Pentatonic Scale

Pronunciation: pen-tah-TAH-nik skale

What is the Pentatonic Scale?

Pentatonic is a musical scale that consists of 5 notes per octave, as opposed to the 7 notes commonly found on a major scale. There are two types of pentatonic scales, which are the semitones or hemitonic, and those without, which is called anhemitonic, the most commonly used.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pentatonic is a musical scale that consists of 5 notes on an octave.
  2. Pentatonic is commonly used in folk and world music.
  3. Pentatonic scale makes improvisation easier.

Understanding the Pentatonic Scale

The pentatonic scale is representative of the early stages of musical development as it can be found in many ancient civilizations and cultures all over the world. It is a musical scale commonly found in world music and is very much popular even today.

The pentatonic sound is widely considered to be pleasant and distinct. It also makes improvisation easier, which is why the pentatonic scale is also commonly used in jazz and blues music. A simple example of a pentatonic sound is when the black keys of a piano or keyboard are played ascending or descending one after the other.

Related Terms

Chromatic A chromatic scale is a 12-pitch scale, each being a semi note or half-step, which are above or below the last note. more

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