*Scales: Oriental Scales

Oriental scales are interesting to practice because of the interesting sound the oriental scale makes. Western ears are unaccustomed to oriental scales causing them to have a unique sound not normally found in popular music.

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. The oriental scale will sound abnormal to the unaccustomed Western ear. It sounds completely different than any of the popular songs currently being produced.

The oriental scale is difficult to become accustomed to and will initially sound a bit off. It’s unlike any scales that we normally use and hear. An example is below of the C oriental scale.

oriental scales

(C Oriental Scale)

Play the above scale and listen for the foreign sounds. If you are from Europe or America, then it will most likely sound strange to your ear. If you’re from China or Taiwan, then the scale will probably sound normal to you.

It’s interesting how the same sounds can ‘sound’ completely different to different people. This is the reason people have different tastes in music.

Personally, I haven’t tried the oriental scale in any of my compositions. I have played around with it and love the exotic sound that it resembles. I would recommend playing the oriental scales and become accustomed to the flavorful sound that is produced.