Bill Mills Posted over 3 years ago Bobby McFerrin: Watch me play ... the audience! The first three notes of a pentatonic (5 note) major scale are the same as the first three notes of a heptatonic (7 note) major scale for a given key. For those not familiar with the terminology think: doe ray me fa so la tea. That seven note scale is something most of us learn in grade school so it's somewhat engrained in our gray matter from an early age. In this video Bobby gives us the first two notes of that scale and we come up with the 3rd note on our own. Not really too difficult given we have been conditioned to do that at an early age. What would have been mind blowing is if he had given us the first three notes and we came up with the 4th note of the pentatonic scale because that note is not the 4th note of the heptatonic scale. The pentatonic scale is the heptatonic without the 4th and 7th notes or no "fa" and "tea" if you will. The next note he gives us, because I doubt we would have come up with it on our own the way we did that 3rd note. That note is the 5th note of the pentatonic scale (in this case it's also in the octave below the first note) and he does it jumping back and forth a couple of times from the 1st to the 5th. Our short term come into play as we now have 4 of the 5 notes of the scale and they have been repeated several times at this point. The interval between the 5th and the 4th (the only note we have heard at this point) is also an natural change in the 7 note scale (6th to 5th), a whole step which is the same interval as the step we filled in with the 3rd note. Honestly I think fact that we are so fascinated by the outcome shown in this video points out how much we don't realize what we do know about musical patterns from either early education or by osmosis from it just being an everyday part of our lives.