Pentatonic scale in Debussy's Voiles, Preludes, Book I, no. 2, mm.43-45

John Coltrane
• “(…). Currently,(…), I seem to be going through a modal phase… There’s a lot of modal music that is played everyday throughout the world. It’s particularly evident in Africa, but if you look at Spain, Scotland, India or China, you’ll discover this again in each case. (…). Certainly, the popular music of England is not that of South America, but take away their purely ethnic characteristicsthat is, their folkloric aspect-and you’ll discover the presence of the same pentatonic sonority, of comparable modal structures”.

• Definition : A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five notes per octave in a contrast to a heptatonic (seven note scale), such as major or minor. • It is classified as anhemitonic scale, do not contain semitones.


Modal VS Tonal music
• Modal : is a Non-Functional harmony which does not progress to the tonic. • Tonal : is a Functional harmony that has two jobs : • 1- to progress towards the Tonic. • 2- to establish the tonality.

Bela Bartok Essays
• “… that reciprocity of effect between tonic and dominant so familiar to us in older art music must here give up much of its sovereignty. In these pentatonic scales the third, fifth and seventh are of equal rank and importance…” • From this fact Bartok concludes that the seventh degree is consonant, therefore, the seventh chord is now stable and don’t need to resolve.

Construction of Chords over
• Tonal music : • Pentatonic melody :

• From this moment on, the seventh chords are considered stable and they don’t need to resolve.

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