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C Insen Scale on the Piano - Improvisation and Composition

Notes: C, Db, F, G, Ab, and Bb - Key: C - Origin: Japanese - Category: Heptatonic Scales

The C Insen uses seven notes per octave. Because of this same reason it is a member of the so called Heptatonic -scales that have Seven-note (or Seven-tone). On the piano keyboard, it is made up of three black keys: Db, Ab, and Bb and three white keys: C, F, and G. This combination makes this scale - as well as the C Akebono I, C Akebono II, and C Banshikicho - as great choices for composing or improvising Japanese music.

If we take a look a the key signature of the C Insen Scale we can find it has three flats and no sharps. Therefore, on sheet music you will find three accidentals on the score. The notes of this scale are: C, Db, F, G, Ab, and Bb.

How to play the C Insen scale?

  1. 1
    To play the C Insen 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, F, G, Ab, and Bb.
  3. 3
    Return to the home of the C Insen 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, Ab, G, F, and Db.
  3. 3
    Reach the home again. Establish tonality by playing the tonic of the C Insen scale: C.
  4. 4
    Tip. If you want to learn how to improvise or compose your own music using the C Insen 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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