The pentatonic scale is a widely used musical scale that has been around for centuries. It is a five-note scale that has been used in various genres of music, including blues, rock, pop, and jazz. The pentatonic scale is often associated with Eastern music and is frequently used in traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean music.
The question arises whether the pentatonic scale is a part of music theory or not. Music theory encompasses all aspects of how music works, including the study of scales, chords, harmony, melody, rhythm, and form. It teaches musicians how to read sheet music and understand the underlying structure of a piece.
Many musicians consider the pentatonic scale to be a part of music theory because it is an essential element of many musical styles. It is also one of the first scales that beginner musicians learn.
The pentatonic scale consists of five notes per octave rather than the seven notes per octave found in most Western scales. The five notes are generally chosen from a seven-note diatonic scale by omitting two notes – one note from each tetrachord. For example, if we consider the C major scale (C-D-E-F-G-A-B), we can choose C-D-E-G-A as our pentatonic scale by omitting F and B.
One reason why the pentatonic scale is so popular is because it sounds good over almost any chord progression. Its simplicity allows for easy improvisation and makes it accessible for beginners who may not have an extensive knowledge of music theory.
Moreover, many famous songs use this simple but effective musical device to create memorable melodies that have stood the test of time. Examples include “My Girl” by The Temptations and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses.
In conclusion, while some argue that the pentatonic scale may not be considered a part of traditional Western music theory due to its omission of certain notes, its widespread use in various genres and its importance in creating melodic and harmonic interest make it a valuable and essential part of any musician’s repertoire. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician, it is worth taking the time to learn and master this simple but versatile scale.