
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 16:06
  • No, it seems to go for lots.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 16:34

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