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Author Topic: Is the pentatonic scale inherent in humans?  (Read 3694 times)
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­­Berner
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« on: August 26, 2009, 01:31:55 PM »

http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2009/08/the_pentatonic_is_fundamental.php

The video is the important part here.

Judging by how the crowd just "got" what note came next in the sequence, is it possible that the pentatonic scale is just part of who we are? Does this explain why so many guitar players can't seem to not play it all the time?


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Machine
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2009, 02:40:21 PM »

There is another possibility. Rock/Pop music has been around for a long time. Even some classical music, that has been around for hundreds of years, uses the pentatonic scale. It is used so often, in many styles of music, I beleive it has become the default scale for anyone who can differentiate tone, for western people. I'm sure if Bobby Mcfarrin did that in the Middle East, the result would have been MUCH different as they are used to, and exposed to different scales, and not as many western influences (although I'm sure that's changing). I may be wrong, but I think our musical ideas are learned. Just as we are forced to listen to that awful Nickleback song, and one day we catch ourselves humming it. Still, very interesting.
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wannabe
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 10:08:07 AM »

Oh man, what a topic. I love this stuff.

Aaron Copeland a composer from the US wrote many books on how we hear music and how the brain interprets it and how we interact with it. Very brilliant books. One in particular is called "How to to Listen to Music". At one point he talks in great detail about this idea. Not so much the pentatonic scale but how people see music in general as good sounding or bad sounding. A long time ago only certain intervals were used to harmonize melodies. The 3 primary ones were harmonize with the same note. UNISON. Harmonize with the 5th note. And harmonize wiith the 8th note. OCTAVE. He said how that there's a math in the music related to nature and that is inside us as we too are nature. He also said it it also learned or moreso exposed to. Back to the pentatonic scale, it is probably one of the oldest scales and like stated in the previous post, it us used EXTENSIVLY in our western world music. Everything from rock to country to jazz to motown to metal. It's everywhere. So, Copelands conclusion was that it's a combination of both.

Aslo the scale on the video is a major pentatonic scale not to be confused with the minor pentatonic scale.  afro
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diamondbanger
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2009, 11:07:45 PM »

There are hundreds of Pentatonic scales; in Western music, the Major and Minor are the first to come to mind.  The Chinese have tons of Pentatonic scales, as do other Asian and middle Eastern cultures.  I've forgotten more theory than I remember, but what I do understand about Pentatonics is that it's pretty hard to fuck things up when riffing or soloing using Pentatonics.  They are simple scales, and perhaps that's why they are so identifiable to our ears.
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009, 08:46:38 AM »

What's a scale? No, really though...Sparky knows one chord...dimish the fifth....DIMINISH. You must always diminish.
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­­Berner
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 09:02:49 AM »

Whatever works.
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Jonzo
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 02:06:30 PM »

It has thus far.
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