Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale

Share this video on

What's Hot

What's New

Top Grossing

Top of the Chart


Tim Adkins : What instrument do you play? Bobby: "The crowd"

Rubén Medellín : I don't know why, but I always end up smiling like an idiot each time I watch this video. Music is really amazing.

Faith Jarvis : He's playing an instrument made of people

twiinapocalyp2e2 : The last crowdbender

Jared Christensen : The guy who makes the Neuroscience comment at 2:51 is Daniel Levitin, who coined and documented the Levitin effect: that people tend to remember songs in the correct key.

hole - 1st drill press channel : Don´t worry, be happy!


King Pin : Musicians ....instead of politicians... :)

DeadlyDanDaMan : Music and Math, the true Universal Languages.

Jimmy Griffin : The pentatonic scale is definitely one of the most useful things a musician has to learn and master if he wants a chance at being a professional.

Lorenzo Pietro Antonio Giovanni Giorgio Botti : "So you're saying you are a musician?" "Yes" "And what instrument do you play?" "Crowds."

uizzmedia : I think the most interesting part in this experiment is figuring out how the audience learned the G# (C#, D# and A# he gave away, and F is easy to figure out because the audience was locked on whole-step intervals at the time - we're in C# pentatonic btw). I think it's because of, either one of, or a combination of the following : 1.As far as I can tell, at first Bobby tried forming the pentatonic with G# as its root (his first two sung notes), instead of C#, but the audience resolved that to C# and he went along with it. I think that was the first time the audience encountered the G# in a musical context during that time period. 2.Bobby sneakily introduced the G# during the yodle thing he did @ 1:18. 3.The audience didn't come into contact with any half-step intervals at the time, and Bobby trained them for both ascending and descending whole-step interval patterns, so it was just the natural way to go. Also, once you have positions 1 2 3 and 5 of a scale, with a major 3rd, it's pretty easy to figure out the 4th, since it's highly unlikely for it to be a tritone). Such a fun thing to witness and study!

Kingsthrone : What several scientists spend years to research and conclude, Bobby McFerrin does in less than three minutes.

Squiggs 【Glitches - ROM Hacks - Speedruns】 : This made me cry and I'm not 100% sure why. I have a lot of feelings about this video.

Brandon Pack : I wish they included the conversion before and after. Two of the others had a dry argument about cultural musical inclinations disrupting each other. Then he starts this. And afterwards they tried to bend his demonstration to prove their points. :(

The Post Modern Guy : That was pretty awesome crowd control.

richardhalo : This made me smile. That was pure beautiful.

Dan Wiberg : I get the chills everytime I watch this.

WILLY STEWARD : Try that in will be chaotic

Walter Mitchum : Sometimes, without even realizing it, I find myself humming this to myself.

MrKockabilly : Indeed, given just the first two middle notes, the audience instinctively and almost unanimously figured out the others and expanded the scale along the pentatonic line. Either the pentatonic scale is indeed a very natural scale or the people has somehow got used to it.

Mardycious04 Reyes : he just hacked everybody's mind lol

tsoueddie : Darude - Sandstorm your welcome

Omkar Parab : I don't know why but i m smiling continuously after watching this... :)

WolfCoder : This means something. It is important.

Axiom Ape : A great lesson using very few words...the indication of a great teacher.

jaypkan : What Genius!! He makes it look so easy

TheWalper : Conclusion: People are sheeps

SorWrath/Bloodstained : some ppl win the lottery, that is by choosing random numbers, and if luck is with them and they will win.. for me it was when my college told us to attend an event in our music hall for a project. Without having big interested in going, I chose they only thing that caught my eye in the music hall's schedule. A jazz concert by a dude named Bobby McFerrin when I went there I didn't knew who he was, but after that day I feel like I won the lottery, because it was one of the most memorable concerts I have ever been. And I have seen almost all the big names of Rock and Metal (also few from others genres) in concerts the last 25 years. Side note: Bobby McFerrin was accompanied with another 6 incredible vocalists.

Beth Grace : this is honestly the best thing ever

Trevor Lutz : 45000 likes, 300 people that accidentally clicked the wrong button

Ellie A. : That was not only awesomely entertaining, but it demonstrated the commonality of humanity throughout the world.

Ari Pg : I should be studying for exam...

RAQUEL LIGHT : Talk about playing the crowd! haha!!

C Flow : AWESOME-NESS!!!! That Bobby McFerrin is a TRUE musician. Now this is definition of an ARTIST not just a singer, feel me? Love him, he's a genius.

Joshua Chinquee : Is anyone else surprised to learn that Bobby McFerrin doesn't have a Jamaican accent..?

Dennis Inkwa : Oooooh maaaaaa gaaaaad!

YbYBwRbY : Dear Bobby McFerrin, My guitar teacher just suggested I listen to this. You've just explained not just how God created the Universe, but why. I wish everybody would put down their weapons and listen. Thank you so much. From a 60-y.o. beginning guitarist, a prof. in Massachusetts.

Robby Diggs : Black man's genius is revolutionary for ALL ...

David S : Genial la demostració de perquè ens agrada un cert tipus de musica. Tenim les notes i acords gravats culturalment.

Stig Cruise : this audience Direction better than some High School bands lol

Boogieforme : Bobby McFerrin might be the only person who actively plays the audience like an instrument. I love the guy!

flanker : I have a feeling this wouldn't work in for example Turkey. Especially if he were to do it with an audience who doesn't listen to western music. Pentatonic Scale isn't widely used in Traditional Turkish music or most of the eastern music for that matter. Still very cool.

Emily Taege : I can't like this enough. It makes me feel happy inside.

sydney morris : The pentatonic scale is somehow "wired" in everyone's brains. It is built in and is something that everyone knows no matter where you are in the world. It's incredible. When he starts singing at 1:19, what song or tune is he singing? It sounds so familiar!

Daniel Sell : Exceptional!!!

EllenElgar : Still my favourite video on the Internet :)

MithranArkanere : The only guy I've seen that when the public claps, they are clapping for both him and themselves.

KJSTANCIL : I have never seen a more beautiful display of knowledge in the music science. This melody is so beautiful.

Daniel Johnson : is there a name for the song he sings along with?