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Playing the Audience

Sean at Cosmic Variance just posted this fantastic video of Bobby McFerrin at the World Science Festival. Watch. Love.

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

A lot of people may only know Bobby McFerrin for Don’t Worry, Be Happy and assume that the simple and somewhat annoying song is all he has to offer. That’s a shame, because he’s a wildly talented musician who, as demonstrated in this clip, has an incredibly infectious energy. Also, no, he didn’t commit suicide as rumored.

1 comment to Playing the Audience

  • Jim Shaver

    Yep, that’s cool, Rebecca. In college, I tried to learn how to play the guitar, and I remember a buddy showing me the pentatonic scale and how you could solo to almost any song if you just stuck to that scale in the song’s key. These were not always interesting solos, but hey, it worked, and we didn’t really know anything about music.

    I even wrote a computer program (on a Commodore 64, okay that dates me) back then that would create solos by stringing together essentially random notes from the pentatonic scale. Some people thought I could write music, when in fact it was all (mostly) random.

    I have always wondered why those particular intervals just “sound right” to us. Anyway, I’m still trying to learn how to play the guitar. Man, it’s hard.

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