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C Makam Hijaz Scale on the Piano - Improvisation and Composition

Notes: C, Db, E, F, G, Ab, Bb, and B - Key: C - Origin: Iraqian - Category: Nonatonic or Ennatonic Scales

The C Makam Hijaz 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 three black keys: Db, Ab, and Bb and five white keys: C, E, F, G, and B. This combination makes this scale - as well as the C Makam Būselik II, C Makam Ēārgāh, and C Makam Rast - as great choices for composing or improvising Iraqian music.

If we take a look a the key signature of the C Makam Hijaz 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, E, F, G, Ab, Bb, and B.

How to play the C Makam Hijaz scale?

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