Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Roots of the ClassicalThe Popular Origins of Western Music$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Van der Merwe

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198166474

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198166474.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 24 April 2019

The Pentatonic Scale

The Pentatonic Scale

Chapter:
(p.38) 4 The Pentatonic Scale
Source:
Roots of the Classical
Author(s):

Peter van der Merwe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198166474.003.0005

This chapter shows how the pentatonic scale develops out of the children's chant, either by transference and superimposition (e.g., a–g–e + d–c–a) or by the addition of a note at either end (a–g–e + b + d). It also examines the paradoxical nature of this scale, which both maximizes melodic consonance and depends on the major second, an interval intermediate between consonance and dissonance. (Triadic melodies are in a sense pentatonic, since the major triad forms part of the pentatonic scale, but they are not fully pentatonic in effect.) By filling in the gaps, the pentatonic can be developed into the seven-note diatonic scale, but will still be present as a framework. Such frameworks fall into the three pentatonic species of ‘natural’ (c–d–e–g–a), ‘hard’ (e–g–a–b–d), or ‘soft’ (f–g–a–c–d).

Keywords:   children's chant, melodic consonance, triadic melodies, diatonic scale, pentatonic species

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .