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The Pentatonic Scale

A lot of may have heard of the pentatonic scale before, but what exactly makes up this scale? 

A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five notes per octave, in contrast to the more familiar heptatonic scale that has seven notes per octave (such as the major scale and minor scale). An example of a pentatonic scale in the key of C major would be C, D, E, G, A. Pentatonic scales were developed independently by many ancient civilizations—an indication that pentatonic scales are based upon a naturally occurring phenomenon. They are still used all over the world today, for example Chinese music and in the US country music and blues. Other musical style that use this scale also include folk, blue grass, funk,  jazz, pop, rock, metal, and this list goes on.

A little history on the pentatonic scale. The Pentatonic scale we now know predates Pythagoras, the Babylonians and virtually every other culture all the way back to these early bird bone flutes that have been discovered in various parts of the world dating back about 50,000 years. As a music teacher this is one of the first scale I  teach, as it is the easiest to superimpose over chord changes. They seems to be innate to our sense of hearing that we pick up on these specific sequence of tones and are drawn to them.

Regardless if you play guitar, piano, saxophone, clarinet flute, or violin the pentatonic scale  is a must know for all musicians. 

Please feel free to contact us to come in a learn all about the pentatonic scale and anything else pertaining to music from one of our great instructor at the Colorado School of Music in Golden CO. 

Thanks for reading!

Dean Cutinelli


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