Pentatonic Scale

Music Theory Resources


Pentatonic Scale

The word 'pentatonic' can refer to any scale or system of music that uses only five pitches, but is generally understood to indicate the scale pattern shown here, which is by far the most common five-note scale. The pattern is made up of whole steps (major seconds) and minor thirds (between E and G as well as A and C, in this case).

Pitches: C D E G A C
Intervals: M2 M2 m3 M2 m3

To the western ear this scale often seems exotic, but it functions more similarly to major and minor scales than the wholetone or octatonic scales.

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