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Thread: Is it a real scale?

  1. #1
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    Is it a real scale?

    So, I don't know why I can't post helpful links, but anyway, I watched a youtube video with someone who was improvising with a lyre and he claimed to be using an ancient Egyptian scale, which I haven't found anything to match on the internet, other than that video.

    These are the notes which I figured out by ear, they are accurate
    I'm assuming its an A Egyptian scale since it starts on A, and he' played the same notes both ascending and descending.

    These are the pitches descending:

    A F E D Bb A

    Formula Descending: M3 H W M3 H


    Does anyone know if this is a real scale that's actually used in any music? Because the Egyptian scales I found so far are the Arabian or Double Harmonic/Egyptian heptonic scale and the pentatonic happy sounding Egyptian scale.

    There's also the possibility that it has the same formula as some Japanese sounding scale since I can never work out which Japanese scales are actually the real ones and which names are real, except for Hirajoshi which seems to be a pattern.
    Last edited by steevey; 03-24-2011 at 01:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    R b2 4 5 b6 - you can find references calling it a "Kumoi" (type of Japanese Pentatonic) scale.

    I don't know what counts as "real" scale to you - if someone's making music with it that seems good enough for me

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by walternewton View Post
    I don't know what counts as "real" scale to you - if someone's making music with it that seems good enough for me
    I mean a scale that is recognized by the music community as something that can be harnessed and something which is taught in classes as a way to make music.

    Also if it's someone's own thing, I don't want to get any scrutiny for using it.


    One more problem:

    There's like 10 different sites all with a different form of a "kumoi" scale. Some have things like C D Eb G A C for C as the tonic,
    others have C D Eb G Ab C with C as the tonic, etc. which obviously have different formulas. I tried emailing the Tokyo University for this a while ago but I guess they don't speak English even though their website is in English when I wasn't using a translator.
    Last edited by steevey; 03-24-2011 at 02:22 AM.

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    see page 2 of Malcolms look no hands thread!

  5. #5
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steevey View Post
    I mean a scale that is recognized by the music community as something that can be harnessed and something which is taught in classes as a way to make music.

    Also if it's someone's own thing, I don't want to get any scrutiny for using it.


    One more problem:

    There's like 10 different sites all with a different form of a "kumoi" scale. Some have things like C D Eb G A C for C as the tonic,
    others have C D Eb G Ab C with C as the tonic, etc. which obviously have different formulas. I tried emailing the Tokyo University for this a while ago but I guess they don't speak English even though their website is in English when I wasn't using a translator.
    As I understand it, kumoi is a mode of the hirajoshi scale:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirajoshi_scale
    Wiki is not always 100% reliable of course - - but that seems a knowledgeable page.
    However, it states (and take this as you like): "The pentatonic formula [1-3-4-5-7 of a scale] can also be used over ... the locrian mode to produce the kumoi scale".
    That gives - from A - A C D Eb Bb. This doesn't correspond with any other "kumoi" formula I've found. There's also no way locrian mode can produce any of the likely candidates for kumoi mentioned below.
    So - black mark for wiki there!

    I have another extensive scale resource which has no specific "kumoi" scale, but gives the following (again all measured from A for comparison):

    Kata-kumoi (aka Hira-joshi): A B C E F
    Hon-kumoi-joshi: A Bb D E F (5th mode of the above)
    Han-kumoi: A B D E F

    Other (perhaps less reliable) sources for plain "kumoi":

    A B C E F# - 1 2 b3 5 6 (This is a mode of the "han-kumoi" above, and jazz musicians know it as the "b3 pent" or dorian pent.)
    http://www.freakguitar.com/kumoi.html
    http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/gui...t&t=0&choice=1
    http://www.playbassonline.com/kumoi-scale.html

    A Bb D E F - 1 b2 4 5 b6 (as "hon-kumoi-joshi" above, 5th mode of hirajoshi)
    http://www.ehow.com/how_4457596_play-kumoi-scale-
    http://hubpages.com/hub/EXOTIC_SCALES
    http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/colum...ony_style.html
    http://www.shredaholic.com/user48.html
    This last person seems to know what they're talking about, and refers to it as "Hon Kumoi Shiouzhi". I guess "Shiouzhi" is the same word as "joshi", just phoneticized differently; and seems to meaning "tuning", so would be a dispensable part of the scale name.
    IOW, "hira", "hon-kumoi" and "han-kumoi" are all types of "joshi" or "shiouzhi". (? - perhaps a Japanese speaker could correct me here! *)

    This site has the "kata-kumoi" (1 2 b3 5 b6):
    http://pianoencyclopedia.com/scales/...ata-kumoi.html

    This piece:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCbRFZqEI_s
    says it's using the kumoi scale, and the notes are G A Bb D Eb, with the apparent keynote as G (most commonly played bass or drone note). Transposed to A, that's A B C E F, and is what seems to be usually known as Hirajoshi (or kata-kumoi).
    The piece does occasionally rest on the 5th of the scale (D) - and the 5th mode is "hon-kumoi-joshi", the 1 b2 4 5 b6 scale some of the above websites favour.
    However, that doesn't sound like a keynote to me. But then my ears are not Japanese!

    This lesson goes with A Bb D E F (hon-kumoi):
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/vid...le.html?cat=33


    * EDIT: here's some online translations of "joshi":
    http://www.freedict.com/onldict/onldict.php
    - in a musical context, I imagine it could easily mean "tuning" or something like "system" or "string arrangement".
    Another translation site has 35 meanings (mostly referrring to women), so it's clearly a non-specific word with lots of uses: no musical ones listed, but it does include "arranging seats by seniority".
    "Hira", meanwhile, means "the broad; the flat; palm".
    "Kumoi" can mean "sky; cloud; distant place; high place; imperial court"
    Last edited by JonR; 03-24-2011 at 12:16 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    As I understand it, kumoi is a mode of the hirajoshi scale:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirajoshi_scale
    Wiki is not always 100% reliable of course - - but that seems a knowledgeable page.
    However, it states (and take this as you like): "The pentatonic formula [1-3-4-5-7 of a scale] can also be used over ... the locrian mode to produce the kumoi scale".
    That gives - from A - A C D Eb Bb. This doesn't correspond with any other "kumoi" formula I've found. There's also no way locrian mode can produce any of the likely candidates for kumoi mentioned below.
    So - black mark for wiki there!

    I have another extensive scale resource which has no specific "kumoi" scale, but gives the following (again all measured from A for comparison):

    Kata-kumoi (aka Hira-joshi): A B C E F
    Hon-kumoi-joshi: A Bb D E F (5th mode of the above)
    Han-kumoi: A B D E F

    Other (perhaps less reliable) sources for plain "kumoi":

    A B C E F# - 1 2 b3 5 6 (This is a mode of the "han-kumoi" above, and jazz musicians know it as the "b3 pent" or dorian pent.)
    http://www.freakguitar.com/kumoi.html
    http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/gui...t&t=0&choice=1
    http://www.playbassonline.com/kumoi-scale.html

    A Bb D E F - 1 b2 4 5 b6 (as "hon-kumoi-joshi" above, 5th mode of hirajoshi)
    http://www.ehow.com/how_4457596_play-kumoi-scale-
    http://hubpages.com/hub/EXOTIC_SCALES
    http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/colum...ony_style.html
    http://www.shredaholic.com/user48.html
    This last person seems to know what they're talking about, and refers to it as "Hon Kumoi Shiouzhi". I guess "Shiouzhi" is the same word as "joshi", just phoneticized differently; and seems to meaning "tuning", so would be a dispensable part of the scale name.
    IOW, "hira", "hon-kumoi" and "han-kumoi" are all types of "joshi" or "shiouzhi". (? - perhaps a Japanese speaker could correct me here! *)

    This site has the "kata-kumoi" (1 2 b3 5 b6):
    http://pianoencyclopedia.com/scales/...ata-kumoi.html

    This piece:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCbRFZqEI_s
    says it's using the kumoi scale, and the notes are G A Bb D Eb, with the apparent keynote as G (most commonly played bass or drone note). Transposed to A, that's A B C E F, and is what seems to be usually known as Hirajoshi (or kata-kumoi).
    The piece does occasionally rest on the 5th of the scale (D) - and the 5th mode is "hon-kumoi-joshi", the 1 b2 4 5 b6 scale some of the above websites favour.
    However, that doesn't sound like a keynote to me. But then my ears are not Japanese!

    This lesson goes with A Bb D E F (hon-kumoi):
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/vid...le.html?cat=33


    * EDIT: here's some online translations of "joshi":
    http://www.freedict.com/onldict/onldict.php
    - in a musical context, I imagine it could easily mean "tuning" or something like "system" or "string arrangement".
    Another translation site has 35 meanings (mostly referrring to women), so it's clearly a non-specific word with lots of uses: no musical ones listed, but it does include "arranging seats by seniority".
    "Hira", meanwhile, means "the broad; the flat; palm".
    "Kumoi" can mean "sky; cloud; distant place; high place; imperial court"
    When I signed up, it said not to post links. Did they just forget to update that or something? Is my internet out of date?

  7. #7
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steevey View Post
    When I signed up, it said not to post links. Did they just forget to update that or something? Is my internet out of date?
    I don't remember anything like that when I signed up. People post links all the time. (I do, anyhow!) It happens all the time on other forums, and I see no potential problem.

    Spam is different, of course - that's frowned on. None of this is spam.

  8. #8
    Well I don't feel any of these websites are spam...it doesnt ask for any payment info or it doesn't ask us to buy something.....my personal opinion....lol

    I will like to get some instructional video, but don\'t know which to buy, I\'m advance, but not all the way there, I need some guitar scale exercise product to learn some satriani or Steve vai style. So what do you recommend I should get?

  9. #9
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarissts View Post
    Well I don't feel any of these websites are spam...it doesnt ask for any payment info or it doesn't ask us to buy something.....my personal opinion....lol

    I will like to get some instructional video, but don\'t know which to buy, I\'m advance, but not all the way there, I need some guitar scale exercise product to learn some satriani or Steve vai style. So what do you recommend I should get?
    The following scale patters plus the modes should give you what you want.
    After looking at the following go back and grab some of the patterns Jon mentioned. Between these two examples you should have enough to do what you want. Not sure where you are on your improv journey, the following may be old hat.
    Scales
    • Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7 Home base
    • Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 Leave out the 4 & 7
    • Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale with the 3, 6 & 7 flatted.
    • Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Leave out the 2 & 6.
    • Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor pentatonic with the blue note b5 added.
    • Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor with a natural 7.
    • Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.
    Let the major scale be your home base then change a few notes and you have something different. No need to memorize a zillion patterns. Let the major scale pattern be your go to pattern - then adapt/adjust from there.

    Major modes
    • Ionian same as the Major Scale.
    • Lydian use the major scale and sharp the 4 - yes, it’s that simple.
    • Mixolydian use the major scale and flat the 7. Change one note.....
    Minor Modes
    • Aeolian same as the Natural Minor scale.
    • Dorian use the Natural Minor scale and sharp the b6 back to a natural 6. Change one note.
    • Phrygian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2. Again change one note.
    • Locrian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2 and the 5. OK here you have to change two notes.

    Modal Harmony - the rest of the story.
    • If you play your modes over a chord progression you will probably only hear the tonal center of your progression.
    • However, if you play your modes over a modal vamp the vamp will sustain the modal mood long enough for the modal mood to be heard. The modal vamp droning effect will sustain the modal mood. Where with a chord progression the chords change so quickly that the modal mood does not have time to develop. Modal vamps of one to two chords let the modal mood be heard. http://www.riddleworks.com/modalharm3.html
    Scales and modes are for the melody - your solo. To solo let the melody be your guide. Yep, melody has to be in there some place. Counting on running a scale or a mode and letting that be your lead solo - good luck. The song's tune is the foundation for your solo or your improvisation of that tune. Let the melody be your guide.

    OK easy said, hard to do. As the melody and the chord line to harmonize must share some of the same notes at the same time in the song -- and as the songwriter has already taken all that into account - inserting the harmonizing chord where needed - it makes since to play the chord's pentatonic scale over the chord - as that scale will have three chord tones and two safe passing notes in it's makeup. Play the chord's pentatonic scale notes over the chord changes as your melody solo right at first. Major chord - major pentatonic R-2-3-5-6 and minor chord - minor pentatonic R-b3-4-5-b7. Mix the notes up, no need to just run them in scale order. Think generic licks made from pentatonic notes and move those licks around with the chord changes.
    Hal Galper's Master Class - Musical Vocabulary - YouTube R-3-5-3-6 8-5-R or 3-5-8-8-6-5-3-R. Make up some that sound good to you. Twenty licks used a hundred ways......
    Have fun.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 10-08-2012 at 02:09 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    The following scale patters plus the modes should give you what you want.
    After looking at the following go back and grab some of the patterns Jon mentioned. Between these two examples you should have enough to do what you want. Not sure where you are on your improv journey, the following may be old hat.


    Have fun.
    Thanks Malcom Have a Great Day...

  11. #11
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Your welcome. Was still editing ...... check out this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0iZ1j00wSU

    Copy down some of the "licks" that come on the screen as he plays.

  12. #12
    BMus (Hons), MA, PGCE JumpingJack's Avatar
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    Apparently, these pitches can form scales/modes with the following names:

    Hon-kumoi-joshi
    Sakura
    Akebono II (Japan)
    Olympos Enharmonic
    Raga Salanganata
    Saveri
    Gunakri (Gunakali)
    Latantapriya
    Ambassel (Ethiopia)


    This might provide a starting point for your own research.

  13. #13
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    I know this thread is a little old...

    That pattern is very well known and is a fairly fundamental to our scale systems. I would usually describe it as either a Lydian Pentatonic (from Bb) or an Aeolian Pentatonic* (from D). These are 'modes' of each other. Playing it from A, as per your example, is an alternative mode of these two familiar sounds.

    The reason I am predefining it like this, is because you actually have a very unstable mode with A as the root. Its tonic chord would be an inversion of Dm, and therefore you are going to have a very hard time establishing A as the tonic, along with other complicating factors. One is that you have some strange interval patterns from A. There is a minor second and no third, and there is a large major third interval from the subtonic up to the root. The other spanner in the works is that this scale conceals a Bb major 7 chord, as well as a D minor chord. Whether you realise it or not, your ears will be defaulting to either of these perspectives most of the time you are enjoying this scale. In other words, it fits like a glove over Bb Lydian and D Aeolian, and so A Locrian doesn't have a chance.

    You have:

    • Bb major triad, plus an augmented 4th and a major 7th
    • D minor triad, plus a major second and a minor 6th


    It's the perfect selection of notes over a Dm, Bb vamp. It is heard a fair amount in Western music, but also a familiar sound in Eastern music. Here's some Gamelan which I'm sure is following this rough interval pattern:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldPMifPbngc

    *Aeolian Pentatonic - unlike the Minor Pentatonic, the Aeolian Pentatonic I refer to has the same pattern as a Major Pentatonic - R,2,3,5,6. This gives a much more characterful set of notes thanks to the major second and minor sixth. I consider the regular Minor Pentatonic simply as a mode of its Major Pentatonic.
    Last edited by jimc8p; 10-09-2012 at 11:37 AM.

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