A variety of musical scales are used in traditional Japanese music. While a twelve-tone (dodecatonic) Chinese scale has influenced Japanese music since the Heian period, in practice Japanese traditional music is often based on pentatonic (five tone) or heptatonic (seven tone) scales.[1] In some instances, harmonic minor is used, while the melodic minor is virtually unused.

Pentatonic scales

Further reading


  1. ^ Apel, Willi (1969-01-01). Harvard Dictionary of Music. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674375017.