Which One Is The Right HIRAJOSHI Scale?

Which One Is The Right HIRAJOSHI Scale?

Tommaso Zillio

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hirajoshi scales

I find the best surprises in my Inbox.

Today I found a great question about the exotic Hirajoshi scale.

Well, the Hirajoshi is actually not a scale… it’s technically a tuning for the Koto (a japanese instrument with an amazing sound, look it up).

… but the notes of that tuning have been used as a scale in both Japanese and Western music.

So what’s the question?

In one of my videos I say the E Hirajoshi scale is E F A B C… but other online sources give very different notes for E Hirajoshi.

  • Some say it’s E G# A# B D#.

  • Others say it’s E F A Bb D.

  • Some give other notes too…

… and you know what is the beautiful thing, {subtag:name|part:first|ucfirst}? We are ALL correct. These are all the Hirahoshi scale. And there are more Hirajoshi’s…

… and I demonstrate all of them and their exotic sound here:

… or maybe we got it all wrong an a Japanese musician can correct me and let me know if there is a right Hirajoshi scale… still the sound of all of them are just great!

And here’s how you can use the Hirajoshi scale to sound like a Koto.

It’s a great effect, and always a head-turner when you pull it off live:

You find a LOT more about scales and modes in my Master of the Modes guitar course


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