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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Whole Tone Scale

Some types of exotic scales result from the use of certain characteristic types of harmony. A good example is the whole tone scale (see Figure 22.9). As its name suggests, this scale is built up entirely from whole tones. Every chord within that scale is an augmented triad. Originally popular with early 20th-century Impressionist composers Debussy and Ravel, the harmony it produces is quite unique. The lack of semitones gives music written in this scale a wandering, abstract quality. Try to play it on your keyboard, and you will see what I mean.

Figure 22.9. The whole tone scale (and leading whole tone scale).

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