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Phrygian dominant scale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

D Phrygian dominant scale. About this sound Play 
In music, the Phrygian dominant scale is the fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale, the fifth being the dominant.[1] Also called the altered Phrygian scaledominant flat 2 flat 6 (in jazz), the Freygish scale (also spelled Fraigish[2]), or simply the fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale. It resembles the scale of the Phrygian mode but has a major third. In the Berklee method, it is known as the Mixolydian b9 b13 chord scale, a Mixolydian scale with a lowered 9th (2nd) and lowered 13th (6th), used in secondary dominant chord scales for V7/III and V7/VI.

Traditional use[edit]

This scale occurs in Indian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Central Asian and Flamenco music. It is common in Arabic and Egyptian music, in which it is known as Hijaz-Nahawand or Bayati maqam,[3] and used in Hebrew prayers and Klezmer music, where it is known as Ahava RabbahFreygish or just the "Jewish scale", and is called Dastgāh-e Homāyoun in Iran. It is the scale used in the North Indian classical raga Vasant Mukhari and the South Indian raga Vakulabharanam.[4][not in citation given]
It is sometimes called the "Spanish Phrygian scale", "Spanish gypsy scale" (see: gypsy scale) or "Phrygian major scale" (see: phrygian mode and major scale) and is common in Flamenco music.[5] The flatted second and the augmented step between the second and third degrees of the scale create its distinctive sound. Examples include some versions of "Hava Nagila"[1] and "Misirlou", while other versions of those melodies use the closely related "double harmonic scale".[2] The main chords derived from this scale are IIIiv, and vii.[2]


The sequence of steps forming the Phrygian dominant scale is:
When related to the scale degrees of the major scale, it reads:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 1
Written in semitones, the sequence is:
Beginning on C, the scale is: C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C

C Phrygian dominant scale, the fifth mode of F harmonic minor About this sound Play .
When the Freygish scale is used in Klezmer music, the sixth degree may be left unflatted if it is melodically approached and left from above,[6] or the seventh degree may be raised as well.

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up to:a b Dave Hunter (2005). Play Acoustic, San Francisco: Backbeat, p. 226. ISBN 978-0-87930-853-7.
  2. Jump up to:a b c Dick Weissman, Dan Fox (2009). A Guide to Non-Jazz Improvisation, guitar edition, Pacific, MO: Mel Bay, p. 130. ISBN 978-0-7866-0751-8.
  3. Jump up^ Peter Manuel (2006). Michael Tenzer, ed. Analytical Studies in World Music. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 96.
  4. Jump up^
  5. Jump up^ Scott Jarrett, Holly Day (2008). Music Composition for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. p. 61. ISBN 0-470-22421-5.
  6. Jump up^ Ilana Cravitz (January 2004) Klezmer - Modes and Scales", at (Accessed 23 November 2014).

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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