A ditonic scale is a musical scale or mode with two notes per octave. This is in contrast to a heptatonic (seven-note) scale such as the major scale and minor scale, or a dodecatonic (chromatic 12-note ) scale, both common in modern Western music. Ditonic scales are not common in modern art music, and are generally associated with primitive music.[not in citation given][not in citation given] Ethnomusicologist Bruno Nettl noted that ditonic scales were common in many parts of the world but often limited to specific music types, such as children's songs, with the exception of some tribal societies.
The Cheremis (Mari people) of Russia employ ditonic scales in children's songs, generally with the two notes a minor third apart. Nettl theorised that these ditonic songs may be a remnant of a more archaic form of music.
North America 
Several ditonic scales were noted about the Modoc and Klamath tribes of the North American West Coast, and are also found in the Great Plains in the rituals of the 1800s Ghost Dance religion. The scale was also used in the music of the Shawnee.
- Bruno Nettl; Helen Myers (1976). Folk Music in the United States: An Introduction. Wayne State University Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-8143-1557-6. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Anthony Baines (1967). Woodwind Instruments and Their History (third, revised ed.). Faber and Faber. p. 176 (Reprinted, New York: Courier Dover Publications, 1991, ISBN 978-0-486-26885-9).
- Surajit Sinha (1 January 1991). Tribal Thought and Culture: Essays in Honour of Surajit Chandra Sinha. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 131–[page needed]. ISBN 978-81-7022-340-5. Retrieved 22 June 2012.. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Bruno Nettl (1960) Cheremis Musical Styles, with a preface by Thomas A. Sebeok (Indiana University Publications: Folklore Series 14). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, p. 10.
- "Cheremis musical styles - Bruno Nettl - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "Pg 76". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-07-04.[full citation needed]
- "Ca Dao Việtnam: Vietnamese Folk Poetry - John Balaban - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "World Music Survey: The History of Music from Cuba, the Caribbean, South ... - Jose Rosa, Prof Hector Neciosup - Google Books". Books.google.com. 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2012-07-04.[full citation needed]
- "Shawnee!: The ceremonialism of a native Indian tribe and its cultural background - James Henri Howard - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-07-04.[full citation needed]
- "Pg 231". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-07-04.[full citation needed]
- "Centering on African Practice in Musical Arts Education - Minette Mans - Google Books". Books.google.com. 2006-12-29. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- Mervyn McLean (1996). Māori Music. Auckland University Press. pp. 239–. ISBN 978-1-86940-144-3. Retrieved 24 June 2012.