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Culture Smart: The Musical Scale Across Cultures

by OIC Staff on November 24, 2013

Children learning to play the violin, symbolizing the different musical scales across cultures

Learning to play different styles of music

Tonal Patterns and Changing Intervals

When you first learn to play an instrument, the first series of notes taught is called a scale. A scale is a series of ascending pitches, usually ending on the octave, the same note, at a higher pitch. Music from different cultures uses different intervals between the notes of an octave.

If you’ve seen The Sound of Music, you know the Western music major scale: do, re, mi, fa, so la, ti, do. It consists of 7 unique notes, with the 8th note being the octave. Listen to a C Major Scale:

Personal Growth Inspired by Ramadan

by Janine Boylan on July 18, 2013

reading the Quran during Ramadan, illustrating cultural traditions

Boys in Saudi Arabia read the Quran during Ramadan.
© Abdullah Alshathri

Learning From Cultural Traditions

The month-long observation of Ramadan began earlier in July, when the thin crescent of the new moon was spotted. This celebration is particularly important to Muslims because it is believed that the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This month, known as “Ramadan,” lent its name to the holy celebration.

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