Scales of the World
The Hungarian Minor Scale varies from the Natural Minor in that it has a sharpened fourth and seventh notes.
You will notice immediately the step-and-a-half gaps that have been created by these changes.
This scale is commonly heard in Hungarian peasant dance music. Many famous composers used this mysterious and exotic-sounding scale, including Brahms, Lizt, and Bela Bartok, pictured below.
Bartok was in fact Hungarian and much of his music was inspired by the Hungarian musical tradition.
Although Batok’s music had epic force, barbaric rhythms, and sweeping power, he had a slight frame. He never weighed more than 116 pounds and he weighed as little as 87.
One New York Newspaper reporter said of Bartok upon seeing him at Carnegie Hall that he looked like a “Botany Professor from a girl’s college.”