Maestro Alex Gregory
Introduction to the Pentasystem


The standard musicological definition of CONSONANCE is that a musical interval is consonant if it sounds pleasant or restful. DISSONANCE, on the other hand, is the degree to which an interval sounds unpleasant or rough.

The following chart (coming shortly) shows that the most consonant interval is the unison, followed closely by the octave. Next is the fifth. After that there is a drastic drop of consonance. It therefore stands to reason that the most consonant way to tune a stringed instrument is to successive unison notes (from the lowest to the highest string), followed by the tuning in successive octaves (from the lowest to the highest string). Next would be fifths (from the lowest to the highest strong). As a stringed instrument timed to successive unison notes would be useless and one tuned to successive octaves limited and impractical, the only real choice is the tuning to following fifths.

Yet, the history of the development of musical instruments is one of unplanned and circumstantial changes, often dictated by “pedestrian ease of playing” rather that vision or musicality. It is scary to think that the core of the orchestration that gave way to the greatness of symphonic music i.e.: the violin, the viola, and the violoncello were only a fortunate accident, and had they not been tuned in fifths Beethoven’s masterpieces may not have existed.

Pentasystem became the biggest breakthrough in the history of music as, for the first time ever, the problems of consonance, harmony, orchestration and instrument design are viewed as a whole. A wholesome solution is provided with the creation of a family of 5 string instruments all tuned in fifths, the concept of harmonic drumming, and a comprehensive methodology for their orchestration.

While other plectrum musical instruments tuned in fifths existed in the past, they were 4 string instruments and, consequently, did not offer a full usable range and serious chordal possibilities, nor ease of fingering. The unprecedented spread of fifths over 5 strings not only puts to your fingertips more range than a 7 string guitar, for example, with a lesser and more manageable number of strings and a massive increase in consonance, but also creates a new phenomenon called “Super Symmetry” of fingering positions.

Super symmetry allows you to play ultra fast (I – V) power chords with one finger, power octaves on adjacent strings, shift full chordal positions with no fingering change, etc. making the mastering of a Pentasystem instrument at least 3 times easier than the mastering of the 6 string guitar (for example).

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