Symmetric Scales

What is a Symmetric Scale?

Symmetric scales consists of repeated symmetric intervals. The octave is divided in equal parts. The four most important symmetric scales are :

The Chromatic Scale :

The octave is divided in 12 equal parts, it is formed by a succession of half-tones, there is only one chromatic scale, it contains 12 notes.

C chromatic scale C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B


The Whole Tone Scale :

The whole tone scale is an hexatonic scale, it contains six notes. The octave is divided into six equal parts formed by a serie of whole tones. There are only two whole tone scales.

C whole tone scale C D E F# G# A#


Db whole tone scale Db Eb F G A B


The Diminished Scales :

There are two modes depending on whether we start with a tone or a half tone and only three scales for each mode.

  • The Whole half diminished scale (also called diminished scale) :
C diminished scale C D Eb F Gb Ab A B
Formula 1 9 b3 11 b5 b13 or #5 13 7


  • The half whole diminished scale (also dominant diminished scale) :
C Dominant diminished scale C Db D# E F# G A Bb
Formula 1 b9 #9 3 #11 5 13 b7


The Augmented Scale :

It is formed by musical cells that contains a minor third & a semi-tone.

C augmented scale  C D# E G Ab B
Formula 1 b3 3 5 #5 or b13 7