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Idiotic Question about Pentatonics.

Music Theory
Littlewing  
1 Oct 2008 18:34 | Quote
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The definition of a scale is: a group of tones built off of a root note.

But pentatonics are just tones derived from the Minor and major modes.

Example: A Aeolian: A B C D E F G
A Pentatonic: A C D E G
A Dorian: A B C D E F#G
A Phyrigian: A Bb C D E F G

Are Pentatonics legit scales?
baudelaire  
1 Oct 2008 18:54 | Quote
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it's really just a pattern. not a scale.
RA  
1 Oct 2008 19:44 | Quote
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pentatonic scales for one are a scale and you could consider any scale a patten. second stop thinking that the pentatonic at all came from the diatonic scales they developed ( i don't know the math but it is passable that true pentatonic don't fit in the 12 semitone system but that are close that is a fact) by them self's. now the pentatonic only have a major and minor tonality difference they just don't have the spic of the diatonic (that why this is a blues note). That idea alone you could write a book on. next stop thinking and being confined to scales. look at how harmonic minor came about people just liked the resolve of a 7th to a 1 or leading to tonic interval so they made the aeolian scale have a 7th not a b7th.


in my closing point music theory is mans attempt to define the workings of music. it truly in the end has only one rule, "music is noise with rhythm/a time"
baudelaire  
1 Oct 2008 20:23 | Quote
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as i said, pentatonics are a pattern, not a scale, as long as we are talking musically.

as for not being confined to scales, until you have eaten all the grass in the yard, you don't need to jump the fence to look for more. it's not greener.
Littlewing  
1 Oct 2008 20:32 | Quote
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Being confined to scales in what respect? Baudelaire, i do not understand your analogy.
baudelaire  
1 Oct 2008 20:43 | Quote
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i'm saying, don't worry about breaking the rules, until you have mastered the rules... and i doubt anyone is going to master the rules. there is far more creativity, originality and beauty to be found in learning to effectively use music theory, then there is in trying to break out of music theory... unless you have a complete comprehension of every single aspect of music theory as it is known today, and have squeezed out of music theory everything that could possibly be squeezed. i don't think anyone has even come close to that point - mozart, beethoven, bach, haydn, berlioz, holst, all closely followed the rules, and there is more to learn about music NOW then there was THEN.

saying they are trying to be original is a excuse that lazy musicians use to avoid learning and studying music theory with a intensity.

edit: buckethead may very well have mastered music theory to the point that he can make meaningful music without strictly adhering to it, although i believe most of his work that one might call "unruled" is most likely simply 12 tone matrix method music, applied better then schoenberg ever applied it.
Littlewing  
1 Oct 2008 20:58 | Quote
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Baudelaire, nobody can truly master the rules. When I compose a song, and a chord progression sounds good but it doesn't quite fit in theory, I don't throw away. The Beatles knew nothing about theory. They just knew how to write songs.
RA  
1 Oct 2008 21:36 | Quote
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actually being unconfined to scales dose not mean necessarily breaking any rule it could. I didn't mean it to when i said it through it sounded like it so i will explain. what I was trying to say is you don't have to stick to the 7 notes of the given diatonic scale it gets quite boring if you do. through the study of intervals you will find if you want a certain sound you can get by following the rules strictly. methods that your people your speaking for used and i was taking about. for example the creation of harmonic minor or using aeolian to descend then melodic minor to ascending.

second, i don't know what your thinking or who told you but pentatonic is a scale you can make your argument about jazz but pentatonic is a scale and i beg you to prove me others wise (it would be cool if you could not trying to be a smart ass)

third, calling me lazy in regard to music theory (in regard to getting up and doing something eh) is ridiculous i study music theory with just a much passion as you or more i have freely given up so much to study it so i take high offensive to you saying other wise. you want to try and tell me that fallowing the rules more strictly leads to better music well make your argument but I'm am and no way randomly doing things they have purpose and meaning and great thought went into it. and no I'm not trying to be original in the context in which you are saying i work of the ideas of the giants before me.

fourth. Schoenberg's 12 tone method is so far from being unruly it is so far the opposite. and while i don't like buckethead (not going to lie)nor am I discrediting him comparing him to Schoenberg is ridiculous.

in my whole original post i never said anything about breaking the rules the last part was my Philosophy on music theory after my studies in listening to others music particularly john cage.
Littlewing  
1 Oct 2008 21:42 | Quote
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I never implied that you have less of a passion of theory then me. In fact, you probably have a WAY greater knowledge of it then I do. I am not as confined to the diatonic scales as you may think I am.
RA  
1 Oct 2008 21:52 | Quote
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no baud did not you
well good and i never meant to say that you where confined i was just trying to explain something
sorry for any misunderstanding littlewing
baudelaire  
1 Oct 2008 21:59 | Quote
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most everything you said is missing the point and assuming a totally new one. i simply didn't imply most any of that.

as for pentatonics, no, it's not a scale. Elie simply names them a pattern; and pentatonics have none of the features that make a scale, a scale.

it is not a mode of the major scale, it has no modes, there is virtually no harmonic progression possible with it because you will always be playing a single chord (the tones of a pentatonic scale add up to a simple 6add9 chord), it has no drive other then the tonic, etc. etc.

really, what makes you think it's a scale? it's just a pattern of notes - and technically just a very versatile arpeggio. have you ever heard a song that only used 5 notes? it can not be used like a scale. it is not a scale.
Littlewing  
1 Oct 2008 22:02 | Quote
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Thank you Baudelaire, that has been troubling me for a while. Holy shit, a pentatonic scale does add up to a 6add9 chord. Thats actually kinda cool.

Edit: What do you mean by "It has no Harmonic progression."?
Edit 2: Oops, never mind that noobish question.


RA  
1 Oct 2008 22:35 | Quote
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i wrote a post but my pc acted up again so it didn't post I'm not going to retype it tonight so wait for my replay on this thread bauD ok. and were both right I'll explain

as for missing the point how am i supposed to take this

baudelaire says:
saying they are trying to be original is a excuse that lazy musicians use to avoid learning and studying music theory with a intensity.


it seem directed to me
RA  
1 Oct 2008 22:55 | Quote
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i'm sorry baud but pentatonic is a scale . and of course it is not a mode of the diatonic it has nothing to do with the diatonic scales. they developed separately. and i already stated that the pentatonic has only a major and a minor tonality meaning is has no modes in the diatonic sense (you could see it as have two modes but i don't so we both agree it has no modes thinking like that ain't smart) and it is true the pentatonic scale has no almost no harmony (double stops and intervals). you of all people being a extreme lover of western classical that harmony was developed to it's fullest in the west with the diatonic scales. that being said the pentatonic found around the world (not just Africa) is in music with high rhythm and melody but with almost no harmony. thus making it a scale

now as i have said before music is largely perspective and viewing the scale as a harmonic patten is most certainly correct. but saying that is not scale completely is just foolish. and yes i have heard music that uses only on note

ps my original post was better. have any question I'm sure you will ask
baudelaire  
1 Oct 2008 23:25 | Quote
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as long as we are making western music, it is not a scale, but a arpeggio/pattern. i don't think little wing is making oriental music, and so it's a arpeggio/pattern.

and i would like to hear this fantastic song of only one note that you have heard.
RA  
1 Oct 2008 23:37 | Quote
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again it is a scale (stone hard fact) and it is use as a scale in rock and blues oblivious not in classical (has no use for it) and jazz can be almost what ever it wants to be. and i going to go out on a stretch and say he wants to play blues and rock. and Aboriginal music is almost always played with one note there is tons of other examples but the Didgeridoo is funny
wouldn't call it fantastic but it would be cool to do the dances to it
baudelaire  
2 Oct 2008 00:44 | Quote
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it is NOT used as a scale in blues and rock. it is used as a pattern that fits into a scale. if the key is A major, the scale is A ionian, and if someones playing a C chord, you could play a Aminor pentatonic improv over it. but you know what that is? it's just a c6add9 arpeggio. that's all. it's not a scale. what makes you think it's a scale? where would you even get that notion?
RA  
2 Oct 2008 09:27 | Quote
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A fifth interval with double tonic (power chord)- AEa
D fifth interval with double tonic - DAd
E firth interval with double tonic - Ebe

A Pentatonic major A B D E F# A
get a little chuck berry with this you got a good song

and just because technically it could be a arpeggio you could still play it with a scale train of thought

littlewing the whole i have is things can be looked at very different in music and to right things off really limits your understanding. but thinking it's just a harmonic pattern really isn't going to hurt you just bad habits can stick. and with that I'm done
JazzMaverick  
2 Oct 2008 09:44 | Quote
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They're not really a scale.

But during time they've been used more and more, and now more people are considering them a scale, even though they've derived from the major and minor scales. It still doesn't mean that they are scales.
Davo  
2 Oct 2008 10:38 | Quote
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baudelaire says:
it is NOT used as a scale in blues and rock.


Yes it is (and that's probably why it is referred to as the pentatonic blues scale in every music theory book you will encounter).

This seems like a most unproductive semantic arguement.
league  
2 Oct 2008 10:40 | Quote
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So it shouldnt be called Pentatonic scale it should be called Asian Scale or simply Pentatonics.
KicknGuitar  
2 Oct 2008 11:08 | Quote
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Can someone please give us a source, after all when you look for "patterns" they usually refer to the fretting or fingering or which valves to close.

Plus you mean to tell me this is wrong???!!!!
http://www.pbs.org/parents/creativity/ideas/pentatonic.html
NOOOOOOO!!!!

Anyway, the following are questions I would like to be explained why or why not, for I do not understand the argument it is a pattern not a scale... seems a little vague, so ehre we go.

So the claim is the pentatonic is not a scale, but what about the diatonic scale? What do we call one of the original classifications of seven notes? Diatonic scale. Now we also have a chromatic scale, which includes all the "missing" notes in between the diatonic scale creating a twelve note scale!
So what's the issue with a five note scale? TO say it is not a scale because it came from a diatonic scale is to say a diatonic scale does not exist because it came from a chromatic scale and so on and so forth.
To say it is a pattern to fit over, correct. Isn't that how music works, however. They are all vibrations organized into patterns to be made into pleasing music? The diatonic scale isn't a scale since it incorporates a pattern, the Major scale doesn't count either, so are we going to say no scales exist?

P.S. here's a little something I was looking for, a definition for "scale."
The Concise Grove Dictionary of Music says:
A sequence of notes in ascending or descending order of pitch. It is long enough to define unambiguously a mode or tonality and begins or ends on the fundamental note of that mode or tonality. A scale is DIATONIC if the sequence of notes is based on an octave species consisting of five tones and two semitones; the MAJOR and natural MINOR scales are diatonic, as are the church modes (see MODE). A CHROMATIC scale is based on an octave of 12 semitones. The WHOLE-TONE SCALE proceeds entirely by whole tones. A PENTATONIC scale has five pitches within the octave.

http://www.answers.com/topic/scale-music
JazzMaverick  
2 Oct 2008 11:32 | Quote
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Ah, Davo. There's the pentatonic scale, and then there's the Blues scale. They're similar but not the same. Are you sure you haven't miss-read what those books said?

League, the Asian scale is also a different scale.

KicknGuitar, the twelve note scale is a chromatic scale. This is the very first scale.

The Pentatonic is only an abbreviation of the real major and minor positions.
baudelaire  
2 Oct 2008 11:33 | Quote
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it is NOT used as a scale in blues and rock. it is used as a pattern with which to solo and improvise over a MAJOR or MINOR scale. you never here a blues song with strictly 5 notes.

yes, PBS is wrong, they probably don't feel the need to explain to children the difference between a scale, mode, key, arppeggio, and pattern. it is much easier to call pentatonics a scale, because they have the superficial appearance of one, but they are certainly NOT technically a scale.

and yes, that dictionary is wrong, because by that definition, a lick can be called a scale, as long as it goes in one direction.

would you call a minor arppeggio a scale? would you? would you call a major arpeggio a scale? then why would you call a extension of it a arpeggio as well? is a minor 9th arppegio a scale, or a min7b5?
JazzMaverick  
2 Oct 2008 11:42 | Quote
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Baudelaire is right, guys.

You missed a few things within that quote, KicknGuitar.

"...consisting of five tones and two semitones..."

Seven notes in total. :)

Although, that's only for the western scales.
KicknGuitar  
2 Oct 2008 12:17 | Quote
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JazzMaverick says:
"...consisting of five tones and two semitones..."

Ahem,
"A scale is DIATONIC if the sequence of notes is based on an octave species consisting of five tones and two semitones;"

And I think we're getting confused as to the use of the types of scales. Take a look at how they word the description of diatonic. They are a general term for scales. they are the categories then you have some subcategories under them. It's diatonic (scale is implied) It's chromatic (scale is implied) pentatonic (scale is implied). TO use the word "scale" is used different ways, but if it is accept one way you must make that rule universal, we accept the Major scale but we also accept the Major scale as a diatonic scale.
As I asked before, If you discount pentatonic, why not diatonic? Why not hexatonic? Apply your rules universally.

Why isn't an arpeggio a scale? Well what is an arpeggio?
The Concise Grove Dictionary of Music says:
The sounding of the notes of a chord in succession rather than simultaneously; in keyboard music, the breaking or spreading of a chord.

If this definition doesn't suffice read the rest,
http://www.answers.com/arpeggio

An arpeggio is the notes of a chord is succession, I think we can all agree. Yet this is not a scale because as soon as you play these notes out of order they are no longer an arpeggio. Now I have gone back to playing with a scale. You see the arpeggio doesn't originate out of thin air, it comes from a form, a chord, and that chord comes from a scale. It is in the realm so it's easy to mislabel.
Davo  
2 Oct 2008 12:26 | Quote
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JazzMaverick says:
There's the pentatonic scale, and then there's the Blues scale. They're similar but not the same. Are you sure you haven't miss-read what those books said?


Don't think so. I've encountered the Pentatonic scale, and the Blues scale and the Pentatonic Blues scale in music theory books. I always assumed that Blues and Pentatonic Blues were two names for the same scale. My only point was that they are scales and are referred to as such in theory books.

Unless what I am missing is the point of the semantic arguement (shrug) but I don't think so. I'm still pretty sure that the arguement of wether or not they are technically called scales is a relatively valueless distinction that won't help anyone play any better.
JazzMaverick  
2 Oct 2008 12:37 | Quote
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Ah well, I agree with Davo. It's not going to get us anywhere. It's still something to play and none of our opinions are going to change.

I don't really know about the other scales KicknGuitar, I don't know every single scale. I'm still learning myself.
Afro_Raven  
2 Oct 2008 13:34 | Quote
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I might be wrong, but I think this is a debate that has been around for many years. On the one hand, a pentatonic remains anhemitonic (whereas it is usually considered that a scale must be hemitonic to be called a scale), but it does not change the fact it is still a sequence of notes that can be placed in a close ascending/descending order of pitch and that repeats after each octave. In other words it is consistent, which is one of the first ways to categorise a series of notes as a scale.

At the same time, what baudelaire said is absolutely true; the pentatonic is derived from the diatonic, and can therefore be shown as simply a pattern of its larger diatonic counterpart. Pentatonics also have very limited harmonic progression possibilities (due to their anhemitonic make-up) consisting a largely of sus and 5 chords (although it can be argued that this, nevertheless, remains a progression).

All in all, I couldn't give a toss, and having just finished writing the above I can't believe I've wasted 5 minutes of my life that I could have spent doing something WAY more productive. The number of times baudelaire has posted does, however, provide evidence for himself to the contrary of this.

Take it easy y'all,
Afro
Littlewing  
3 Oct 2008 16:15 | Quote
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But within the pentatonic scale ( say E) you have Em, G, Em7, Esus2, Esus4, Gsus2, etc.

I wouldn't say there's NO harmonic possibilities.


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