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Scale 257: "Minor Sixth Ditone"

Scale 257: Minor Sixth Ditone, 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

Minor Sixth Ditone



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

2 (ditonic)

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.



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

0 (anhemitonic)


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: 17


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

generator: 4
origin: 8

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.

[8, 4]

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.

<0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 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> = {4,8}

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".

Strictly Proper

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.

(0, 0, 1)


This scale has a generator of 4, originating on 8.

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 257 can be rotated to make 1 other scales. The 1st mode is itself.

2nd mode:
Scale 17
Scale 17: Major Third Ditone, Ian Ring Music TheoryMajor Third DitoneThis is the prime mode


The prime form of this scale is Scale 17

Scale 17Scale 17: Major Third Ditone, Ian Ring Music TheoryMajor Third Ditone


The ditonic modal family [257, 17] (Forte: 2-4) is the complement of the decatonic modal family [1919, 2039, 3007, 3067, 3551, 3581, 3823, 3959, 4027, 4061] (Forte: 10-4)


The inverse of a scale is a reflection using the root as its axis. The inverse of 257 is 17

Scale 17Scale 17: Major Third Ditone, Ian Ring Music TheoryMajor Third Ditone


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> 257       T0I <11,0> 17
T1 <1,1> 514      T1I <11,1> 34
T2 <1,2> 1028      T2I <11,2> 68
T3 <1,3> 2056      T3I <11,3> 136
T4 <1,4> 17      T4I <11,4> 272
T5 <1,5> 34      T5I <11,5> 544
T6 <1,6> 68      T6I <11,6> 1088
T7 <1,7> 136      T7I <11,7> 2176
T8 <1,8> 272      T8I <11,8> 257
T9 <1,9> 544      T9I <11,9> 514
T10 <1,10> 1088      T10I <11,10> 1028
T11 <1,11> 2176      T11I <11,11> 2056
Abbrev Operation Result Abbrev Operation Result
T0M <5,0> 17      T0MI <7,0> 257
T1M <5,1> 34      T1MI <7,1> 514
T2M <5,2> 68      T2MI <7,2> 1028
T3M <5,3> 136      T3MI <7,3> 2056
T4M <5,4> 272      T4MI <7,4> 17
T5M <5,5> 544      T5MI <7,5> 34
T6M <5,6> 1088      T6MI <7,6> 68
T7M <5,7> 2176      T7MI <7,7> 136
T8M <5,8> 257       T8MI <7,8> 272
T9M <5,9> 514      T9MI <7,9> 544
T10M <5,10> 1028      T10MI <7,10> 1088
T11M <5,11> 2056      T11MI <7,11> 2176

The transformations that map this set to itself are: T0, T8I, T8M, T0MI

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 259Scale 259: Gijian, Ian Ring Music TheoryGijian
Scale 261Scale 261: Bozian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBozian
Scale 265Scale 265: Boxian, Ian Ring Music TheoryBoxian
Scale 273Scale 273: Augmented Triad, Ian Ring Music TheoryAugmented Triad
Scale 289Scale 289: Valian, Ian Ring Music TheoryValian
Scale 321Scale 321: Cahian, Ian Ring Music TheoryCahian
Scale 385Scale 385: Civian, Ian Ring Music TheoryCivian
Scale 1Scale 1: Unison, Ian Ring Music TheoryUnison
Scale 129Scale 129: Niagari, Ian Ring Music TheoryNiagari
Scale 513Scale 513: Major Sixth Ditone, Ian Ring Music TheoryMajor Sixth Ditone
Scale 769Scale 769: Enbian, Ian Ring Music TheoryEnbian
Scale 1281Scale 1281: Huqian, Ian Ring Music TheoryHuqian
Scale 2305Scale 2305: Ollian, Ian Ring Music TheoryOllian

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.