C Whole-Half step Scale on the Piano - Improvisation and Composition

Notes: C, D, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, A, and B - Key: C - Category: Nonatonic or Ennatonic Scales

The C Whole-Half step 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: Eb, Gb, and Ab and five white keys: C, D, F, A, and B. This combination makes this scale - as well as the C Prometheus, C Prometheus Liszt, and C Prometheus Neapolitan - as great choices for composing or improvising music.

If we take a look a the key signature of the C Whole-Half step 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, D, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, A, and B.

How to play the C Whole-Half step scale?

  1. 1
    To play the C Whole-Half step 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, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, A, and B.
  3. 3
    Return to the home of the C Whole-Half step 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, A, Ab, Gb, F, Eb, and D.
  3. 3
    Reach the home again. Establish tonality by playing the tonic of the C Whole-Half step scale: C.
  4. 4
    Tip. If you want to learn how to improvise or compose your own music using the C Whole-Half step 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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