Fundamentals of
SCALES AND KEY SIGNATURES

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6. Phrygian.

a. The formula for the Phrygian modal scale is NLN (Figure 4-14).


Figure 4-14: Phrygian Formula.

b. The Phrygian scale's half/whole step relationship corresponds to a white key scale from E to E on the piano keyboard (Figure 4-15).


Figure 4-15: Phrygian Mode on Piano Keyboard.

c. A Circle of Phrygian Keys can be constructed by using the Major Circle of Fifths and shifting the number of flats four keys to the left. You can figure out the number of flats or sharps by adding four flats or subtracting four sharps to the parallel major scale. The e Phrygian scale has no flats or sharps (Figure 4-16).


Figure 4-16: Circle of Phrygian Keys.

d. The Phrygian scale has a lowered subtonic ( 2), mediant ( 3), submediant ( 6), and subtonic ( 7) when compared to its parallel major scale. (Figure 4-17).


Figure 4-17: Phrygian and Parallel Major.

e. The Phrygian scale has a lowered supertonic ( 2) when compared to its parallel natural minor scale (Figure 4-18).


Figure 4-18: Phrygian and Parallel Minor.


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Last Updated: March 31, 2012