The Hungarian minor scale, double harmonic minor scale, or Gypsy minor scale is a type of combined musical scale. It is the fourth mode of the double harmonic scale. It is the same as the harmonic minor scale, except that it has a raised fourth scale degree to introduce an additional gap, or augmented second. It is a symmetrical scale with a slightly ambiguous tonal centre, due to the many half steps.
Its step pattern is W, H, +, H, H, +, H, where W indicates a whole step, H indicates a half step, and + indicates an augmented second (three half steps, enharmonically equivalent to a minor third but functionally distinct). While in intervallic terms, it would be described as: 1 2 ♭3 ♯4 5 ♭6 7.
The scale contains two augmented seconds, one in each tetrachord. It also contains an augmented fourth between the first and fourth degree.
This scale (and its modes like the double harmonic scale) is the one perfectly balanced seven-note subset of the equally tempered chromatic scale: when its pitches are represented as points in a circle whose full circumference represents an octave, their average position (or "centre of mass") is the centre of the circle. Other examples include the Dorian mode of major and fifth mode of melodic minor.
The axis of balance for the Hungarian minor passes through the fifth and the flat nine, which is not included in the pitch set.
The scale may be used with minor or m+7 chords. See: chord-scale system. Chords that may be derived from the B Hungarian minor scale are Bm(maj7), C#7♭5, Dmaj7#5, E#6sus2b5, F#maj7, Gmaj7, G7, A#m6 and more.
This scale is sometimes also referred to as "Gypsy Run", or alternatively "Egyptian Minor Scale", as mentioned by Miles Davis who describes it in his autobiography as "something that I'd learned at Juilliard".
An alternative (and less common) version is the asymmetric Aeolian ♯4 scale, the only difference with the Hungarian minor scale being that the 7th degree of the scale is not raised. This form of the scale can also be used in the fourth mode and would then be referred to as the Neapolitan scale.
In a song by Will Wood, BlackBoxWarrior - OKULTRA, Will references "A hymn out in Hungarian Harmonic". Following this lyric is a walk up the Hungarian Minor scale.
- Hungarian major scale
- Ukrainian Dorian scale
- Phrygian dominant scale
- Double harmonic scale
- Gypsy scale
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- Kadmon, Adam. (2002), The guitar grimoire., Carl Fischer, ISBN 0-8258-4907-1, OCLC 613326594
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- "Hungarian Minor Archived 2013-02-08 at archive.today", NextLevelGuitar.com.
- "Dissecting Oli Herbert's "Become The Catalyst" – Guitar Lesson", RockHouseMethod.BlogSpot.com.
- on YouTube
- Hungarian minor scale mapped out for guitar
- Hungarian minor scale theme
- Hungarian minor scale – analysis
- http://jguitar.com/scale/C%23/Hungarian%20Gypsy - Illustration of the scale on a guitar of Double Harmonic variety
- Illustration of the scale on a guitar of Aeolian #4 as Hungarian Gypsy
- http://dragonguitar.com/play/guitar/hungarian-minor-scales/a – Diagram of A Hungarian minor