Scales are the foundation that compositions are built upon. Generally when a composition is one key, it remains in that key for the duration of the compositions. However, there are some exceptions where the composition has a key change in the middle of the piece resulting in an emotional change for the listeners. The type of scale you base your composition is important and can change the overall ambiance your composition exudes. Hungarian minor scales exude an exotic, romantic ambiance to Western listeners.
The Hungarian minor scale is similar to the harmonic minor scale, except that it bears a raised fourth. The Hungarian minor scale is played excessively in Eastern music, such as gypsy music.
The Hungarian minor scale can also be derived from the Arabic scale. If you were to start the Arabic scale starting on the fourth tone, then you would arrive at the Hungarian scale. In other words, the C Hungarian minor scale below is equivalent to the G Arabic scale.
The relation between the Hungarian minor scale and the Arabic scale is similar to how major and minor scales are related. For example, C major is the same as A minor, except for the starting tone.
(C Hungarian minor scale)
Notice the raised fourth above. I’ve used the Hungarian minor scale in conjunction with the Arabian scale and the minor scale in my song titled Almost Arabian. Be sure to listen for the eastern sounds.
The Hungarian minor scale is great to add Easter exotic flavor to any of your compositions, simply sprinkle in a few raised fourths and minor third jumps. It also makes your compositions appear more professional, complex, and very different from the traditional popular songs.
The created difference by incorporating the Hungarian minor scale can either be a good thing or a bad thing. It’ll make your music distinct and stand out more among the masses, but people may not take to it as quickly, because it’s unexpected. Regardless, I think it’s important to try new scales out. So, if you have not tried using Hungarian minor scales in your compositions, give it a shot. You might be surprised at the neat melodies you can find.