Enjoy this utterly simple, but deliciously distinctive scale from the Land of the Rising Sun…
Here, for example, are the notes in the C Japanese Scale identified by letter name, scale degree (numbers), and Solfege syllable…
- The scale structure of the Japanese Scale is always 1-b2-4-5-b6-1, no matter what key you are in.
- The Solfege syllables of the Japanese Scale are always Do-Ra-Fa-So-Le-Do, no matter what key you are in.
- The only thing that changes when you change keys are the letter names.
Comparative Scale Study
Notice that the Japanese Scale is a subset of the Middle Eastern Scale…
Notice the dramatic effect of removing two notes: Mi and Ti, creating a dreamy quality that is instantly recognized as Japanese!
The Japanese Scale in Action
insert Frank Improv
Solfege Ear Training
Reading, playing, and singing the Solfege syllables out loud is a very effective way to internalize the unique sound-feeling of each note in a musical scale. And do it slowly enough to allow the unique sound-feeling of each Solfege syllable to make an impression on your mind’s ear.