A list of unusual scales

Sometimes a great way to create new and exciting sounds is to try using a scale type that you haven’t used before.  The only downside is that sometimes it can be difficult to get a sound you’re happy with because a lot of the more unusual scale types are not natively found in Western music so notes like a b2 or b5 can be difficult to work with.  However, they are definitely worth trying out and sticking with to see what you can create.
The following is a list of different scales from around the world that I’ve ‘collected’ over time.  By collected I really mean written down on a piece of paper.  There are some I’ve discussed before such as the harmonic minor and melodic minor but most are completely new.  They are presented in the Key of C but also related to the major scale so you can work them out for any Key you like.  I’ve also included the intervals so you get an idea of how they are formed.  I haven’t gone into them in any more detail at present, I’ll leave you to experiment for now.
List of Scales-page0001

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. moinsound

    A potential addition: start the diminished scale with a semi step, i.e. S,T,S,T,…
    Another one: wholetone scale (i.e. T, T, T,…)
    And let’s not forget chromatic (S, S,…)
    All of those come with impressive symmetry/translation invariance properties.

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