Today’s post is about music and science. In this video, a lecture from the World Science Festival, singer Bobby McFerrin demonstrates how humans seem to be hardwired to generate a pentatonic scale.

The great thing about the presentation is that it’s not passive. I’m sure you found yourself anticipating the next interval just as the audience did. You know that scale, you’ve heard it hundreds of times even if you’re not aware of it. But just to drive the lesson home, here’s the best example I know. Listen to the guitar part:

Now you can impress your Berklee School hipster friends: “Oh, yeah, ‘My Girl’ has that classic pentatonic guitar riff, but you knew that, didn’t you?”

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