Neapolitan scale

Neapolitan minor scale on C  Play .
Neapolitan major scale on C  Play .

In music, the major Neapolitan scale and the minor Neapolitan scale are two musical scales. Both scales are minor, despite their names.

The sequence of scale steps for the Neapolitan minor is as follows:[1][2][3][4]

1  2  3 4  5  6 7  8
A  B  C  D  E  F  G A
[H, W, W, W, H, WH, H
C D E F G A B C]

And for the Neapolitan major:[1][2][3][4]

1  2  3 4  5  6  7  8
A  B  C  D  E  F G A
[H, W, W, W, W, W, H
C D E F G A B C]

The scales are distinguished from the harmonic and ascending melodic minor scales by the lowered supertonic or second scale degree. This could also be known as the "Phrygian harmonic minor" or "Phrygian melodic minor." The scale therefore shares with the Phrygian mode the property of having a minor second above the tonic.

Both are accompanied well by power or minor chords.[1]

The 4th mode of the Neapolitan Major, also known as the Lydian Minor scale, is an excellent choice for the 911/13 (no 5) chord. Said mode contains all the alterations plus the 5. A whole tone scale is often used but that mode tends to be minus the 5 that the Lydian Minor contains.

The 5th mode of the Neapolitan major is also known as the major Locrian scale.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Celentano, Dave (1991). Monster Scales and Modes, p.44. Published by CentreStream. ISBN 0-931759-59-5.
  2. 1 2 Burrows, Terry (1999). How to Read Music: Reading Music Made Simple, p.90. ISBN 9780312241599.
  3. 1 2 Roth, Dana (2011). Encyclopedia of Scales and Modes for Electric Bass, p.9. ISBN 9781609749767.
  4. 1 2 Blatter, Alfred (2012). Revisiting Music Theory: A Guide to the Practice, p.87 & 89. ISBN 9781135870393.

Further reading

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