Exploration Of Tonality And The Pentatonic Scale Essay
2.1 Exploration Of Tonality And The Pentatonic Scale
Blossoms on a Moonlit River has been written in G major, and this is known from an author’s note written above the stave and the key signature (Fig 2a). It has been written with diatonic numerical notation using the numbers 1 to 7, and the number 0 represents a rest. The piece is tonal centred, and relies on a major pentatonic scale consisting of G, A, B, D and E (Fig 2b) and this is close to the western Mixolydian scale (Fig 2c). In Blossoms on a Moonlit River, the pentatonic scale is in the following order: G A B D E (1 2 3 5 6 lü). The lü begins on E, and this is the 6th diatonic (submediant). This suggests that the piece is in E minor, due to the first note in bar 1 and the 1st beat in bar 4 (Fig 2a). Although, seeing as the 7th (D) is not raised, it is E natural minor. But the foundation tone of this piece is G, so the piece is therefore in G major.
At 0:44 in the Sacred Pool of Tears the yellow bell, or foundation tone, is heard. The piece begins in D minor, and establishes a pentatonic scale containing D, E, G, A, C with an occasional F, which makes it similar to the Ionian mode. When it changes to F minor, which is the third of D minor, the scale also changes. The pentatonic scale now becomes F, A, B, C, E which is similar to the Phrygian mode in Western music culture.
Panda Po opens with a Chordophone, lute, and establishes the tone and the scale used, F major. The arpeggio…