Power of Pentatonic ScaleJune 1, 2010
Art by Suisen
The World Science Festival 2010 will be held on June 2-6 in New York City.
- A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five pitches per octave in contrast to a heptatonic (seven note) scale such as the major scale.
- Pentatonic scales are very common and are found all over the world.
- Ethnomusicology commonly classifies pentatonic scales as either hemitonic or anhemitonic. Hemitonic scales contain one or more semitones and anhemitonic scales do not contain semitones.
- 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 traditional Japanese song “Sakura” uses a hemitonic pentatonic scale of the notes A-B-C-E-F
- The Yo scale used in Japanese shomyo Buddhist chants and gagaku imperial court music is an anhemitonic pentatonic scale, which is the fourth mode of the major pentatonic scale.