Scales

Musical modes and temperaments

Scale archive

The scales in this large archive are in readable ASCII text-files, one per file, and can be used with the computer program Scala. All possible kinds of scales are included: historical keyboard instrument temperaments, just intonation scales, scales used in contemporary music, modern temperaments, non-western scales, ancient tunings, etc. They have been collected mainly by John H. Chalmers and Manuel Op de Coul.

The file format is as follows: the first line contains a short description. The second line contains the number of notes. After that come the pitch values, each on a separate line, either as a ratio or as a value in cents. Lines beginning with an exclamation mark are ignored. For a full description see: Scala scale file format.

Version 85, March 2017.

The scale files are zipped in Windows text format. Unzip them with Scala by choosing "Import scales.zip" in the File menu.
MacOS X, Linux and Unix users: If you do not use Scala then you must unzip them with the -a (autoconvert) option. Right-click on the link and save it in the user or home directory. Open an xterm (Terminal.app), navigate with cd if you saved it somewhere else and type:

unzip -aa scales.zip

N.B. If the files are unzipped on Mac and Linux like normal without this option, they cannot be opened! Do not just double click on the zipfile assuming that it works!

Browsing and searching the scale archive can also be done online in Andrew Aaron Hunt's ScalaVista Online Scale Archive.