PENTA = five TONIC = tone -- So a pentatonic scale is a five tone scale.

A common form of the pentatonic scale consists of three whole steps and two intervals of a step and a half. Ex:

C   D    F    G    A    C
  1   11/2   1     1    11/2

This scale has five forms (modes)

C   D    F    G    A    C
  1   11/2   1     1    11/2

D    F    G    A    C    D
 11/2    1    1   11/2    1

F    G    A    C    D    F
  1     1    11/2   1   11/2

G    A    C    D    F    G
  1    11/2    1  11/2   1

A    C    D    F    G    A
  11/2   1  11/2    1    1

Asian Song uses the second of these modes (11/2 1 1 11/2 1), but starting on concert G and using a concert Bb in the key.

C Instruments: G Bb C D F G

Bb Instruments: A C D E G A

Eb Instruments: E G A B D E

F Instruments: D F G A C D

In concert pitch, treble clef, this scale looks like this:

(If the play bar shows below, click on it to hear the above example.)

The Pentatonic Scale is important in the musical heritage of China, India, Africa, Polynesia, Scotland & the American Indian.

Jazzers - the minor pentatonic is the scale we often use as the basis of the blues scale - it is the second mode above but in jazz we usually call it by scale numbers:

1 b3 4 5 b7 1

A pure c minor pentatonic blues scale is:

C    Eb    F    G    Bb    C
  11/2   1    1    11/2    1

To this basic pentatonic scale, we usually add the 4# or 5b, so the usual c blues scale is:

C Eb F F# G Bb C

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