C Maqam Ussāk Scale on the Piano - Improvisation and Composition

Notes: C, D, E, F, G, Ab, and Bb - Key: C - Origin: Iraqian - Category: Octatonic Scales

The C Maqam Ussāk uses eight notes per octave. Because of this same reason it is a member of the so called Octatonic -scales that have Eight-note (or Eight-tone). On the piano keyboard, it is made up of two black keys: Ab, and Bb and five white keys: C, D, E, F, and G. This combination makes this scale - as well as the C Makam Būselik II, C Makam Ēārgāh, and C Makam Hijaz - as great choices for composing or improvising Iraqian music.

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

How to play the C Maqam Ussāk scale?

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