The Hijaz scale is very common in Middle Eastern, Arabic, Flamenco and classical music. It is also quite common in many movie scores. Our good friend, Peter Levitov, has often referred to this variety of scales admiringly as “Spicy”.
These variations can be very suspenseful but also compelling, mysterious, exotic, and even quite sensual like a romantic breeze from the desert sands of timelessness. 😉
It was first popularized by Panart on the first generation Hang® in the earliest days of these instruments and has been offered and explored by virtually every builder since then. Between the novel characteristics of the Handpan and the exotic nature of these scales, one can find a truly eccentric playing experience.
The Hijaz scale is a Harmonic Minor. The only difference from the minor scale is a sharpened 7th note of the scale, which provides a compelling and triumphant major chord to dance around when playing progressions. Depending on which note is the foundation of a melody, it can also be considered a Phrygian Dominant scale.
We primarily use both “Harmonic Minor” and “Phrygian Dominant” on our scale list.
Some early SPBs and more recent Yishama Hijaz scales have also been referred to as “Tarznauyn”. Pantheon Steel has made a number of spicy Hijaz inspired instruments including their hexatonic “Raja” based in E.
Another related scale name is “Romanian Hijaz”. This is particularly for an instrument whose lowest side note is a 4th scale degree from the center note such as E/ A, B, C, D#, E, F#, G, A, B. It is also called a Ukrainian Dorian scale in Eastern European music.
We offer the Hijaz Scales in C, C#, D, E, F, F# and G.
A number of bottom note options are also available for each variation. When ordering, look under your desired center note, then “Harmonic Minor” or “Phrygian Dominant” scale variations for these layouts. You can then add additional bottom notes to your order.
Please Contact us if you have any questions.
C#/ G#, B#, C#, D#, E, F#, G#
C#/ (E#, F#) G#, B, C#, D, E#, F#, G#, B
D/ (F, G) A, Bb, C#, D, E, F, G, A (C#, D, E)
D/ A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F#, G, A
E/ G, B, C, D#, E, F#, G, B
E/ B, C, D#, E, F#, G, A, B (Not yet built)
E Romanian Hijaz
E/ A, B, C, D#, E, F#, G, A (Not yet built)
F/ (Ab) C, Db, E, F, G, Ab, C
F/ Bb, C, Db, E, F, G, Ab, C (Not yet built)
F#/ (G#, A) C#, D, E#, F#, G#, A, C#
F#/ C#, D, E#, F#, G#, A, B, C# (Not yet built)
F#/ B, C#, D, E#, F#, G#, A, B (Not yet built)
G/ (Ab, B) C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, (B), C, D