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Scale 177: "Bexian"

Scale 177: Bexian, Ian Ring Music Theory

Bracelet Diagram

The bracelet shows tones that are in this scale, starting from the top (12 o'clock), going clockwise in ascending semitones. The "i" icon marks imperfect tones that do not have a tone a fifth above. Dotted lines indicate axes of symmetry.

Tonnetz Diagram

Tonnetz diagrams are popular in Neo-Riemannian theory. Notes are arranged in a lattice where perfect 5th intervals are from left to right, major third are northeast, and major 6th intervals are northwest. Other directions are inverse of their opposite. This diagram helps to visualize common triads (they're triangles) and circle-of-fifth relationships (horizontal lines).

Common Names




Cardinality is the count of how many pitches are in the scale.

4 (tetratonic)

Pitch Class Set

The tones in this scale, expressed as numbers from 0 to 11


Forte Number

A code assigned by theorist Allen Forte, for this pitch class set and all of its transpositional (rotation) and inversional (reflection) transformations.


Rotational Symmetry

Some scales have rotational symmetry, sometimes known as "limited transposition". If there are any rotational symmetries, these are the intervals of periodicity.


Reflection Axes

If a scale has an axis of reflective symmetry, then it can transform into itself by inversion. It also implies that the scale has Ridge Tones. Notably an axis of reflection can occur directly on a tone or half way between two tones.



A palindromic scale has the same pattern of intervals both ascending and descending.



A chiral scale can not be transformed into its inverse by rotation. If a scale is chiral, then it has an enantiomorph.

enantiomorph: 417


A hemitone is two tones separated by a semitone interval. Hemitonia describes how many such hemitones exist.

1 (unhemitonic)


A cohemitone is an instance of two adjacent hemitones. Cohemitonia describes how many such cohemitones exist.

0 (ancohemitonic)


An imperfection is a tone which does not have a perfect fifth above it in the scale. This value is the quantity of imperfections in this scale.



Modes are the rotational transformations of this scale. This number does not include the scale itself, so the number is usually one less than its cardinality; unless there are rotational symmetries then there are even fewer modes.


Prime Form

Describes if this scale is in prime form, using the Rahn/Ring formula.

prime: 141


Indicates if the scale can be constructed using a generator, and an origin.


Deep Scale

A deep scale is one where the interval vector has 6 different digits.


Interval Structure

Defines the scale as the sequence of intervals between one tone and the next.

[4, 1, 2, 5]

Interval Vector

Describes the intervallic content of the scale, read from left to right as the number of occurences of each interval size from semitone, up to six semitones.

<1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 0>

Interval Spectrum

The same as the Interval Vector, but expressed in a syntax used by Howard Hanson.


Distribution Spectra

Describes the specific interval sizes that exist for each generic interval size. Each generic <g> has a spectrum {n,...}. The Spectrum Width is the difference between the highest and lowest values in each spectrum.

<1> = {1,2,4,5}
<2> = {3,5,7,9}
<3> = {7,8,10,11}

Spectra Variation

Determined by the Distribution Spectra; this is the sum of all spectrum widths divided by the scale cardinality.


Maximally Even

A scale is maximally even if the tones are optimally spaced apart from each other.


Maximal Area Set

A scale is a maximal area set if a polygon described by vertices dodecimetrically placed around a circle produces the maximal interior area for scales of the same cardinality. All maximally even sets have maximal area, but not all maximal area sets are maximally even.


Interior Area

Area of the polygon described by vertices placed for each tone of the scale dodecimetrically around a unit circle, ie a circle with radius of 1.


Polygon Perimeter

Perimeter of the polygon described by vertices placed for each tone of the scale dodecimetrically around a unit circle.


Myhill Property

A scale has Myhill Property if the Interval Spectra has exactly two specific intervals for every generic interval.



A scale is balanced if the distribution of its tones would satisfy the "centrifuge problem", ie are placed such that it would balance on its centre point.


Ridge Tones

Ridge Tones are those that appear in all transpositions of a scale upon the members of that scale. Ridge Tones correspond directly with axes of reflective symmetry.



Also known as Rothenberg Propriety, named after its inventor. Propriety describes whether every specific interval is uniquely mapped to a generic interval. A scale is either "Proper", "Strictly Proper", or "Improper".


Heteromorphic Profile

Defined by Norman Carey (2002), the heteromorphic profile is an ordered triple of (c, a, d) where c is the number of contradictions, a is the number of ambiguities, and d is the number of differences. When c is zero, the scale is Proper. When a is also zero, the scale is Strictly Proper.

(4, 2, 18)

Common Triads

These are the common triads (major, minor, augmented and diminished) that you can create from members of this scale.

* Pitches are shown with C as the root

Triad TypeTriad*Pitch ClassesDegreeEccentricityCloseness Centrality
Major TriadsC{0,4,7}000

The following pitch classes are not present in any of the common triads: {5}

Since there is only one common triad in this scale, there are no opportunities for parsimonious voice leading between triads.


Modes are the rotational transformation of this scale. Scale 177 can be rotated to make 3 other scales. The 1st mode is itself.

2nd mode:
Scale 267
Scale 267: Bobian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBobian
3rd mode:
Scale 2181
Scale 2181: Nemian, Ian Ring Music TheoryNemian
4th mode:
Scale 1569
Scale 1569: Jocian, Ian Ring Music TheoryJocian


The prime form of this scale is Scale 141

Scale 141Scale 141: Babian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBabian


The tetratonic modal family [177, 267, 2181, 1569] (Forte: 4-14) is the complement of the octatonic modal family [759, 1839, 1977, 2427, 2967, 3261, 3531, 3813] (Forte: 8-14)


The inverse of a scale is a reflection using the root as its axis. The inverse of 177 is 417

Scale 417Scale 417: Copian, Ian Ring Music TheoryCopian


Only scales that are chiral will have an enantiomorph. Scale 177 is chiral, and its enantiomorph is scale 417

Scale 417Scale 417: Copian, Ian Ring Music TheoryCopian


In the abbreviation, the subscript number after "T" is the number of semitones of tranposition, "M" means the pitch class is multiplied by 5, and "I" means the result is inverted. Operation is an identical way to express the same thing; the syntax is <a,b> where each tone of the set x is transformed by the equation y = ax + b

Abbrev Operation Result Abbrev Operation Result
T0 <1,0> 177       T0I <11,0> 417
T1 <1,1> 354      T1I <11,1> 834
T2 <1,2> 708      T2I <11,2> 1668
T3 <1,3> 1416      T3I <11,3> 3336
T4 <1,4> 2832      T4I <11,4> 2577
T5 <1,5> 1569      T5I <11,5> 1059
T6 <1,6> 3138      T6I <11,6> 2118
T7 <1,7> 2181      T7I <11,7> 141
T8 <1,8> 267      T8I <11,8> 282
T9 <1,9> 534      T9I <11,9> 564
T10 <1,10> 1068      T10I <11,10> 1128
T11 <1,11> 2136      T11I <11,11> 2256
Abbrev Operation Result Abbrev Operation Result
T0M <5,0> 2307      T0MI <7,0> 2067
T1M <5,1> 519      T1MI <7,1> 39
T2M <5,2> 1038      T2MI <7,2> 78
T3M <5,3> 2076      T3MI <7,3> 156
T4M <5,4> 57      T4MI <7,4> 312
T5M <5,5> 114      T5MI <7,5> 624
T6M <5,6> 228      T6MI <7,6> 1248
T7M <5,7> 456      T7MI <7,7> 2496
T8M <5,8> 912      T8MI <7,8> 897
T9M <5,9> 1824      T9MI <7,9> 1794
T10M <5,10> 3648      T10MI <7,10> 3588
T11M <5,11> 3201      T11MI <7,11> 3081

The transformations that map this set to itself are: T0

Nearby Scales:

These are other scales that are similar to this one, created by adding a tone, removing a tone, or moving one note up or down a semitone.

Scale 179Scale 179: Beyian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBeyian
Scale 181Scale 181: Raga Budhamanohari, Ian Ring Music TheoryRaga Budhamanohari
Scale 185Scale 185: Becian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBecian
Scale 161Scale 161: Raga Sarvasri, Ian Ring Music TheoryRaga Sarvasri
Scale 169Scale 169: Vietnamese Tetratonic, Ian Ring Music TheoryVietnamese Tetratonic
Scale 145Scale 145: Raga Malasri, Ian Ring Music TheoryRaga Malasri
Scale 209Scale 209: Birian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBirian
Scale 241Scale 241: Bilian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBilian
Scale 49Scale 49: Aguian, Ian Ring Music TheoryAguian
Scale 113Scale 113, Ian Ring Music Theory
Scale 305Scale 305: Gonic, Ian Ring Music TheoryGonic
Scale 433Scale 433: Raga Zilaf, Ian Ring Music TheoryRaga Zilaf
Scale 689Scale 689: Raga Nagasvaravali, Ian Ring Music TheoryRaga Nagasvaravali
Scale 1201Scale 1201: Mixolydian Pentatonic, Ian Ring Music TheoryMixolydian Pentatonic
Scale 2225Scale 2225: Ionian Pentatonic, Ian Ring Music TheoryIonian Pentatonic

This scale analysis was created by Ian Ring, Canadian Composer of works for Piano, and total music theory nerd. Scale notation generated by VexFlow, graph visualization by Graphviz, and MIDI playback by MIDI.js. All other diagrams and visualizations are © Ian Ring. Some scale names used on this and other pages are ©2005 William Zeitler ( used with permission.

Pitch spelling algorithm employed here is adapted from a method by Uzay Bora, Baris Tekin Tezel, and Alper Vahaplar. (An algorithm for spelling the pitches of any musical scale) Contact authors Patent owner: Dokuz Eylül University, Used with Permission. Contact TTO

Tons of background resources contributed to the production of this summary; for a list of these peruse this Bibliography. Special thanks to Richard Repp for helping with technical accuracy, and George Howlett for assistance with the Carnatic ragas.