Japanese musical scales

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A variety of musical scales are used in traditional Japanese music. While a twelve-tone (dodecaphonic) Chinese scale has influenced Japanese music since the Heian period, in practice Japanese traditional music is often based on pentatonic (five tone) or heptatonic (seven tone) scales.[1] In some instances, harmonic minor, like in the famous piece Sakura Sakura, is used, while the melodic minor is virtually unused.

Pentatonic scales[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Apel, Willi (1969-01-01). Harvard Dictionary of Music. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674375017.