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#1152992 - 11/11/08 07:37 AM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Are we teaching in depth, or are we short-cutting?
This highlights an important point. I would think that most of the teachers on this board are teaching in depth. It would seem impossible to really set out how you teach in a forum. I teach in teaching units, for example, which means a sequence of lessons, activities, and assignments which are based on well thought out aims, objectives, method and processes, which is what teaching is about. Seasoned with this is the interaction with the actual student within whatever situation and context you find yourself.

If any teacher describes something, I believe I am seeing a sliver of something larger which has many dimensions in time. I would hate anyone to think that the fragment of a larger exercise that I posted the other day was a "how to" on teaching scales, especially since it is not meant to teach scales - though ripped out of the context of that particular discussion it seems to have been considered such. I am not qualified to post any "how to", and even if I were, I'm not sure that I would because the entire teaching unit could not be sufficiently presented: time line, intermeshing of different elements, tools and support material etc.

The question I quoted is an important one. I wouldn't begin to know what a "shortcut" looks like, but it certainly doesn't sound like a good idea. The warning is an important one.

Back on topic, now.... ?

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#1152993 - 11/11/08 08:26 AM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: UK.
Hey, this feels a bit naughty entering the 'composer's lounge'. I've never been in here before.

On topic - We (UK) say tones and semitones. We do know what whole and half steps are though. Time names are controversial. Most of my colleagues use semibreve, minim etc. but I use whole note, half note. The fraction names are more useful IMO because you can relate the length of one note to another. It also helps with understanding time signatures. People over here can get quite irate about it.

Off topic again \:D - If I were to walk a mile I would not need to explain that I am walking a *mile. If you play the tetrachord on C you already have your starting note. I can't see the need for the *. Sorry Betty. If it works for you then great.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1152994 - 11/13/08 09:37 AM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
Thank you Chris. When it was first pointed out to me that the terminology that I learned might not be familiar everywhere, it seemed important to see what is actually what across the English speaking world. Communication about ideas could go serious amiss, otherwise.

"tone" is used in the UK and Australia to mean an interval of two semitones, or two half steps, or one whole step. But in another part of the world it means a pitch. I didn't know that one week ago. How about everyone else? We could talk right past each other. This is just one example.

There was a link a page back where cadences were given different names. What else?

The theory book that I use is the one on which RCM exams are based. They told me that 100,000 students per annum write the exams in Canada. So there are an awful lot of people learning this terminology. But there has to be an awful lot of students doing the same thing in the US, Australia, the UK, New Zealand, according to whatever system is prevalent there. Suddenly we're internation meeting in one place and talking to each other. "hemidemisemiquaver" tends to stand out ;\) , but two meanings for "tone" don't.

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#1152995 - 11/13/08 11:57 AM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
ScottM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 556
"Step" is probably more common, but it doesn't really matter much.
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#1152996 - 11/13/08 12:44 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by ScottM:
"Step" is probably more common, but it doesn't really matter much. [/b]
You're right, it doesn't matter. "Tone" matters if it is misunderstood to mean pitch and an interval is meant. If something is ambivalent depending on background, maybe that's what matters the most.

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#1152997 - 11/13/08 03:07 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10356
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Hey, this feels a bit naughty entering the 'composer's lounge'. I've never been in here before.
[/b]
You .... you mean ..... there are composers in here? It just looked like the ...... teachers forum to me. ;\)
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1152998 - 11/13/08 03:43 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5923
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Hey, this feels a bit naughty entering the 'composer's lounge'. I've never been in here before.
[/b]
You .... you mean ..... there are composers in here? It just looked like the ...... teachers forum to me. ;\) [/b]
:D Some of us are teachers and composers.
But what are you doing out of the Parents' Forum!!? Get back there immediately ;\)
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1152999 - 11/13/08 04:03 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
I've come to the conclusion that we are actually in a giant ship underwater that sometimes springs a leak, so that things from one forum leak into the other. The ship shape shifts from time to time so that everything looks odd and unfamiliar. Tone and tenor can be more than one thing, and often not what we think.


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#1153000 - 11/13/08 09:31 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10356
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by currawong:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
Hey, this feels a bit naughty entering the 'composer's lounge'. I've never been in here before.
[/b]
You .... you mean ..... there are composers in here? It just looked like the ...... teachers forum to me. ;\) [/b]
:D Some of us are teachers and composers.
But what are you doing out of the Parents' Forum!!? Get back there immediately ;\) [/b]
Now THAT is funny! \:D \:D
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1153001 - 11/14/08 06:59 AM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: UK.
I'm thinking maybe we should make up a song before we get kicked out?
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#1153002 - 11/14/08 09:25 AM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chris H.:
I'm thinking maybe we should make up a song before we get kicked out? [/b]
To the tune of Mr. ED, perhaps?

A tone is a tone, a tone, a tone,
A semitone twice is a tone, alone,
Unless, in the US, or in the rest
of the world a note's a tone!

Noting that I got the lyrics wrong, here's the original:
Mr. Ed song

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#1153003 - 11/21/08 08:41 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
Back to terms. I just noticed "parallel scales (keys) / relative keys" where I've learend "tonic major /relative major". Is this another difference between Canada and the US or something else? Is "tonic major / minor" used when discussing, for example, B major and B minor?

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#1153004 - 11/22/08 07:16 AM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
In the key of B; B minor is the parallel minor.
G# minor(same key signature)is the relative minor.

If major and minor have the same tonic they are said to be parallel. If they have the same key signature they are called relative major and minor keys.
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#1153005 - 11/22/08 07:29 AM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
Thank you, jw. Your answer confirms that we are talking about the same thing. What I am trying to find out in the context of this thread, is where the terms I learned fit in.

What you call "parallel minor" I was taught to call "tonic minor". "Relative minor" stays the same. So in Canada, or at least the material I studied via RCM, we say "tonic minor" and "relative minor ". Is this used throughout Canada, is parallel also used? How is this in other English speaking countries: US, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand?

"A major scale and a minor scale that share the same tonic .. are called 'tonic major' and 'tonic minor'. Thus, C major is the tonic major of C minor, and vice versa."

The term "relative major / minor" is the same.

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#1153006 - 11/22/08 10:34 AM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
Keystring; I've never heard the term "tonic minor" before. I'm from the U.S and I read many forums that have international members.

Look up the term 'parallel keys' in the Virginia Tech Dictionary of Musical Terms:

http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/

This is the most complete resource of musical terms that I have found. It's on line and free.
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

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#1153007 - 11/22/08 11:08 AM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
I'm trying to sort out the terms used in different countries for a number of reasons. One is communication: there has already been one misunderstanding because "tone" designates an interval in some countries, but a pitch in another country. In one link somebody gave, some cadences had different names. I'm thinking now that this thread is turning into a bit of an international glossary of English terms.

I've just done some googling, and have found a lot of hits on "major tone" so at least we know it's also used. Dolmetschonline unravels part of the mystery here:
Dolmetsch - see point 5
 Quote:
Because the key signatures for A flat major and f minor are identical, f minor is said to be the relative minor to A flat major and A flat major is said to be the relative major to f minor. However, this 'relationship' is specious. The real 'relatives' are the pairs of keys with the same key note - for example, A flat major and a flat minor. These are called parallel keys. The pair can also be termed tonic major and tonic minor to indicate the common tonic or key note. [/b]
So now - WHO uses which WHEN, and WHERE geographically? In fact, I'm curious whether "parallel" is used in Canada, and how often in comparison to "tonic".

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#1153008 - 11/22/08 01:43 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: South Florida
When asked such questions, I immediately Google and see what comes up.

Both parallel minor scale and tonic minor scale get me to the same place, so I would just be aware of both, to be flexible.
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Piano Teacher

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#1153009 - 11/22/08 01:47 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
Anyone from Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand (did I leave anyone out?) - we already have the US - what say ye hie and yonder?

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#1153010 - 11/22/08 02:10 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
In the US, you would normally hear only
the term "relative minor," which is
used to describe the (natural)
minor key that uses the same
notes as a particular major key. For
example, A (natural) min. is the relative
min. of C maj. I suppose one might also
then say that C maj. is the relative maj.
of A min., but that's cumbersome usage
that you would not normally hear in the
US. I've never heard it.

In the US, you sometimes hear C maj. and
C min. referred to as "parallel keys,"
since they share the same tonic. But this
is mainly just to drive home the point in
theory classes that the relative min.
of C maj. is A min., not C min., which
can be confusing to novice theory students.
This term could easily be eliminated from
the music vocabulary with no harm done.

In the US, the term "parallel scales"
would not normally be used as a
synonym for "parallel keys," as in the
US, the words "key" and "scale" generally
have very different connotations.

In the US, the term "relative keys" would
not be heard, as this would sound
ambiguous to American ears. There are
many keys that have relations to each
other: C maj. and C min., C maj. and
A min., C maj. and G maj., etc.--which
one do you mean? The terms
"tonic maj./min." would not be used in
the US, as this sounds redundant to
American ears: a key is determined
by the tonic note, and a tonic determines
a key.

In casual speech in the US, the words
"tone" and "cadence" do not immediately
bring to mind the music theory field. "Tone"
is typically heard in sentences like
"I don't like the tone of your voice."
or "He's building a tone generator for
his physics project." "Cadence" in
the US is normally associated with keeping
a rhythmic motion, like in marching.

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#1153011 - 11/22/08 02:31 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
Tone and cadence also has those meanings in Canada for the non-musician. This is a piano forum comprising musicians, students, and music teachers discussing music and we're discussing terms as they are used in music. And since we're international, it's not a bad idea to be aware of how those terms have developed in the various English speaking countries. Most of the time we would tend toward American terms simply in order to have a common vocabulary. Once in a while some of us are caught out unexpectedly.

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#1153012 - 11/22/08 06:09 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5923
Loc: Down Under
In Australia we tend to use the same terms as in UK - so we use the relative minor/tonic minor terminology. I hadn't heard of the "parallel" minor until very recently (here on PW). What could be also confusing is the use of terms to describe scale playing - we (and the Brits) use similar and contrary motion to describe the two ways of playing scales on the piano - it seems self-explanatory, but I believe in US they use other terms. Parallel motion for similar?
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1153013 - 11/22/08 06:29 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
This is getting more and more interesting. It seems that Canadian terms are more in line with British. What bothered me about parallel major is that it's not really parallel. A lot of the notes are different though they begin and end on the same note.

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#1153014 - 11/22/08 06:38 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: South Florida
"Parallel minor" doesn't need to be any more different that relative minor is. Remember, there are three degrees of the scale that may be lowered, but often only one is. That makes ascending melodic minor very close to major. We would need some very sophisticated analysis to find out how often 6 and 7 are actually lowered, at least in music written in the last two centuries or so.!

Regardless, worrying about what makes sense will just give you headaches. A crotchet doesn't have to make more or less sense than a quarter. Both names exist, so we just have to learn both. \:\)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1153015 - 11/22/08 06:41 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5923
Loc: Down Under
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gary D.:
Regardless, worrying about what makes sense will just give you headaches. A crotchet doesn't have to make more or less sense than a quarter. Both names exist, so we just have to learn both. \:\) [/b]
Wise advice \:\) .
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#1153016 - 11/22/08 06:51 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
sudoplatov Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 78
Loc: Near Dallas Texas
Quartering a doily isn't necessarily the same as crocheting a doily.

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#1153017 - 11/22/08 07:07 PM Re: whole tone or whole step - terms?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11658
Loc: Canada
Quartering a doily and wrapping a doily around a quarter or having doilies in these quarters are also different things. ;\) For the British and American terms, the "crotchet" makes me think of the shape of the thing (the hook-like flag) while "quarter" reminds me of its time value relative to a whole note.

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