Sound Model List

The sound models on this page are suggestions or inspirations for Soma scale choices. They are NOT an extensive list of the Soma sound model offering. Somas continue to be produced with customized scales on demand of the clients.  If not otherwise stated, the scale names in italics are taken from the Huygens-Fokker “Center for Microtonal Music” database. Click on the link in the description to open a Youtube-Video of the sound-model. Don't forget to switch to HD quality and listen with proper headphones or speakers.  Have fun exploring! 

 

This listing is divided in “major mood” (bright, uplifiting) and “minor mood” (dark, tragic, mysterious) sound models.

 

Note: the Sound Sculpture LYNX is currently only available in one scale (click on this link  and/or this link for the video and description).

Major Mood Sound Models

Sound models based on major scales easily evoke a sense of bright, uplifting happiness. When played slowly, however, these scales can change their mood from innocent and upbeat to majestic and sentimental.

 

Ionian (Major)

The Ionian mode is the first mode of the Major scale. It is THE classic Major  scale used in thousands of popular songs. It features a half-step between the 6th and 7th scale degree which can create an interesting kind of tension in an otherwise very straight-forward and easy to play scale. Steering back to the tonic will release and resolve the tension.

 

(E/G) Hari Nata (a.k.a. Equinox): E3/ G3 B3 C4 D4 E4 F#4 G4 B4 (hexatonic)

(C/G) Hari Nata: C3 (E3) (F#3)/ G3 B3 C4 D4 E4 F#4 G4 B4 (hexatonic) *low extension*

Depending on which note is played as the dominant note, the sentiment changes from major to minor mood.

G3 as dominant note: G Major but leaving out the 2nd note of the scale.

E-Bass as dominant note: E Minor but leaving out the 4th note of the scale.

C-Bass as dominant note: C Lydian but leaving out the 6h note of the scale

F#-Bass as dominant note: F# Locrian but leaving out the 3rd note.

 

(E/G) Mamata (a.k.a. Magic Voyage): E3/ G3 B3 D4 E4 F#4 G4 B4 D5 (pentatonic)

(E/G) Mamata 9: E3/ G3 B3 D4 E4 F#4 G4 B4 D5 E5 (pentatonic) *Extended Range"
Like the Hari Nata, the sentiment of this sound-model can change from major to minor mood.

G3 as dominant note: G Major but leaving out the 2nd and 4th note.

Bass as dominant note:  E Aeolian but leaving out the 4th and 6th note.

 

Lydian

The Lydian mode is the 4th mode of the major scale. It has an ethereal, dreamy, somewhat airy and even futuristic quality.  The difference to the classical Major scale is a sharpened 4th scale degree, which wants to be resolved into the 5th. It is a fantastic substitute for the classical Major scale for improvisation and composition, especially when clever ways are found to emphasize the otherworldliness of the sharp 4th. The Lydian mode is very popular in Polish folk and classical music (e.g. through well known Polish composer Frédéric Chopin). 

 

(D/G) Lydian (a.k.a. Sabye): D3/ G3 A3 B3 C#4 D4 E4 F#4 A4 (heptatonic)

Complete Lydian mode of the D Major scale.

Played with the G3 as dominant note: G Lydian

Played with the Bass as dominant note: D Ionian/ Major

 

(E/A) Lydian (a.k.a. E Sabye): E3/ A3 B3 C#4 D#4 E4 F#4 G#4 B4 (heptatonic)

(E/A) Lydian 9: E3/ A3 B3 C#4 D#4 E4 F#4 G#4 B4 C#5 (heptatonic) *Extended Range"

 Transposition of the (D/G) Lydian. Complete Lydian mode of the E Major scale.

Played with the A3 as dominant note: A Lydian 

Played with the Bass as dominant note: E Ionian/ Major 

 

(F/A#) Lydian Hexatonic: F/ A#3 C4 D4 F4 G4 A4 A#4 C5 (hexatonic; only for smaller-sized Somita)

This Somita is the chromatic companion to the (C#/G#) Phrygian, together spanning all notes from G#3 to A#4 (plus C5 and two bass notes; F3 and C#3).

Played from the C4 it also contains the Mixolydian Hexatonic scale. From the Ding it transforms into a F Major hexatonic. 

A#3 as dominant tone: A# Lydian Hexatonic but leaving out the 4th note

C4 as dominant tone: C4 Mixolydian Hexatonic but leaving out the 3rd note

Bass as dominant note: F Major Hexatonic but leaving out the 7th note

 

(E/G) Mruganandana: E3/ G3 A3 B3 C#4 E4 F#4 G4 B4 (hexatonic) 

Very versatile sound model. The player can change from a hexatonic variation of G Lydian (G3 as tonic) into a complete E Dorian Pentatonic scale (bass as tonic). First time on a Handpan!

G3 as dominant note: G Lydian but leaving out 5th note of the scale

Bass as dominant note: E Dorian Pentatonic; leaving out 2nd and 7th note

 

(E/G) La Sirena 9: E3/ G3 B3 C#4 D4 E4 F#4 G4 B4 D4 (hexatonic) *Extended Range*

Yet a different hexatonic variation of G Lydian (G3 as tonic) with a Dorian feel (bass as tonic). 

G3 as dominant note: G Lydian but leaving out the 2nd note of the scale. 

Bass as dominant note:  E Dorian but leaving out the 4rd note.

 

Mixolydian

The Mixolydian mode of the major scale produces the defining and pleasant sound of Western pop-rock music. It is also used often in Jazz compositions and Afro-Cuban music. Compared to the classical Major scale the flattened 7th scale degree creates a hint of melancholy and a smoother, less innocent sound to otherwise happy songs. Think of a sunny day at a show of your favorite psychedelic rock band (including flashbacks).

 

(F#/B) Mixolydian9 (a.k.a. F# Jibuk): F#3/ B3 C#4 D#4 E4 F# G# A B C# (heptatonic; 10-note expression) 

Complete Mixolydian mode.  Aeolian mode starting from C#4 (second lowest note) .

Played with the B3 as dominant note: B Mixolydian 

Played with the Bass as dominant note: F# Dorian 

 

(D/A) Mixolydian: D3/ A3 B3 C#3 D3 E3 F#3 G3 A3 (heptatonic)

(E/A) Mixolydian (a.k.a. E Jibuk): E3/ A3 B3 C#4 D4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 (heptatonic) **Compromised Audio Quality of Video**

Complete Mixolydian mode of the D Major scale.

Played with the A3 as dominant note: A Mixolydian

Played with the Bass as dominant note: D Major or E Dorian 

 

(C#/G#) Desya Khamas 9 (a.k.a. Ysha Savita): C#3/ G#3 C4 C#4 D#4 F4 F#4 G#4 C#5 D#5 (hexatonic) *Ext. Range*

G#3 as dominant note: G# Mixolydian but leaving out the 2nd note

Bass as dominant note: C# Major but leaving out the 6th note of the scale

 

(D/A) Desya Khamas (a.k.a. D Ysha Savita): D3/ A3 C#4 D4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 D5 (hexatonic)

(D/A) Desya Khamas 9: D3/ A3 C#4 D4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 D5 E5 (hexatonic) *Extended Range*

A3 as dominant note: A Mixolydian but leaving out the 2nd note of the scale.

Bass as dominant note: D Major but leaving out the 6th note of the scale.

  

(D/G) Mixolydian Hexatonic (a.k.a. Lalabye): D3/ G3 A3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 (hexatonic)

(D/G) Mixolydian Hexatonic 9 D3/ G3 A3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 C5 *Extended Range*

This sound-model changes from major mood to minor mood depending on which note is used as the tonic.

G3 as dominant note: G Mixolydian but leaving out the 3rd note of the scale

Bass as dominant note: D Dorian but leaving out the 6th note of the scale

 

(E/A) Mixolydian Hexatonic (a.k.a. E Lalabye): E3/ A3 B3 D4 E4 F#4 G4 B4 D5 (hexatonic)

Transposition of the (D/G) Mixolydian Hexatonic.

A3 as dominant note: A Mixolydian but leaving out the 3rd note of the scale.

Bass as dominant note: E Dorian but leaving out the 6th note of the scale

 

Harmonic Major

Harmonic Major scales  can either be considered major scales with a flattened 6th degree or  harmonic minor scales with a sharpened 3rd scale degree. Harmonic Major scales are, thus, hybrids between harmonic minors (dark, Oriental) and majors (uplifting, Western). 

 

(C/G) Harmonic Minor Inverse: C3/ G3 G#3 B3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 (heptatonic)
While the lower part of the scale transports the player to the orient, the upper part has a classic major-feel. A very interesting combination! This very low scale offers lots of playing possibilities.

G3 as the dominant note: G Harmonic Minor Inverse / Mixolydian b2

Bass as dominant note: C Blues Heptatonic Scale

 

Other

(D/F#) Heimat: D3/ F#3 G3 A3 D4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 (pentatonic)

A low, melancholic scale with a sweet  touch of happiness. The serene atmosphere of  alpine peaks at dawn comes to mind.  Named after the German word for "homeland".

Minor Mood Sound Models

Soma's based on minor scales have a mysterious, tragic or even slightly sad sound which draws the player and the listener inwards. 

 

Aeolian (Natural Minor)

The Aeolian scale is THE classical Minor scale and used ad infinitum in pop, jazz, rock and classical music. The flattened 6th and 7th scale degrees add a slight sense of Renaissance era music. 6th mode of the Major scale.

 

 (A/D) Aeolian: A3 / D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 Bb4 C5 D5 (heptatonic; only for smaller-sized Somita)

Complete Aeolian mode of the F Major scale.

Played with the D4 as dominant note: D Aeolian/ Minor

Played with the Ding as dominant note: A Phrygian

 

(G/A)  Scottish Hexatonic Minor 10: G3/ A3 B3 C4 D4 E4 G4 A4 B4 D5 E5 (hexatonic) *Double Extended Range"

Bass as dominant note: G Major, dropping the 7th scale degree

A3 as dominant note:  A Minor Hexatonic

 

(G/C) Hokkaido: G3/ C4 D4 D#4 F4 G4 G#4 C5 D5 (hexatonic; only for smaller-sized Somita)    

The large 4 half-tone step in the upper end of the scale creates a Japanese feeling.  Named by Pantheon Steel.

C4 as dominant note: C Minor but  leaving out the 7th note of the scale

Bass as dominant note: G Phrygian but leaving out the 3rd note of the scale

 

Dorian

With a sharpened 6th scale degree, the Dorian mode is somewhat brighter than the Aeolian. It feels hip and sophisticated and is therefore often used in Jazz, Funk and Rap music. It still contains its fair share of melancholy, though, as proven by Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”.

 

 (C#/F#) Manavi  (a.k.a. Little Bear): C#3/ F#3 G#3 A3 C#4 D#4 E4 G#4 (hexatonic)

The large 4 half-tone step within the scale creates a mellow “far-eastern bamboo-forest”-feeling. Rather sentimental and deep. Meditative.

F#3 as dominant note: F# Dorian but leaving out the 4th note

Bass as dominant note: C# Aeolian/Minor but leaving out the 7th note

 

(F#/B) Manavi F#3 / B3 C#4 D4 F#4 G#4 A4 B4 C#5 (hexatonic)  ***Compromised Audio and Video Quality***

Transposition of the (C#/F#) Manavi.

B3 as dominant note: B Dorian but leaving out the 4th note

Bass as dominant note: F# Aeolian/Minor but leaving out the 7th note

 

(C#/G#) Manohari: C#3 / G#3 B3 C#4 D#4 F4 F#4 G#4 C#5 (hexatonic)

(C#/G#) Manohari 9: C#3/ G#3 B3 C#4 D#4 F4 F#4 G#4 C#5 D#5 *Extended Range" 

This scale can change from a groovy minor into a smooth major mood depending on which note is played as the dominant note. The Manohari charms with a playful and teasing vibe. 

G#3 as dominant note: G# Dorian but leaving out the 2th note

Bass as dominant note: C# Mixolydian but leaving out the 6th note

 

(D/A) Manohari 9: D3/ A3 C4 D4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 C5 D5

Transposition of the (C#/G#) Manohari

 

Dorian Flat 9

The 2nd mode of the Melodic (Jazz) Minor scale, the Dorian b9,   is sometimes called Javanese or Phrygian Natural 6th.  It could be called "Phrygidorian", though, as the lower half of the scale  follows the Phrygian mode and the upper half the Dorian mode.  As such it combines the darker, gypsy qualities of  the Phrygian with the jazzy and playful aspects of the Dorian. 

 

(C#/G#) Rasavali: C#3 / G#3 A3 C#4 D#4 F4 F#4 G#4 A3 (hexatonic) 

Beautiful scale which can be used for melodies as much as for jazzy improvisational playing. 

G#3 as dominant note: G# Dorian b9 but leaving out the 3rd note.

Bass as dominant note: C# Aeolian Dominant but leaving out the 7th note  

 

Phrygian

The Phrygian scale is reminiscent of Andalusian Folk (Flamenco) music. Spanish composer Franciso Tarrega, the founder of 20th century classical guitar technique used it extensively. Warm yet mysterious and sometimes tense it could also easily accompany a tale about the Prince of Persia (in the Middle Eastern world the scale goes under the name Maqam Kurd). It’s flattened 2nd scale degree  gives it a very gracefully longing feel. This is definitely the most popular scale to build Handpan sound-models upon.

 

 (C#/G#) Phrygian (a.k.a. C# Annaziska/ Kurd): C#3/ G#3 A3 B3 C#4 D#4 E4 F#4 G#4 (heptatonic)

Complete Phrygian mode of the E Major scale.

Played with the G#3 as dominant note: G# Phrygian 

Played with the Bass as dominant note: C# Aeolian/ Minor 

 

D/A) Phrygian (a.k.a. Kurd): D3/ A3 Bb3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 C5 (heptatonic)

(D/A) Phrygian 9  (a.k.a. Kurd9): D3/ A3 Bb3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 C5  (heptatonic) *Extended Range*

Complete Phrygian mode of the F Major scale.

Played with the A3 as dominant note: A Phrygian 

Played with the Bass as dominant note: D  Minor 

 

(C#/G#) Insen (a.k.a. C# Mystic): C#3/ G#3 A3 C#4 D#4 E4 F#4 G#4 B4 (hexatonic)

G#3 as dominant note: G# Phrygian but leaving out the 3rd note

Bass as dominant note: C# Aeolian/ Minor but leaving out the 7th note

 

(C#/G#) Phrygian Hexatonic  (a.k.a. C# Amara/ Celtic): C#3/ G#3 B3 C#4 D#4 E4 F#4 G#4 B4 (hexatonic)

The “phrygish” flattened 2nd note is not included in the Phrygian Hexatonic sound models. Hence, they sound less dark and mysterious and more warm compared to the other models presented here. 

G#3 as dominant note: G# Phrygian but leaving out the 2nd note

Bass as dominant note: C# Aeolian/ Minor but leaving out the 6th note

 

(D/A) Phrygian Hexatonic  (a.k.a. D Amara/ Celtic): D3/ A3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 C5 (hexatonic ; for smaller-sized  Somita)

(D/A) Phrygian Hexatonic 9  (a.k.a. D Amara9/ Celtic9): D3/ A3 C4 D4 E4 F4 G4 A4 C5 D5 (hexatonic; 10-note expression)

(D F G/A) Phrygian Hexatonic 9:  D3 (F3 G3)/ A3 C4 D4 F4 G4 A4 C5 D5 (hexatonic; 12-Note)  *Low Extended* 

Transposition of the (C#/G#) Phrygian Hexatonic. The Low Extended version features additional F and G bass notes. 

A3 as dominant note: A Phrygian but leaving out the 2nd note

Bass as dominant note: D Aeolian/ Minor but leaving out the 6th note

 

(E/G) Scottish HexaPhrygian: E3/ G3 A3 B3 C4 D4 E4 G4 B4 (hexatonic)

This scale changes from minor to major mood depending on the note the playing is rooted in.
Bass as dominant note: E Phrygian but dropping the 2nd scale degree

G3 as dominant note: G Major but dropping the 7th scale degree

 

(G/B) Ritsu 9 (a.k.a. Oxalista): G3/ B3 C4 D4 E4 G4 A4 B4 C5 D5 (hexatonic; 10-note expression) 

(G/B) Ritsu10G3/ B3 C4 D4 E4 G4 A4 B4 C5 D5 E5 (hexatonic; 11-note expression) 

This scale changes from minor to major mood depending on the root note of the melody..

B3 as dominant note: B Phrygian but leaving out the 4th note

Bass as dominant note: G Ionian/Major  but leaving out the 7th note

 

(D/A) Suddha Simantini (a.k.a. Integral): D3/ A3 Bb3 C4 D4 E4 F4 A4 (hexatonic; only for smaller-sized Somita)

The most classical handpan scale ever.

A3 as dominant note: A Phrygian but leaving out the 7th note

Bass as dominant note: D Aeolian/ Minor but leaving out the 4th note

 

(F/C) Suddha Simantini9 (a.k.a. F Integral): F3/C4 C#4 D#4 F4 G4 G#4 C5 C#5 D#5 (hexatonic; 10-note expression) 

10-note expression of the lower register Suddha Simantini.

C4 as dominant note: C Phrygian but leaving out the 7th note

Bass as dominant note: F Aeolian/ Minor  but leaving out the 4th note

 

Pygmy

Popularized by the original sound sculpture from Berne, this scale is a handpan classic. Technically it is a pentatonic version of the Dorian mode. It seems that it derives its name from the unusually short Pygmy people of Central Africa because the scale is “short” (5-note) and it is commonly used in the same region.  Darkish and mysterious.

 

(E/A) Pygmy: E3/ A3 B3 C4 E4 G4 A4 B4 C5 (pentatonic)   ***Compromised Audio Quality of Video***

A3 as dominant note: similar to A Minor but leaving out the 4th and 6th note

Bass as dominant note: similar to E Phrygian but dropping 2nd & 7th note

 

(F/G) Low Pygmy: F3/ G3 G#3 C4 D#4 F4 G4 G#4 C5 (pentatonic)

(F/G) Low Pygmy9: F3/ G3 G#3 C4 D#4 F4 G4 G#4 C5 D#5 (pentatonic) *Extended Range*

In this sound-model, the Ding is not a bass note, but the first note of the scale. The extended version features the whole scale on two different octaves.

 

(C#/G#) Janygmy: C#3/ G#3 A3 C#4 E4 F#4 G#4 A4 C#5 (pentatonic)

(C#/G#) Janygmy9 C#3/ G#3 A3 C#4 E4 F#4 G#4 A4 C#5 E5 (pentatonic) *Extended Range*

(C# E F#/G#) Janygmy:  C#3 (E3 F#3)/ G#3 A3 C#4 E4 F#4 G#4 A4 C#5 E5 (pentatonic) *Low Extension* 

This 2nd mode of the Pygmy scale does not have an official name. It was therefore named after the first Soma client who custom-ordered it: German handpan-player Janik Ernst.

G#3 as dominant note: similar to G# Phrygian but dropping 3rd & 5th note

Bass as dominant note: similar to C# Minor but dropping 2nd and 7th note

 

Harmonic Minor

Tragic, exotic and – depending on context - mildly Middle Eastern or medieval flavoured, Harmonic Minor scales distinguish themselves from the Aeolian mode of the Major scale only by a sharpening of the 7th scale degree. Charms every snake and hypnotizes the audience.

 

 (D/G) Bhinna Pancama (a.k.a. Saladin): D3/ G3 A3 C4 D4 D#4 F#4 G4 A4 (hexatonic)   

G3 as dominant note: G Harmonic Minor but leaving out the 3rd note

Bass as dominant note: D Phrygian Dominant but leaving out the 6th note

 

Kaffa/ Romanian

Similar to the journeying and slightly sad Dorian, a sharpened 4th scale degree  adds a special ethereal and dreamy “Lydian-esque” magic to the scale. 4th mode of the Harmonic Minor scale.

 

(E/A) Kaffa (a.k.a. Romanian Hijaz or Saharian): E3/ A3 B3 C4 D#4 E4 F#4 G4 B4 (heptatonic)

A3 as dominant note: A Kaffa/ Romanian

Bass as dominant note: E Harmonic Minor

 

(F#/B) Kaffa 9:  F#3/ B3 C#4 D4 F4 F#4 G#4 A4 B4 C#5 (heptatonic; 10-note expression)

10-note expression of the lower (E/A) Kaffa.

Played with the B3 as dominant note: B Kaffa/ Romanian 

Played with the Bass as dominant note: F# Harmonic Minor

 

(F#/B) Kaffa 9/ (C#3/G#3) Zubhinna/ (C#3/F#3) Bhinna:  (C#3 G#3) F#3/ B3 C#4 D4 F4 F#4 G#4 A4 B4 C#5  *low extension*

By adding  two bottom bass notes (a C#3 and a G#3) to the (F#/B) Kaffa9, three different scales can be played: Kaffa, Zubhinna (see below) and Bhinna (see above).

 

Phrygian Dominant

The Phrygian Dominant is the 5th mode of the Harmonic Minor scale. Depending on how you look at it is either a minor mood scale with a bright touch or a major mood scale with a dark side. Its very distinct exotic and Middle Eastern touch is often used in Gypsy, Egyptian and Arabic music (where it is known as Hijaz). It is the dominant scale in Flamenco and therefore sometimes called Spanish Gypsy scale. From the sad and mysterious Phrygian it is separated only by an augmented 3rd scale degree.   

 

(E/B) Phrygian Dominant: E3/ B3 C4 D#4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 B4 (heptatonic)

(E/B) Phrygian Dominant 9:  E3/ B3 C4 D#4 E4 F#4 G4 A4 B4 C5 (heptatonic) *Extended Range*

Complete Phrygian Dominant mode of the E Harmonic Minor scale.

Played with the B3 as dominant note: B Phrygian Dominant 

Played with the Bass as dominant note: E Harmonic Minor 

 

(D/A) Purna Pancama: D3/ A3 A#3 C#4 D4 E4 F4 A4 (hexatonic; only for smaller-sized Somita)

Just one half-tone different from the classic "Integral" scale (Suddha Simantini), this is a hexatonic variation of the Phrygian Dominant scale.

A3 as dominant note: A Phrygian Dominant but dropping the 7th note

Bass as dominant note: D Harmonic Minor but dropping the 4th note

 

Locrian #6

While the Locrian mode is considered to be the darkest, most mysterious and the most tense of the minor mood scales it can be very powerful and versatile in the right hands. It is an Aeolian scale but with a flattened 2nd and 5th notes. If furthermore the 6th scale degree of the Locrian is sharpened we get the Locrian #6 (a.k.a. Maqam Tarznauyn in Arabic music) which is the 2nd mode of the Harmonic Minor scale. This sharpening adds a hunch of pleasant color and more possibilities for resolution to an otherwise rather inconclusive Locrian mode.  

 

(D/A) Zubhinna: D3/ A3 C4 D4 D#4 F#4 G4 A4 C5 D5 (hexatonic; 10-note expression)

A handpan that needs full attention of the player to navigate his or her way through the wondrous maze of consonant and dissonant intervals. From the underworld to the heavens, there is everything in this sound model. What a trip! This 10-note Bhinna Pancama variation is named after Matthias Zuber who custom-ordered it first.

A3 as dominant note:  A Locrian #6 but leaving out the 2nd note.

Bass as dominant note: D Phrygian Dominant but leaving out the 6th note.

 

(C/G) Onoleo: C3/ G3 G#3 C4 E4 F4 G4 G#4 C5 (pentatonic; 360° Video)

Very low and moody pentatonic version of the Locrian #6 mode of the F Harmonic Minor scale. Exotic, yet easy to engage in a flow-style of playing. 

 

(C/E) Zilaf/ (C/G) Onoleo: (E3 F3) C3 / G3 G#3 C4 E4 F4 G4 G#4 C5 (pentatonic; 360° Video) *low extension*

By adding a E3 and F3 bass note to the bottom shell the beautiful Onoleo turns into a (C/E) Zilaf. The Zilaf is a pentatonic version of the Phrygian Dominant mode of the F Harmonic Minor scale.