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Encyclopedia > Pentatonic scale

A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five pitches per octave as compared to the major scale which is made up of seven distinct notes. Pentatonic scales are very common and are found all over the world, including but not limited to Celtic folk music, African-American spirituals, American Blues Music and Rock Music, children's songs, the clarinet Music of Epirus in northwest Greece and Southern Albania[1], the tuning of the Ethiopian krar and the Indonesian gamelan, the melodies of Japanese and Chinese Folk Music, Polish highlanders from the Tatra Mountains, and Western Classical composers such as French composer Claude Debussy. In music, a scale is a set of musical notes that provides material for part or all of a musical work. ... Pitch is the perceived fundamental frequency of a sound. ... For other uses, see Octave (disambiguation). ... In music theory, the major scale is one of the diatonic scales. ... Celtic music is a term utilized by artists, record companies, music stores and music magazines to describe a broad grouping of musical genres that evolved out of the folk musical traditions of the Celtic peoples of Northern Europe. ... == Historical background on spiritual music Spirituals were often expressions of religious faith, although they may also have served as socio-political protests veiled as assimilation to white, American culture. ... Blues music redirects here. ... For other uses, see Rock music (disambiguation). ... In Epirus of northwest Greece,folk songs are mostly pentatonic and polyphonic,sung by both male and female singers. ... The krar is a five- or six-stringed lyre from Ethiopia and Eritrea, tuned to a pentatonic scale. ... Gamelan - Indonesian Embassy in Canberra A gamelan is a kind of musical ensemble of Indonesia typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and vocalists may also be included. ... Music of China appears to date back to the dawn of Chinese civilization, and documents and artifacts provide evidence of a well-developed musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC - 256 BC). ... Tatras Panorama of Tatras The Tatra Mountains, Tatras or Tatra (Tatry in both Slovak and Polish), constitute a mountain range which forms a natural border between Slovakia and Poland. ... Claude Debussy, photo by Félix Nadar, 1908. ...

Contents

Types of pentatonic scales

Hemitonic and anhemitonic

Ethnomusicology commonly classifies pentatonic scales as either hemitonic or anhemitonic. Hemitonic scales contain one or more semitones and anhemitonic scales do not contain semitones. For example, a hemitonic pentatonic scale common in some areas of North and West Africa contains flatted 2nd, 3rd, and 6th degrees (hence, if the scale begins in C, it will contain a D-flat, E-flat, and A-flat, plus a G-natural). A semitone (also known in the USA as a half step) is a musical interval. ...


Major pentatonic scale

Anhemitonic pentatonic scales can be constructed in many ways. One construction takes five consecutive pitches from the circle of fifths; starting on C, these are C, G, D, A, and E. Transposing the pitches to fit into one octave rearranges the pitches into the major pentatonic scale: C, D, E, G, A. In music theory, the circle of fifths (or cycle of fifths) is an imaginary geometrical space that depicts relationships among the 12 equal-tempered pitch classes comprising the familiar chromatic scale. ... For other uses, see Octave (disambiguation). ...

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Another construction works backward: It omits two pitches from a diatonic scale. If we were to begin with a C major scale, for example, we might omit the fourth and the seventh scale degrees, F and B. The remaining notes, C, D, E, G, and A, are transpositionally equivalent to the black keys on a piano keyboard: G-flat, A-flat, B-flat, D-flat, and E-flat. Download high resolution version (952x74, 2 KB)C major pentatonic scale. ... Image File history File links PentMajor. ... In music theory, the major scale is one of the diatonic scales. ... In music or music theory a scale degree is an individual note of a scale, both its pitch and its diatonic function. ...

We can also omit the third and seventh degrees of the C major scale to obtain the notes another transpositionally equivalent anhemitonic pentatonic scale: {F,G,A,C,D}. If we omit the first and fourth degrees of the C major scale we have a third anhemitonic pentatonic scale: {G,A,B,D,E}. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 69 pixelsFull resolution (952 × 82 pixels, file size: 3 KB, MIME type: image/png) Gb major pentatonic scale. ...


Minor pentatonic scale

Although various hemitonic pentatonic scales might be called minor, the term is most commonly applied to the relative minor pentatonic derived from the major pentatonic, using scale tones 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 of the natural minor scale. Thus C minor pentatonic would be C, E-flat, F, G, B-flat. The A minor pentatonic, the relative minor of C, would be the same tones as C major pentatonic, starting on A, giving A, C, D, E, G. This minor pentatonic contains all three tones of an A minor triad. A minor scale in musical theory is a diatonic scale whose third scale degree is an interval of a minor third above the tonic. ...

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Songs on the minor pentatonic scale include the popular children's song "Land of the Silver Birch" often sung in day care centers. Because of their simplicity, pentatonic scales are often used to introduce children to music. Other popular children's songs are almost pentatonic. For example, the almost-pentatonic nature of the Gershwin lullaby "Summertime", is evident when it is played in the key of E-flat minor. In that key, the melody can be played almost entirely on the black keys of a piano, except just once per verse, where a white key is needed. Download high resolution version (952x82, 2 KB)A minor pentatonic scale. ... Image File history File links PentMinor. ... Land of the Silver Birch is a traditional Canadian folk song. ... Gershwin redirects here. ... Summertime is the name of an aria composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. ...


Tuning

If we proceed by the principle that historically gives us the Pythagorean diatonic and chromatic scales, stacking perfect fifths with 3:2 frequency proportions, we can tune an anhemitonic pentatonic scale thus: 1:9/8:81/64:3/2:27:16. If we consider the anhemitonic scale a subset of a just diatonic scale, we can tune it thus: 1:9/8:5/4:3/2:5/3. Assigning precise frequency proportions to the pentatonic scales of most cultures is problematic. The slendro anhemitonic scales of Java and Bali are said to approach, very roughly, an equally-tempered five note scale, but, in fact, their tunings vary dramatically from gamelan to gamelan. Specially trained musicians among the Gogo people of Tanzania sing the fourth through ninth (and occasionally tenth) harmonics above a fundamental, which do necessarily accurately correspond to the frequency proportions 4:5:6:7:8:9, but this is not a scale in the western sense because these pitches are not found within a single octave and could not be put into a single octave with this manner of performance. If they could be and were put into a single octave, however, they would make a pentatonic scale with these frequency proportions: 1:9/8:5/4:3/2:7/4. The Gogo, or Wagogo, are an ethnic and linguistic group based in the Dodoma Region of central Tanzania. ...


Further pentatonic musical traditions

The major pentatonic scale is the basic scale of the music of China and the Music of Mongolia. The fundamental tones (without meri or kari techniques) rendered by the 5 holes of the Japanese shakuhachi flute play a minor pentatonic scale. The Yo scale used in Japanese shomyo Buddhist chants and gagaku imperial court music is a pentatonic scale, shown below.[1] The music of China dates back to the dawn of Chinese civilization with documents and artifacts providing evidence of a well-developed musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BC - 256 BC). ... Mongolian musician Music is an integral part of Mongolian culture. ... A shakuhachi flute, blowing edge up. ... The Yo scale is a pentatonic scale used in Japanese gagaku imperial court music and Buddhist shomyo chants. ... Shomyo (声明) is a style of Japanese Buddhist chant; mainly in the Tendai and Shingon sects. ... Gagaku (雅楽, literally elegant enjoyment) is a type of Japanese classical music that has been performed at the Imperial court for several centuries. ...

The slendro scale used in Javanese gamelan music is pentatonic, with roughly equally spaced intervals. Another scale, pelog, has seven tones, but is generally played using one of several pentatonic subsets (known as pathets), which are roughly analogous to different keys or modes. Image File history File links D_Yo_scale. ... Slendro (called salendro by the Sundanese) is a pentatonic (five tone) scale, one of the two most common scales used in Indonesian gamelan music. ... This article is about the Java island. ... Gamelan - Indonesian Embassy in Canberra A gamelan is a kind of musical ensemble of Indonesia typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and vocalists may also be included. ... Pelog is one of the two essential scales of gamelan music native to Bali and Java, in Indonesia. ... The pathet (Javanese spelling; also patet) is an organizing concept in gamelan music. ...


The pentatonic scale is very common in Scottish music. Some scholars believe that English folk music was likewise at one time a pentatonic tradition; for the reasoning behind this claim, see folk music. The minor pentatonic is used in Appalachian folk music. Blackfoot music is most often pentatonic or hexatonic. Scotland is a Celtic-Germanic country, located to the north of England on the island of Great Britain. ... Folk song redirects here. ... Folk song redirects here. ... Appalachian folk music is a distinctive genre of folk music originating in the Appalachia region of the United States of America. ... Blackfoot music (best translated in the Blackfoot language as nitsínixki - I sing, from nínixksini - song) is primarily a vocal kind of music, using few instruments (called ninixkiátsis, derived from the word for song and associated primarily with European-American instruments), only percussion and voice, and few words. ... In music a hexatonic scale is a scale with six (hexa) degrees. ...


Both the major and the minor pentatonic scales are commonly used in jazz (notably by jazz pianists Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock), blues, and rock. Pentatonic scales are useful for improvisors in modern jazz, pop, and rock contexts because they work well over several chords diatonic to the same key, often better than the parent scale. For instance, over a C major triad (C, E, G) in the key of C major, the note F can be perceived as dissonant as it is a half step above the major third (E) of the chord. It is for this reason commonly avoided. Using the major pentatonic scale is an easy way out of this problem. The scale tones 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 (from the major pentatonic) are either major triad tones (1, 3, 5) or common consonant extensions (2, 6) of major triads. For the corresponding relative minor pentatonic, scale tones 1, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭7 work the same way, either as minor triad tones (1, ♭3, 5) or as common extensions (4, ♭7), as they all avoid being a half step from a chord tone. For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... Armando Anthony Chick Corea (born June 12, 1941) is a multiple Grammy Award winning American jazz pianist/keyboardist and composer. ... Herbert Jeffrey Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an Academy Award and multiple Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and composer from Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Hancock is one of jazz musics most important and influential pianists and composers. ... Blues music redirects here. ... Rock is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars, and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles, however saxophones have been omitted from newer subgenres of rock music since the 90s. ... Musical improvisation is the spontaneous creative process of making music while it is being performed. ... In Music theory, the diatonic major scale (also known as the Guido scale), from the Greek diatonikos or to stretch out, is a fundamental building block of the European-influenced musical tradition. ...


The pentatonic scale occurs in popular music - for example in Ol' Man River. It is also a staple ingredient of film music, where it is used as a shorthand to signal primitive or exotic contexts. With suitable changes in orchestration it can be used to depict an Oriental setting, a scene with American Indians, or a rustic hoedown. Ol Man River (music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) is a song in the 1927 musical Show Boat that tells the story of African American hardship and struggles of the time. ... A film score is the background music in a film, generally specially written for the film and often used to heighten emotions provoked by the imagery on the screen or by the dialogue. ... A Sioux in traditional dress including war bonnet, about 1908 Native Americans â€“ also Indians, American Indians, First Nations, First Peoples, Indigenous Peoples of America, Aboriginal Peoples, Aboriginal Americans, Amerindians, Amerind, Native Canadians (or of other nations) â€“ are those peoples indigenous to the Americas, living there prior to European colonization and... A hoedown is a type of American folk dance or square dance in duple meter, and also the musical form associated with it. ...


Composers of Western classical music have occasionally used pentatonic scales for special effects. Antonín Dvořák, inspired by the native American music and African-American spirituals he heard in America, made extensive use of pentatonic themes in his "New World" Symphony and his "American" Quartet. Maurice Ravel used it as a basis for a melody in "Passacaille," the third movement of his "Trio in A Minor" for Violin, Cello and Piano, and as a pastiche of Chinese music in "Laideronette, Emperatrice des Pagodes", a movement from his Ma Mère l'Oye (Mother Goose). Frédéric Chopin wrote the right hand piano part of his Etude Op. 10 no. 5 in the major G-flat pentatonic scale, and therefore, the part is played using only the black keys. Incidentally, the common pentatonic major and minor scales (C-D-E-G-A and C-Eb-F-G-Bb, respectively) are useful in modal composing, as both scales allow a melody to be modally ambiguous between their respective major (Ionian, Lydian, Mixolydian) and minor (Aeolian, Phrygian, Dorian) modes (locrian excluded). Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ... Antonín Leopold Dvořák ( ; September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer of Romantic music, who employed the idioms and melodies of the folk music of his native Bohemiaand Moravia in symphonic, oratorial, chamber and operatic works. ... IDNIANS SUCK BALLS American Indian music is the musics that are shared by or that distinguish American Indian tribes and First Nations. ... == Historical background on spiritual music Spirituals were often expressions of religious faith, although they may also have served as socio-political protests veiled as assimilation to white, American culture. ... New World Symphony redirects here; for the Miami-based orchestra, see New World Symphony Orchestra. ... The String Quartet No. ... Maurice Ravel. ... The word pastiche describes a literary or other artistic genre. ... Ma Mère lOye (Mother Goose), is a musical work by French composer Maurice Ravel. ... Chopin redirects here. ... An etude (from the French word étude meaning study) is a short musical composition designed to provide practice in a particular technical skill in the performance of a solo instrument. ...


Use in education

The pentatonic scale plays a significant role in music education, particularly in Orff-based methodologies at the primary/elementary level. The Orff system places a heavy emphasis on developing creativity through improvisation in children, largely through use of the pentatonic scale. Orff instruments, such as xylophones, bells and other metallophones, use wooden bars which can be removed by the teacher leaving only those corresponding to the pentatonic scale, which Orff himself believed to be children's native tonality[citation needed]. Children begin improvising using only these bars, and over time, more bars are added at the teacher's discretion until the complete diatonic scale is being used. Orff believed that the use of the pentatonic scale at such a young age was appropriate to the development of each child, since the nature of the scale meant that it was impossible for the child to make any real harmonic mistakes. Music education is a field of study associated with the teaching and learning of music. ... The Orff Schulwerk or Orffschulwerk, also called as Orff-method is an approach for music education for children. ... A primary school in Český Těšín, Poland Primary education is the first stage of compulsory education. ... The Orff Schulwerk or Orffschulwerk, also called as Orff-method is an approach for music education for children. ... Improvisation is the practice of acting and reacting, of making and creating, in the moment and in response to the stimulus of ones immediate environment. ... The Orff-Schulwerk, or simply the Orff-Approach is a developmental approach to Music Education for children. ... Xylophone in Bali 1937 The xylophone is a musical instrument in the percussion family. ... A bell is a simple sound-making device. ... A metallophone used in a Gamelan - Indonesian Embassy in Canberra Generally speaking, a metallophone is any musical instrument consisting of tuned metal bars which are struck to make sound, usually with a mallet. ... The Orff Schulwerk or Orffschulwerk, also called as Orff-method is an approach for music education for children. ... In music theory, a diatonic scale (from the Greek diatonikos, to stretch out; also known as the heptatonia prima; set form 7-35) is a seven-note musical scale comprising five whole-tone and two half-tone steps, in which the half tones are maximally separated. ... The Orff Schulwerk or Orffschulwerk, also called as Orff-method is an approach for music education for children. ... Harmony is the use and study of pitch simultaneity, and therefore chords, actual or implied, in music. ...


Further reading

  • Pentatonicism from the Eighteenth Century to Debussy by Jeremy Day-O'Connell (University of Rochester Press 2007) - the first comprehensive account of the increasing use of the pentatonic scale in 19th century Western art music, including a catalogue of over 400 musical examples.
  • Tran Van Khe "Le pentatonique est-il universel? Quelques reflexions sur le pentatonisme", The World of Music 19, nos. 1-2:85-91 (1977). English translation p.76-84
  • Kurt Reinhard, "On the problem of pre-pentatonic scales: particularly the third-second nucleus", Journal of the International Folk Music Council 10 (1958).
  • Jeff Burns, Pentatonic Scales for the Jazz-Rock Keyboardist (1997).

See also

Slendro (called salendro by the Sundanese) is a pentatonic (five tone) scale, one of the two most common scales used in Indonesian gamelan music. ... Pelog is one of the two essential scales of gamelan music native to Bali and Java, in Indonesia. ... In music, a pentatonic scale is a notes per octave. ... Blues music redirects here. ...

References

  1. ^ Japanese Music, Cross-Cultural Communication: World Music, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

The Appalachian Mountains are a system of North American mountains running from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada to Alabama in the United States, although the northernmost mainland portion ends at the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec. ... This article is about the European people. ... For other uses, see Diaspora (disambiguation). ...

External links

Look up pentatonic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Scales in music by number of pitches : edit
pentatonic | hexatonic | heptatonic | octatonic | chromatic

  Results from FactBites:
 
Pentatonic scale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1431 words)
Pentatonic scales are very common and are found all over the world, including but not limited to the tuning of the Ethiopian krar and the Indonesian gamelan, the melodies of African-American spirituals, Celtic folk music and the music of French composer Claude Debussy.
One is the relative minor pentatonic derived from the major pentatonic, using scale tones 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 of the natural minor scale (root, minor third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, minor seventh).
Pentatonic scales are useful in modern jazz and pop/rock contexts because they work exceedingly well over several chords diatonic to the same key, often better than the parent scale.
Musical scale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1411 words)
Scales are typically ordered in pitch, with their ordering providing a measure of musical distance.
Scales are often abstracted from performance or composition, though they are often used precompositionally to guide or limit a composition.
Microtonal scales are also used in traditional Indian Raga music, which has a variety of modes which are used not only as modes or scales but also as defining elements of the song, or raga.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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