12-Tone Mandala

Updated: Apr 19, 2019


12-Tone Mandala

The 12-Tone Mandala is a kind of Circle-of-Fifths diagram on steroids.


It shows the interval relationship between every pair of notes, with each coloured line representing an interval.


The tritone (Augmented 4th or diminished 5th) is the most alarmingly dissonant interval, so it's coloured red, while the calm and placid Perfect 4th or Perfect 5th is a peaceful blue.

Intervals in the Mandala

I'm going to post some articles about various scales, modes, chords and note patterns, showing where the notes sit in the Mandala, which gives a handy way to visualise the harmonic characteristics of the pattern.


For example, the C Major Pentatonic scale looks pretty benign, and a bit bland, as it consists of only Perfect 4ths/Perfect 5ths, Major and minor 3rds and 6ths and Major 2nds/minor 7ths.



C Major Pentatonic



The Hirajoshi mode, on the other hand, looks a lot more precariously balanced, and has a much more varied set of intervals, including some intense ones.




C Hirajoshi





I also think the 12-Tone Mandala looks quite cool. I may make it into a T-shirt, I haven't decided yet.

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