Yo scale

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The yo scale, which does not contain semitones, according to a traditional theory is a pentatonic scale used in much Japanese music including[1] gagaku and shomyo. The yo scale is used specifically in folk songs and early popular songs and is contrasted with the in scale which does contain semitones.[2] The In scale is described as dark while the yo scale is described as 'bright' sounding.[3]

It is defined by ascending intervals of two, three, two, two, and three semitones. An example yo scale, expressed in western pitch names, is: D - E - G - A - B. This is illustrated below.

Yo scale on D with auxiliary notes (F) & (C) About this sound Play .
Yo scale on D, ascending and descending.[3]

More recent theory[4] emphasizes that it is more useful in interpreting Japanese melody to view scales on the basis of "nuclear tones" located a fourth apart and containing notes between them, as in the min'yō scale used in folk music, and whose pitches are equivalent to the yo scale:[5]

Minyō scale on D,[6] equivalent to yo scale on D,[7] with brackets on fourths About this sound Play .

The Ryūkyū scale appears to be derived from the yo scale with pitches raised.[7]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese Music, Cross-Cultural Communication: World Music, University of Wisconsin – Green Bay.
  2. ^ Titon, Jeff Todd (1996). Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World's Peoples, p.372. ISBN 0-02-872612-X.
  3. ^ a b Chris Hiscock, Marian Metcalfe (1999). New Music Matters 11-14, p.49. ISBN 978-0-435-81091-7.
  4. ^ Koizumi, Fumio (小泉文夫 Koizumi Fumio?) (1974). Nihon no Ongaku: Rekishi to Riron (日本の音楽:歴史と理論?) (Japanese Music: History and Theory), 76. Tokyo: National Theater of Japan.
  5. ^ Titon (1996), 373.
  6. ^ Susan Miyo Asai (1999). Nōmai Dance Drama, p.126. ISBN 978-0-313-30698-3.
  7. ^ a b Minoru Miki, Marty Regan, Philip Flavin (2008). Composing for Japanese instruments, p.2. ISBN 978-1-58046-273-0.

Further reading[edit]