Chinese Scales

As implied by its name, this scale is suitable for playing Chinese music (see also the Oriental Scale). The Chinese scales are sometimes used in jazz improvisation.

The Chinese Scale has a quite uncommon feature in the two quadra-steps: first to second note and fourth to fifth note. Another peculiar detail is that a harmony note is added to every single note in the scale (see below).

C

C Chinese scale diagram
Notes: C, E, F#, G, B, C

C# / Db

C# Chinese scale diagram
Notes: Db, F, G, Ab, C, Db

D

D Chinese scale diagram
Notes: D, F#, G#, A, C#, D

D# /Eb

D# Chinese scale diagram
Notes: Eb, G, A, Bb, D, Eb

E

E Chinese scale diagram
Notes: E, G#, A#, B, D#, E

F

F Chinese scale diagram
Notes: F, A, B, C, E, F

F# / Gb

F# Chinese scale diagram
Notes: F#, A#, B#, C#, E#, F#

G

G Chinese scale diagram
Notes: G, B, C#, D, F#, G

G# / Ab

G# Chinese scale diagram
Notes: Ab, C, D, Eb, G, Ab

A

A Chinese scale diagram
Notes: A, C#, D#, E, G#, A

A# / Bb

A# Chinese scale diagram
Notes: Bb, D, E, F, A, Bb

B

B Chinese scale diagram
Notes: B, D#, E#, F#, A#, B

Chinese Scales overview
C: C, E, F#, G, B, C
C#/Db: Db, F, G, Ab, C, Db
D: D, F#, G#, A, C#, D
D#/Eb: Eb, G, A, Bb, D, Eb
E: E, G#, A#, B, D#, E
F: F, A, B, C, E, F
F#/Gb: F#, A#, B#, C#, E#, F#
G: G, B, C#, D, F#, G
G#/Ab: Ab, C, D, Eb, G, Ab
A: A, C#, D#, E, G#, A
A#/Bb: Bb, D, E, F, A, Bb
B: B, D#, E#, F#, A#, B

Intervals: 1, 3, #4, 5, 7
Semi-notes: 4 - 2 - 1 - 4 - 1
Formula: Quadra-step, Whole, Half, Quadra-step, Half

Extra harmony notes

The Chinese Scales can be played with harmony added to every note. This is how it looks in the key of C:
notes of harmonized chinese scales

The tonality in Chinese music differs from the Western world, and they also have another note system with numerical notation. A link for further reading on tonality and scales in Chinese Music.

Mongolian Scale

The Mongolian Scale, also known as the Chinese Mongolian Scale, is something you want to learn as well if you study Chinese music. The Mongolian Scale is actually exactly the same as the Major Pentatonic Scale with the interval 1, 2, 3, 5, 6. Therefore, C Mongolian consists of C, D, E, G and A.

Source: Medianmusic.com