Introducing the A2442c Pentatonic Parallel Scales

Example A2442c Tonality composition. Details and playable link below.

Introduction: The A2442c Pentatonic Parallel Scales provide a custom set of notes than can be used to bridge compositions in other tonalities and for independent compositions as well.

Basics: Here are the A2442c Pentatonic Parallel Scales:

ScaleScale Tones
A24c Pentatonic Minor A Bb B D Eb
A42c Pentatonic Major A Bb Db D Eb

Theory: A24c and A42c are parallel minor and major pentatonic 5-note scales. Written in tone (pitch) notation they are A Bb B D Eb and A Bb Db D Eb. Written in interval (pitch difference) notation they are A11316 and A13116. A24c is minor because its first characteristic interval (root-mode) is smaller (2). A42c is major because its first characteristic interval (root-mode) is larger (4). A is the root tone of both scales, B and Db are the modes, and Eb is neutral. There are no active notes.

Bridge: A2442c is a custom parallel pentatonic scale pair constructed to contain notes bridging two other tonalities. Here are the A2442c notes and the bridged tonalities:

C3663 <=> A Bb B      Db D Eb <=> F2552

Mirror Scales and Negative Harmony:  A24c and A42c are mirror reflections of each other. Mirror reflection is also called Negative Harmony. A note or chord selected from a minor scale can be reflected to a parallel note or chord in the parallel major scale.

Here are the A11316 and A13116 5-note scales shown using Negative Harmony where A reflects to Eb and back, and B reflects to Db and back. (Bb and D also reflect though they have no labeled function.)

A (root)Bb
B (mode)
Db mode
Eb (neutral)

Tonality/Borrowing: A note, note progression, chord, or chord progression can be written using a) only the minor scale, b) only the major scale, or c) both. Using chords from both scales together is called borrowing. A composition using both minor and major scales and their chords can be said to be written using their full tonality.

Tonality Benefits: Using minor and major scales together gives additional note (melody) and chord (cadence) options for writing songs while staying within an overall tonal feel.

Chords: The use of trichords can be extended to use paired 2-tone, and paired 1-tone intervals:

ScaleScale TonesChordsChord Tones
A11316 (A24c)A Bb B D EbA11
A Bb B
A B Eb
A13116 (A42c)A Bb Db D EbDb11
Db D Eb
Bb Db Eb
A Db Eb
CombinedA Bb B Db D EbA22
A B Db
B Db Eb

Chord Functions: All A11316, A13116, and A112116 chord functions are Tonic (trichords contain Root and/or Mode notes only). Tonic chords may be considered to represent rest energy. 

Cadences: All A11316, A13116, and A112116 cadences are Statences (chord sequences are Tonic-Tonic only). Statence cadences may be considered to represent rest=>rest movement energy. 

Additional Scales: C3663 and F2552 are documented separately.

Transposing: The A2442c Pentatonic Parallel Scale Tones and Chords can be moved up or down in pitch to start on / be associated with a different root tone.

Example Composition: Bridge 11 A2442c

Fine Print: This post summarizes work and studies by James G Neville / Sitearm Madonna over the last 20 months. Adaptations and extensions of traditional music theory topics and notation as expressed in this post and associated scores are mine. Comments, questions, corrections are welcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s