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Scale 227: "Bician"

Scale 227: Bician, 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.

5 (pentatonic)

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: 2273


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

3 (trihemitonic)


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

1 (uncohemitonic)


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: 199


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.

[1, 4, 1, 1, 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.

<3, 1, 0, 1, 3, 2>

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

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, 8, 30)

Common Triads

There are no common triads (major, minor, augmented and diminished) that can be formed using notes in this scale.


Modes are the rotational transformation of this scale. Scale 227 can be rotated to make 4 other scales. The 1st mode is itself.

2nd mode:
Scale 2161
Scale 2161: Nezian, Ian Ring Music TheoryNezian
3rd mode:
Scale 391
Scale 391: Ciyian, Ian Ring Music TheoryCiyian
4th mode:
Scale 2243
Scale 2243: Noyian, Ian Ring Music TheoryNoyian
5th mode:
Scale 3169
Scale 3169: Tupian, Ian Ring Music TheoryTupian


The prime form of this scale is Scale 199

Scale 199Scale 199: Raga Nabhomani, Ian Ring Music TheoryRaga Nabhomani


The pentatonic modal family [227, 2161, 391, 2243, 3169] (Forte: 5-7) is the complement of the heptatonic modal family [463, 967, 2279, 2531, 3187, 3313, 3641] (Forte: 7-7)


The inverse of a scale is a reflection using the root as its axis. The inverse of 227 is 2273

Scale 2273Scale 2273: Nurian, Ian Ring Music TheoryNurian


Only scales that are chiral will have an enantiomorph. Scale 227 is chiral, and its enantiomorph is scale 2273

Scale 2273Scale 2273: Nurian, Ian Ring Music TheoryNurian


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> 227       T0I <11,0> 2273
T1 <1,1> 454      T1I <11,1> 451
T2 <1,2> 908      T2I <11,2> 902
T3 <1,3> 1816      T3I <11,3> 1804
T4 <1,4> 3632      T4I <11,4> 3608
T5 <1,5> 3169      T5I <11,5> 3121
T6 <1,6> 2243      T6I <11,6> 2147
T7 <1,7> 391      T7I <11,7> 199
T8 <1,8> 782      T8I <11,8> 398
T9 <1,9> 1564      T9I <11,9> 796
T10 <1,10> 3128      T10I <11,10> 1592
T11 <1,11> 2161      T11I <11,11> 3184
Abbrev Operation Result Abbrev Operation Result
T0M <5,0> 2147      T0MI <7,0> 2243
T1M <5,1> 199      T1MI <7,1> 391
T2M <5,2> 398      T2MI <7,2> 782
T3M <5,3> 796      T3MI <7,3> 1564
T4M <5,4> 1592      T4MI <7,4> 3128
T5M <5,5> 3184      T5MI <7,5> 2161
T6M <5,6> 2273      T6MI <7,6> 227
T7M <5,7> 451      T7MI <7,7> 454
T8M <5,8> 902      T8MI <7,8> 908
T9M <5,9> 1804      T9MI <7,9> 1816
T10M <5,10> 3608      T10MI <7,10> 3632
T11M <5,11> 3121      T11MI <7,11> 3169

The transformations that map this set to itself are: T0, T6MI

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 225Scale 225: Bibian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBibian
Scale 229Scale 229: Bidian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBidian
Scale 231Scale 231: Bifian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBifian
Scale 235Scale 235: Bihian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBihian
Scale 243Scale 243: Bomian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBomian
Scale 195Scale 195: Messiaen Truncated Mode 5, Ian Ring Music TheoryMessiaen Truncated Mode 5
Scale 211Scale 211: Bisian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBisian
Scale 163Scale 163: Bapian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBapian
Scale 99Scale 99: Iprian, Ian Ring Music TheoryIprian
Scale 355Scale 355: Aeoloritonic, Ian Ring Music TheoryAeoloritonic
Scale 483Scale 483: Kygimic, Ian Ring Music TheoryKygimic
Scale 739Scale 739: Rorimic, Ian Ring Music TheoryRorimic
Scale 1251Scale 1251: Sylimic, Ian Ring Music TheorySylimic
Scale 2275Scale 2275: Messiaen Mode 5, Ian Ring Music TheoryMessiaen Mode 5

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.