The task for this project is to compose three short contrasting pieces for singers using only pentatonic scales.
A pentatonic scale is made from five notes, which would be the same as the following notes taken out from the major scale of the same key: Tonic (2), Supertonic (2), Mediant (3), Dominant (5) and Submediant (6). In the OCA- study folder is explained that there are two different types of pentatonic scales. The fist one can be constructed, with the following schema: One leaves one tone between the first and the second as well as between the second and the third note, there i s a minor 3 between the third and the forth, and between the fourth and the fifth there is a tone again in between. The second type of the pentatonic scale is nearly the same, except for he fact, that the minor 3 is between the second and the third degree, everything else has one note in between.
It is possible ,of course, to just count the tones and semitones between those five notes and create a pentatonic scale, starting from any note. I myself was introduced to pentatonic scales in the following way:
One starts with any note and adds the dominant (5th degree) to it, from this point one takes the next dominant, etc… this needs to be done five times. Afterwards, the notes of the dominants need to be put in the right order, starting with the note from the beginning. To understand it in a better way, I made an example starting with C :
This of course, only shows the way on how to get to the first mentioned version of a pentatonic scale, for the second version one simply increases the last added dominant by one semitone, so as for this example, there would be an F instead of an E at the end.
The first two pieces are written in the first form of a pentatonic scale, the third piece is written in the second form. Being a choir singer (alto) myself , I composed the first for an alto- voice.