Hungarian gypsy scale

Hungarian scale or Hungarian Gypsy Scale is a name given by different authorities to two different scale forms.

The more commonly used of these scales, also called Hungarian minor scale or double harmonic minor scale, can be found by sharpening the 4th degree of the harmonic minor scale to introduce an additional gap, or augmented second. This is a symmetrical scale that is very common in Flamenco. In Indian classical Carnatic music, it is known as the ragam Simhendramadhyamam. It also shows up occasionally in Western Classical music selections, such as mm. 5-6 of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. The scale is often used in the 5th mode, in which case it is referred to as the double harmonic scale.

The alternative (and less common) version is the asymmetric Aeolian 4 scale, the only difference with the Hungarian minor scale being that the 7th degree of the scale is not raised.[1][2] This form of the scale can also be used in the 4th mode and would then be referred to as the Neapolitan scale.

Scale in corresponding keys

A Hungarian Gypsy:

A   B   C   D  E   F   G

C Hungarian Gypsy:

C   D   E  F  G   A  B

E Hungarian Gypsy:

E   F  G   A  B   C   D

The structure of this scale is (w = whole-step, h = half-step, + = augmented):

  w - h - + - h - h - + - h

in semitones:

  2   1   3   1   1   3  1



    1. Adam Kadmon. The Guitar Grimoire (Vol 1). Carl Fischer.
    2. Celentano, Dave (1991). Monster Scales and Modes. Centrestream. ISBN 0-931759-59-5.

    See also

    Further reading

    • Hewitt, Michael. 2013. Musical Scales of the World. The Note Tree. ISBN 978-0957547001.
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