Basic information about the origin of the pentatonic scale and its presence in Anatolian-Turkish folk music

A term referring to any system music, mode or scale with five different notes in one octave. Constantine Brailou stated in 1953 that the pentatonic music system existed on five different continents and that ethnomusicological studies are increasingly listing cultures that were essentially based on pentatonic music. Brailow also mentioned that the pentatonic scale was used in ancient times as well. For more information, please visit

Many of Europe’s traditional pentatonic melodies are considered anhemitonic, and since scale intervals are composed of various combinations of major seconds and minor thirds, these scales can be mixed with existing heptatonic scales. It can be seen that the expression “pentatonic with a gap” is used to review the pentatonic tuning systems available in the world showed that the octave can be divided into several intervals. Chinese and Japanese theorists give lists of pentatonic scales with equivalent proximity to semitones and major thirds. On the other side of any comparative diagram of the pentatonic pitch system are some Southeast Asian and Central African chords that are theoretically equidistant.

Pentatonism was discovered by many European composers, especially Chopin, Debussy, Puccini, Ravel and Stravinsky, often for exotic pursuits. Penatonic improvisations are heavily used in Carl Orff’s Orff-Schulwerk method of musical education.

Origin of the pentatonic scale

Music used for therapeutic purposes is a form of music consisting of the use of 5 voices in a scale called the pentatonic scale. As a starting point for this musical genre, the map of music in the book of the Hungarian musicologist shows Southern Siberia, which is Central Asia, the birthplace of the Turks. This map is included in A.

Adnan Saigun’s work “Pentatonicism in Turkish Folk Music”. In this book, which includes the research of A. Adnan Saigun, it is said that the pentatonic scale is the seal of the Turk in music. It is mentioned that the effect is observed from Southern Siberia to China, Japan, India, the north and south of the Caspian Sea and from there to Europe, Africa and America. Today in the world this type of music is found in Central Asia, in the Urals, in China, Japan, on some islands of Bali in India, in parts of North America, in Central and South America. Some musicologists call this music “God’s gift”. The Japanese have done a great job on this issue.