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C Moorish Phrygian Scale on the Piano - Improvisation and Composition

Notes: C, Db, Eb, E, F, G, Ab, Bb, and B - Key: C - Origin: Spanish - Category: Decatonic Scales

The C Moorish Phrygian uses ten notes per octave. Because of this same reason it is a member of the so called Decatonic -scales that have Ten-note (or Ten-tone). On the piano keyboard, it is made up of four black keys: Db, Eb, Ab, and Bb and five white keys: C, E, F, G, and B. This combination makes this scale - as well as the C Dorico Flamenco, C Spanish Gypsy, and C Spanish Major - as great choices for composing or improvising Spanish music.

If we take a look a the key signature of the C Moorish Phrygian Scale we can find it has four flats and no 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, Ab, Bb, and B.

How to play the C Moorish Phrygian scale?

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