I've been training my minor pentatonic scale on guitar for a while (mostly playing it in A with the first position) and it always sounded somewhat oriental to me, in the sense of the musical airs you'd find in music to set the plot in Orient, musical clichés. I am not sure to be really clear in trying to share this impression, but I, then, read that in Orient they used to split the octave in 5 tones, and not 7 as we did in Europe, would it be because the pentatonic as only five notes (by definition) that my sub

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    Weird, the Major pentatonic sounds more foreign to me. Feb 21, 2013 at 21:34
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    Does 'oriental' necessarily mean 'foreign'?
    – Veo
    Dec 12, 2015 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


There is a strong east oriental feel to pentatonic music, as the structure of the scales used fits this mode well.

This is best symbolised by the 'Oriental Riff' http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_riff

So any music you play utilising a pentatonic scale could sound very Oriental.

  • Thanks for the wikipedia page. Just a little thing that'll help trusting a bit more my ears ;) Feb 19, 2013 at 23:06

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