Octatonic scale

An octatonic scale is any eight-note musical scale. However, the term most often refers to the symmetric scale composed of alternating whole and half steps, as shown at right. In classical theory (in contrast to jazz theory), this scale is commonly called the octatonic scale (or the octatonic collection), although there are a total of 42 enharmonically non-equivalent, transpositionally non-equivalent eight-note sets.

The two octatonic scales on C

The earliest systematic treatment of the octatonic scale was in Edmond de Polignac's unpublished treatise "Étude sur les successions alternantes de tons et demi-tons (Et sur la gamme dite majeure-mineure)" (Study of the Succession of Alternating Whole Tones and Semitones (and of the so-called Major-Minor Scale)) from c. 1879,[1] which preceded Vito Frazzi's Scale alternate per pianoforte of 1930[2] by a full half-century.[3]