C Neapolitan Major Scale on the Piano - Improvisation and Composition

Notes: C, Db, Eb, F, G, A, and B - Key: C - Origin: Italian - Category: Octatonic Scales

The C Neapolitan Major 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: Db, and Eb and five white keys: C, F, G, A, and B. This combination makes this scale - as well as the C Arezzo Major Diatonic Hexachord, C Enigmatic, and C Neapolitan Minor - as great choices for composing or improvising Italian music.

If we take a look a the key signature of the C Neapolitan Major 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, Db, Eb, F, G, A, and B.

How to play the C Neapolitan Major scale?

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