Hungarian scale

Recall that we defined scale as:
a group of notes within an octave (and any octaves of those notes) usually played one at a time.

We can describe (define) a scale in any of these ways:
- by letters (representing specific pitches)
- by numbers (representing specific intervals)
- by step pattern (describing intervals from note to note)

So for example the major scale (ionian mode) can be described/ defined as/by: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C (in the key of C), 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and W-W-1/2-W-W-W-1/2.

We define a major scale as a scale containing the notes (intervals) 1,3,5.
(In other words, using the notes in the scale we can construct a major chord off the root note)

We define a minor scale as a scale containing the notes (intervals) 1,b3,5.
(In other words, using the notes in the scale we can construct a minor chord off the root note)

From either hungarian = m3-1/2-W-1/2-W-1/2-W, or A-Hungarian = A-C-C#-D#-E-F#-G-A we can find the intervals (from the root note) to be 1,b3,3,#4,5,6,b7.

Looking at the numbers, we can deduce that the Hungarian scale is a minor scale (not THE minor scale everyone talks about - that would be the aeolian mode, but a minor scale none-the-less). that is, it contains the notes 1,b3,5. We can also deduce that the Hungarian scale is a major scale (not THE major scale everyone talks about - that would be the ionian mode, but a major scale none-the-less). that is, it contains the notes 1,3,5.

Although the Hungarian Scale isn't the first majorb5 scale we've run into, it is the first majorb5 maternal scale we've discussed.


Other majorb5 scales we've looked at include:
Lydian = W-W-W-1/2-W-W-1/2 = 1,2,3,#4,5,6,7
Lydian#2 = m3-1/2-W-1/2-W-W-1/2 = 1,#2,3,#4,5,6,7 (from H.min)
Super Locrianbb7 = 1/2-W-1/2-W-W-1/2-m3 = 1,b2,b3,b4,b5,b6,bb7
Lydian Augment = W-W-W-W-1/2-W-1/2 = 1,2,3,#4,#5,6,7 (from M.min)
Oriental = 1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-m3-1/2-W = 1,b2,3,4,b5,6,b7 (from G.min)
6thmode of Gyp.min. = m3-1/2-W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2 = 1,#2,3,#4,5,#6,7
2nd mode hung = 1/2-W-1/2-W-1/2-W-m3 = 1,b2,b3,3,#4,5,6
4th mode hung = 1/2-W-1/2-W-m3-1/2-W = 1,b2,b3,3,b5,6,b7
Enigmatic = 1/2-m3-W-W-W-1/2-1/2 = 1,b2,3,#4,#5,#6,7
3rd mode enig = W-W-W-1/2-1/2-1/2-m3 = 1,2,3,#4,5,b6,6
4th mode enig = W-W-1/2-1/2-1/2-m3-W = 1,2,3,4,b5,5,b7
Every mode of neapolitan except Neapolitan!!!
Leading Whole tone = W-W-W-W-W-1/2-1/2 = 1,2,3,#4,#5,#6,7
= W-W-W-W-1/2-1/2-W = 1,2,3,#4,#5,6,b7
Lydian Minor = W-W-W-1/2-1/2-W-W = 1,2,3,#4,5,b6,b7
Arabian (Major Locrian) = W-W-1/2-1/2-W-W-W = 1,2,3,4,b5,b6,b7
= W-1/2-1/2-W-W-W-W = 1,2,b3,b4,b5,b6,b7
= 1/2-1/2-W-W-W-W-W = 1,b2,2,3,b5,b6,b7
2nd mode neamin = W-W-W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2 = 1,2,3,#4,5,b7,7
3rd mode neamin = W-W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-W = 1,2,3,4,#5,6,b7
5th mode neamin = 1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-W-W-W = 1,b2,3,4,b5,b6,b7
7th mode neamin = 1/2-1/2-W-W-W-1/2-m3 = 1,b2,2,3,#4,#5,6
4th mode Bop = W-W-1/2-1/2-1/2-W-W-1/2 = 1,2,3,4,b5,5,6,7
7th mode Bop = 1/2-1/2-W-W-1/2-W-W-1/2 = 1,b2,2,3,#4/b5,5,6,7

We also note that it is similar to THE lydianb7 scale (a mode of melodic minor). The lydianb7 mode has the intervals 1,2,3,#4,5,6,b7; and the Hungarian scale has the intervals 1,b3,3,#4,5,6,b7. So we could view the Hungarian scale as an Lydianb7 with an augmented second (an augmented second in place of a major second). We can use this idea as a stepping stone to learning the scale. If you already know the Lydianb7 scale, then you could play those patterns , replacing the 2 with the #2(b3). This idea of thinking of one scale as being another scale with altered notes (e.g. ionianb7, lydianb7, etc.) or with missing notes (e.g. pentatonic major, etc.) occurs from time to time, and may give some perspective/context/comfort in learning new scales. So we could think of Hungarian as Lydianb7 #2, etc. if we wanted to.

So lets look at some patterns (moveable shapes) with which we can play the Hungarian scale.

|-1|--|--|b3|-3|--|#4|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|
|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|--|--|b3|-3|--|#4|-5|
|b3|-3|--|#4|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|--|--|b3|
|b7|--|-1|--|--|b3|-3|--|#4|-5|--|-6|b7|
|--|#4|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|--|--|b3|-3|--|
|-1|--|--|b3|-3|--|#4|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|

Hungarian scale "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|---|-1-|---|---|b3-|
|#4-|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|
|---|b3-|-3-|---|---|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|-3-|---|#4-|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|---|---|b3-|

Hungarian scale "D-shape" (root note on the 4th string)

|---|---|b3-|-3-|---|#4-|
|---|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|-3-|---|#4-|-5-|---|---|
|---|-1-|---|---|b3-|---|
|#4-|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|---|
|---|---|b3-|-3-|---|---|

Hungarian scale "C-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|-3-|---|#4-|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|---|---|b3-|
|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|---|
|---|b3-|-3-|---|#4-|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|---|---|#4-|-5-|---|

Hungarian scale "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|#4-|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|
|---|---|b3-|-3-|---|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|-3-|---|#4-|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|---|---|b3-|
|#4-|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|

Hungarian scale "G-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|---|---|#4-|-5-|---|
|-1-|---|---|b3-|-3-|
|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|---|
|---|b3-|-3-|---|#4-|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|

We recall, that we can derive chords by harmonizing scales. We've previously harmonized the major scale in thirds to get triads, and seventh chords (see August 19th's, and august 16th's lessons)

two adjacent strings:
Seperated by a P4

|---|---|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|
|-1-|---|---|b3-|-3-|---|#4-|---|

seperated by a M3

|---|---|---|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|
|-1-|---|---|b3-|-3-|---|#4-|---|---|

We found for the major scale (ionian mode) The following triads:
I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viio
and for the minor scale (aeolian mode)
i-iio-bIII-iv-V-bVI-bVII

We can create "hungarian scale" progressions. Doing so will give us a framework to analyze songs, and find good opportunities to employ the hungarian scale. it's also good practice for songwriting, etc.

We see above the following chords for Hungarian:
in triads: I-#iio-iiio-#ivo-v#5-vi-bVII+sus4
in 7th chords: I7-#ii6b5-iiimaj7b5-#iv7b5-v7#5-vi7-bVIImaj7#5sus4
in 9th chords: I7#9-#ii6b9b5-iiimaj9b5-#iv7b9b5-v9#5-vi7b9-bVIImaj9#5sus4
in 11th chords: I7#11#9-#ii6b11b9b5-iiimaj11b5-#IV7#9b9b5-v11#5-vi7#11b9-bVIImaj9#11#5sus4
in 13th chords: I13#11#9-#II6#11#9b9-iiimaj11b13b5-#IV13#9b9b5-v13#5-vi13#11b9-bVIImaj13#11#5sus4

So we could take any of the chords in the above paragraph and create a hungarian progression out of it. We really should include some type of I chord (I, I7, I7sus#4, I7#9, etc.) and it should be the predominant chord in our progression, with a feeling of resolution when we come back to it.

Take a minute to compare and contrast the chords from the hungarian, and Lydianb7 scales.
Hungarian = I-#iio-iiio-#ivo-v#5-vi-bVII+sus4
Lydianb7 = I-iio-iiio-#iv-v-VI+-bVII

They share the following chords (triads) in common: i,iiio.
Creating a progression using only these chords would be slightly ambiguous, and could be interpreted as either hungarian or lydianb7. In fact, such a progression would be a good one to record (or have a friend play) and solo over to uderstand the subtle differences between lydianb7 and hungarian (try switching from I-hungarian to I-lydianb7 and back, etc. over such a progression and see what different moods are created).

If on the other hand, you want to create a progression that has a more hungarian character, you should include at least one of the other 5 chords (#iio,#ivo,v#5,vi,or bVII+sus4) not found in lydianb7.

Where/when does one usually decide to use gypsy minor?
- some would use it over the V7 chord in the minor scale/key context (play i-hungarian over V7), or over V7b5 chord
- over several chords that fit within a hungarian context (see above chords for hungarian). ex. over A-F#m-Co (I-vi-#iio) you could play A-hungarian.
- over a related modal progression, use the relative gypsy minor scale.
- over a fully diminished seven chord
- Anywhere you might use a diminished scale (1/2-W scale).

Due to the slightly chromatic nature of the scale, we could employ other harmonization schemes to some advantage. For example, looking at chords built off the 1-chord (I, I7, etc.) we have the possibilities of 5,and b5. So we can create chords like I,Ib5, I7, I7b5, I7b5#9, etc. With the 3-chord the possibilities are choices among b5,#5 leading to possibilities such as iiio, iii+5, III+5sus4 etc.

We can increase our familiarity by singing every note as we practice our scales/soloing. In previous lessons on scales i've given some basic pointers on starting to solo. Those things transfer here too. Just replace the scale in question with the hungarian scale (see lessons from May 24th, june 7th, july 5th, and august 2nd).

We take a brief look at the modes of the Hungarian scale. If you're not sure what modes are how to find them, how to use them, etc. Go back to the lessons on modes and come back to this part of the lesson when you've fully understood those concepts. For those who are up to speed, the following is a brief summary of the modes of the Hungarian scale, and an opportunity to put you're knowledge of scales and modes to the test. Homework at bottom, but also take one of these scales and go through the "create your own scale lesson" excercise.

Modes of the Hungarian scale

hungarian = m3-1/2-W-1/2-W-1/2-W = 1,b3,3,#4,5,6,b7
2nd mode of hung = 1/2-W-1/2-W-1/2-W-m3 = 1,b2,b3,3,#4,5,6
3rd mode of hung = W-1/2-W-1/2-W-m3-1/2 = 1,2,b3,4,b5,b6,7
4th mode of hung = 1/2-W-1/2-W-m3-1/2-W = 1,b2,b3,3,b5,6,b7
5th mode of hung = W-1/2-W-m3-1/2-W-1/2 = 1,2,b3,4,#5,6,7
6th mode of hung = 1/2-W-m3-1/2-W-1/2-W = 1,b2,b3,b5,5,6,b7
7th mode of hung = W-m3-1/2-W-1/2-W-1/2 = 1,2,4,b5,#5,6,b7

2nd mode of Hungarian scale
has the step pattern 1/2-W-1/2-W-1/2-W-m3
and the intervals 1,b2,b3,3,#4,5,6.
can be harmonized to give the following triads:
io-biio-biiio-iii#5-#iv-V+sus4-VI

It is diminished scale (with a fully diminished seven chord built off its root note).

2nd mode of Hungarian scale "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|
|#4-|-5-|---|-6-|---|
|---|b3-|-3-|---|---|
|-6-|---|---|-1-|b2-|
|-3-|---|#4-|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|

2nd mode of Hungarian scale "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|#4-|-5-|---|-6-|---|
|b2-|---|b3-|-3-|---|
|-6-|---|---|-1-|---|
|-3-|---|#4-|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|
|#4-|-5-|---|-6-|---|

3rd mode of Hungarian scale
has the step pattern W-1/2-W-1/2-W-m3-1/2
and the intervals 1,2,b3,4,b5,b6,7.
can be harmonized to give the following triads:
io-iio-biii#5-iv-bV+sus4-bVI-viio

It is diminished scale.

3rd mode of Hungarian scale "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|
|b5-|---|b6-|---|---|
|-2-|b3-|---|-4-|---|
|---|---|-7-|-1-|---|
|---|-4-|b5-|---|b6-|
|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|

3rd mode of Hungarian scale "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|b5-|---|b6-|---|---|
|---|-2-|b3-|---|-4-|
|---|---|-7-|-1-|---|
|---|-4-|b5-|---|b6-|
|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|
|b5-|---|b6-|---|---|

4th mode of Hungarian scale
has the step pattern 1/2-W-1/2-W-m3-1/2-W
and the intervals 1,b2,b3,3,b5,6,b7.
can be harmonized to give the following triads:
io-bii#5-biii-III+sus4-bV-vio-bviio

It is diminished scale (with a half-diminished seven chord built off its root note).

4th mode of Hungarian scale "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|
|b5-|---|---|-6-|b7-|
|---|b3-|-3-|---|---|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|b2-|
|-3-|---|b5-|---|---|
|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|

4th mode of Hungarian scale "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|b5-|---|---|-6-|b7-|
|---|---|b3-|-3-|---|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|b2-|
|-3-|---|b5-|---|---|
|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|
|b5-|---|---|-6-|b7-|

5th mode of Hungarian scale
has the step pattern W-1/2-W-m3-1/2-W-1/2
and the intervals 1,2,b3,4,#5,6,7.
can be harmonized to give the following triads:
i#5-ii-bIII+sus4-IV-#vio-vio-viio

It is minor#5 scale.

5th mode of Hungarian scale "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|
|---|---|#5-|-6-|---|
|-2-|b3-|---|-4-|---|
|-6-|---|-7-|-1-|---|
|---|-4-|---|---|#5-|
|---|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|

5th mode of Hungarian scale "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|---|---|#5-|-6-|---|
|---|-2-|b3-|---|-4-|
|-6-|---|-7-|-1-|---|
|---|-4-|---|---|#5-|
|---|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|
|---|---|#5-|-6-|---|

6th mode of Hungarian scale
has the step pattern 1/2-W-m3-1/2-W-1/2-W
and the intervals 1,b2,b3,b5,5,6,b7.
can be harmonized to give the following triads:
i-bII+sus4-bIII-bvo-vo-vio-bvii#5

It is a minor scale (with a minor seven chord built off its root note).

6th mode of Hungarian scale "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|
|b5-|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|
|---|b3-|---|---|---|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|b2-|
|---|---|b5-|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|

6th mode of Hungarian scale "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|b5-|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|
|---|---|b3-|---|---|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|b2-|
|---|---|b5-|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|
|b5-|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|

7th mode of Hungarian scale
has the step pattern W-m3-1/2-W-1/2-W-1/2
and the intervals 1,2,4,b5,#5,6,b7.
can be harmonized to give the following triads:
I+sus4-II-ivo-bvo-#vo-vi#5-bvii

It is suspended augment scale (with a seven sharp five suspend four chord built off its root note).

7th mode of Hungarian scale "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|---|-1-|---|-2-|---|
|b5-|---|#5-|-6-|b7-|
|-2-|---|---|-4-|---|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|---|-4-|b5-|---|#5-|
|---|-1-|---|-2-|---|

7th mode of Hungarian scale "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|b5-|---|#5-|-6-|b7-|
|---|-2-|---|---|-4-|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|---|-4-|b5-|---|#5-|
|---|-1-|---|-2-|---|
|b5-|---|#5-|-6-|b7-|

I leave it as an exercise for the student to determine the extensions of the chords for the modes as well as other positions, and to analyze the scales further.

Next weeks lesson is on the Enigmatic scale.

Peace,
Christopher Roberts
snglstringtheory@aol.com

How do I change all those numbers to letters (for notes, chords, etc.)? Here's a transposition chart simianmoon.com/snglstringtheory/guitar/8theory3.html

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Last updated December 18, 2003
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