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Why Pentatonic Scales are so Popular (Infographic and Blog Post) Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Why Pentatonic Scales are so Popular (Infographic and Blog Post)

Hi all, This week I took my first crack at making an infographic - about pentatonic scales and why they are so prevalent in pop. Since there is only so much that I could fit in an infographic I also added an accompanying blog post. I'd love for you to check it out and I always welcome comments and suggestions.
Top 40 Theory - Blog - Top40 Theory
Old 5 days ago
  #2
Gear Nut
Pentatonic scales are not as popular as you might think. If there were 6 notes being used, you might say its a pentatonic scale with an added grace or tendency note somewhere in here and there...

Honestly, its the interpretation that is so prevalent or popular - the internet should have allowed more insights into every knowledge - science, art, etc. - but here we are following the same garbage found in dumbed down books in stores throughout the world for the past few decades, focusing on the same interpretations.

How many 3 note scales or 4 note scales are much more prevalent than the pentatonic scale in todays music? Considering those same notes fall into the pentatonic scale, and the music most likely reuses the same patterns and song structures of the past millennia, we can easily describe them under a 5 note system. But they are not pentatonic.

Not sayin people should stop looking at music through the lens of "pentatonic scales," but at least give the relationship between notes, or intervals, some recognition.

If you really want to examine popular music of the past few decades, you should study opera music - music created around the 1700s in Italy for the diva or vocal parts, so that a few notes could sound glorious in whatever scale; the composer wrote around the divas voice to highlight/accentuate their range, best notes, etc.

I don't like opera music - it offers too many opportunities for lazy songwriting, and that gaga sh1t that relies on opera tricks is also garbage. But those tricks please the crowds - in any scale you choose - and there will always be "that person" - YOU - to reiterate some garbage interpretation and mention the "pentatonic scale."

Looking at music in a popular context rather than actually studying the notes leads to ritardation - or the slowing down of all sense and reason. Your contribution doesnt add any knowledge to the musical world, and pushes people to sniff through some trashy material; those "artists" you cited in your blogpost are scum-bucket feeders that aren't even relevant to your argument.
Old 5 days ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattpyter View Post
Your contribution doesnt add any knowledge to the musical world, and pushes people to sniff through some trashy material; those "artists" you cited in your blogpost are scum-bucket feeders that aren't even relevant to your argument.
He's someone with a PhD in music theory who runs a blog based on the analyzation and theorization of current Top 40 music.

If you're not into the music he's choosing to describe, the post isn't for you. That's what music theory is: a description of the commonalities found within a certain set of music, be it jazz theory, classical theory, blues theory, modern pop theory, etc. "Music theory is frequently concerned with describing how musicians and composers make music, including tuning systems and composition methods among other topics. " - Music theory - Wikipedia

Analyze opera instead, because Lady Gaga? You've kinda missed the point, which is to describe what's happening now. Not to go back and re-study that which may have influenced it.

Last edited by newguy1; 5 days ago at 04:32 PM..
Old 5 days ago
  #4
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Herr Weiss's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
He's someone with a PhD in music theory who runs a blog based on the analyzation and theorization of current Top 40 music. [...]
Dr. Asaf Peres is so much more than that!!





Old 5 days ago
  #5
Gear Addict
 
YourBestFriend's Avatar
Im obsessed with modes, 7 different colors on all white keys, with the black backups, it seems the piano was made with modes in mind. me likey modes.
Old 5 days ago
  #6
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Timothy Lawler's Avatar
 

Good stuff, Asaf.

The approach of applying theory to popular music brings to mind Alan Pollack's analyses of the Beatles' works.
Old 5 days ago
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Analyze opera instead, because Lady Gaga?
None of his older posts in other threads have this kind of tone. It was Friday night, it was late...
Old 5 days ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Lawler View Post
Good stuff, Asaf.

The approach of applying theory to popular music brings to mind Alan Pollack's analyses of the Beatles' works.
There are quite a few Beatles scholars in the music theory field. It's almost a sub-field of its own. If you're interested, you should check out the work of Walt Everett, John Covach, and others. They even had a 4-day symposium dedicated to the Beatles here in Ann Arbor last year. Symposium celebrates 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” | Arts & Culture
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