Some Things Are Universal

Bobby McFarrin demonstrates that the pentatonic scale is a universal constant.

2 Comment(s)

  1. Hey, I sang along! My co-workers thought I was Crazy! But I sang along…



    Brian Riley | Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

  2. Cool video! From my undergraduate experience as a music major, I might have a few things to say about this. The pentatonic scale is indeed something you see occurring a lot in music around the world, so there is definitely something to the idea here. However, notice a couple things. This guy is in front of a primarily Western audience- and so much of our music is based on tonic/dominant relationships derived from the pentatonic scale. I wonder what would’ve actually happened if he didn’t sing the minor third under the tonic note before he led the audience to sing it (the first “lower” note, if you will). There might have been a lot more confusion in the room, some singing a leading tone, while others singing some lower note, maybe even the dominant! It was a little underhanded to do that, since he completed a pentatonic scale once he gave the audience that note.

    Andrew | Dec 22, 2009 | Reply

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