Etude 30-Lydian Major From Diminished Scale

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Here’s a different way to think about and hear the diminished scale. By organizing it into major triads with an added raised 4th, you can create a Major Lydian tonality that moves in a symmetrical manner. (See the example above.)

In this particular etude, I take these four-note tonalities and arrange them in minor thirds (B, D, F, Ab), in an ascending and descending pattern:

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The ascending pattern inverts the triad in the second half of the first two measures by starting on the 3rd instead of the root (e.g., F# as the 3rd of D Lydian starting on the third beat of the first measure). The descending pattern varies by adding a quarter note on beat four, also eliminating the raised 4th at the end of the third and fourth measure. (I did this to add some shape, symmetry and melodic interest to the line).

As you’ll hear, it has a distinctively “modern” tonal quality, and can be useful for adding variety and harmonic interest when you’re applying the diminshed scale over dominant 7th chords. In putting it in all twelve keys, I’ve kept the enharmonic readings of the notes as consistent as possible in order to make it easier to read, as well as to help you to more readily recognize the triads. If you’d like to explore more with organizing the diminished scale into diatonic triads (both major and minor), please consider my eBook, Diminished Scale Diatonic Triad Pairs. Click the links below to download the pdf of this etude and to hear a midi version of it.

Lydian Major From Diminshed Scale .pdf

Lydian Major From Diminished Scale-midi