C "Half-Whole step" Scale on the Piano - Improvisation and Composition

Notes: C, Db, Eb, E, F#, G, A, and Bb - Key: C - Category: Nonatonic or Ennatonic Scales

The C "Half-Whole step" uses nine notes per octave. Because of this same reason it is a member of the so called Nonatonic or Ennatonic -scales that have Nine-note (or Nine-tone). On the piano keyboard, it is made up of four black keys: Db, Eb, F#, and Bb and four white keys: C, E, G, and A. This combination makes this scale - as well as the C Prometheus, C Prometheus Liszt, and C Prometheus Neapolitan - as great choices for composing or improvising music.

If we take a look a the key signature of the C "Half-Whole step" Scale we can find it has three flats and one sharps. Therefore, on sheet music you will find four accidentals on the score. The notes of this scale are: C, Db, Eb, E, F#, G, A, and Bb.

How to play the C "Half-Whole step" scale?

  1. 1
    To play the C "Half-Whole step" on your piano, start on the Root note. Play C, the first note of the scale.
  2. 2
    Continue with rest of the notes that shape the scale, play Db, Eb, E, F#, G, A, and Bb.
  3. 3
    Return to the home of the C "Half-Whole step" scale. Play again C -the tonic of the scale- to mark its ending.

How to play the scale in descending fashion?

  1. 1
    Begin on the last note. Play the C, the last (and first) note of the scale.
  2. 2
    Go down. Play Bb, A, G, F#, E, Eb, and Db.
  3. 3
    Reach the home again. Establish tonality by playing the tonic of the C "Half-Whole step" scale: C.
  4. 4
    Tip. If you want to learn how to improvise or compose your own music using the C "Half-Whole step" scale or any other scale, check out our piano improvisation and composition lessons and enjoy thousands of interactive multimedia piano animations.
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