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Major and Minor Pentatonic Intervals

Posted by Cadmandu 
Major and Minor Pentatonic Intervals
January 09, 2019 05:55AM
Why would the 4th and 7th in a major scale be dropped to form a Pentatonic scale.
And the 2nd and 6th be dropped in a minor scale?
Re: Major and Minor Pentatonic Intervals
January 10, 2019 12:03AM
If you recall that A Minor is the relative minor of C Major, you will notice that the missing 4th and 7th of C major penta (the F and the B) are the same notes that are missing from A minor penta, except with A minor, the F and the B are the 2nd and 6th.

Clever eh?

Then when you start learning modes, you will understand there are 3 major modes (lydian, ionion and mixolydian) and that the notes that determine which one it is, are the 4th and the 7th. Lydian has a sharp 4; mixoydian has a flat 7. Similarly there are 3 minor modes (dorian, aeolian and phrygian), and the determining notes to tell you which it is are the 2nd and 6th. Dorian has the sharp 6; phrygian has the flat 2.

So without those identifier notes, you don’t know what mode it is. Hence, the pentatonics are AMODAL scales.

There you go :)
Re: Major and Minor Pentatonic Intervals
March 03, 2019 07:01AM
The (major) pentatonic scale is found in folk music and seems to predate the concept of major and minor.
The scale has no semitones (half steps) but does have tonic and dominant and the pitches a whole tone above both. The major third is also present. These notes (C,E and G for example) are found in the harmonic/overtone series - the simplest ratios.

The "missing" notes were presumably later added to fill in the gaps; the tonic being approached from a semitone (half step) below and the dominant a whole tone below (so as not to confuse tonic and dominant).
Re: Major and Minor Pentatonic Intervals
March 03, 2019 06:20PM
Whether or not useful, the pentatonic scale is the first five notes in a circle of fifths. Extending to 7 notes gives the normal major scale, and extending to 12 gives the chromatic scale. Of course, this construction leads to out-of-tune intervals (except for fifths) and just intonation replaces some of the ratios with simpler approximations.

As nothing comes out even (no power of three is a power of two except for the zeroth power) some temperamental adjustment is required.
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