Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the pentatonic scale w/audience help
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Amazing. Maybe I should add some foot work in my conducting :-)
    Actually I might try this in my children's class when I get desperate.
  • He is so wonderful.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I googled him, wikipedia says
    "McFerrin is also capable of throat singing [...]— a practice common in central Asian regions such as Tuva and Tibet in which the singer excites the natural overtones from the fundamental vocal pitch, producing a two-or three-part chord of notes from one voice."
    Wow, a new technique for polyphony singing ;-)
  • Gilbert
    Posts: 106
    This was fascinating...
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    Guidonian feet. Conductors using this technique should make sure that the railing in the loft is secure.
    Love it!
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    This brings up a lot of questions in my mind. On the one hand, I'd prefer to believe music is a conditional thing. On the other, the pentatonic scale (at least the 4 common anhemitonic scales, not the ones like the Yo) is based on fifths, the 3rd most natural interval after the unison and octave. So perhaps there is some natural inclination towards it. It'd be interesting to expand to a hexatonic scale, say CDEGAB, and see if the result is the same, and continue to CDEF#GAB and so on. The naturality of fifths, and hence the ii-V-I system, raises challenging questions about our churchly use of modality as well - did the ancients have this wrong?

    Also the natural appeal of music puts to shame the trads who exercise the "active participation = sit down and shut up while the schola sings" approach. We need to share with people that music is a gift of God that they can partake in.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Gavin, there's no such thing as "active participation = sit down and shut up while the schola sings" approach, and I heard no one says that in this forum, nor Pope or anyone else in the Church (we need to stop twisting other people's point of views and exaggerate them.), but we all believe in this "We need to share with people that music is a gift of God that they can partake in." That's why I offer Gregorian chant classes to anyone who is interested in. "Sing and sing no matter what'" doesn't seem to work in our local parishes, especially in Mass with 4 sandwiched hymns.

    Oriental music is based on pentatonic, and we don't have half steps, so I'm not sure hexatonic scale would work in the same way.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    My mistake, Mia, I was confusing the Yo scale with the others, such as the In (which IS hemitonic).

    And there ARE those who advocate that the congregation should only sing the responses at Mass. They do so with no support from the Pope (or any recent pope), and I find that a terrible thing to promote. As I've said before, the congregation need not sing every ordinary, nor a hymn at every Mass, but singing more than just the responses ought to be more common than it presently is in trad circles. It's an area where the EF is just begging to be enriched by the OF.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    How would you like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQXbTfzjTUw&feature=channel_page

    It was last Saturday, Traditional High Mass for Assumption. (You can barely see me with my boy.) The director invited anyone who wants to sing Ordinaries and a simple chant, and the 3 member schola sang the propers. We went all the way down to VA to sing with them. Although we sang form the choir loft, it wasy very family oriented and made of non-regular choir singers. It's a good start, don't you think. Never knew singing EF was so easy.
    On the way back in a car ride we were all so happy chanting along (5 of us), thinking of the beauty of the Mass and being thankful to God who let us share that beauty.
  • AngelaR
    Posts: 260
    The famous Hungarian Kodaly starts his whole philosophy of teaching music to children with the pentatonic scale. There is a huge array of children's songs that are entirely pentatonic. Young children do not have the control needed to master the half steps. The pentatonic scale may also be a great place to start adults singing who have trouble matching pitch.

    I used elements of the McFerrin video in a couple of my music classes yesterday: with second and with fourth grade. After I modeled some of it, I had them stand up and do it with me, singing "do re mi sol la" instead of "bah". They loved it! Children learn well kinesthetically, and there's nothing like the above exercise to break up the monotony of class and written homework, while still teaching them about the physical spatial placement of notes. It is an easier transition to go from such kinesthetic experiences to notes on a staff, than simply to try nailing down audial examples on a staff.