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#1153832 - 02/21/07 10:50 AM Ear training
Dan M Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 770
Loc: California
Hi,
I'm working on my ear training again after doing it in college many years ago. I'm using some commercial software which is very good, right now it's doing intervals, and I'm getting stuck!

The problem is that, for example with major and minor thirds, I used to rely on determining which is which based on hearing the major or minor quality. The problem is that depends on being in a key. If the two intervals are unrelated, then I make a lot of mistakes.

The software is presently testing me on identifying which interval is larger (major one obviously). Any ear training tips or tricks?
_________________________
The piano is my drug of choice.
Why are you reading this? Go play the piano! Why am I writing this? ARGGG!

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#1153833 - 02/21/07 11:47 AM Re: Ear training
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1910
Loc: Netherlands
I don't really think ear training this way is particularly fun, but if you're determined to do it, you can match intervals with beginnings of songs you know. Like a 4th is Amazing Grace ("Ah-may"), an octave is Somewhere Over The Rainbow ("Some-where"), and so on. Of course, this assumes you're listening to melodic intervals, not harmonic.
_________________________
No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!

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#1153834 - 02/21/07 12:48 PM Re: Ear training
Harmosis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 308
Loc: California
Hi Dan M,
Sing the intervals (in solfeggio). Sit at the keyboard to correct yourself. If you can sing an interval unaccompanied, than you should be able to know it when you hear it. It helps to sing the major and minor intervals consecutively (i.e. sing a major 3rd, then a minor 3rd right after) to really ingrain the differences in your head. Also, break out your Bach Chorales and sing through them in solfeggio them as well.

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#1153835 - 02/21/07 01:07 PM Re: Ear training
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
Hi Dan,

I think using songs you are familiar with is an excellent way to learn the sounds of intervals...here are some examples:
M3...ascending....sounds like "Michael Row the Boat Ashore"....
M3 descending...sounds like Beethoven's 5th...or a doorbell
m3...ascending...Sounds like the theme from "Romeo and Juliet' [ A Time for Us]
m3 descending...beginning of "You're a Grand Old Flag...

good luck and have fun,
rada
www.pianopassions.com

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#1153836 - 02/21/07 01:20 PM Re: Ear training
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2693
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Dan,

I believe interval training is useful to composers for transcribing melodies, but I've found being able to identify harmonies more of a problemmatic. That may be because I don't have issues with writing down the melodies I hear in my head, but harmony, especially chromatic and extended harmony can be a far greater challenge to notate accurately. This may be what you were alluding to when you mentioned that sometimes the key made it difficult to hear the major or minor quality. I believe composers should have internalized tonal theory to the point that you simply know that a chord on the 3rd degree of the scale will be minor as will its seventh, but this just comes with practice.

My only advice to you would be to forget ear training software and start writing music. I found working with a computer in either a sequencer program or notation program provided immediate feedback that was far more useful to training my ear than drilling intervals.

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#1153837 - 02/26/07 08:46 PM Re: Ear training
fifteen_fingers Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 9
 Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
My only advice to you would be to forget ear training software and start writing music. I found working with a computer in either a sequencer program or notation program provided immediate feedback that was far more useful to training my ear than drilling intervals.


This could create a dependency on the immediate gratification of composing with software or with an instrument. If you train your ear, you can compose anywhere (as long as you have staff paper and a pencil).

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#1153838 - 02/27/07 01:34 PM Re: Ear training
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2693
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
 Quote:
This could create a dependency on the immediate gratification of composing with software or with an instrument. If you train your ear, you can compose anywhere (as long as you have staff paper and a pencil). [/QB]
It could, but it could also allow him to imagine music that's more sophisticated. Lots of composers have found using a keyboard helpful in their efforts (Stravinsky being one). I personally find melodic stuff with simple harmonies easy to notate without an instrument or computer, but the more challenging the music you hear the more you'd like to be sure you got it right. If you think you could transcribe the opening of Le Sacre after hearing it a few times more power to you. I rather have a piano handy.

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#1153839 - 03/05/07 11:52 AM Re: Ear training
bagarjet Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 4
Loc: Argentina
I think yo need to practice interval in all possible ways. some are these:
1-Write a simple melody with whites (2) and as you play the note sing over it the same melody in a specific interval (e.g. mayor third). In that way you'll learn to identify the simultaneous third in all contexts. Note that a major intervals sound major in some contexts but it sounds minor or different in other contexts.
2- Sing an interval and continue singing the same interval over the last note you sung. Eg do mib solb la do (minor thirds)
3- Play or sing melodies (invented) with two or three intervals only. This will help you recognize the intervals in different contexts.
Etc, If you need more help please ask I could think of many other exercises my teacher used to teach me.
bye

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#1153840 - 06/10/07 04:25 AM Re: Ear training
jwjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 278
Loc: New York
There's a great ear-training book I used in college: Modus Novus, Studies in reading atonal melodies, by Lars Edlund. It takes the intervals out of the context of a diatonic system, and forces you to hear the intervals purely as they are. It has a chapter for each interval, or major/minor pair. It's really hard though, however the author has an easier book called Modus Vetus. I never studied it, but the context is melodies in major and minor scales.
Either book emphasizes sight-singing.
But you also use it for dictation if you can get someone to play the melodies and chord structures for you.
_________________________
working on:
Goldberg Variations

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#1153841 - 07/07/07 05:04 PM Re: Ear training
Cultor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 342
Loc: BsAs
 Quote:
Originally posted by Harmosis:
Hi Dan M,
If you can sing an interval unaccompanied, then you should be able to know it when you hear it.[/b]
That's it.
And search for a human teacher.
Human beings are awesome.

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#1153842 - 07/09/07 12:01 AM Re: Ear training
Dan M Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 770
Loc: California
Thanks folks. I've hooked up with a retired composer (by accident) and am now happily taking lessons \:\)
_________________________
The piano is my drug of choice.
Why are you reading this? Go play the piano! Why am I writing this? ARGGG!

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#1153843 - 07/09/07 12:39 PM Re: Ear training
Cultor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/07
Posts: 342
Loc: BsAs
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dan M:
Thanks folks. I've hooked up with a retired composer (by accident) and am now happily taking lessons \:\) [/b]
What accident? A b[/b] or a #[/b]?
(Ugh. That was a stupid joke).

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#1153844 - 07/09/07 05:27 PM Re: Ear training
193866 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 777
Loc: Manassas,Va
Great info and loving this...At 68 years old I always want to learn more at the piano. Does anyone know a good rhythm dictation instruction book, etc? Very easy on me to begin? I love to Big Band Improv and could use this...I have been looking for years for a good one. Thank you in advance for the info... Sandy B
_________________________
Sandra M. Boletchek 08/02/06

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#1153845 - 07/09/07 05:31 PM Re: Ear training
193866 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 777
Loc: Manassas,Va
Question do any of you have songs come to you all at once? Even classical compositions ? This really excites me to converse with gifted composers. What a gem you are. Sandy B and a 68 year old pianist who loves music more than ever.
_________________________
Sandra M. Boletchek 08/02/06

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