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#1175168 - 04/05/09 10:06 PM Re: reading music [Re: btb]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: btb
Hi Jeff,

Take it from me ... nobody on this Forum will follow a new doctrine on keyboard notation ... IMHO, once anybody has been brainwashed into the current traditional system, it appears to be impossible to get off the bus ... but encouraging to hear of a Hong Kong/ Beijing educationist putting forward thoughts on the subject which are "outside of the box."

As a little boost to the direction of your ideas ...

1. Logically (in the year 2009) the C to C stave should accommodate 12 equally spaced notes ... (each a semitone apart in keeping with our acceptance since the days of Bach of the well-tempered scale)

2. Logically the 12 notes should be named to follow a familiar numerical series (as for time)... (6 WHOLE-TONES with 6 half tones).

3. Logically the duration of notes should be indicated by the familiar format of a proportional horizontal line.

4. Logically notation should form a picture of music for instant playing.



Wow, I have left for a while (less than a day). Now look at the interests and responses. I love these passionate people.

Just a quick acknowledgement of btb's points. They are LOGICAL.

If we put the 4 logical points of yours together, we get the piano roll view (staff), will notes expressed as darkened stripes will different (time) lengths drawn on the correct "pitch stripe".

Essence of Hao Staff invention: piano roll + traditional music notes + Simple Key Signature (i.e. 1=C, 6=A, etc.) to help understand the Key Scale of the piece of music.

I chose this combination of things after balancing many considerations, including how radical a change it is going to be. Many computer programs exist to help people skip music reading. But I still imagine that people just like to have a book or a sheet of paper placed on the piano and play according to it.

Let me make it easy for them to put the note to the right piano key. As to timing, I let them to listen to the music and before long, they get what the different shapes of notes/stem/tails mean.

keyboardklutz mentioned Klavarskribo. Carl MC also mentioned use of color. These are all inventive ideas in the past to try to make "music reading" easier than what is given by the Grand Staff.

When applying for a patent, the examiner will compare the present invention will all ideas/inventions of the past and find the unique new feature.

If one cares to drill really deep on this, here is the Hao Staff patent certificate. As you will see, a long list of "prior art" is cited and compared to, right from the Wright patent of 7-line staff in 1870.

HAO STAFF US Patent Certificate

However, I don't recommend that you read the patent document which is more wordy than necessary given its legal/research requirement.

I recommend to those who are interested to simply look at these two documents (in front of a keyboard, if possible):

The Hao Staff Design and User Guide

Fur Elise on the Hao Staff

Just a note. The actual design of the Hao Staff is not just the patent itself. The patent just covers certain core features. But the actual design has many thoughtful and practical features to make it REALLY USABLE in practice.

I will stop short of promoting myself :-) I am open for comments, including discouraging ones. But I don't easily get discouraged.

Jeff
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

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#1175179 - 04/05/09 10:32 PM Re: reading music [Re: Scruffies]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Scruffies said:....your middle line idea is geared to helping someone associate a letter with a specific key on the piano... is that right?"

Yes, and no. It is possible to use the staff as I explained to find the positioning on the keyboard which represents the 5 lines and 4 spaces of the treble clef and a different location in the bass clef - same principles. Also the shared thumbs Middle C position using a part of both clefs does the same.

The no part, is that you may or don't have to name the note you are looking for - you don't have to convert it to a name - you can play it as found.

I hope identifying the line names from the bottom line to the top of each clef L1-L2-L3-L4-L5 (line 1 etc) and the S1-S2-S3-S4 (space 1 etc) gives you another way to identify the staff besides the note name.

The truth is that eventually, the only reason to name a note is to find the note that starts a "position" or "hand shape". I teach by distance (interval reading making associations and relationship of notes in their movement) as well as direction (did it stay the same - repeat - or step up or step down one note, or did it skip to 2nds, 4th, 6th, 8th, where one of the notes will be a line and the other note will be a space. If the intervals are prime (repeat) 3rd, 5ths, 7ths, both notes will be placed on lines, or both on spaces. Have you noticed that? That's a pretty important discovery. The L1-2-3-4-5 and S1-2-3-4 helps prepare you for knowing the distance between notes.

So, eventually you play without having to name each and every note. It's time consuming and choppy, and totally unnecessary. What I do is mark 5 C's on the staff in orange to designate the changing registers in C's, that along with the middle line centering that I teach, gives you a big bang in finding your way around. Knowing the old mnenomics also helps, but it's pretty archaic and unnatural:

Bass Clef Lines: Grandma Bakes Donuts Friday Afternoon
(Middle C separates the clefs and is used only as needed)
Treble Clef Lines: Empty Garbage Before Dad Flips

(B and D spaces surround Middle C)

Bass Clef Spaces: All Cows Eat Grass
Treble Clef Spaces: FACE

Notice I read all lines and spaces from the bottom upwards. Do that consistantly because it builds your reading choices from left to right on the piano using the LH first followed by the RH placements on the keyboard.

That www.musictheory.com is something! I'm sorry I slipped up in linking it, Kenny. This web site has a lot to offer, but it is not accomplished by starting at the top and following down the categories in a row. There are different points at which it is important to take on the next challenge, but you need to have some idea of what is next. It does not list things in the way that I would use them.

You're going to get yourselves reading dependably and with vigor yet! You know, (ha, ha)just how hard can 7 alphabet letters be?

You have to be able to think ABCDEFG and be able to say it backwards too because the music is often traveling down the keyboard and the alphabet converts by reading it backward.

Then, you have to learn what to say when you skip alternating notes (3rd) C-E D-F E-G F-A G-B A-C B-D etc/and then backwards also. You can do this kind of alphabet practice on the keyboard along with the naming,by using fingers to judge/measure the distance. We might go into a discussion about that sometime. With that video camera I'm going to get.

Are you guys having fun? I hope so!

Betty

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#1175184 - 04/05/09 10:36 PM Re: reading music [Re: Thorium]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: Thorium
The question is whether it is necessary at this point to adopt a new system of notation, not to mention practicable. Is it really that hard to learn? I'm not convinced it is. Mastering an instrument is a huge commitment, and in the greater scheme of things, learning how to read music is a trifling formality, one that once assimilated becomes second nature. And is the alternative so much easier to learn, while remaining as flexible?


Let me come back to my dear friend Thorium. First of all, we have some good reasons to be friends. My best friend since 1990 (MBA days in London) is an Icelander. His name is Ingi. I have visited Iceland twice, each time spending all my savings. Secondly, I am also a guitarist turned pianist. Guitar tabs provided one of the inspirations for the Hao Staff, while back-to-basics thinking and tradition-defying personality provided the rest.

The questions I quoted above are very good ones. And believe me I had to ask myself the same questions again and again before I decide on the journey. That also include: adult or all including children? a replacement of the Grand Staff (got to control my defiant character) or an co-existing alternative?

Here are some honest answers for myself:

1. It is never going to replace the Grand Staff (no mistake about that)

2. This is not time to recommend to children for two reasons: a) limitation of development - how much music can I transcribe to Hao Staff and how fast? We don't want to limite the children's music resources. b) usually parents make decisions for children. What parents will use their children as guinea pigs for untraditional methods? They may not mind it themselves though.

3. Will it help some people? YES. Many. How many people (especially adults) think that "I wish I could just play that one piece/song on piano !". That's the kind of people to whom I want to say: "try it with the Hao Staff". You will figure it out in no time. Get on with practicing it.

The people who start this way will never stop at that one piece. We know that. They will want to play another piece and more. They will want to understand how to read the Grand Staff so that they can play more music. In fact, the Hao Staff is good teaching tool for reading the Grand Staff ! Just read the User Guide and you will appreciate it.

Let me stop here first.

Have a good week ahead.

Jeff
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

Top
#1175186 - 04/05/09 10:50 PM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
Re point 2 above, I hope I can offer the Hao Staff to children in 10-20 years time (this is a dream now), because

1) Hopefully I would have transcribed plenty of music (masterpieces, courses, music theory books, etc.) onto the Hao Staff

2) Hopefully their parents would have entered the world of piano music with the help of Hao Staff. And they can make informed decisions for their children.

Let me just clear one thing up. Functionally and technically, the Hao Staff sheet music more than matches the Grand Staff (and I know the Grand Staff well although I read it at snail speed!). The only difference is that one existed for hundreds of years, and the other is just born.

I qualify my above statement: it applies to piano music. When it comes to other instruments, it functions the same if properly adapted (e.g. defining the optimal pitch range for the standard staff), with only one difference: the size is bigger by about 3:2. That may limit its application. I can't imagine people writing symphonies on it.

So let's focus on piano for the time being. Is piano itself not BIG enough?
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

Top
#1175271 - 04/06/09 02:26 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
What people fail to understand is that it is rhythm that is the difficult aspect to reading - identifying which key goes with which space/line is pretty much child's play. Identifying a baseball is one thing, hitting it at precisely the right time and place is ... a whole different ball game. People are not used to living in time, they stumble through it.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1175273 - 04/06/09 02:43 AM Re: reading music [Re: keyboardklutz]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
Hao Staff tries to solve one problem - the "child's play". It helps those people that cannot identify which key goes with which note FAST ENOUGH using the Grand Staff, even if they try.

I don't disagree with keyboardklutz' comment. Nothing can replace learning from from teacher and practising.
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

Top
#1175274 - 04/06/09 02:44 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I take it you also have a solution for sucking eggs?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1175304 - 04/06/09 04:47 AM Re: reading music [Re: keyboardklutz]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
I get your point. You don't need it. And you don't recommend it to others.

I respect that.
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

Top
#1175307 - 04/06/09 04:56 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Especially to children, who are quick to learn child's play. Now, if you could find a better way to indicate fingering...
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1175308 - 04/06/09 05:08 AM Re: reading music [Re: keyboardklutz]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
You are pulling my leg, keyboardklutz. I use the same way to indicate fingering on the Hao Staff.

Since you are a good challenger, tell me things that the Grand Staff can do and Hao Staff cannot do.

Use this: Fur Elise on Hao Staff
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

Top
#1175310 - 04/06/09 05:23 AM Re: reading music [Re: keyboardklutz]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Especially to children, who are quick to learn child's play ...


So you do recognise some people are faster than others even for learning child's play. I am trying to help the slower lot, or those who cannot afford the time and effort. I myself am one of them.

I know there are many piano teachers here. But I don't think the piano teachers should necessarily object to new methods like this. Why not teach with this as an (OPTIONAL) aide, based on what the student needs and wants.
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

Top
#1175312 - 04/06/09 05:35 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
LaValse Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 1224
Loc: Mumbles, Wales
Hi Jeff,

Perhaps it's because I am used to the GS but I find your Fur Elise unreadable - or at least, hard to read at any speed - there are too many lines - you can't just glance at it and know what line is what - you can with the GS because there are just two groups of 5. The GS is wonderfully compact and evolved for Western music. I think your staff would be good for atonal music because it's generic, but is unnecessarily hard to read (quickly) for most Western music.
_________________________
http://uk.youtube.com/user/sailwavedev

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#1175314 - 04/06/09 05:39 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
abminor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/08
Posts: 23
Originally Posted By: Jeff Hao
You are pulling my leg, keyboardklutz. I use the same way to indicate fingering on the Hao Staff.

Since you are a good challenger, tell me things that the Grand Staff can do and Hao Staff cannot do.

Use this: Fur Elise on Hao Staff


I'm always surprised that, though forum rules forbid advertisments in post, advertisers still easily succeed in making their point. Basically, after a couple of warnings, some polite escuses, and a lot of sweet language:
Originally Posted By: Jeff Hao

Let me come back to my dear friend Thorium


they succeed in having a whole (or almost) thread dedicated to their product.



Edited by abminor (04/06/09 05:40 AM)

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#1175316 - 04/06/09 05:44 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Jeff Hao
To paraphrase Joseph II - Too many lines Jeff!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1175319 - 04/06/09 05:55 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
Chromatickeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Georgia USA
Since I and others have pretty much pulled this thread away from the OP and since the frey very much interest me, the answer to Betty on my use of color is that it is in conjunct with having reordered the key heads to a chromatic form. I have a color tab on each black key. All the c's are red, etc. The tabs are skinny little tape strips and are shorter (by octaves) going to the trebel end. Octaves are immediately identified at a glance on the notation as well as on the keys. After two weeks of rewireing in my brain, I can now play anything I have learned starting on ANY black key. (Only about twenty tunes) I still play those on a regular piano as well. I am not through with the project as I must do it as a hobby since I am required to work and pay bills otherwise.

It is unproven that I will be able to read my own music but I hope it will help me play more and harder works.

It is my thinking that all alternative notation methods will fail without an instrument organized to the benefit of that notation. Mr Hao's included. My notation is adapted from others with the addition of color. The notation came after the key conversion. In fact, I wish there were others with a piano like mine who could colaborate with me on refining the notation. Mine will only succede as long as I use it. It has become very clear to me that scarce few will ever pay to convert a piano as I have. I have a youngster that knows nothing else and will learn on my piano. Perhaps she will make my work known after I am gone.

Multiple thanks to each and all as well as Piano World that makes this possible.
James

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#1175320 - 04/06/09 05:55 AM Re: reading music [Re: LaValse]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: LaValse
Hi Jeff,

Perhaps it's because I am used to the GS but I find your Fur Elise unreadable - or at least, hard to read at any speed - there are too many lines - you can't just glance at it and know what line is what - you can with the GS because there are just two groups of 5. The GS is wonderfully compact and evolved for Western music. I think your staff would be good for atonal music because it's generic, but is unnecessarily hard to read (quickly) for most Western music.



Hi LaValse. That is how ALL "Grand Staffers" find it. But think about this: how much time have you spent on using GS now? And how much time for HS?

Or think this way: if you give two complete beginners two sheets (GS and HS) of the same music (I mean complicated music), who will figure out which keys to play first (let's leave the timing factor out)?
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

Top
#1175321 - 04/06/09 06:01 AM Re: reading music [Re: keyboardklutz]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
To paraphrase Joseph II - Too many lines Jeff!


Once you become a "user" of the Hao Staff, you don't pay attention to the single lines (stripes). You only see sets of lines (2 blacks + 3 blacks), and the Octave set (2+3 blacks). This is the same as how you will see the piano keyboard.

If we have stopped complaining about the piano "having too many keys", surely we will one day stop thinking "too many lines".

Jeff :-)
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

Top
#1175331 - 04/06/09 06:30 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I have a five 1/2 octave piano made in 1800 - just the right number for me!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1175336 - 04/06/09 06:43 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: Jeff Hao
....

I know there are many piano teachers here. But I don't think the piano teachers should necessarily object to new methods like this. Why not teach with this as an (OPTIONAL) aide, based on what the student needs and wants.


I think perhaps you under estimate the need of humans to stick to the status quo. Most people don't want to change once they become comfortable with any given thing. Particularly something that is so widespread and accepted without question. Plus the complexity provides a structure in which to earn money teaching it. smile
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175338 - 04/06/09 06:44 AM Re: reading music [Re: LaValse]
kennychaffin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/09
Posts: 889
Loc: Aurora, CO
Originally Posted By: LaValse
Hi Jeff,

Perhaps it's because I am used to the GS but I find your Fur Elise unreadable - or at least, hard to read at any speed - there are too many lines - you can't just glance at it and know what line is what - you can with the GS because there are just two groups of 5. The GS is wonderfully compact and evolved for Western music. I think your staff would be good for atonal music because it's generic, but is unnecessarily hard to read (quickly) for most Western music.



Exactly true. There is a compactness which conveys much much information with just a glance (and a bit of memory/feel to know the key you are in).
_________________________
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Print Gallery - Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama

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#1175347 - 04/06/09 06:59 AM Re: reading music [Re: kennychaffin]
Chromatickeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Georgia USA

http://musicnotation.org/

The above site is dedicated to those who recognize that the notation (GS) currently in use could be improved. Who knows. Certainly if it ever happens, Piano World will be instrumental in the adoption.

James

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#1175356 - 04/06/09 07:24 AM Re: reading music [Re: kennychaffin]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: kennychaffin
Originally Posted By: LaValse
Hi Jeff,

Perhaps it's because I am used to the GS but I find your Fur Elise unreadable - or at least, hard to read at any speed - there are too many lines - you can't just glance at it and know what line is what - you can with the GS because there are just two groups of 5. The GS is wonderfully compact and evolved for Western music. I think your staff would be good for atonal music because it's generic, but is unnecessarily hard to read (quickly) for most Western music.



Exactly true. There is a compactness which conveys much much information with just a glance (and a bit of memory/feel to know the key you are in).



Hi, Kenny.

Your point about compactness and information conveyed (per cm of width) is true. But remember, whatever concentrated information conveyed must still be deciphered to fit the "uncompact" keyboard itself. And that ability takes training. So why don't we use the same pattern from keyboard to score and vice versa? That would save all the compacting and decompacting effort.

Your earlier point about teachers is enlightening. Of course, teaching the students about compacting and decompacting (keyboardklutz calls it "child's play") will mean a few extra hours of lessons. But perhaps one should realise ... many students get discouraged quickly at the boring routines of learning the lines, spaces, key signatures, accidentals, and gets turned off and never calls again. Perhaps it is better to let them touch real music as fast as possible. It could be the Suzuki method (showing by hand how to play). But not everyone can afford that luxury.
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

Top
#1175360 - 04/06/09 07:32 AM Re: reading music [Re: Chromatickeys]
Jeff Hao Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 177
Loc: Hong Kong
Originally Posted By: Chromatickeys

http://musicnotation.org/

The above site is dedicated to those who recognize that the notation (GS) currently in use could be improved. Who knows. Certainly if it ever happens, Piano World will be instrumental in the adoption.

James


Many thanks, James. The Hao Staff belongs to sites like this one. In fact, it is featured and highly regarded in one of the similar sites in Chinese.

The problem with these sites are ... the people that matters (i.e. the music teachers and students) don't really have an interest to pay attention to it. It is usually the innovators talking to themselves.

So I am bringing my baby to the Piano World to face the music !
_________________________
*****
Translating piano music into the "adult-friendly" Hao Staff

http://haostaff.com - FREE sheets download (Grand and Hao Staff)

Over 100 most well-known pieces of all genres, and growing fast
... make it one of your FREE online resources

http://facebook.com/haostaffpiano

Top
#1175361 - 04/06/09 07:33 AM Re: reading music [Re: Chromatickeys]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
We have all been taught to read the familiar format of an x/y 2 factors diagram such as the fluctuating oil price over the past month up to April 3, 2009 as shown below

A quick glance at this format allows us in an instant to decide whether to:

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/clfclose.JPG


1. Buy a car now ... or wait till the market is more stable
2. Buy shares in Ford
3. Think of buying a smaller car
4. Sell the gas-guzzler and set aside the cash for a rainy day
5. Invest in oil
6. Restrict purchases to absolute essentials

The point being made is that the diagram can be understood and digested in a split second freeing snappy optimum decision-making ... why doesn’t music use the same format ...
an accurate picture of pitch and time ... as so succinctly said by Thorium

"I'd rather have a system where the distance between the notes on paper is proportional to the distance in pitch, so that the sheet essentially becomes a GRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION OF A FUNCTION OF ABSOLUTE PITCH AND TIME."

If you follow my earlier bleat of "logical" precepts ... and convert traditional scores into a linear diagram ... those bulky old fashioned neumes (once converted into a simple locating "+") will transcribe into a compact linear format ... rests totally disappear as do sharps and flats ... twice the volume of music can now be viewed on a new 6 octave grand stave ... and any masterpiece (once transcribed) played off-the-cuff ... like reading a book.

A case of ... what you see, is what you hear.

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#1175377 - 04/06/09 08:20 AM Re: reading music [Re: btb]
Thorium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 40
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: abminor
I'm always surprised that, though forum rules forbid advertisments in post, advertisers still easily succeed in making their point. Basically, after a couple of warnings, some polite escuses, and a lot of sweet language:
Originally Posted By: Jeff Hao
Let me come back to my dear friend Thorium

they succeed in having a whole (or almost) thread dedicated to their product.

I got the impression my objections were not shared by the larger community, so I buried the hatchet. =)


Originally Posted By: btb
The point being made is that the diagram can be understood and digested in a split second freeing snappy optimum decision-making ... why doesn’t music use the same format ...
an accurate picture of pitch and time


And the coolest thing about this format would be its ability to handle continuous changes in pitch, such as glissandos on unfretted stringed instruments, bent notes, etc. You could even write down complex synthesized music, or even a sine wave should you so choose. Sounded notes would be lines; the volume of the sound indicated by the thickness of the line. To make it easier for musicians to distinguish the discrete pitches of e.g. equal-temperament music, one could let the line assume certain colors when indicating such notes, so that all Cs, Ds, Es, etc, have the same color, respectively.

Two immediate problems with this system are: the (slight, perhaps) difficulty of actually writing down music, as you'd ideally need specialized software for it; and its excessive precision, leaving little room for interpretations, such as are possible within the somewhat looser framework of music on the GS. *shrug* To be honest, I rather like the additional layer of abstraction that our current system of notation applies, and I think learning to work with such things improves mental celerity.

Thor


Edited by Thorium (04/06/09 08:28 AM)
_________________________
Working on:
F�r Elise (all of it, ugh)
Prelude in C, BWV 846
Michael Nyman - The Heart Asks Pleasure First (great finger exercise!)

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#1175393 - 04/06/09 08:56 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]
appleman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 188
Originally Posted By: Jeff Hao
For alternatives, I find the piano tab version of Fur Elise to be easier all around. Its both a one to one system and it's compact enough to read quickly. There are even tools to convert GS to tab and back for free. Heck, even the dance dance revolution-like Synthesia plays nicer.

The GS is still best, creating a separate notation that only works with piano, instead of a notation that works will instruments that have a separate Bb and A# doesn't make sense to me. Nor does it make sense to make theory harder to understand by combining the two.
_________________________
Dr. Appleman, former NASA engineer, Empire of Earth and B.S. of Ninjutsu at MIT.

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#1175406 - 04/06/09 09:20 AM Re: reading music [Re: Thorium]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Mr. Hao,

The efficiency of the Grand Staff which has been in use is fine as it stands.

Using only white keyts of the piano: The grand staff designates the 88 keys of the keyboard in a very understandable way by first learning the orientation to Major (no #'s or b's). All 8 C's can easily and clearly be shown with the use of 5 C's and the 8va and 15 va.

There are 8 A's, 8 B's, 8 C's, on the piano, and then 7 D's, 7 E's, 7 F's, 7 G's = 52 white keys

Then the addition of of 7#'s, and 7b's (because there are 7 alphabet letters to accomodate). This uses the black key groups as well as white notes which can be spelled enharmonically - killing two birds with one stone.

On the grand staff reading of accidentals accumulates by first doing Key of C, then following the Circle of 5th - clockwise, the # keys, and counterwise the b keys. By doing octaves, one has accounted for every possibility of sound on the piano as far as designating one keyboard note to any one location on the grand staff.

The grand staff is a combination of treble notes and bass notes separated by a 3 note area between clefs named B-Middle C- D.

So essentially, within any one octave (8 white notes/5 black notes) all 12 half steps can be demonstrated.

Accidentals are alteration used as needed, or written within understandable key signatures. To truly unjder stand the theory behind scales, tetrachords, accidentals, key signatures, circle of 5th, one has to be willing to sit at the piano and be guided through the consistency of factual understanding combining sound with staff (ladder) designations. The staff system is static in that notes don't move - they are constant location.

What changes is the note value counting of duration symbols. Symbols for sound and symbols for silence.

As I was saying (over and over) this clearly exists that a pianist can put 9 fingers (LH 5-4-3-2-(1 will share the middle line note with RH 1) -2-3-4-5) and have a finger placed on the keyboard to show all 9 possibilities of what the staff represents within the capacity of the musicians hands.

LH5-3-1 and RH 1-3-5 show line notes whether the thumbs are located at Middle C (the center of the grand staff) or Middle B (the center of the treble clef), and Middle D (the center of the bass clef.

Even the additions of leger lines at the top and the bottow of the staff make tremendous sense.

Everything is in perfect proportions from the grand staff to the keyboard.

The way music is written for piano is as succinct and understandable as it gets.

When someone does not understand the grand staff/nor do they understand the keyboard locations there is no hope for combining the information so that it makes sense, much less the pianists accessibility to the entire system. It can not be understood without the structure of knowing theory. Theory is a wonderful process of thinking. It is not something to fear.

If you are using simply your eyes and your ears to link the purpose of the alphabet system (or Do-Re-Mi solfeggio), you don't get very far without adding your hands to the keyboard to "measure" the relationships of notes to another.

There is a vocabulary and learning systems within the subject we are talking about, and instead of learning the system, we are looking at two graphics (one a grand staff graphic and the other a keyboard graphic.) Just looking and comparing does not work. There is further understanding to be made.

You don't own the grandstaff and the keyboard graphics until you have learned to use them to understand them. Using them is visual, aural, and tactile, and a sense of direction and distance.

So, I think it's possible to do as you have done and invent a new system that covers part of the learning process of what a grand staff represents, but it does not cover all the other facts in theory at the same line.

There is another topic going about the reconstruction of the keyboard - blacks and white. And, while interesting, neither yours nor his works as efficiently and universally understood as the present model in use.

Guido 'd Arezzo was not a dumb man. Before reinventing the wheel, it would be a good idea to know the story of written music. It would be a good idea to be at your full capacity as your best musician possible - then I believe you would see that your invention works for some of the people some of the time, but not for all of the people all of the time.

For many reasons it does not work completely. I don't have time or energy to list them nor reason to. Each person needs to decide for themselves, from their own musicianship, if it is worth the time and effort to examine a new notation system.

Once engrained with something that works, there is no need to make a change. If someone has not learned to use and understand the present system and they find it aggravating and frustrating, they have not been schooled in the associations and relationship of what the grand staff and keyboard are all about.

You get this information by working at the keyboard - you don't get it from reading a method book. The most accessible way is to be able to do it first, and then the information (theory) tacks itself to your brain.

The work of theory does not lay someplace else in a book or a website, it lays in your brain ready to put into use.

Betty Patnude

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#1175411 - 04/06/09 09:29 AM Re: reading music [Re: Betty Patnude]
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
ChromaticKeys posted this site: http://musicnotation.org/

Let me bring to your attention, that an octave gets totally out of whack size wise when the hand opens to play and octave with fingers 1 and 5 on the keyboard, but the schematic of the grand staff is much more greatly distanced apart on the written page. An octave on the keyboard represents a major scale - note to note with 8 white keys and 5 black keys residing within. The diagram represents 13 locations. What is the sense of that? Excessive distance on the paper has been used. This no longer complies with a compatible size between the two graphics: 1)keyboard distances and intervals, and 2) music staff madness.

Octo" represents 8 notes, 8 piano keys, when it takes C-C-A to represent 12 half steps, you can "see" it is not working. There are not 12 big steps to find an octave on a piano keyboard, it is the expansion of an adult hand shape.

By comparison, the grandstaff notation of the 12 notes (7 white/5 black) takes a huge area for it to be laid out.

It does not fit the human body at all.

Go back to my Middle Line teaching ideas, and she how magnificently it works. I do realize that not everyone is getting my version of notation to keyboard. That is because you are not using your hands at the keyboard to understand the staff.

The effort requires a music page/manuscript paper, a keyboard, and one person willing to stick with it until it makes sense.

It so makes sense! It's valid! It's legitimate! It being my middle line teaching device, and it being my comments in response to the "new" non-functional substitutes. Their biggest problem is that they don't hold true across the broad board of thinking in music theory. You cannot do that.

Betty Patnude


Edited by Betty Patnude (04/06/09 09:37 AM)

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#1175424 - 04/06/09 09:47 AM Re: reading music [Re: Betty Patnude]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11807
Loc: Canada
My thoughts on the grand staff and notation system:

This system came into its present form at a time when our music was based on the major and minor scales we commonly know now. If you think within that context, and if the music is also within that context (traditional type) then it works superbly well and maybe intuitively.

The sharps and flats, first of all, are part of a key signature. They reflect a consistent pattern of whole steps and half steps which is always the same. The major scale is familiar to everybody: it starts and ends on the same note within an octave. Traditional music tends to hover around that note. Se we get a feel for it as music. Of course this "key note" (tonic) where the scale starts and ends can be any starting point, so that we end up with the key of C major, G major, D major etc. and those sharps or flats. But these sharps and flats are in a predictable order, and it's always SAME ORDER + one more. Gmaj: F#, Dmaj: F#,C#: Amaj: F#C#G# etc. On a playing level, it becomes automatic to always play that black key called F#. That is your context of a piece in G major - it's consistent. And if you flub it, your ear tells you "this sounds wrong". So you get used to playing a piece in A major with its three sharps, and your hand and ear simply get used to them being there. You do not *think* about every G# that comes up, because you are playing inside the musical context of A major.

I wonder if that context sometimes goes missing, and people try to play note after note after note. That's what bothers me about these alternate notations, btw. I lose the context and am in fact forced to play note after note.

The grand staff itself has little "labels" like place markers, as it were. The bass clef is called "F clef" in many languages, because the two dots surround the F below middle C, with the fat starting point being on that F. The treble clef is often called "G clef" because it circles G above middle C. Then we have middle C, C5 and C4 in the spaces (if you get lost, you can always use your F and G markers to find your way back). It's quite easy to orient yourself, especially if you systematically acquire familiarity of each "region" of notes until you know them "like the back of your hand".

By having these approaches in place, I have learned not only to read the bass and treble clefs, but also music including the C clefs (alto, tenor). It seems to be a matter of approach.

One thing the grand staff is not well suited for is music that is not written in that traditional style that bases itself on major and minor scales. Modern music using whole tone, octatonic, blues, any of the modes - is immediately in trouble even when trying to write it down. Immediately you have choices. In a blues scale, you can write the fourth note as an aug4 or dim5 above the tonic, so it could be written as F# or Gb, and both are correct. You are back to reading such music note-by-note or by interval because you don't know what context you are in. That is when it really hits home, how intuitive the grand staff is for "traditional" music (I'm inventing a term) because suddenly all those contexts you take for granted fall away. It would seem also that our notation system does not work as well for music that lies outside of Common Practice music. (??)



Edited by keystring (04/06/09 09:51 AM)
Edit Reason: Changed "third note" (blues) to "fourth note"

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#1175455 - 04/06/09 10:51 AM Re: reading music [Re: keystring]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12141
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I do wonder what notation system you would use for violin? What about flute? What about a piano trio? As a pianist I need to know what the other two instruments are playing at the same time, yet there's the issue of them having one system of notation and us another, not to mention the space factor: no room for them as your system takes up more space. Does someone who plays piano have to relearn how to read music to take cello lessons? A universal system seems better.

And in all instruments where the playing or singing depends on doing so "in tune", and A# is always higher than a B flat. There is a reason for this as well as for choosing the sound of different keys. It may not make sense to strictly equal-tempered pianists, but it is intuitive for vocalists and strings.
_________________________
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