Key of A: A C D E (F) G A
Below is the pattern for the NAF minor scale using whole and half steps.
W= whole step, h = half step, m3 = 3 half steps ( or a whole step + a half step ).
m3 W W h W W
A ^ C ^ D ^ E ^ F ^ G ^ A
Half steps: half steps on a piano are the distance between any two adjacent keys, white or black.
Whole steps: a whole-step is two half-steps combined. A whole-step above a key on the piano is two keys to its right, while a whole-step below a key on the piano is two keys to its left.
The NAF minor is the tuning that most Native American Flutes in general come with. It is a minor pentatonic with the option of playing a flat sixth, although using the minor 6th scale degree is rarely used. This minor pentatonic scale was introduced and popularized in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s by Micheal Graham Allen, who created a Native American style flute but used the Japanese shakuhachi flute tuning of the minor pentatonic. The minor pentatonic contains the 1,3,4,5 and 7th scale degrees of the natural minor scale. The pentatonic scale is ancient. A vulture bone flute was found in 2008 at Hohle Fels, a Stone Age cave in Southern Germany. This flute is the oldest known flute at 40,000 years old. It has five finger holes suggesting a pentatonic scale. The Pentatonic scale we now know predates Pythagoras, the Babylonians and virtually every other culture all the way back to these early bird bone flutes that have been discovered in various parts of the world.