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Introducing the Cappadocian Scale

The name Cappadocian is associated with a Greek ethnic community living in modern day Turkey, and also a clan of vampires known as the clan of death, hence the picture. For our purposes though, the Cappadocian is the name of a scale.

Many of you may have heard of the Cappadocian scale under another name, mode II of the Melodic scale – Dorian b2. It is a fascinating scale, being found in jazz and also folk music. The earliest account I have found of it being used is in a book of Welsh folk songs from the 18thcentury which mentions the unusual scale choice.

The Dorian b2 scale is harmonized just like any Melodic scale, with the focus on the tonic being on the root of the second mode. So A Melodic would have B Dorian b2 as its mode II.

The following triads from B Dorian b2 would then be:

B minor/B sus4

C+

D Maj/D Lydian(1#45)/D Majb5

E Maj/Esus4/E+

F#mb5

G#mb5/G#+

A min/Asus4

When turned into 4 note chords, the Dorian b2 mode creates a really interesting modal atmosphere, one that is used in films and really tasty jazz. The 4 note chords are:

B7sus4b9

C Maj7+

D7#11

E7b6

F#m7b5

G#m7b5b9

AminMaj7

The Dorian b2 mode is really useful when inserted into a Dorian section or piece of music in Dorian. It’s only one note different to the Dorian mode, but the feel of it is otherworldly. Give it a try. I have attached a link to a backing track in B Dorian b2, just play all of the modes from A Melodic over it. For more one modes, see my group https://www.facebook.com/groups/modalmethodmusictheory


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