header photo

Pentatonic as a Universal?

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

Sarah Hruska-Olson made the point that the pentatonic scale, in one form or another, can be found in many cultures around the world.  While the cognitive universality of the scale hasn't been proven empirically, many teachers, and in particular Orff and Kodaly trained teachers, stress the ubiquity of the scale. It certainly can be found in much (if not most) non-Western musics.  Bobby McFerrin agrees and demonstrates as much at the World Science Festival in 2009. The rest of the discussion is worth watching as well.



Go Back