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Any musicians about that knows about scales? What is high/low diatonic?

(7 Posts)
BonnesVacances Wed 20-Sep-17 16:15:36

Help! I'm buying a small instrument as a gift for a friend and I have to choose if I want it high diatonic/ low diatonic or pentatonic. Which do I want? Which is best?

Thanks.

Happyemoji Wed 20-Sep-17 17:20:42

Your friend has to learn to play it. What do they want?

There is violin, viola, flute, clarinet and many more.

zgaze Wed 20-Sep-17 17:26:10

Is it a harmonica you're buying? Just get one in the diatonic key of C if they're not an experienced player. That's the basic one.

Or enlighten us which instrument if not a harmonica and we'll try to help smile

BonnesVacances Wed 20-Sep-17 17:32:26

It's a thumb piano. My friend can play every instrument so is an experienced player, but maybe not of the thumb piano. grin

safariboot Wed 20-Sep-17 18:25:27

Diatonic is a like having just the white notes on a piano. Suited to playing 'western' music though African and other music uses it too. Pentatonic is like having just the black notes on a piano and will give a far eastern 'feel', though pentatonic scales are also again used worldwide.

'Chromatic' would be all the notes, which then lets the player play in a wide choice of keys/scales but also makes the instrument bigger.

In Africa the tuning is often particular to the player and doesn't match up with 'western' notes at all.

uglyswan Wed 20-Sep-17 18:37:56

Diatonic means a scale that uses whole tones and semitones (major, natural minor and modes). Western diatonic scales consist of seven tones. Pentatonic scales consist of five tones, generally whole tones and thirds apart. So diatonic scales offer more variety. High/low probably just refers to the register.

Happyemoji Wed 20-Sep-17 20:44:33

Is any of this in the grade 5 theory exam?shock

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