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Music Theory




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#1 neodude1212

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Posted January 18 2011 - 02:38 PM

I'm thinking of starting a series on music theory, and perhaps even composition.
Let me know if you are interested and, depending on how many people respond, I'll give it a shot.



#2 ILoveMyGuitar

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Posted January 24 2011 - 11:22 AM

Definitely interested in a music theory class.
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#3 SunnyHappyVegan

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Posted February 16 2011 - 05:56 PM

I would love to learn!
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#4 natureslaze

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Posted February 20 2011 - 12:23 PM

im in
"Get involved, the world is run by those who show up"

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#5 knowthetruth

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Posted April 28 2011 - 07:18 PM

Im in

#6 Meliai

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Posted April 28 2011 - 07:20 PM

I would certainly be interested in that!
....just checked the date when you started this thread. it was a few months ago. oh well, i'm still interested.

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens ~Tolkien


#7 Still Trippin

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Posted April 28 2011 - 07:22 PM

that'd be SO sick to get a music theory class going. it's been a very intimidating subject for me to get going on, so i'd be really stoked if there was one in the free school here.
Now if you'll excuse me, i've got an appointment with a rabbit's hole
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#8 boguskyle

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Posted April 28 2011 - 07:33 PM

please do, i'm in, i'd subscribe.

i was in band in high school but my band teacher wasnt a teacher at all, he just scared everyone into performing their scales correctly and flawlessly. the only snippets of knowledge of theory was when he would hire someone to come teach each instrumental section.

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#9 Delfynasa

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Posted April 30 2011 - 11:54 AM

OH YESS YES YES YES!!!PLEASSSSSSSSSSSSSSE!!!
I would love to learn some music theory!! ER, some more.
My teacher tried very valiantly to teach me intervals but
I usually had brain meltdowns...
oh goody!!
peace
Delfynasa

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace!

Jimi Hendrix


#10 bluegryph

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Posted May 03 2011 - 10:41 AM

OH YESS YES YES YES!!!PLEASSSSSSSSSSSSSSE!!!


What she said!

#11 neodude1212

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Posted May 03 2011 - 03:29 PM

Alright guys, I'll try to put together a lesson either tonight or tomorrow.

Since I have no way of gauging everyone's ability, we'll be starting with the very basics.



#12 Delfynasa

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Posted May 03 2011 - 09:00 PM

Oh goody, oh goody, oh goody!!!!:drummer: :guitarist:
peace
Delfynasa:party:

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace!

Jimi Hendrix


#13 CapandGown

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Posted May 04 2011 - 01:53 PM

A good tip for musical composition is to include a lot of long note chords consisting of one note and the note a half step up. This gives a great "dissonant" sound that many people love, whether it's tucked away in the background or what the melody consists of.

#14 neodude1212

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Posted May 04 2011 - 08:05 PM

Alright, this will have to do for the first lesson. I'm wasn't sure how long to make it.
If you have any questions, please ask, as that will give me a chance to personalize it further. Also, if you have any recommendations about the format I've used or whatever, I'm all ears.


Lesson 1 - Basic Notation

Music notation or musical notation is any system that represents aurally perceived music, through the use of written symbols - wikipedia


Think of music as a language. It communicates ideas and emotions. As a language, it can be spoken, and it can also be written. Musical notation is the written form of music. It allows the writer to save and communicate musical ideas and compositions without actually using music, and it allows the reader to understand the ideas and compositions the writer is presenting.

We'll start with developing a basic understanding of modern Western musical notation. This will allow us to read and write music at the most fundamental level. We will expand upon this knowledge and broaden our ability to read in future lessons.

Note: For these lessons, I will reference the piano whenever I need to use an instrument for an example, but everything here is applicable for any instrument.

Now, if music is a language, what is it's alphabet?
Besides an entire pantheon of symbols (which will be explored more thoroughly in later lessons), the core letters of the musical alphabet are

A, B, C, D, E, F, G

As far as music goes, these are the only letters we need to concern ourselves with.

I don't want to get too in depth with this first lesson, but you should realize that each one of those letters represents a certain note.
Notes are the building blocks of music. A note, or pitch, is a certain frequency of vibration. When an instrument, the human voice, or practically anything produces a sound, it does so through vibration. Depending on the frequency of that vibration, you will get a different note.


The Staff and Clefs

This is a staff -

Posted Image

The staff is the foundation upon which notes are placed.
The staff is comprised of 5 lines and 4 spaces. Each line or space represents a specific note. In the case of the piano, each line or space represents one of the white keys on the piano.
Which note is represented by which line or space is determined by the clef

For our purposes, we will be discussing the two most common clefs, and pretty much the only clefs you will ever see, the treble clef and bass clef.

The treble clef looks like this.

Posted Image

It is also known as the G clef, because the swirl in the lower half of the clef wraps around the G note.

On piano, the treble clef is usually played with the right hand.

The notes that are signified by a treble clef are as follows -

Lines
F
D
B
G
E

Spaces
E
C
A
F


The bass clef looks like this -

Posted Image

It is also known as the F clef because the two dots are positioned on either side of the F note.

The lines for the bass clef are as follows -

Lines
A
F
D
B
G

Spaces
G
E
C
A


It's good to use acronyms to memorize the notes.
For treble clef lines, I use Every Good Boy Does Fine.
For bass clef lines, Good Boys Do Fine Always


The spaces of the treble clef are easy to remember, because from bottom to top the notes spell FACE.
A good acronym for the bass clef spaces is All Cows Eat Grass

This is where I'll stop for lesson 1.
If you'd like, you could do some exercises to solidify this knowledge in your mind.
I'd recommend sitting down with a piece of paper, and practice drawing the staff and the clefs. Afterward, use what you've drawn and attempt to fill in the notes for the lines and spaces of each clef.
  • Terrapin2190 likes this



#15 Meliai

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Posted May 04 2011 - 08:11 PM

nice break down. You simplify it and explain it well.

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens ~Tolkien


#16 neodude1212

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Posted May 04 2011 - 08:25 PM

Really?
Thanks that's reassuring.
I'm worried that I'm not doing a good job of explaining it.



#17 Meliai

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Posted May 04 2011 - 08:40 PM

I already know how to read music so I'm not sure if it would translate well to someone that isn't familiar with it. However, I taught myself from a book on music theory, and I think you explain it much better than the book.

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens ~Tolkien


#18 Delfynasa

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Posted May 04 2011 - 08:55 PM

I have a dumb question; everything you said makes perfect sense, but
I once saw a music book in multiple languages and one listed an H note-
what is up with that?
Thanks for the mnemonics too!
peace
Delfynasa

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace!

Jimi Hendrix


#19 bluegryph

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Posted May 05 2011 - 05:24 AM

Thanks for doing this.

I already know the very basic stuff too, but yeah I think you explained it well.

#20 neodude1212

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Posted May 05 2011 - 12:05 PM

I have a dumb question; everything you said makes perfect sense, but
I once saw a music book in multiple languages and one listed an H note-
what is up with that?
Thanks for the mnemonics too!
peace
Delfynasa


It just has to do with music being written in other languages.

From wikipedia -

In Germany, Russia, Poland, Finland and Scandinavia, the label B is used for what, above, is called B-flat, and the note a semitone below C is called H. This makes possible certain spellings which are otherwise impossible, such as the BACH motif.

In English there is no note that is named "H".

And seriously, there are no dumb questions.