C Raga Barbara Scale on the Piano - Improvisation and Composition

Notes: C, D, E, Gb, A, and Bb - Key: C - Origin: Indian - Category: Heptatonic Scales

The C Raga Barbara 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 two black keys: Gb, and Bb and four white keys: C, D, E, and A. This combination makes this scale - as well as the C Raga Abheri, C Raga Abhogi, and C Raga Adana - as great choices for composing or improvising Indian music.

If we take a look a the key signature of the C Raga Barbara 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, Gb, A, and Bb.

How to play the C Raga Barbara scale?

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