pentatonic scale

pentatonic scale

[pen-tuh-ton-ik, pen-]
noun Music.
a scale having five tones to an octave, as one having intervals that correspond to the five black keys of a piano octave.

Origin:
1860–65; penta- + tonic

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World English Dictionary
pentatonic scale (ˌpɛntəˈtɒnɪk)
 
n
music any of several scales consisting of five notes, the most commonly encountered one being composed of the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth degrees of the major diatonic scale

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

pentatonic scale

musical scale containing five different tones. It is thought that the pentatonic scale represents an early stage of musical development, because it is found, in different forms, in most of the world's music. The most widely known form is anhemitonic (without semitones; e.g., c-d-f-g-a-c'), the hemitonic form (with semitones; e.g., c-e-f-g-b-c') occurring less frequently.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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