Dipentatonic scale

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A dipentatonic scale is a 10-note octave-equivalent scale where every other note gives an MOS pentatonic scale. Following from this, dipentatonic scales have a maximum of two sizes for intervals that are an even number of steps. Many dipentatonic scales are generated by a diatonic-sized fifth (between the 7edo fifth and the 5edo fifth) of a fixed size. Some dipentatonic scales are MOSes, such as the Erlich decatonic in 22edo. Modulating by fifths is easy in dipentatonic scales where the interleaved pentatonics are generated by a fifth (i.e. 2L 3s and 3L 2s, depending on tuning).

The first part of this article classifies abstract dipentatonic scales by the pentatonics they interleave and by their rank (whether they are mosses or rank-3). The second part of this article surveys dipentatonic scales in JI. Dipentatonic scales also exist in regular temperaments of course, but exploration of such scales is not included in the article for now at least.

Abstract dipentatonic scales

Dipentatonic mosses

Every 10 note mos except 5L 5s is dipentatonic. The degenerate case of a dipentatonic mos is 5L 5s, where the interleaved pentatonic is 5edo. The nondegenerate cases are:

  • 1L 9s: Lsssssssss (pentatonic 1L 4s)
  • 2L 8s: LssssLssss (pentatonic 2L 3s)
  • 3L 7s: LssLssLsss (pentatonic 3L 2s)
  • 4L 6s: LsLssLsLss (pentatonic 4L 1s)
  • 6L 4s: LLsLsLLsLs (pentatonic 1L 4s)
  • 7L 3s: LLLsLLsLLs (pentatonic 2L 3s)
  • 8L 2s: LLLLsLLLLs (pentatonic 3L 2s)
  • 9L 1s: LLLLLLLLLs (pentatonic 4L 1s)

Dipentatonic rank-3 scale patterns

A rank-3 dipentatonic scale with step sizes 5x ay (5-a)z has the form xYxYxYxYxY where the Y's are replaced with y and z steps arranged in the MOS pattern ay (5-a)z. The interlocking pentatonics are copies of the mos aL (5-a)s if y > z and (5-a)L as if z > y. The following is a complete list of such abstract patterns, assuming octave equivalence:

  • 1L 4M 5s, LsMsMsMsMs
  • 2L 3M 5s, MsLsMsLsMs
  • 3L 2M 5s, LsMsLsMsLs
  • 4L 1M 5s, LsLsLsLsMs
  • 1L 5M 4s, LMsMsMsMsM
  • Blackville (2L 5M 3s), sMLMsMLMsM
  • 3L 5M 2s, LMsMLMsMLM
  • 4L 5M 1s, LMLMLMLMsM
  • 5L 1M 4s, LsLsLsLsLM
  • Blackdye (5L 2M 3s), LsLMLsLMLs
  • Onyxwood (5L 3M 2s), LMLsLMLsLM
  • 5L 4M 1s, LMLMLMLMLs

Just dipentatonic scales

Every other note of a just dipentatonic scale gives a Pythagorean pentatonic. Dipentatonic scales that are also 3-SN scales can be constructed by placing the same interval above or below each step of a pentatonic scale. This interval defines the scale, and the logic behind the listing below.

These scales can be considered the minimum complexity rank-3 decatonic scales that are supersets of Pythagorean[5]. The can be thought of as Blackwood decatonics, but without 256/243 tempered out. Instead of 5 240c intervals in an octave as one generator and a 5/4 as the other, these scales have (one incstance of) a third generator of a prime > 3 along with Pythagorean[5], or two parallel Pythagorean[5]s, seperated by a prime or a prime to some power of three. They have form ABACABABAC (or CABABACABA, inverted, or beginning after ABA) where AB=9/8 and AC=32/27.

They are pentachordal, with pentachords ABAC and include four different tetrachordal scales as the subscale subtended by steps of 1212121. These scales have a quasi-sub-period of a third, and every second step obviously gives Pythagorean[5]. As there are three step sizes, there are also three sizes of the complement, the 10th. There are two sizes of each multiple of the quasi-sub-period, i.e. 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th. Each remaining interval (4th, 6th, 8th) comes in three sizes. Examples will follow directly below.

The trivalent tetrachordal subset scales after steps of 1212121, with steps of A-9/8-C-9/8-A-9/8-C, or of C-9/8-A-9/8-C-9/8-A respectively, with tetrachords A-9/8-C or C-9/8-A respectively, are the notes not bracketed.

The first mode listed for each value of A can be considered 'major'; the second mode is it's inverse.

Adding prime 5:

A=10/9 (B=81/80, C=16/15) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2)[5], 10/9)[10]

10/9 (9/8) 5/4 4/3 (40/27) 3/2 5/3 (27/16) 15/8 2/1

16/15 (32/27) 6/5 4/3 (27/20) 3/2 8/5 (16/9) 9/5 2/1

A=16/15 (B=135/128, C=10/9) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2)[5], 16/15)[10]

16/15 (9/8) 6/5 4/3 (64/45) 3/2 8/5 (27/16) 9/5 2/1

10/9 (32/27) 5/4 4/3 (45/32) 3/2 5/3 (16/9) 15/8 2/1

A=25/24 (B=27/25, C=256/225) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2)[5], 25/24)[10]

25/24 (9/8) 75/64 4/3 (25/18) 3/2 25/16 (27/16) 225/128 2/1

256/225 (32/27) 32/25 4/3 (36/25) 3/2 128/75 (16/9) 48/25 2/1

Adding prime 7:

A=28/27 (B=243/224, C=8/7) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2[5]), 28/27)[10]

28/27 (9/8) 7/6 4/3 (112/81) 3/2 14/9 (27/16) 7/4 2/1

8/7 (32/27) 9/7 4/3 (81/56) 3/2 12/7 (16/9) 27/14 2/1

A=64/63 (B=567/512, C=7/6) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2[5]), 64/63)[10]

64/63 (9/8) 8/7 4/3 (256/189) 3/2 32/21 (27/16) 12/7 2/1

7/6 (32/27) 21/16 4/3 (189/128) 3/2 7/4 (16/9) 63/32 2/1

Adding prime 11:

A=12/11 (B=33/32, C=88/81) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2[5]), 12/11)[10]

12/11 (9/8) 27/22 4/3 (16/11) 3/2 18/11 (27/16) 81/44 2/1

88/81 (32/27) 11/9 4/3 (11/8) 3/2 44/27 (16/9) 11/6 2/1

Adding prime 13:

A=13/12 (B=27/26, C=128/117) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2[5]), 13/12)[10]

13/12 (9/8) 39/32 4/3 (13/9) 3/2 13/8 (27/16) 117/64 2/1

128/117 (32/27) 16/13 4/3 (18/13) 3/2 64/39 (16/9) 24/13 2/1

Adding prime 17:

A=17/16 (B=18/17, C=512/459) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2[5], 17/16)[10]

18/17 (9/8) 64/51 4/3 (24/17) 3/2 27/17 (27/16) 32/17 2/1

17/16 (32/27) 34/27 4/3 (17/12) 3/2 51/32 (16/9) 17/9 2/1

A=18/17 (B=17/16, C=272/243) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2[5]), 18/17)[10]

17/16 (9/8) 34/17 4/3 (17/12) 3/2 51/32 (27/16) 17/9 2/1

18/17 (32/27) 64/51 4/3 (24/17) 3/2 27/17 (16/9) 32/17 2/1

Adding prime 19:

A=19/18 (B=81/76, C=64/57) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2)[5], 19/18)[10]

19/18 (9/8) 19/16 4/3 (38/27) 3/2 19/12 (27/16) 57/32 2/1

64/57 (32/27) 24/19 4/3 (27/19) 3/2 32/19 (16/9) 36/19 2/1

Adding prime 23:

A=24/23 (B=69/64, C=92/81) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2)[5], 24/23)[10]

24/23 (9/8) 27/23 4/3 (32/23) 3/2 36/23 (27/16) 81/46 2/1

92/81 (32/27) 23/18 4/3 (23/16) 3/2 46/27 (16/9) 23/12 2/1

More complex subgroups:

A=11/10 (B=45/44, C=320/297) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2)[5], 11/10)[10]

11/10 (9/8) 99/80 4/3 (22/15) 3/2 33/20 (27/16) 297/160 2/1

320/297 (32/27) 40/33 4/3 (15/11) 3/2 160/99 (16/9) 20/11 2/1

A=14/13 (B=117/112, C=208/189) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2)[5], 14/13)[10]

14/13 (9/8) 63/52 4/3 (56/39) 3/2 21/13 (27/16) 189/104 2/1

208/189 (32/27) 26/21 4/3 (39/28) 3/2 104/63 (16/9) 13/7 2/1

A=15/14 (B=21/20, C=448/405) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2)[5], 15/14)[10]

15/14 (9/8) 135/112 4/3 (10/7) 3/2 45/28 (27/16) 40/21 2/1

21/20 (32/27) 56/45 4/3 (7/5) 3/2 224/135 (16/9) 28/15 2/1

A=20/19 (B=171/160, C=152/135) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2)[5], 20/19)[10]

20/19 (9/8) 45/38 4/3 (80/57) 3/2 30/19 (27/16) 135/76 2/1

152/135 (32/27) 4/3 (57/40) 3/2 45/19 (16/9) 40/19 2/1

A=21/20 (B=15/14, C=640/567) for SNS ((2/1, 3/2)[5], 21/20)[10]

21/20 (9/8) 189/160 4/3 (7/5) 3/2 63/40 (27/16) 567/320 2/1

640/567 (32/27) 80/63 4/3 (10/7) 3/2 320/189 (16/9) 40/21 2/1

A=22/21 (B=189/176, C=112/99) for SNS((2/1, 3/2)[5], 22/21)[10]

22/21 (9/8) 33/28 4/3 (88/63) 3/2 11/7 (27/16) 99/56 2/1

112/99 (32/27) 14/11 4/3 (63/44) 3/2 56/33 (16/9) 21/11 2/1

Dipentatonic scales in regular temperaments

Just a couple examples linked for now:

Marvel dipentatonic

Prodigy dipentatonic