The Architecture of Music


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Visualizing Semi-Symmetrical Scales Using the Circle of Fifths

Some semi-symmetrical scales have been depicted below using their COF diagrams to show how semi-symmetrical scales are symmetrical about mirror lines and where those mirror lines lie. If you study the Minor Hexatonic and Mixolydian Hexatonic modes below you will notice the mirror line doesn’t lie on an actual P5 interval around the COF. It lies in between two notes a P5 interval apart.

Just like symmetry does not guarantee a scale will sound good, neither does semi-symmetry. Semi-symmetrical scales are just more rare than asymmetrical scales and may be more rare than symmetrical scales as well. They are definitely more difficult to find and identify. However, we won’t know which scales are more rare until all the scales have been diagrammed, organized, and identified.

Visualizing Semi-Symmetrical Scales using the Circle of Fifths