How is the pentatonic structured?
If you stack the notes D, E, G, A and B in fifths on top of each other you create the order G, D, A, E, B. In this order the middle note is A. If you arrange the five tones in a circle and then draw connecting lines between each fifth, travelling from G to D, A, E and then B, a pentagram is created, and A is found at the tip. Clearly, the note A is of central importance within these 5 tones.
This importance becomes clearer still if you examine the intervals between the notes as they are placed closest together in their scale. The intervals from A outward are first a major second, then a minor third, in both directions travelling downward and upward. Only from the starting note A are the intervals found to be mirror images. This intriguing phenomenon indicates that the note A has a truly unique significance within the pentatonic. Rudolf Steiner allocated a different planet to each tone:
Thus creating links between:
- E and Jupiter
- G and Saturn
- A and the Sun
- B and the Moon
- D and Mercury.
In this way the five tones E, G, A, B and D are displayed as a solar scale with the Sun tone (A) at its centre. The central importance of the tone is again mirrored in its pairing with the Sun, the central body in our solar system. This gives us a better understanding of why Steiner suggests these tones in particular for young children.