The Exciting Universe Of Music Theory
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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).

Keyboard Diagram

Other diagrams coming soon!

Common Names

Names are messy, inconsistent, polysemic, and non-bijective. If you see a name with lots of citations beside it, that's a good measure of credulity.

• Unsorted

• Major Add 9/9 Mode II[0]
• Dozenal

Name Sources
• [0] Cochrane, Rich: Arpeggio and Scale Resources, a Guitar Encyclopedia. Big Noise Publishing, London UK.
• [1] Pecot, Justin: The Dozenal Standard, 2nd editon. Available from justinpecot.com.

Analysis

Cardinality

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

5 (pentatonic)

Pitch Class Set

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

{0,2,3,6,11}

Forte Number

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

5-16

Rotational Symmetry

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

none

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.

none

Palindromicity

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

no

Chirality

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

yes
enantiomorph: 1603

Hemitonia

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

2 (dihemitonic)

Cohemitonia

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

0 (ancohemitonic)

Imperfections

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.

4

Modes

Modes are the rotational transformations of this scale. This number includes the scale itself, so the number is usually the same as its cardinality; unless there are rotational symmetries then there are fewer modes.

5

Prime Form

Describes if this scale is in prime form, using the Starr/Rahn algorithm.

no
prime: 155

Generator

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

none

Deep Scale

A deep scale is one where the interval vector has 6 different digits, an indicator of maximum hierarchization.

no

Interval Structure

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

[2, 1, 3, 5, 1]

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.

<2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 1>

Proportional Saturation Vector

First described by Michael Buchler (2001), this is a vector showing the prominence of intervals relative to the maximum and minimum possible for the scale's cardinality. A saturation of 0 means the interval is present minimally, a saturation of 1 means it is the maximum possible.

<0.5, 0.25, 0.75, 0.333, 0.25, 0.5>

Interval Spectrum

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

pm2n3sd2t

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> = {1,2,3,5}
<2> = {3,4,6,8}
<3> = {4,6,8,9}
<4> = {7,9,10,11}

Spectra Variation

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

3.6

Maximally Even

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

no

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.

no

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.

1.683

Polygon Perimeter

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

5.381

Myhill Property

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

no

Centre of Gravity Distance

When tones of a scale are imagined as physical objects of equal weight arranged around a unit circle, this is the distance from the center of the circle to the center of gravity for all the tones. A perfectly balanced scale has a CoG distance of zero.

0.38637

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.

none

Propriety

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".

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.

(11, 7, 36)

Coherence Quotient

The Coherence Quotient is a score between 0 and 1, indicating the proportion of coherence failures (ambiguity or contradiction) in the scale, against the maximum possible for a cardinality. A high coherence quotient indicates a less complex scale, whereas a quotient of 0 indicates a maximally complex scale.

0.28

Sameness Quotient

The Sameness Quotient is a score between 0 and 1, indicating the proportion of differences in the heteromorphic profile, against the maximum possible for a cardinality. A higher quotient indicates a less complex scale, whereas a quotient of 0 indicates a scale with maximum complexity.

0.1

Generator

This scale has no generator.

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

Above is a graph showing opportunities for parsimonious voice leading between triads*. Each line connects two triads that have two common tones, while the third tone changes by one generic scale step.

Diameter 2 1 no B c°, bm

Modes

Modes are the rotational transformation of this scale. Scale 2125 can be rotated to make 4 other scales. The 1st mode is itself.

 2nd mode:Scale 1555 JOTian 3rd mode:Scale 2825 RUMian 4th mode:Scale 865 JAHian 5th mode:Scale 155 BAKian This is the prime mode

Prime

The prime form of this scale is Scale 155

 Scale 155 BAKian

Complement

The pentatonic modal family [2125, 1555, 2825, 865, 155] (Forte: 5-16) is the complement of the heptatonic modal family [623, 889, 1939, 2359, 3017, 3227, 3661] (Forte: 7-16)

Inverse

The inverse of a scale is a reflection using the root as its axis. The inverse of 2125 is 1603

 Scale 1603 JUXian

Interval Matrix

Each row is a generic interval, cells contain the specific size of each generic. Useful for identifying contradictions and ambiguities.

Hierarchizability

Based on the work of Niels Verosky, hierarchizability is the measure of repeated patterns with "place-finding" remainder bits, applied recursively to the binary representation of a scale. For a full explanation, read Niels' paper, Hierarchizability as a Predictor of Scale Candidacy. The variable k is the maximum number of remainders allowed at each level of recursion, for them to count as an increment of hierarchizability. A high hierarchizability score is a good indicator of scale candidacy, ie a measure of usefulness for producing pleasing music. There is a strong correlation between scales with maximal hierarchizability and scales that are in popular use in a variety of world musical traditions.

kHierarchizabilityBreakdown PatternDiagram
11101100100001
21101100100001
31101100100001
41101100100001
521(0)11(0)(0)1(0)(0)(0)(0)1

Enantiomorph

Only scales that are chiral will have an enantiomorph. Scale 2125 is chiral, and its enantiomorph is scale 1603

 Scale 1603 JUXian

Center of Gravity

If tones of the scale are imagined as identical physical objects spaced around a unit circle, the center of gravity is the point where the scale is balanced.

Position with origin in the center (0.273205, -0.273205) 0.38637 45 150

Transformations:

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. A note about the multipliers: multiplying by 1 changes nothing, multiplying by 11 produces the same result as inversion. 5 is the only non-degenerate multiplier, with the multiplier 7 producing the inverse of 5.

Abbrev Operation Result Abbrev Operation Result
T0 <1,0> 2125       T0I <11,0> 1603
T1 <1,1> 155      T1I <11,1> 3206
T2 <1,2> 310      T2I <11,2> 2317
T3 <1,3> 620      T3I <11,3> 539
T4 <1,4> 1240      T4I <11,4> 1078
T5 <1,5> 2480      T5I <11,5> 2156
T6 <1,6> 865      T6I <11,6> 217
T7 <1,7> 1730      T7I <11,7> 434
T8 <1,8> 3460      T8I <11,8> 868
T9 <1,9> 2825      T9I <11,9> 1736
T10 <1,10> 1555      T10I <11,10> 3472
T11 <1,11> 3110      T11I <11,11> 2849
Abbrev Operation Result Abbrev Operation Result
T0M <5,0> 1225      T0MI <7,0> 613
T1M <5,1> 2450      T1MI <7,1> 1226
T2M <5,2> 805      T2MI <7,2> 2452
T3M <5,3> 1610      T3MI <7,3> 809
T4M <5,4> 3220      T4MI <7,4> 1618
T5M <5,5> 2345      T5MI <7,5> 3236
T6M <5,6> 595      T6MI <7,6> 2377
T7M <5,7> 1190      T7MI <7,7> 659
T8M <5,8> 2380      T8MI <7,8> 1318
T9M <5,9> 665      T9MI <7,9> 2636
T10M <5,10> 1330      T10MI <7,10> 1177
T11M <5,11> 2660      T11MI <7,11> 2354

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 2127 NAFian Scale 2121 Diminished Major Seventh Scale 2123 NACian Scale 2117 Raga Sumukam Scale 2133 Raga Kumurdaki Scale 2141 NANian Scale 2157 NEXian Scale 2061 MORian Scale 2093 MULian Scale 2189 Zagitonic Scale 2253 Raga Amarasenapriya Scale 2381 Takemitsu Linea 1 Scale 2637 Raga Ranjani Scale 3149 Phrycrimic Scale 77 Harmonic Minor Tetrachord Scale 1101 Blues Phrygian 4

This scale analysis was created by Ian Ring, Canadian Composer of works for Piano, and total music theory nerd. Scale notation generated by Lilypond, graph visualization by Graphviz, audio by TiMIDIty and FFMPEG. All other diagrams and visualizations are © Ian Ring. Some scale names used on this and other pages were invented by living persons, and used here with permission where required.

Pitch spelling algorithm employed here is adapted from a method by Uzay Bora, Baris Tekin Tezel, and Alper Vahaplar. (DOI, Patent owner: Dokuz Eylül University, Used with Permission.

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 naming the Carnatic ragas. Thanks to Niels Verosky for collaborating on the Hierarchizability diagrams. Thanks to u/howaboot for inventing the Center of Gravity metrics.