Is this a scale?

I took the major scale, shifted the root and the second down a half step, the fourth up a half step, and the seventh down a half step. Is this a scale or just a sequence of random notes that I think sound great?

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Not a major or minor scale and…
From what you said…
Cb Db E F# G A B

…you can’t mix sharps and flats so you would need to actually lower 5th…
Cb Db E F Gb A B

Now it could be some other fancy scale I am not smart enough to know about, or, it can just be the “Janus Scale”.


I wouldn’t advise to shift the root because it is your reference point and you want to keep that “steady”.

Of course, it is all relative, so we could re-write as (and keep the distances intact)

C - D - E# - F## - G# - A# - B

(distances: W - W+ - W - H - W - H - H (with W+ = 3 half-steps))

But, that would be a different scale from what Janus had… Also, while probably true that you can’t mix sharps and flats, you CAN mix raised and lowered degrees (i.e., #4 and b7).

@Janus: it is some funky scale, but I don’t know either what it would be called…

I used E# and F## because for a “normal” heptatonic scale, you need ALL of the letters (ABCDEFG) to be present. However, if you think outside of strict heptatonic scales and disregard that letter rule, you could write:

C - D - F - G - Ab - Bb - B

Now, it’s really the bebop harmonic minor scale without the b3 degree :wink:


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


This is probably the right way to think about it because no other scale or mode (that I know of anyway) has adjacent intervals a minor third apart :slight_smile:


A scale is a random sequence of notes that people use / think sound good.
You made a scale!

It’s not a traditional scale because you have a note left out from our western system. By moving the root down, you’ve essentially turned scale degree 7 of the major scale into the new root (the new 1).


B C# E F# G A B

It’s a B minor scale (or aeolean mode) without a D. It’s really cool for that, since the D is the thing that would be the most harmonically charged. It’s the note that really makes the mode minor.
So by eliminating it, you end up with a much more floaty, ambiguous sounding series of notes.

It may have a name, but who cares? I say name it the @Janus mode and play the hell out of it.


One of my noodles is actually more or less this, m6-5-1-4. Still sounds “minor” due to the m6 but not as strongly as if the m3 had been there. It’s kind of neat.