TIP: Exploring Exotic Pentatonic Tunings – p8

Looking at the other notes on the F7 Bebey Tuning

In the previous tip, we stated that the “5” and the “1” form the backbone of the music, and the other notes of the scale provide different spices.  Let’s look at what those spices are.

I should note that the way people understand harmonies changes over time and culture.  Early European music listeners in the 13th and 14th centuries perceived the minor 3rd as being happy, and the major 3rd being sad.  Most western listeners today – and I would assert at this point, most global listeners – now hear the minor 3rd as being mysterious or melancholy, while the major 3rd intervals imply more positive expressions.

Right away we see: our culture and our time overlay the various harmonies with emotions, and our experience of the music is the conflation of the actual notes and their logic with the emotions and associations we have (largely) been trained to feel when we hear various musical elements.

The F7 Bebey Tuning has the 1 – 2 – 3,  the first three notes of “Do Re Mi” – which is strong and positive.  The 4 is skipped and then we have the 5.  The big surprise is the flat 7th, or “7-“.  Just as the “5” points to the “1”, in this tuning, the “7-” also points to the “1”.

Again, tune in to the F7 Bebey “Floaty kalimba” video and look for places where the “7-” leads into the “1”.



“Floaty Kalimba” on the F7 Bebey tuned pentatonic kalimba.

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