Sunday, January 07, 2007

Scale of the Day: E Flat Whole-tone no 2

EFlatWholeToneNo2

The E Flat Whole-tone no 2 Scale as one would find it on any conventionally tuned, equal tempered instrument. This is the first pentatonic scale in the particular sequence of scales that I'm working through. Which I find odd since I find pentatonic scales so interesting to work with compositionally. This particular scale is a whole-tone minus the second scale degree. So it is a pentatonic by subtraction. And like the whole-tone scale it is a "soft" scale with no dissonance stronger than the "tritone" or major second/minor seventh. To my ears, those 'dissonances' don't exactly offset the strong consonance of the major thirds/minor sixths. But the gap opened up by eliminating the second degree gives a noticeable cluster leading up to the tonic.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the user guides! As someone who doesn’t systematically or self-consciously engage with tunings or temperament, I find the bare-bones scale a little bit of a cypher, and consequently I find your ‘user report’ I fascinating and helpful.

S, tig

Devin Hurd said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I've never been sure if my language accurately conveys my impressions of the harmonic qualities of these scales. I think that my inaugural post "Why Harmony" is still the most definitive verbal expression of what I'd like to get across. I'll try to say a little more about these scales individually when there's something to say.