TIP OF THE DAY

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Melody & Harmony
The Major Pentatonic Scale

Essentially all "primitive" peoples have the concept of the octave in their music, and also the concept of the 5th. These are natural elements of almost any music.

Many "primitive" peoples use a scale which has the 1, 3, 5, and octave, but also has the 2 and 6 - or 1,2,3,5,6,8. As there are only five unique tones (8 is the same as 1, an octave lower), this scale is often called the "pentatonic", or 5 tone scale.

While many African kalimbas were pentatonic, and you can indeed purchase modern kalimbas which are restricted to the pentatonic scale, you can also play a subset of the notes on any diatonic kalimba (such as the ALTO or TREBLE) to get the pentatonic scale.

Major Pentatonic
Scale
You can download the
KTabS file for this music.

Listen to the G major pentatonic scale.