Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) End Stage Fright
End Stage Fright
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 13 1 2 3 ... 12 13 >
Topic Options
#2014470 - 01/14/13 02:03 PM Starting out with analysis, all invited
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
Several people have commented at various times that they are interested in analysis, but the current Sonata Analysis thread is too hard for them. Also people have occasionally asked, "what is analysis for?", and I hope this thread can persuade some people to dip a toe in and find out.

To me, analysis is studying a piece with an eye to understanding how it is put together. For people with a practical bent, it also includes finding ways to improve learning, practicing, playing (and optionally memorizing) a piece, in particular by understanding the structure and subtleties of a piece.

I would like to start this thread to re-visit analysis from the most basic level. The idea is for a thread where everyone feels they can learn something, and no prior knowledge is required, and every question is acceptable. (We tried to start the other analysis thread that way too, but clearly we didn't quite succeed.)

OK, I'm making the opening post short and sweet to get you interested. Next post will propose some details.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
(ads P/S)
Petrof Pianos

piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2014478 - 01/14/13 02:19 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
torquenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 225
Loc: Italy
I'm interested, even if I don't know if I can really give a contribution.
I tried to catch up with the Sonata Analysis thread but it was... too much!
_________________________

Top
#2014482 - 01/14/13 02:22 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
I'm trying to start out with no (or almost no) assumptions, but I'm sure I and others will inadvertently make assumptions along the way. So please, if you're interested in this topic, please raise any questions that arise. For example "I don't know how to tell the key" or "what does that note that's just a plain circle mean again" or "how do you find the meolody in this welter of notes" or "how do you read the rhythm of this piece" or etc.

In a way this is applied music theory. We will be introducing a lot of the basics of music theory as they become necessary. I anticipate a possibly leisurely pace with lots of digressions to explore these areas.

I call it applied music theory because we will be looking at specific pieces to learn how to analyze them, and to learn music theory that applies to them as we go.

Some ideas of pieces to start with are Burgmüller's Opus 100, the Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook, and/or arrangements of existing songs specially composed for the thread (I'm not an expert composer, but I could come up with arrangements of anthems and folksongs to illustrate various points. First up, Happy Birthday...). I don't play a lot of non-classical music, but if people have ideas for popular or other pieces to look at, that's fair game too, and I may start doing some research among my rock books looking for pieces to illustrate certain ideas. Ideally we would look at pieces where the score is available for free on the internet.

Alfred's method book doesn't fit the category of "free on the internet", but we might occasionally do a piece from there if people are interested, if those without the book are willing to be patient during occasional Alfred interludes. Or some of the pieces in Alfred's can be found, perhaps in a slightly different arrangement, on the internet.

For me personally, it's not so important to be able to play the pieces we analyse, but that perhaps betrays two things: I have a strong purely theoretical streak, and I know enough at the piano to be able to pick out melody and bass lines enough to give me a flavour of what a piece is like. So I would be interested to know other people's wishes in this matter. There may be a piece you are working on that you would like us to look at, or you may find that your interest and learning will be improved by using pieces that you can learn at your level.

The next post will ask for introductions. I'm breaking this up into three posts to try to avoid TL:DR, but who knows if this will work smile .
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2014484 - 01/14/13 02:25 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
torquenale, welcome to the thread! Can you say anything about what was too much about the Sonata Analysis thread? Asking questions can be an excellent contribution; without questions we won't know on this thread when we're assuming too much and/or making things too hard.

For people who are interested, what do you think about the ideas in my previous post, of pieces to use? What interests you about this topic? If you have tried to follow the Sonata Analysis thread, can you say what made it too hard? What level would you say you are with piano (pieces you're playing, topics covered in lessons or on your own, affinity for reading or memorizing, whatever)? Feel free to PM me if you feel too shy to answer any of these questions in public.

(Or you can just lurk, but the more we know about people participating, the more we can shape the thread to meet people's needs.)


Edited by PianoStudent88 (01/14/13 02:29 PM)
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2014498 - 01/14/13 02:54 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
torquenale Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 225
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Can you say anything about what was too much about the Sonata Analysis thread?


Hi PianoStudent, my problem with the Sonata Analysis Thread was that I started reading it when the discussion was already well developed. The first piece was, if I remember, one of Clementi's Sonatinas; I have the score and tried to read everything in one evening. I was a bit discouraged so I left the thread.
I'm sure that if I follow on a day by day basis it will be easier.

I agree that we can use mainly scores available for free on the net, and occasionally also some arrangements of existing song.

Thank you very much for your idea!
_________________________

Top
#2014501 - 01/14/13 02:59 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
Rocket Man Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/13
Posts: 55
Loc: Banned.
Holy smokes...I am new here but that thread was displaying as "starting out with anal" Not sure why it cut off like that but I was nervous what I got myself into. Lol

Top
#2014511 - 01/14/13 03:18 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 323
Loc: Netherlands
Nice way to introduce yourself, Rocket Man ^^

I'm interested in learning to play and understand classical music and theory. I started taking lessons a little over half a year ago. The pieces discussed in the sonata analysis thread are way beyond me. I don't know many of the musical terms and cannot hope to play the pieces within years. Tried plucking along the melody of the Chopin Nocturne. It's sort of doable while ignoring the trills, until you run into the fast 32nd notes in bar 16, which I can barely even read. Something a little easier would be nice.

I've played one of the menuets from Anna Magdalena Bach's notebook, so something around or a little over that level would definitely work for me.


Edited by Allard (01/14/13 03:19 PM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#: I. Adagio sostenuto
David Lanz - Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D

Top
#2014519 - 01/14/13 03:54 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
Marco M Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/12
Posts: 444
Loc: Europe
Excellent idea! I will join!
Is a question like this acceptable for this thread? I am still wondering if this piece is originally written for 4 hands. I can see in the bass clef almost the same melody than in the treble clef, just a little bit delayed: And a little bit shortened, it is not a canon in the end. Members in the forum explained me about "voices", and I now see this. Anyway, my "4 hand" question is still not answered. Actually, having voices, and each of them is even individually a nice one, would point even more towards a 4-hand idea, or? Each player stays with a similar melodie!

Top
#2014523 - 01/14/13 04:07 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
The key (pun intended), will be picking pieces that people real love and want to learn. Best of luck, should be an interesting thread.

Top
#2014527 - 01/14/13 04:13 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
neildradford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 148
Loc: United Kingdom
I'm in.......and yet I have no clue what it is I'm 'In'

Neil.
_________________________
Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
Started learning: October 2011
Started lessons: January 2012
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

Top
#2014531 - 01/14/13 04:20 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
Welcome, Rocket Man, Allard, Marco M., Mark..., neildradford.

Rocket Man, lol, I'm going to have to start counting letters carefully before making thread titles!

Marco M., lots of specific questions about pieces will still perhaps be best on their own thread. Among other things, they might get more attention that way, if more advanced players aren't following this thread. Let's see how it goes. I have an idea for your voices/4 hands question which I'll put over on the original thread, and make a note to think about taking up voices at some point in this thread, but not right away.

Mark... it's very interesting to me that for some people learning analysis is closely linked to wanting to learn a piece, while for other people an alternate approach might be to use any pieces to learn the basic principles. I'm of the latter mind myself, but I'm aware that many people are very practical minded and want a piece to be learning, so I'm trying to reign in my inner didactic theoretician here smile and find pieces that will be both learnable and interesting. I hope people will be willing to join in the analysis even if a particular piece isn't their favorite, or if it's a little too hard to learn completely (but can still be plinked out in part to get the ideas), or a little too easy to be much challenge. Having people nominate the kinds of pieces, or specific pieces, that will be of interest will help us try to meet everyone's wishes at least some of the time!
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2014539 - 01/14/13 04:46 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 900
Loc: Italy
Great thread, I'm in! I like music theory a lot but I don't know nothing about applying it to complex classical scores. I look for key signatures, chords, patterns, etc. in my Alfred's songs but that's it. I'll be happy to follow along!
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
All one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself. (J.S. Bach)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia

Top
#2014548 - 01/14/13 05:06 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
PianoStudent88 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 2975
Loc: Maine
Welcome to the thread, sinophilia! I see from your .sig that you're in Alfred 2. Where are you up to?


Edited by PianoStudent88 (01/14/13 05:08 PM)
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

Top
#2014566 - 01/14/13 05:46 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
scorpio Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 461
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I'm in, too! Obviously I am starting out. I look forward to learning music theory. Thank you PianoStudent88 for this great idea.
_________________________

    Yamaha P-155

    Top
    #2014597 - 01/14/13 06:59 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    venice1 Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 11/10/11
    Posts: 21
    Hi PS88,

    Please include me in the group as it's obvious that I'll learn something here while hopefully increasing my focus and accelerating my learning curve. Also a beginner, I started taking lessons this past year. That being said, how does a beginner contribute to this project? Thank you for sharing your time and knowledge.

    Top
    #2014636 - 01/14/13 09:02 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Valencia Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 237
    Thanks so much for starting this thread, Pianostudent88! smile I'm happy to see that so many other people are also interested in this topic. I'll have a look at those links for the music for possible analysis. For me, it would be ok to start with some really easy/basic examples, even if the music is easier than what I would usually play.

    One of the reasons I'm interested in music analysis is because I think it would make it easier to learn and memorize pieces. Sometimes when I'm trying to memorize pieces, I have to try to remember the notes in weird and not very effective ways because i don't understand the relationships between the note changes, or between the notes in a chord or arpeggio etc.

    Top
    #2014639 - 01/14/13 09:11 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
    malkin Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 04/18/09
    Posts: 2199
    Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
    I'm interested too.

    What do you think about starting a new thread with each new piece or group of pieces? It can be intimidating for people to jump in on a thread with 87 pages of history.
    _________________________
    A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

    Top
    #2014671 - 01/14/13 10:39 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Welcome scorpio, venice1, Valencia, malkin.

    malkin, I'm definitely taking your idea on-board for new threads per piece or set of pieces.

    venice1, lots of room to contribute at any level. This is a discussion course, not a lecture course smile. Answering questions, asking questions, reporting on what you see/hear in a piece, proposing pieces or areas for further investigation; sharing what you're learning in your lessons. The list goes on!
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2014721 - 01/15/13 02:07 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 900
    Loc: Italy
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    Welcome to the thread, sinophilia! I see from your .sig that you're in Alfred 2. Where are you up to?


    I'm working on the last ten pages smile
    _________________________
    Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
    All one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself. (J.S. Bach)
    http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia

    Top
    #2014757 - 01/15/13 04:16 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    I'm certainly interested in learning more about theory and analysis, but starting from pretty much zero with very easy stuff -- to be sure to catch the gaps is my knowledge.

    As a starting point, how about "Lili Marlene" -- it has a lot of the 1-2-5-1 and 1-4-1 stuff I've heard a little about. Then for examples that I think are deeper because I'm clueless at this point -- Cole Porter's "Night and Day", David Rose's "The Stripper".....

    I've been using the free open source "MuseScore" notation program, could it be helpful in creating examples?
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2014815 - 01/15/13 08:06 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: Valencia
    One of the reasons I'm interested in music analysis is because I think it would make it easier to learn and memorize pieces. Sometimes when I'm trying to memorize pieces, I have to try to remember the notes in weird and not very effective ways because i don't understand the relationships between the note changes, or between the notes in a chord or arpeggio etc.
    Spot on, Valencia.

    Aesthetic benefits
    When music appeals to us it's interesting to find out why. When good music doesn't appeal an educated study can change your appreciation. Analysis helps understand why a piece works, why it might not appeal, and why or how the composer wrote it. It can change what we like and don't like.

    Intellectual benefits
    Theory and analysis go hand in hand. Music theory is not a set of rules we apply arbitrarily. It is a distillation of what has worked over the years and what hasn't. It is, in effect, good practise, codified. When you learn theory from studying a piece of music you learn not just the 'rule' in a glass case that we forget next week, but why it's there and how it works and that makes it not just easy to remember but understood and applied as part of our musical make-up.

    Practical benefits
    Analysis looks at music the way an artist looks at the figure. We examine the form and the structure, break it down into a skeleton, musculature and flesh, study the proportions, and in the realisation bring out the spirit, the personality, the expression and the emotion.

    When learning a new piece of music it makes it easier understand as a piece, easier to interpret and make it our own. We get to know it intimately, like a close friend, and it helps us to see inside the mind of the composer.

    It can speed up and simplify the learning process. It can suggest easier ways to go about learning a piece and makes it easier to memorise and become part of us. And memorised pieces are the best way to develop and maintain technical facility. With memorised pieces our technique can be maintained without practising at the piano and restored in very short order even after many years away from the piano.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2014853 - 01/15/13 09:42 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Jean-Luc Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/19/12
    Posts: 318
    Loc: France
    This sounds very interesting and I will most certainly follow this thread.
    I don't know if it's the right place to post this, but I have found a nice resource on youtube teaching the basis of counterpoint and harmony and I guess this is relevant to this thread since it might help people to get started on understanding what happens in a piece: http://www.youtube.com/user/artofcounterpoint
    _________________________
    - Please, forgive my bad English smile

    Jean-Luc

    Top
    #2015215 - 01/16/13 12:44 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    Bobpickle Offline

    Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


    Registered: 05/24/12
    Posts: 1368
    Loc: Cameron Park, California
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90
    Originally Posted By: Valencia
    One of the reasons I'm interested in music analysis is because I think it would make it easier to learn and memorize pieces. Sometimes when I'm trying to memorize pieces, I have to try to remember the notes in weird and not very effective ways because i don't understand the relationships between the note changes, or between the notes in a chord or arpeggio etc.
    Spot on, Valencia.

    Aesthetic benefits
    When music appeals to us it's interesting to find out why. When good music doesn't appeal an educated study can change your appreciation. Analysis helps understand why a piece works, why it might not appeal, and why or how the composer wrote it. It can change what we like and don't like.

    Intellectual benefits
    Theory and analysis go hand in hand. Music theory is not a set of rules we apply arbitrarily. It is a distillation of what has worked over the years and what hasn't. It is, in effect, good practise, codified. When you learn theory from studying a piece of music you learn not just the 'rule' in a glass case that we forget next week, but why it's there and how it works and that makes it not just easy to remember but understood and applied as part of our musical make-up.

    Practical benefits
    Analysis looks at music the way an artist looks at the figure. We examine the form and the structure, break it down into a skeleton, musculature and flesh, study the proportions, and in the realisation bring out the spirit, the personality, the expression and the emotion.

    When learning a new piece of music it makes it easier understand as a piece, easier to interpret and make it our own. We get to know it intimately, like a close friend, and it helps us to see inside the mind of the composer.

    It can speed up and simplify the learning process. It can suggest easier ways to go about learning a piece and makes it easier to memorise and become part of us. And memorised pieces are the best way to develop and maintain technical facility. With memorised pieces our technique can be maintained without practising at the piano and restored in very short order even after many years away from the piano.



    Great post! I'll simply add that with understanding comes appreciation - as touched on - which is why music theorists and more experienced musicians will appreciate and tend to enjoy Bach while those less knowledgeable will often find him hard to listen to or perhaps "overrated."

    Top
    #2015407 - 01/16/13 10:56 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Welcome, JohnSprung, zrtf90 (Richard), Bobpickle. Et bienvenu Jean-Luc.

    sinophilia, congratualtions on your progress in Alfred 2.

    JohnSprung, thank you for the non-classical suggestions.

    I have MuseScore, and also the free version of Finale. Haven't quite decided which I like better, and am considering buying notation software, perhaps even as extravagant as full Finale. I might be able to get an educational discount, since I work at a college.

    Jean-Luc, thank you for the counterpoint link. I hope people will watch it and share what they think or what they learn from it. (Or what is challenging about it, and why.)

    I'll post up the first piece later today. For starters: I'm thinking we'll start with some arrangements of Happy Birthday, just to cover a few introductory points about analysis, and then move to Burgmüller Opus 100 for at least a few pieces, and look at the popular pieces suggested by JohnSprung.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2015708 - 01/16/13 06:50 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Forstergirl Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 05/02/09
    Posts: 55
    Loc: Ontario
    Cool. Very good idea

    Forstergirl

    Top
    #2015964 - 01/17/13 07:08 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 900
    Loc: Italy
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    For starters: I'm thinking we'll start with some arrangements of Happy Birthday, just to cover a few introductory points about analysis, and then move to Burgmüller Opus 100 for at least a few pieces, and look at the popular pieces suggested by JohnSprung.


    Sounds good to me! smile
    _________________________
    Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
    All one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself. (J.S. Bach)
    http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia

    Top
    #2016027 - 01/17/13 10:11 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Welcome, Forstergirl.

    Here is the first arrangement of Happy Birthday: Happy Birthday 1

    It is not a very good arrangement, but serviceable for the initial questions I want us to look at. Please feel free to ask if you're not sure about any of these, or if you're not even sure what the words mean! We're all starting at different levels, and we can all learn from each other.

    For those just starting out, the leger lines (short horizontal lines supporting notes above or below the staff) may be new, or you may not have learned all the notes on the staff yet. Or other things may be new that I'm not even realizing! Ask about these, or other aspects of the score, and we can go over them.

    Questions:

    1. Overview: Are there any things in this score that you don't know what they are? Ask here!

    2. Time signature: What is the time signature? What does that mean?

    3. Key: What key is this in? How do you know?

    4. Melody: What phrases (smaller groups) does the melody divide into? Where would you put slight pauses in playing it? Where is the climax? Would you play any parts of it louder or softer?

    5. Harmony: What are the names of the chords in each measure? For this initial piece, just consider the notes in the bass clef. (Later on we'll ask about the notes in the treble clef too.) What is the first chord? What is the last chord?

    6. Playing: Can you play or pick out parts or all of this, even if very slowly? If it seems daunting: try just the melody alone, with just one finger if you want. Try just the lowest notes in the bass clef. Try finding all the notes of each chord.

    These are the kinds of questions we'll be asking for every piece. As we proceed, we will find more details to investigate in each area, and maybe add some areas.

    I will tend to take the approach of asking questions first, and then using people's answers and questions to decide what to fill in and say more about.

    I'd like us to have a recording of this. I can probably post a recording this evening, but if someone else wants to and can post one, please do.


    Edited by PianoStudent88 (01/17/13 11:09 AM)
    Edit Reason: clarify #5.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016102 - 01/17/13 12:17 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Mark... Offline
    4000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 11/27/06
    Posts: 4372
    Loc: Jersey Shore
    Lets also talk about stems up vs down please.

    Top
    #2016104 - 01/17/13 12:18 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Allard Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Netherlands
    I'd like to start by pointing out some issues:
    - There is no tempo indication. Of course, everyone knows how this song should sound.
    - The time signature is 3/4, or three quarter notes per measure. The first measure has only one beat. What is this called in English? Anyway, this means the last measure should have only two beats, so the two rests at the end are unnecessary.
    - Chord progression is awkward when arranged for a beginner. It requires a lot of left hand movement. The high C major chord in measure 5 touches the same key (g) the right hand just played, which is physically possible but just feels awkward.
    - Not an issue per se, but the score could use some fingering marks. This should be an early point to touch on when analysing a score you plan to play. In this case, you should probably start with 1 on g, so that the first right hand movement will be at the octave stretch in measure 5 (with 5 on the high g). I would then play the e with 4, c with 3, b with 2 and a with 1.
    _________________________
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#: I. Adagio sostenuto
    David Lanz - Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D

    Top
    #2016114 - 01/17/13 12:40 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Allard]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Originally Posted By: Allard
    I'd like to start by pointing out some issues:

    Good points all, Allard!

    Quote:
    - There is no tempo indication. Of course, everyone knows how this song should sound.

    Yes, I was so completely mesmerized by "of course everyone knows how this goes" that a tempo indication never occurred to me.

    Of course maybe everyone does not know this. Do they sing this "Happy Birthday" song in the Netherlands? Are there Dutch words for it?

    OK, analysts: what tempo indication would you suggest?

    Quote:
    - The time signature is 3/4, or three quarter notes per measure. The first measure has only one beat. What is this called in English?

    Pickup notes, and pickup measure.

    Quote:
    Anyway, this means the last measure should have only two beats, so the two rests at the end are unnecessary.

    Yes, I would much rather have left those rests out, but I couldn't figure out how to do that in MuseScore. Anyone know how to do that?

    This is one of the reasons I'm considering buying Finale.

    Quote:
    - Chord progression is awkward when arranged for a beginner. It requires a lot of left hand movement.

    Yes, that's one of the crap things about this as an arrangement. For ease of analysis, I wanted almost all the chords to be in root position, so that trumped ease of playing.

    Quote:
    - The high C major chord in measure 5 touches the same key (g) the right hand just played, which is physically possible but just feels awkward.

    Ack! (Now I have to confess: I actually haven't played this, and arranged it entirely by eye and by theory.)

    Quote:
    - Not an issue per se, but the score could use some fingering marks. This should be an early point to touch on when analysing a score you plan to play. In this case, you should probably start with 1 on g, so that the first right hand movement will be at the octave stretch in measure 5 (with 5 on the high g). I would then play the e with 4, c with 3, b with 2 and a with 1.

    I had a fleeting thought about fingering somewhere along the way, and then I dismissed it for I don't know what reason. I'll put up a new version showing the fingering I use.

    You're right, working out the fingering is one of the first things I do when learning a piece. Then I start doing the actual learning work in small sections, using the worked-out fingering.

    Thank you for your comments! As an inexperienced arranger and notator, I find this very helpful.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016124 - 01/17/13 12:50 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Allard Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Netherlands
    You're welcome smile

    In the Netherlands we just sing "happy birthday" in English, though I remember a Dutch version from elementary school that basically just repeated the Dutch word for congratulations.
    _________________________
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#: I. Adagio sostenuto
    David Lanz - Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D

    Top
    #2016131 - 01/17/13 01:01 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Mark...]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Originally Posted By: Mark...
    Lets also talk about stems up vs down please.

    Good idea. For anyone reading, think for a moment: what do you know about stems up and stems down? Have you noticed stems pointing in different directions in your music?

    .

    .

    .

    OK, now that you've thought about this a bit, here's the basic rule:

    • Notes on the third line or below are written with stems down.
    • Notes above the third line are written with stems up.


    Here's the first refinement of the basic rule:

    • If there is a chord with some notes on or below the third line, and some notes above, then the stem goes in a visually pleasing direction. Look at the chord in measure 8 of Happy Birthday 1 as an example. (I suspect engravers have some precise guidelines for this -- MuseScore must have rules programmed into it -- but I don't know what they are.)


    There are other refinements for more complicated music with runs of connected notes, or multiple voices, or indications for hands playing in the opposite clef, and so on. If anyone wants to fill those in here, please do. If you can link to a score showing an example, that would be great. Or we can wait until we meet examples in the music we're analyzing. Even if we talk about them now, I'll try to remember to point it out again when we meet them in future pieces.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016136 - 01/17/13 01:18 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Stems are up when the notes are on the middle line of the staff or lower and down for notes on the middle line of the staff or higher.

    The stems can also be used to distinguish voices if more than one voice is played on the one staff, stems up for upper voices, stem down for lower voices.

    Tempo indications are not a requirement. The absence of tempo markings is not an issue. Even if the composer states the exact bpm or duration, in hh:mm:ss, of a piece it is only an indication. Always, always, the performer has precedence on tempo.

    The notes before the first measure are the anacrusis, pickup, pick-up, upbeat or up-beat. The influence of the anacrusis on the length of the last measure is contentious. Traditionalists would prefer the length of the anacrusis to be removed from the last measure but modernists prefer the last measure to be a full one. You should be aware of both conventions but the older is dying in the face of modern scoring software.

    I have no comment on the chords and inversions used.

    I would prefer no fingering marks in any music not intended to teach fingering to the student. One of the first things I do when I start a new piece is remove any fingering marks that were clearly not geared for my hands and are going to interfere with my own choices.

    If they're supplied by the composer and not the editor I will, of course, give them due respect. And then obliterate them. smile
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2016137 - 01/17/13 01:19 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Re: stems when some notes are above and others below the line in a chord:

    There are definite rules. Generally you go by which note is the farthest away from the middle line, and this determines stem direction. The chord in measure 8 illustrates this. The lowest note in the bass chord is C, in the space just below the middle line. The highest note is middle C, which is far above the middle line. Therefore the stem is pointing down.

    For notes sitting directly on the middle line, the stem can point up or down, and it's a toss-up, but the default I learned is that in general the default is "down". You consider the line as a whole. If everything else is pointing up, then the solution suggests itself. A lot of the rules in music are common sense. smile


    Edited by keystring (01/17/13 04:48 PM)

    Top
    #2016145 - 01/17/13 01:33 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90
    I would prefer no fingering marks in any music not intended to teach fingering to the student. One of the first things I do when I start a new piece is remove any fingering marks that were clearly not geared for my hands and are going to interfere with my own choices.

    I am always learning about fingering! I appreciate fingering in a score, and I always try it first. Even if it feels awkward I try to feel if it's better than the alternatives I come up with. That's because the fingering in the scores I get often has elegant solutions that I like better than what I come up with. On the other hand, I feel perfectly free to change the fingering if, after trying it, it really doesn't work for me, or if my choice seems about as good as what the score shows, but I like my choice better for whatever reason.

    Here is Happy Birthday with fairly exhaustive right-hand fingering. When a fingering isn't shown, play the note with the same finger you used the last time. In measure 5, I have shown Allard's fingering as an alternate in parentheses. Actually I often play yet another fingering in measures 5 and 6: G E C B A as 5 3 2 1 2. I'll give Allard's fingering a try later when I can get to the piano. Try these out and see what you think, or if you like yet another way.

    I would finger the chords as 531, except for the first chord in measure 7 which I would play as 521, and the final chord in measure 8 which I would play as either 5421 or 5321 (not sure which, until I can get to the piano and try them under my fingers. I think I have a standard way I do this, but I can't remember which it is).
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016163 - 01/17/13 02:08 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 900
    Loc: Italy
    The chord inversion topic might be interesting here. We could talk about 1st and 2nd inversions and how to identify them from the position of the root note.

    Then... I always wonder what is the reason behind using chords with more than 3 notes. I often see 4- or 5-notes chords and octaves in the final measure as you did here, I guess it sounds better and you can stress the fact that you're moving back to the "home pitch" (tonic)?
    _________________________
    Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
    All one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself. (J.S. Bach)
    http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia

    Top
    #2016169 - 01/17/13 02:19 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    About Stems:

    You are going to see two conventions going on, which might be confusing if you only know the set of rules that was just talked about. When you have one voice in the RH and one voice or chords in the LH, then the rules are what PianoStudent88 has set out: notes above the middle line will have stems going down, and vice versa.

    However, sometimes music will have two or more voices in the RH or LH. Think of an alto and soprano singer both sharing the treble clef. There isn't always a singer - sometimes a composer simply wants to bring out different "voices". In that case, the "singer" (voice) that is higher will have stems pointing up, and the "singer" (voice) that is lower will have stems pointing down, regardless of where the note heads are.

    To illustrate this stem convention, I've taken the liberty of adding an alto singer to P88's arrangement. Here the "soprano" line has up-stems, and the "alto" line has down-stems. If you see this kind of stemming in music, that's what's going on. The chords are the same, but I've done some inversions which makes it easier to fit in the lower notes. I have primitive software which won't let me do things either, so I'm afraid it's written by hand.



    Top
    #2016184 - 01/17/13 02:46 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Allard Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Netherlands
    Here's a recording!

    _________________________
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#: I. Adagio sostenuto
    David Lanz - Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D

    Top
    #2016200 - 01/17/13 03:27 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Allard, thanks for the recording.

    keystring, thanks for the two-voice example.

    sinophilia, we'll definitely talk about inversions later but I don't want to say much about them yet until we meet more of them in the scores we're looking at, and people feel comfortable with root position chords. Thanks for bringing them up as a good topic. What do others think? Inversions now, or can they wait?
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016223 - 01/17/13 04:08 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    My view is coloured by my own background. I did rudiments before ever doing analysis. To me, understanding chords, intervals etc. feels a bit like understanding the alphabet and phonics being part of reading a novel and discussing its meaning or structure. You have already used inverted chords. It seems essential to be able to recognize chords in order to identify them in music. I could possibly put something together similar to what we had in RCM rudiments.

    Top
    #2016240 - 01/17/13 04:37 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    CHORDS - Inversions - basic

    The most basic chords we learn are major and minor chords, which are triads in "root position". Probably everyone here has learned them that way. In my diagram, the first two chords in the RH are in root position, and the chord in the bass clef is in root position. Every chord in that diagram is some version of a C major triad (chord).

    In root position, when the notes are as close together as possible, the chord looks like a snowman. Either the notes are all on adjacent spaces, or on adjacent lines. Letter names skip: C(D)E(F)G = CEG. The lowest note is the "root" and we identify the chord by the root. This chord, CEG is a C chord. Because C to E is a major third, it is a C major chord.

    If the middle note (E) is on the bottom as in the 3rd chord of the first measure, then this is known as "first inversion". In letter chord notation it's written as C/E which means "C major chord with E on the bottom".

    If the middle note (G) is on the bottom as in the last chord of the first measure, then this is known as "second inversion". In letter chord notation it's written as C/G which means "C major chord with G on the bottom".

    The important thing for what we are doing is to realize that any chord that has the notes C,E and G, and only those notes, is the C major chord. It doesn't matter what order the notes are in, or how many of each note you see - it's a C major chord.

    The second measure shows some random arrangements of the C major chord. When I taught theory, the book introduced these "open chords" late, and it was disorienting, because people will associate chords with the shapes of the first measure. That's why I think it is important to know from the very beginning that the chord is what it is if it contains all the notes of that chord in any order.

    Clear as mud? Questions?


    Edited by keystring (01/17/13 04:37 PM)

    Top
    #2016324 - 01/17/13 08:18 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    No nibbles on my Happy Birthday 1 questions? Even to say "huh?! I can't even begin to answer these questions!?!"

    I am worried that I may have started with the wrong approach. I'll give it another 12 hours or so to see if the original approach is workable (by seeing if/what anyone posts). If not, I'll re-start from a different angle, starting with information instead of questions.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016343 - 01/17/13 09:07 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Valencia Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 237

    2. Time signature: What is the time signature? What does that mean?

    3/4 time--3 quarter beats per measure. (what is another name for a quarter beat...a crochet? or a quaver??)

    3. Key: What key is this in? How do you know?

    I would guess C major, because it has no sharps or flats, and I happen to remember that C major has no sharps or flats. is that the only key with no sharps or flats?

    4. Melody: What phrases (smaller groups) does the melody divide into? Where would you put slight pauses in playing it? Where is the climax? Would you play any parts of it louder or softer?

    If I didn't already know the sound of this piece, I'm not sure i would know how to determine this. Looking at the score, I might think that the half notes in the right hand indicate the end of a phrase just because it's a longer note than the notes before it. (but would i have said that if i didn't already know the song? I'm not sure...). I don't know how you would determine the climax of the piece just through the score....


    5. Harmony: What are the names of the chords in each measure? For this initial piece, just consider the notes in the bass clef. (Later on we'll ask about the notes in the treble clef too.) What is the first chord? What is the last chord?

    No idea about this question! Except that I see keystring's post relates to this so I'll will go back and study that. smile

    Top
    #2016414 - 01/17/13 11:15 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JF Playing Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/07/13
    Posts: 4
    Loc: Calgary/Canada
    Analysis! A great Idea to really get it! (Theory) Count me in. Reading what we have to far is quite enlightening. I will contribute as I can being quite inexperienced.
    _________________________
    Leaning on: Privia PX-150
    Method: Alfred and Piano Handbook by Carl Humphries
    Playing since: Jan 2013 ( But had a few years playing as a kid. )

    Top
    #2016461 - 01/18/13 01:45 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Allard Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Netherlands
    Key: C major. There are no sharps or flats. Chords are all major. The final note is a C and the final chord is C major with a closing C added.

    Melody: there are lyrics, so naturally each sentence would be a phrase. You can also clearly make out the pattern of each phrase: two eighth notes, three quarter notes and one half note, which is oddly split up in the third phrase. Otherwise the piece is highly patterned.

    Harmony: keystring explains how you can recognise the chords. In this piece: C, G, G, C, C, F, C, G, C. The C chord in measure 7 is an inversion, since the G is lowest. The final C chord has another C added and will sound quite pleasing when played arpeggio (low C first, then quickly adding each next note until all five notes sound).

    Playing: Happy Birthday is not very fast and even with the left hand changes quite playable. Noteworthy (har har) points are the octave stretch between measure 4 and 5, the following descent from high G to middle A, the high C chord clashing with the right hand just having played the G, and the final chord switch in only one beat. Those with small hands might have trouble with the final C chord; just play CEG instead, or play the chord arpeggio.
    _________________________
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#: I. Adagio sostenuto
    David Lanz - Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D

    Top
    #2016471 - 01/18/13 02:24 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 900
    Loc: Italy
    Thank you keystring! I have a little thing to add.

    A useful method to see whether a chord is in 1st or 2nd inversion and identify the root (without having to remember or work out all three notes of each chord), is to check the intervals:
    1) a chord in root position is made up of 2 equal intervals = 2 thirds (which can be major or minor but that's another matter), and the root note is the bottom one
    2) an inverted chord is made up of 2 intervals of different length:
    - 1st inversion: third + fourth = root note is the top one
    - 2nd inversion: fourth + third = root note is the middle one
    This makes it easy to visualize inversions when you see the notes on the staff. They look different, as in keystring's example (first measure). The pattern, from bottom to top, is short-short (root position), short-long (1st inversion), long-short (2nd inversion).

    Of course I'm talking about 3-note chords (triads), haven't gone into larger chords yet...

    (I apologize if my English is not clear enough)
    _________________________
    Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
    All one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself. (J.S. Bach)
    http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia

    Top
    #2016473 - 01/18/13 02:29 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

    Yes, I would much rather have left those rests out, but I couldn't figure out how to do that in MuseScore. Anyone know how to do that?


    Yes: Left click on the undesired rest (or whatever other item), then right click. A menu appears from which you can choose "Set Invisible" or some such thing having to do with "Invisible".

    On the screen, the offending item is grayed out to a light gray so you can find it again and make it visible if you need to later. But it doesn't print out on paper.

    There's a MuseScore forum like this that's full of helpful answers, and people who know the kinks and tricks.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2016474 - 01/18/13 02:34 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 900
    Loc: Italy
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

    5. Harmony: What are the names of the chords in each measure? For this initial piece, just consider the notes in the bass clef. (Later on we'll ask about the notes in the treble clef too.) What is the first chord? What is the last chord?


    Chords are:
    C - G - G - C
    C - F - C - G - C

    According to position of the chords on the C scale (since the song is in C), the progression is:
    I - V - V - I
    I - IV - I - V - I

    The first and last chords are both C as you're supposed to go back to the tonic (1st note of the scale) at the end. The final chord is actually the one that helps more with identifying the key signature, while the first one could have been a different one.
    _________________________
    Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
    All one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself. (J.S. Bach)
    http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia

    Top
    #2016475 - 01/18/13 02:37 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    -- MuseScore must have rules programmed into it -- but I don't know what they are.)


    In addition to the ones you list, MuseScore puts the stems of different voices in opposite directions. And there must be a few more rules programmed into it. If you don't like the direction it puts a stem, click on the stem to select it, then hit the "x" key to flip it the other way. "x" also works on pretty much any other flippable item, like ties and slurs.

    I take my stems as they come most of the time, but do flip them if it looks better because of chord symbols, lyrics, or other items being overwritten or too close.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2016480 - 01/18/13 02:56 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    Cassiesmom Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 52
    Loc: Mid Atlantic, US.
    I'll definitely be following along and would be open to any level piece for analysis.-not sure I can add much yet though. The Chord Inversion explanation from Keystring was super helpful.

    I like Malkin's suggestion to post a new thread for each new piece we begin.

    Hey..I do have a question. Valencia noted that she only knew where the climax was because she knows the piece.. ditto for me (at least I'm assuming it starts 1/2 way through measure 6 till the end(ish)?)... can you elaborate on what is meant by the climax ?..how to find-especially in a longer song. (and why do I need to be concerned/aware of where it is?) is it one definitive moment in a piece or in a longer piece are their numerous climaxes, like for each section?. and is it subjective to each perfomer/listener or a universal accepted section?..

    sorry.. I suspect I'm getting bogged down in the tiny details.

    I'm back to the piano after a long time and some of the vocabulary is surprisingly unfamiliar when I think about what things really mean. When you learn as a child I think you can understand quickly without over thinking like we do as adults.

    oh and I had no idea there was a rule about the stem direction. I can tell I'll learn a lot here. !

    .
    Thanks for the thread (and invite) PS88 smile
    Regards,
    c.

    Top
    #2016495 - 01/18/13 03:15 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    OK, I got "Lili Marlene" together for this thread, here's my first attempt at attaching files....


    Nope, the file uploader is broken yet again.

    Anyhow, I have it in .MSCZ, .XML, and .PDF, but none of them have URL's. (There's a picture attachment button, but it demands an URL.)

    I'll post them as soon as someone tells me how to make it work.



    Edited by JohnSprung (01/18/13 03:23 AM)
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2016506 - 01/18/13 03:37 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    The slash chord notation is used to specify inversions, but also to add any bottom note you want. For instance, Cm6/B would be a dissonant chord consisting of a plain old Cm6 in root position with the B below it added. Cm6/F would have F on the bottom, then G, A, C, and Eb. I believe that would be called a second inversion of the Cm6, with the F added below it. Of course, these super wierd dissonant chords are only used very rarely.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2016529 - 01/18/13 05:26 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    dire tonic Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 07/17/11
    Posts: 1038
    Loc: uk south
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
    The slash chord notation is used to specify inversions, but also to add any bottom note you want. For instance, Cm6/B would be a dissonant chord consisting of a plain old Cm6 in root position with the B below it added. Cm6/F would have F on the bottom, then G, A, C, and Eb. I believe that would be called a second inversion of the Cm6, with the F added below it. Of course, these super wierd dissonant chords are only used very rarely.



    Cm6/F = F9, an everyday chord for many.


    The Cm6/B might sound weird when you first play the Cm6 only adding the the B bass note afterwards but a lot depends on context. If you resolve it to Em (E note at top) it begins to make some sense. If further, before resolving, you drop the G note to a passing F# note it becomes quite familiar.

    I think it's important to 'mess around' with chords. Experimentation leads to some of the most valuable insights, often a chain reaction of understanding.

    Can anyone think of an experiment which flows from the Cm6/B observation above?

    Top
    #2016546 - 01/18/13 07:04 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Greener Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 05/29/12
    Posts: 1059
    Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

    I'll post them as soon as someone tells me how to make it work.

    Hi John, if you have a box account (box.com) or simalar (box is free to set up) you can upload it there and the share button will provide a link. Or, email it to me and I'll post it.
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
    The slash chord notation is used to specify inversions, but also to add any bottom note you want. For instance, Cm6/B would be a dissonant chord consisting of a plain old Cm6 in root position with the B below it added. Cm6/F would have F on the bottom, then G, A, C, and Eb
    ...

    Yes, kinda. But there is no B in a Cm6, so I would want to call this something else. Similarly Cm6/F ... there is no F in a Cm6, and I would want to account for it in the chord name. As Diretonic has mentioned, F9 would work better smile

    Top
    #2016579 - 01/18/13 08:43 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: malkin]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: malkin
    What do you think about starting a new thread with each new piece or group of pieces? It can be intimidating for people to jump in on a thread with 87 pages of history.
    This issue is being discussed in the 'other' analysis thread.

    The number of pages doesn't seem to have deterred the pepole on the Alfred's threads. And no-one is expected to have to trawl through so many pages before asking a question again. It's never been a problem on any of the ABF threads that I've read.

    On the other hand, keeping the the discussions together makes it easier to trawl though many pages on one thread than many pages of thread topics looking for a particular piece.

    It would be no great hardship for someone active on the thread to update an index whenever a new piece was started to append dates and pieces/topics covered. This way new arrivals would see an indexed post every other page or so detailing what has been covered and the dates where the salient topics begin.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2016583 - 01/18/13 08:55 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
    Nope, the file uploader is broken yet again.

    Odd. It was working for me yesterday, several times.

    When you do manage to upload them, if you link them just as links instead of inline images, that will keep the pagewidth from exploding horizontally, which can make the thread hard to read.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016590 - 01/18/13 09:16 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    We might hold off on Lili Marlene until we've finished Happy Birthday and started on the Burgmüller.

    I have something to say on Happy Birthday.

    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2016597 - 01/18/13 09:33 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Cassiesmom]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Originally Posted By: Cassiesmom
    Hey..I do have a question. Valencia noted that she only knew where the climax was because she knows the piece.. ditto for me (at least I'm assuming it starts 1/2 way through measure 6 till the end(ish)?)... can you elaborate on what is meant by the climax ?..how to find-especially in a longer song. (and why do I need to be concerned/aware of where it is?) is it one definitive moment in a piece or in a longer piece are their numerous climaxes, like for each section?. and is it subjective to each perfomer/listener or a universal accepted section?..

    sorry.. I suspect I'm getting bogged down in the tiny details.

    Welcome, Cassiesmom. Glad you've joined us. No, I don't think these are tiny details at all. Excellent questions.

    I don't have good rules I can articulate for finding the climax in any piece, but sometimes it might be at the highest note in a piece, or at the loudest point, or at the most discordant harmony. I learned to think about climax from Richard (zrtf90), so he might have some more ideas on this.

    As we work with more pieces, we'll find out more about how to find the climax, I think.

    In Happy Birthday, I think the climax is on "birth-" on the first note of m.5. I think that because of how I sing it. But once I've identified that from how I sing it, I notice that it is also the highest note of the piece. And other people might sing it differently, emphasizing something else as the climax.

    By climax, I mean... hmmm, what do I mean? The most-emphasized part, the most dramatic part, the part the piece builds towards and then relaxes away from... something like that.

    I think there can be multiple climaxes in a piece. Perhaps one would be bigger than the others. Rachmaninoff, AIUI, felt that there should be just one climax in a piece. At least, he follows this principle in his liturgical choral work, the Vespers. But he wouldn't have had to articulate that as a principle he followed unless others were putting in multiple climaxes smile . In the shorter pieces we'll probably mostly be working with, I expect we'll probably also find only one climax per piece, but I wouldn't put that down as a hard and fast rule.

    I think where the climax is is open to interpretation, so different people might find the climax (or multiple climaxes) in different places. However since I think there are musical principles underlying how you determine the climax, it's something that can be discussed and perhaps swaying people to a different point of view.

    There's an example in Bach's Prelude in C Major where Richard thinks the climax is one place (highest note in the second half of the piece), and I think it's a measure earlier (most discordant harmony). Richard probably thinks I'm wronger than a wrong thing is wrong, but I hold to my position. Our difference is rooted in that Richard analyses the Prelude mostly in melodic terms, and I analyse it mostly in harmonic terms.

    Climax is important because it tells you where a piece is building towards, and where the piece is ebbing away from. Once you've identified the climax, you can look for ways to emphasize the climax, whether with dynamics, or accents, or articulation (staccato, legato, etc.), or pedaling, or tempo (perhaps slowing down, or speeding up), etc. Or it can go the other way: the composer might give you all those indications, and from them you realize musically why they're there: they're pointing out the climax. Then they become meaningful indications, and not just "oh the composer says slow down and get louder here, I wonder why".
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016601 - 01/18/13 09:40 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Allard Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Netherlands
    In that light, I would argue for placing the climax on our birthday boy here. The first three phrases are ascending in pitch, with a higher "to" in the second phrase and a higher "birth-" in the third. This leads to the molto ritardando where you sing the person's name and hold for emphasis. The fourth phrase brings us down to the closing C.
    _________________________
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#: I. Adagio sostenuto
    David Lanz - Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D

    Top
    #2016608 - 01/18/13 09:49 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Overview
    From the answers so far it is apparent the much has been and can be taken for granted, overlooked, or misunderstood not just about music and the theory behind it but about the notation system as well. How useful it is to have a thread like this where we can catch up on details that need to be shelved while we start to learn this instrument.

    Time signature
    Explicitly, the 3/4 means there are three beats to the bar, each the length of a quarter note or crotchet. It is unfortunate that the American system names the notes on their proportion to a measure of common time and the English system on their proportion to the length of a breve, a note no longer used but is twice the length, hence the semibreve is a whole note.

    Implicitly, 3/4 means that the first beat is stronger than the next two. When a crotchet is split in two the second quaver, in this song the second syllable of ‘Happy’, doesn’t fall on a beat and so is weaker still.

    Key signature
    Here there are no sharps or flats in the key signature. The key signature always points to one of two keys, one major and one minor. We use the harmony of the final notes as primary evidence and the initial harmony as a secondary guide to key and here we have C major in both last and first measures.

    Melody
    This is a well known song and its phrases are easily recognised. But how do we find the phrases in unfamiliar music? The last notes of a phrase form a cadence. We will cover cadences in more detail at some stage but they are frequently occurring progressions of melody or harmony that have the same effect as inflexion in speech and punctuation in text.
    What is a climax and where is it? In normal speech every sentence has a climax to avoid us speaking in a monotone. Most words even have their own accentuation. ‘Musicology’ has its own climax on the antepenultimate syllable, musi-COL-ogy, in English but on the final syllable in French (actually it is said without accent in French but to the English ear that makes it sound like the accent occurs at the end). It is the high point in the emotion or emphasis of the sentence. In music every phrase has a climax, every section has a climax and the piece as a whole has a climax. Where it occurs is up to the performer. If it’s not there the performance sounds dull and flat. If it occurs in an unconventional place it gives the tune a ‘foreign’ accent. It is said that Chopin’s Mazurkas cannot be correctly played without being able to speak Polish.
    The climax in each of the first two phrases of the song is likely to be on ‘Birth’, the first downbeat of the phrase. If I were playing this as a wordless piece of music I would seriously consider the penultimate note in each of these phrase.
    The main climax of the song is most likely to be on the dedicatee’s name in the third phrase but, again, as a wordless piece of music I would consider the octave G at the start of the phrase the most beautiful sound of the song from which the last two phrases climb down.

    Harmony
    We have identified the chords of the song as being the tonic, C major, the dominant, G major and the subdominant, F major. The dominant gives us an unsettled feeling and longs to return to the tonic with drop of a fifth in the root and the leading note rising a semitone. The subdominant is a softer version. It is also a fifth away from the tonic, but it rises a fifth rather than falls a fifth and there is no leading note effect so it’s not simply an inverse version of the same thing.

    Despite its apparent simplicity there's a lot going on in this song. Music depends very much on repetition, sequence and alteration of its core components, rhythm, melody and harmony. This song encapsulates what makes music work.

    The first line sets up the home or tonic key of C and the basic rhythm of the piece, (di-di dum, dum, dum, dah) and lands on the dominant G. The melody lands on the leading note, B and wants to return to C. We would rather the melody had gone from B to C but this turn of events has created tension in the very first line. We need this tension released and so we have an expectation of more to come. The music is driving forward.

    The second line repeats the rhythm and sets us up to expect a repeat of the first line but instead it jumps up to D and returns to C. This is very uplifting and releases the tension created in the first line. We're much happier now and are back home again on the tonic chord but the song is not over. The descent from D to C (2-1) on its own does not satisfy us. Had the fourth note, 'day', occurred on E instead of G, the descent 3-2-1 would have satisfied us but now we are left feeling a little empty. We still need more.

    The start of the third line raises our expectation of yet another repeat but that would be too predictable and boring at this stage. We couldn't tolerate that and need a change. Then we unexpectedly jump up a whole octave here. Wow, what a pleasant surprise! The song reaches its climax, staying in tonic harmony but on the dominant note, G, and then descending gently though the tonic triad toward the end of the line and then...

    Oh dear, we're thrown into disarray again as we land on a stunning appoggiatura, B, over the subdominant chord, F. An appoggiatura, apart from being a long grace note (as opposed to the short acciaccatura) is a non-chord note creating a dissonance that needs to be resolved. The chord notes in F major are F-A-C. The B in the melody is therefore a non-chord note that resolves to A on the next beat. Most appoggiaturas occur on the second, fourth or seventh tone.
    As well as the harmonic carpet being pulled from under our feet we also have to contend with the change in rhythm on this line (di-di dum, dum, dum, dee, dum) and the melodic shape (consecutive descending notes). There is a natural pause here as the B falls to A and we catch our breath from the aftermath. We are crying out for relief!

    And relief comes with the fourth line, harking back to the climactic G we just heard, with a leap to F and heralding a glorious stepwise sequence back from the dominant to the tonic C, here interrupted only by a breathing note C between the E and D (which could also have repeated the E). The rhythm and melodic shape has also been restored. No wonder this is one of the most recognisable songs in the English language!

    This is essentially what music is all about; creating tension by a move away from tonic, usually to the dominant, and releasing that tension by a resolution back to tonic via either a stepwise descent, normally from the fifth, 5-4-3-2-1, or the third, 3-2-1, or via the leading note 7-8 or 5-6-7-8.

    The form of this song we call AABA and it recurs frequently in Western music. It is simple, satisfying and logical. It is amenable to tremendous elaboration and forms the basic underlying form of such mighty works as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

    Rhythm
    Of the three elements rhythm is the most important. We can change or remove the melody and it can still be recognised as music. We can change or remove the harmony and it would still be recognised as music. But that rhythm makes music on its own:

    di-di dum, dum, dum, dah
    di-di dum, dum, dum, dah
    di-di dum, dum, dum, dee, dum
    di-di dum, dum, dum, dah


    Don't learn to play and then try to count while you're playing. Learn to count, feel the rhythm and then learn to play while counting.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2016609 - 01/18/13 09:51 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Valencia, thank you for your replies and your questions. This kind of reply helps the thread, because it points the way to what needs more explanation. I appreciate your willingness to ask questions and say "I don't know."

    I'm going to take the questions one at a time per post, and take the occasion to add some information that you may already know, but that may be helpful to those just starting out.

    Originally Posted By: Valencia

    2. Time signature: What is the time signature? What does that mean?

    3/4 time--3 quarter beats per measure. (what is another name for a quarter beat...a crochet? or a quaver??)


    Time signature. Yes, the top number "3" tells us there are 3 of something in a measure. The bottom number "4" tells us that quarter notes are being counted. So, 3 quarter notes (or the equivalent, e.g. 1 dotted half note) per measure.

    In Happy Birthday 1, each quarter note gets a beat. The downbeat (the first beat of each measure) is typically the strongest beat in 3/4 time. Sing Happy Birthday and feel how the strong downbeats match up with the words.

    There is something interesting about the beats in Happy Birthday, at least the way I hear it, which is that "to" on beat 3 sounds about as emphasized as "you" on beat 1. So basic 3/4 time would sound like this:

    hap-py BIRTH-day to YOU.
    hap-py BIRTH-day to YOU.
    hap-py BIRTH-day dear BACH.
    hap-py BIRTH-day to YOU.

    But I hear it more like this:

    hap-py BIRTH-day TO YOU.
    hap-py BIRTH-day TO YOU.
    hap-py BIRTH-day dear BACH.
    hap-py BIRTH-day TO YOU.

    Note names. You asked about crotchets and quavers. The translation between American and English note names is:

    double whole note = breve
    whole note = semibreve
    half note = minim
    quarter note = crotchet
    eighth note = quaver
    sixteenth note = semiquaver

    Wikipedia on Note value shows further subdivisions, and also shows what each type of note looks like. We shall see which language people here on this thread speak smile.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016618 - 01/18/13 10:13 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    When a piece has lyrics, they affect the musical interpretation: we shape the musical interpretation to serve the lyrics. For example, although in the normal verse of Happy Birthday I hear the climax in line 3, when singing the alternate verse I hear the climax in line 4:

    happy birthday to you
    happy birthday to you
    you look like a monkey
    AND YOU SMELL LIKE ONE TOO.

    Think about how you might play this differently if you're accompanying the normal verse or the other verse. Which notes might you make louder? Where might you play the notes in an emphasized "marcato" way, and where might you play them legato (or might you choose staccato)? Not, you know, that children singing this verse are in the setting of a piano player carefully matching their playing to the children's teasing, but just in case you find yourself in that situation...

    (OK, raise your hand if you're fortunate enough never to have heard this verse smile .)
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016639 - 01/18/13 10:40 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    There is something interesting about the beats in Happy Birthday, at least the way I hear it, which is that "to" on beat 3 sounds about as emphasized as "you" on beat 1.
    I alluded to this in my post immediately prior to yours. It's the melodic climax bringing out the cadence.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2016656 - 01/18/13 11:17 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    A closer look at time signature - particular hangups that occur

    When teaching time signature and also helping troubleshoot problems, we became aware of sources of confusion with some concepts. I'd like to take a closer look at some of the things I teach. My fascination is usually with what lies underneath, which includes the rudiments. Call me the microscope zoom-in person. grin

    As everyone has said, time signature consists of two numbers one on top of the other. Top number: how many beats in a measure - Bottom number: which note value (quarter, eighth = crotchet etc.) "gets the beat". Let's zoom in on each of these concepts (for those who are interested).

    beat in a measure (top number):
    This is our "meter" and gives a rhythm to the music. Richard has mentioned the waltz rhythm that we often have in 3/4 time, and of course in beer fest type waltzes there is a very strong /OOM Pah Pah /OOM Pah Pah/ = /1-2-3-/1-2-3-/ Each OOM (1) is the start of a measure, and there is a steady pulse from one OOM to the next OOM. The "beat" itself is each of these numbers. It's what musicians call out as "1-2-3-1-2-3" before starting to play. This gives all of them a common heartbeat to play along. The numbers themselves tell us what to count, while the OOM bit gives an underlying rhythm.

    Other meters have other typical rhythms. 4/4 time generally goes: STRONG weak Middle weak. In advanced music, composers play with the rhythms we expect to hear by doing things with note values that throw it somewhere else, which gives some powerful overall effects. Closer to home - a lot of music is closely related to dances, and will emphasize a particular beat. If you get a piece like a Gavotte, do have fun and google period dancers to get a feel for what lies underneath this music originally.

    The note getting the beat (bottom number) - and note value:
    Unfortunately often beginner music sticks with 4 always being on the bottom. You see 4/4, 3/4, and maybe 2/4. So people associate "quarter note" with "beat". Then when they see 3/8 or 2/2 later on, it throws them for a loop. So from the onset, realize that the note that is counted for the "beat" can be any note value - whatever is on the bottom. If it's 4 as in 3/4 time, then each quarter note is one beat. If it's 8, then each eighth note is one beat. Etc. Do not allow yourself to create an association where the quarter note is the beat.

    A related concept is "note value" which seems to get tangled up with beats. So here is a way of looking at note values. They are relative to each other in proportions like this:
    1 quarter note = 2 eighth notes, so 1 eighth note = half the length of a quarter note. So in the time of 1 quarter note, you could play 2 eighth notes.
    1 half note = 2 quarter notes, so in the time of a half note you could play 2 quarter notes, which also means 4 eighth notes would fit in.
    You can find many note value trees showing you these relationships.

    google results - note value tree

    You can use this information to help you work out your music. If you have eighth notes and half notes and quarter notes in a measure in LH and RH, you can work out relationships by maybe using the smallest unit or whatever. This is separate from "beat". It is purely how one note value relates to the other note values.

    We then go back to beat. You have your 3/4 time, you know that the quarter note gets the beat. Since two eighth notes fit in the time of one quarter note, you know that "hap-py" in the pickup bar fits into one beat. Just know how these relate separate from beat, so that you can use them at will when music gets more complicated. smile

    A note about practising / preparing music

    Our musicians stand on stage, one person says a cool, "ONE two three ONE two three". They've all got the beat, the pulse, and they play together as if they share a heartbeat. If they are professionals and have played this kind of music for a long time, they might even do their first rehearsals that way, and before that, get the music up to speed quickly in private practising. What we see on stage is the finished product, the "final illusion" as one teacher puts it.

    When we practice and prepare a piece, we're taking it apart and putting it together. If you have some complicated notes coming together, you may see how one note value fits together with the other and not concern yourself with rhythm or beat. Then when you've worked that one out in your body and mind, you can add the beat at a slow tempo, and then speed it up over time. If you can hear a ONE two three waltz, but your body is not yet ready to produce that ONE, then build what you can build - just the timing - later the rest will come. Musicians learning pieces take the music apart and put it together again. The final illusion comes in rehearsal to some degree, and on stage.

    Top
    #2016670 - 01/18/13 11:39 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
    The slash chord notation is used to specify inversions, but also to add any bottom note you want. For instance, Cm6/B would be a dissonant chord consisting of a plain old Cm6 in root position with the B below it added. Cm6/F would have F on the bottom, then G, A, C, and Eb. I believe that would be called a second inversion of the Cm6, with the F added below it. Of course, these super wierd dissonant chords are only used very rarely.


    This is an important point, and a few years ago I almost got caught out by this. Letter name chords have only been adopted recently for classical music since the traditional Roman Numerals are limited in what they can do.

    I was trying to stay very simple. When we have a "first inversion" C major chord in the key of C, we can say "first inversion C major chord, "C major chord with E on the bottom" (which is expressed as "C/E"), or I6 or we can just stick a 6 underneath. But for people just starting out in theory, what I want to bring across is that a C chord is a C chord is a C chord regardless of how the notes belonging to that chord are arranged. 2. One of the notes of that chord sit on the bottom. The easiest way to express this is as C/E because that tells us "This is a C chord - E is on the bottom." The note on the bottom becomes important when we look at the movement of the bass line later on (if we do).

    In actual fact, the note on the bottom of a "slash chord" tells us what note is on the bottom. Sometimes that note doesn't belong to the chord at all, or the note is part of a more complicated chord than our simple triads. Any chord Y/n tells us that "n is on the bottom". Should we go that far now, or just mention it in passing?

    Top
    #2016671 - 01/18/13 11:41 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Allard]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: Allard
    In that light, I would argue for placing the climax on our birthday boy here. The first three phrases are ascending in pitch, with a higher "to" in the second phrase and a higher "birth-" in the third. This leads to the molto ritardando where you sing the person's name and hold for emphasis. The fourth phrase brings us down to the closing C.

    thumb

    Top
    #2016684 - 01/18/13 11:55 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Originally Posted By: keystring
    a C chord is a C chord is a C chord regardless of how the notes belonging to that chord are arranged.

    This is the nugget of information I wanted to point to, briefly at this point, by including that non-snowman chord at the start of measure 7 in Happy Birthday 1.

    One might ask, why put the notes in a different order? In measure 7, I did it so that both chords (C chord for a half note, then G chord for a quarter note) would have the same note at the bottom: G.

    The "root" of the chord is the note that gives the chord its basic name. In a snowman chord, the root is at the bottom of the chord. But the notes can be arranged in different orders as keystring has illustrated, and then the root might not be at the bottom. For example in the C chord in Happy Birthday 1 at the start of measure 7, the note at the bottom is G but the root is C. Eventually we'll talk about how to find the root in non-snowman chords, but we don't need to know that for Happy Birthday 1.


    Edited by PianoStudent88 (01/18/13 11:56 AM)
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016692 - 01/18/13 12:03 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Expanding on a couple of things that were mentioned.

    Key signature - As Richard stated. No flats or sharps will give us either C major or its relative minor, A minor. Music will have lots of V and I chords, one often leading to the other. The V of C major is G, while the V of A minor is E. So if you see lots of C, F (IV of C major), G then it's probably in C major. The final chord will probably be C. If you see lots of Am, Dm, E (with G# accidentals) (iv and V of A minor), then you know it's in A minor.

    You may also hear that the music seems to center around C and G, or A and Em. The minor music may also have a different, sad or blue sound to it.

    Harmony - defining concepts/words that were mentioned
    There are 7 triads formed from the bottom note of the key, if you use only the notes of that key. Each has a name and often has a function with a function name (per Richard's post).

    In C major, going up the scale C,D,E,F,G,A,B

    I (Tonic) = CEG = C (major)
    The tonic note is the main note that the music settles on
    ii (Supertonic) = DFA = Dm, not important for now.
    iii (Mediant) = EGB = Em, not important for now.
    IV (Subdominant) = FAC = F (major) - it matters
    V GBD (Dominant) = GBD = G (major) mega important
    vi ACE (Submediant) = Am, not important for now
    viio BDF (leading note chord) = B diminished. not for now.

    The chords that are mentioned the most often are I, IV, V. The names aren't important, but if they're mentioned, it's handy to know what that's about.

    There is one more chord: G7 = V7. GBDF This is a very important chord, because the movement of V7 to I (G7=>C) is a very strong movement. Play it where it occurs on the music and hear it. Our G7 - GBDF also contains BDF (viio) which also gives a weaker version of that movement toward the Tonic.

    The reason G7 is so strong is as follows:
    F => E
    D => C or E
    B => C
    G => G

    F is only a semitone away from E so it wants very strongly to slide down to that E. B is a semitone from C, and is the "leading note" so it wants to reach to C. Our ear strains for that resolution and then it comes.

    G7 also contains the "tritone". Play BF. It is an uneasy sound, and was actually banned at one time as being too unsettling. When it resolves, the music feels "settled".

    Top
    #2016697 - 01/18/13 12:16 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Last element: non-chord notes in Happy Birthday (melody).

    At the most basic level of writing music, the notes you use for the melody will be the notes contained in the chord. So if you have a C chord, you use C,E or G. But those aren't the only notes you see.

    One simple kind of non-chord note is the "passing tone". Say I have a C chord and I want my melody to rise C,E,G. I might want to have eighth notes and create a scale C,D,E,F,G. The D "passes" from C to E, and the F "passes from E to G. They're not on the beat so we barely even notice them. Our ear is fixed on the C,E,G. I did this in my illustration of stems for two voices.

    Another device is used a lot in Happy Birthday. The first note of the first beat often is not part of the chord. It slides into the chord note on the second beat. You hear a tension which makes this beat stronger. I've heard it described as a "sigh". We have this in measures 2, 4, 6 beat 1 going into beat 2 each time. Richard has given us the name appoggiatura, which comes from an Italian word meaning "to lean".

    Top
    #2016719 - 01/18/13 12:57 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    Mark... Offline
    4000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 11/27/06
    Posts: 4372
    Loc: Jersey Shore
    Originally Posted By: keystring
    About Stems:

    You are going to see two conventions going on, which might be confusing if you only know the set of rules that was just talked about. When you have one voice in the RH and one voice or chords in the LH, then the rules are what PianoStudent88 has set out: notes above the middle line will have stems going down, and vice versa.

    However, sometimes music will have two or more voices in the RH or LH. Think of an alto and soprano singer both sharing the treble clef. There isn't always a singer - sometimes a composer simply wants to bring out different "voices". In that case, the "singer" (voice) that is higher will have stems pointing up, and the "singer" (voice) that is lower will have stems pointing down, regardless of where the note heads are.

    To illustrate this stem convention, I've taken the liberty of adding an alto singer to P88's arrangement. Here the "soprano" line has up-stems, and the "alto" line has down-stems. If you see this kind of stemming in music, that's what's going on. The chords are the same, but I've done some inversions which makes it easier to fit in the lower notes. I have primitive software which won't let me do things either, so I'm afraid it's written by hand.




    Thanks for this info, the voicing was what my question was referring to specifically. My teacher just mentioned it in passing and this clarifies it. Any differences in how you play those notes on the piano?

    Top
    #2016729 - 01/18/13 01:22 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Mark...]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: Mark...
    Any differences in how you play those notes on the piano?

    (I wonder how this page can get resized).

    Yes. I should add that while I know things that can be done at the piano, I am just getting the skills to do them. At the elementary level, you learn to play the melody more strongly than the accompaniment. I found it a coordination task just to do that in the beginning, in crude exaggerated manner. As you get better, you will bring out dynamics in the melody, and as the music gets more complicated, you'll be bringing out certain notes for emphasis. The melody might drift into the bass, or a middle line.

    For my "stems" version, I might try to play the upper voice more strongly than the bottom, if I was capable of it. I'm actually hearing two singers (literally), and maybe there's a guitar or something doing nifty things with the chords. smile

    Mark, your inbox is full. smile


    Edited by keystring (01/18/13 01:26 PM)

    Top
    #2016757 - 01/18/13 02:20 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Originally Posted By: Valencia
    3. Key: What key is this in? How do you know?

    I would guess C major, because it has no sharps or flats, and I happen to remember that C major has no sharps or flats. is that the only key with no sharps or flats?


    Key, and key signature:

    Good for you for remembering about C major. The key signature is the set of sharps or flats that appear between the clef and the time signature; or in the case of C major and A minor, no sharps and flats at all. For each key signature, there is one major key and one minor key it might be. How do you tell which one? There are various things you can look at:
    • the final note of the melody
    • the final bass note (lowest note)
    • the name of the final chord
    • the pattern of which chords are used overall
    • the pattern of whether there's a consistent accidental or accidentals (that is, sharps or flats or natural signs used within the piece, apart from the key signature).
    • major or minor: whether the piece sounds "happy" or "sad" (some people can hear this easily, and other people don't hear it so much)
    • the note that the piece seems to hover around and/or return to (I can't hear this at all, but some people can)

    All of these can have exceptions, but I mention them as general areas to think about. We'll look in more detail at each of them as we look at more pieces. For Happy Birthday 1, no sharps or flats in the key signature tells me C major or A minor. The last note of the melody is C, so that suggests C major for the key. Also the last chord is C major, so that suggests C major for the key. Also the chords used in the arrangment are C and G (both used a lot), and F (once), and that's a pattern that suggests C major for the key, for reasons that others have touched on and I'll also say something about when I talk about chords.

    In the interests of full disclosure: it is also possible for the key of a piece to be different than what the key signature shows, by using accidentals. It is also possible for the piece to be in something called a "mode" instead of in a major or minor key. But we won't see any of these for a while, and I'll flag them up when we meet these situations.

    A warmup exercise: look at any books of music you have. See if you can figure out the key of various pieces. In particular, check the key signature, the final melody note, and the final bass (lowest) note. Also the final chord, if you know enough about chords already to name it.

    This is a warmup exercise to self-evaluate what you know already, or what you can find out with a little review from whatever resources you have if you want to do a little self-study. Your results may be "gee, I don't know any keys beyond C major yet!" and that's perfectly fine.

    Later on in the thread we'll come back to this in more depth, after we start meeting more pieces in different keys. Then I'll talk more about keys, and what all the key signatures are, and how to remember the key signatures, and major and minor keys and their relationships, and so on, and we'll practice on more pieces.


    Edited by PianoStudent88 (01/18/13 02:57 PM)
    Edit Reason: add idea about final bass (lowest) note
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016765 - 01/18/13 02:46 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Originally Posted By: Valencia

    4. Melody: What phrases (smaller groups) does the melody divide into? Where would you put slight pauses in playing it? Where is the climax? Would you play any parts of it louder or softer?

    If I didn't already know the sound of this piece, I'm not sure i would know how to determine this. Looking at the score, I might think that the half notes in the right hand indicate the end of a phrase just because it's a longer note than the notes before it. (but would i have said that if i didn't already know the song? I'm not sure...). I don't know how you would determine the climax of the piece just through the score....

    I wasn't able to figure out phrase marks in MuseScore (those long arcs over groups of notes) which would have been helpful for this question. (JohnSprung, I am definitely going to look up the MuseScore discussion forums; thank you for that suggesion.) I was thinking that people would answer it using the knowledge of the lyrics to help: every two measures, after the half note.

    But given that I couldn't find how to insert phrase marks, I think it's serendipitous because you raise an excellent question: how do you find phrases?

    For this piece, your idea of using the longer notes as a suggestion of where to phrase is certainly a reasonable idea to try (and does indeed match up with the lyrics). I don't have a conscious set of principles that I can articulate for this (apart from "phrase at the cadences", and we'll find out more about cadences later), but as we return to this question in future pieces I hope we will as a group be able to come up with ideas for how to determine phrasing.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2016793 - 01/18/13 03:59 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    torquenale Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/29/12
    Posts: 225
    Loc: Italy
    What an instructive thread! I missed 2 says and I'm catching up (especially with chord theory).

    Back to the climax of the melody: not always there are lyrics, but if you sing the melody instead of playing it you can figure it out better. My teacher gave me such advice, unfortunately I'm not able to sing well but it's enough to have an idea.
    _________________________

    Top
    #2016810 - 01/18/13 04:45 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 900
    Loc: Italy
    Oh Lord, I hate time zones! There is so much to read now, and it's time for me to go to bed! Sigh frown
    _________________________
    Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
    All one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself. (J.S. Bach)
    http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia

    Top
    #2016811 - 01/18/13 04:46 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Mark... Offline
    4000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 11/27/06
    Posts: 4372
    Loc: Jersey Shore
    FYI, my vote goes to a thread for each piece of music.

    Might be a good idea to have a template of how to attack each piece like:

    Title
    Time Signature
    Key
    Dynamics
    Chords
    etc

    Top
    #2016818 - 01/18/13 05:05 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    pianoslacker Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 05/07/12
    Posts: 50
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88


    happy birthday to you
    happy birthday to you
    you look like a monkey
    AND YOU SMELL LIKE ONE TOO.

    (OK, raise your hand if you're fortunate enough never to have heard this verse smile .)


    Are you using the Urtext? My copy has 'you were born in a zoo' for the second line. confused

    Top
    #2016828 - 01/18/13 05:34 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Allard Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Netherlands
    Let's make sure the word "analysis" doesn't start at the 19th letter of any new threads. It's a bit awkward on the overview page laugh

    Also, major vs minor:

    a sad birthday to you
    a sad birthday to you
    a sad birthday you ba-ach
    a sad birthday to you
    _________________________
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#: I. Adagio sostenuto
    David Lanz - Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D

    Top
    #2016887 - 01/18/13 07:48 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Allard]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: Allard

    Also, major vs minor:

    a sad birthday to you
    a sad birthday to you
    a sad birthday you ba-ach
    a sad birthday to you


    To whit:

    This uses exactly the same chord progressions (I, IV, V) except that in a minor key we have a choice of Em or E. Measure 3 uses G#BD which is the vii chord, and it is also the top of EG#BD (the V7 chord of A minor). The music is the same but different simply by being put into a minor key.

    If you leave out the sharps everywhere, you will get a more Medieaval sound.


    The ending would be better like this, so that the bass ends on A for a strong finish, saying "this is in A minor".

    P.S., would anyone like to analyze this for what is the same and different, in the same way as the original Happy Birthday?

    (I made a recording but am leaving it out on second thought, to give people a chance to try it on their own).


    Edited by keystring (01/19/13 12:04 AM)

    Top
    #2016992 - 01/18/13 11:58 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Valencia Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 237
    wow so much helpful information in this thread! thanks to everyone for all these contributions! I've read through today but will definitely need to spend more time on the posts tomorrow as there is a lot here to learn. I *will* have questions. smile

    Top
    #2017042 - 01/19/13 01:57 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Mark...]
    neildradford Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/10/11
    Posts: 148
    Loc: United Kingdom
    Originally Posted By: Mark...
    FYI, my vote goes to a thread for each piece of music.

    Might be a good idea to have a template of how to attack each piece like:

    Title
    Time Signature
    Key
    Dynamics
    Chords
    etc


    +1 to the above quote.

    Excellent thread so far guys. I don't really have anything to contribute yet, but learning a great deal so far.
    I find it interesting how music, no matter how solidly it is written (articulation, dynamics etc) can be interpreted in so many different ways, depending on the person. I guess this matches up to personalities in general.

    I do have a quick question, may be a silly one, but, someone a few posts back mentioned playing the final chord as an arpeggio. Now I understand what an arpeggio is, but what is the difference between playing it arpeggio, as opposed to a broken chord?

    Neil.
    _________________________
    Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
    Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
    Started learning: October 2011
    Started lessons: January 2012
    YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

    Top
    #2017044 - 01/19/13 02:02 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
    Nope, the file uploader is broken yet again.

    Odd. It was working for me yesterday, several times.

    When you do manage to upload them, if you link them just as links instead of inline images, that will keep the pagewidth from exploding horizontally, which can make the thread hard to read.


    Well, the PDF worked, but not the MSCZ or XML. It was just so very slow that I didn't see the e-mail until tonight. Just for test purposes, here's a link:

    [url=http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/Norbert_Schultze_Lili_Marlene_C_LS_Analysis1.pdf]

    If that works, I'll try the others again. MSCZ would be nice to have since we both use MuseScore, and XML for other programs.

    Edit: That worked, sort of. The URL is there, but not clickable. It works if you copy and paste it into a new tab. But the good news is that the file can be downloaded from there. So, if I can get the MSCZ and XML to work, you'll be able to modify -- OK, correct -- them.... ;-)

    Edit2: Here's a test of just plain old pasting the URL into the message instead of using the link button:

    http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/Norbert_Schultze_Lili_Marlene_C_LS_Analysis1.pdf

    I'll check that now.

    Edit3: Wowie! That's even better. It hyperlinks like it spozed to and the file is downloadable. ;-)

    Edit4: I tried the other file formats, and got an error message that they're not allowed.



    Edited by JohnSprung (01/19/13 02:28 AM)
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2017060 - 01/19/13 03:02 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Greener]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: Greener
    Yes, kinda. But there is no B in a Cm6, so I would want to call this something else.


    The reason for mentioning this is that in lead sheet notation you may encounter any note at all under the slash, not just ones from the chord above the slash. Writing Cm6/F instead of F9 means to play the F, G, and A adjacent to each other, rather than using the G an octave up.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2017063 - 01/19/13 03:14 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    By climax, I mean... hmmm, what do I mean? The most-emphasized part, the most dramatic part, the part the piece builds towards and then relaxes away from... something like that.

    I think there can be multiple climaxes in a piece.


    Yes, particularly if the piece is long. I think it's sort of like taking a long road trip through the hills. Some hills are higher than others. You can probably tell which is the highest you can see from where you are. But if the trip is long enough, it may be difficult to decide which was the highest of them all.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2017066 - 01/19/13 03:43 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90
    No wonder this is one of the most recognisable songs in the English language!


    And it's not particularly old. It just went into public domain a year or two ago.

    Originally Posted By: zrtf90
    Don't learn to play and then try to count while you're playing. Learn to count, feel the rhythm and then learn to play while counting.


    Aha -- That's something I got wrong. I learned to play a little, and tried to count. It didn't work. So I just gave up on the whole counting thing, and kept on playing. I go by my memory of what songs are supposed to sound like. I don't even try to play things I haven't heard before.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2017074 - 01/19/13 04:13 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: keystring

    The note getting the beat (bottom number) - and note value:......

    That's quite a thorough post. The one thing you didn't mention are tuplets -- triplets, quintuplets, etc. I sort of just play them without giving it much thought. Is there anything we should know about them? Are they more common in popular songs than elsewhere, perhaps because lyrics force the count?
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2017082 - 01/19/13 04:39 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    In the interests of full disclosure: it is also possible for the key of a piece to be different than what the key signature shows, by using accidentals.


    Yes, and it's also possible to change keys within a piece. If it goes to a different key for just a few bars, the composer or arranger may decide to use accidentals rather than taking up more space on the page with multiple key signatures.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2017098 - 01/19/13 06:38 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    Greener Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 05/29/12
    Posts: 1059
    Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

    ...
    Writing Cm6/F instead of F9 means to play the F, G, and A adjacent to each other, rather than using the G an octave up.


    / notation is used to indicate what note within the chord belongs on the bottom, if other than the root. It does not, however indicate where, or how you should play the rest of the chord.

    Edit: You could write it as Cm6/F of course, if it helps you to interpret where you need to be and what notes you need to play. But, better notation of the notes that make up this chord (any order (and any where on the register smile ,) but knowing that the F belongs on the bottom) is:

    F,A,C,Eb,G = F9


    Top
    #2017125 - 01/19/13 08:26 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
    Originally Posted By: Greener
    Yes, kinda. But there is no B in a Cm6, so I would want to call this something else.


    The reason for mentioning this is that in lead sheet notation you may encounter any note at all under the slash, not just ones from the chord above the slash. Writing Cm6/F instead of F9 means to play the F, G, and A adjacent to each other, rather than using the G an octave up.
    I have a word for people that want to play the F, G and A adjacent to each other. You don't want to know that word!

    I would play F7, F-A-C-Eb, and drop the G if I couldn't reach it.

    Most scholars, especially classical, recommend the bass note be included in the chord name given to avoid confusion over possible mistakes in the reading or the writing. It is a notational convention that can be understood even by those shorthanders who put whatever they like after the slash.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2017128 - 01/19/13 08:36 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Here's a suggestion for an analysis checklist/template.

    Composer, title and date.
    A brief outline of the composers life that can be gradually built up over a number of years. It's possible to learn a lot about a piece simply by 'knowing' the composer, his style, how he fits into our music history, et cetera.

    The title can be significant to an understanding of the piece. Calling it a Prelude or a Sonata sets up known parameters within which we'll be working and how significant certain aspects of the composition are. Song titles will have an effect on the interpretation more than the musical content.

    The date, too, can be significant to understanding the musical language and how it fits into its contemporary scene and its historical perspective.

    Key and time signature, tempo indication.
    The key is of great practical benefit in reading any piece but it is significant in tonal music. Knowing a piece by Mozart or Beethoven is in C minor gives us a wealth of knowledge and a much different expectation about the piece than if it was in, say, D major.

    The tempo indication gives precisely that - an indication. All of us live to the beat of our own drum and slow to a dealer on the NYSE can be uncatchable for a painter of still life.

    Genre, form, structure, scale (size), proportion, landmarks, key scheme

    Texture, colour (chromaticism) and dynamic range

    Rhythmic dependence, diversity and details

    Melodic, thematic, figurative or motivic treatment

    Phrase length, expansion, contraction, augmentation, diminution, inversion, reversal

    Harmonic complexity, breadth and variety

    Tension and release, symmetry, unity

    Use of sequence, repetition and variation

    Harmonic descent through the circle of fifths

    Melodic appoggiaturas, enharmonic change, new or unprepared harmonies

    Sudden dynamic, rhythmic, melodic or textural change

    Repeated syncopation or rhythmic subversion

    Rhythmic, harmonic or melodic acceleration to a cadence

    Delayed final cadence
    _____________________

    Music is sound - the movement of air against our ear dums. Without air, or another atmosphere, it can't be heard. But it still exists and fills our heads. We can hold our breath and still hear it in our heads. For me, it is a paradox.

    We have two ways of preserving it. Recording the sounds, e.g. tape, shellac, vinyl and now CD's and mp3's etc., so that we can hear it or recording the notation, sheet music, so that we can read it.

    Academia puts a heavy reliance on the latter and teaches harmonic analysis. This is basically taking the sheet music notation, putting labels on it, naming the chords and cadences, and discussing the theory behind it.

    And that's it. Effectively translating the dots on a stave into Roman numerals, letter chords and proper nouns. And, by and large, it stops there.

    Tonal music is governed by conventions, not rules, and as we grow up with these conventions we develop expectations. Repetition, cliché and convention are not the bane of music, they are its life blood. It is our reliance on these expectations that composers are able to surprise us, delight us, emotionally grab us, twist us, release us and leave us drained, addicted and begging for more.

    For me, analysis starts where the academic analysis stops.

    Music tells a story. I don't want to read the words like a list of ingredients on the side of a packet. I want to make that story mine and tell it with passion. That demands an understanding of the music and knowing what makes it work, why and how. I don't need to write my own stories, I have stories by Bach, Beethoven and The Beatles. I want to put my creative energy into the narration.
    ______________________

    If we put each piece in its own thread we need to cover the rudiments in every thread (theory, harmony, notation systems etc.) or keep them separate. If we keep them separate how do you, as a reader, know you've covered everything we're talking about (or do you get lost and overawed as in the Classical Sonata Analysis thread) and how do we as writers know how to pitch what we're writing - how much does our target audience know?

    If we keep everything together we can keep the discussion at a level suitable for everyone and field questions from new participants as knowledge refreshment for thread veterans. It's easier to go back through a long thread to revisit a topic you're not sure of than it is to go back through a trail of individual threads. The process can be made easier by updating an index of pieces and topics covered every time we start a new topic/piece. You can also print the thread to a file and search on relevant keywords and be sure you've not missed anything. You can't do that with multiple threads.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2017137 - 01/19/13 09:00 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    dire tonic Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 07/17/11
    Posts: 1038
    Loc: uk south
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90

    I have a word for people that want to play the F, G and A adjacent to each other. You don't want to know that word!

    I have a word for musical fascists of any colour who tell me what is good/bad/acceptable/unacceptable – many of you will already know that word.


    Quote:

    I would play F7, F-A-C-Eb, and drop the G if I couldn't reach it.

    Then you’ve nothing of any interest to say on the playing of F9


    Quote:

    Most scholars, especially classical, recommend the bass note be included in the chord name given to avoid confusion over possible mistakes in the reading or the writing. It is a notational convention that can be understood even by those shorthanders who put whatever they like after the slash.



    Most scholars confine themselves to dusty cloisters remaining ignorant of the broader musical world evolving around them. Conventions surrounding slash chords spring from common sense and most of all for the benefit of easy reading/writing. Well worth developing the discussion further but I think it's somewhat off topic (or perhaps just premature).


    Top
    #2017148 - 01/19/13 09:29 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: sinophilia]
    Greener Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 05/29/12
    Posts: 1059
    Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Originally Posted By: sinophilia
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

    5. Harmony: What are the names of the chords in each measure?

    Chords are:
    C - G - G - C
    C - F - C - G - C

    I like your chords sinophilia. For M7 I would write the first chord in this measure as C/G.

    M1 - C
    M2 - G
    M3 - G
    M4 - C
    M5 - C
    M6 - F
    M7 - C/G, G
    M8 - C



    Top
    #2017150 - 01/19/13 09:38 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: dire tonic]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: dire tonic
    Then you’ve nothing of any interest to say on the playing of F9

    I would respond differently to F9 but why not put that instead of Cm6/F?

    I'd still prefer to restrict the notation for a 'Starting out..' thread but on the other points I concede, as always, to your broader knowledge and greater experience. smile
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2017160 - 01/19/13 10:03 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    dire tonic Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 07/17/11
    Posts: 1038
    Loc: uk south
    In fact I’d prefer F9 but there is some potential utility in Cm6/F - that’s something for another time.


    "... broader knowledge and greater experience."

    Not at all. Different knowledge and experience with perhaps some commonality. Let’s just say it’s better to stick to what one knows.

    Top
    #2017170 - 01/19/13 10:31 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: dire tonic]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: dire tonic
    Let’s just say it’s better to stick to what one knows.
    I know what I know and I know there's a lot more of what I don't know, but I don't know if what I think is wrong is wrong because it's wrong or because it doesn't agree with what I have learned to be right or if I just haven't learned that far yet or if it's one of those things that are greater than is dreamt of in my philosophy.

    I apologise in advance for an overly eager mouth and an all too eager foot. smile
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2017171 - 01/19/13 10:31 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    neildradford Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/10/11
    Posts: 148
    Loc: United Kingdom
    I'm starting to think this thread isn't going to be for me after all.
    _________________________
    Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
    Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
    Started learning: October 2011
    Started lessons: January 2012
    YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

    Top
    #2017177 - 01/19/13 10:41 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: neildradford]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: neildradford
    I'm starting to think this thread isn't going to be for me after all.

    Neil, if it's because of the daunting list of things to consider in analysis, or the complicated ideas on slash chords, consider them aberrations. Discussion threads will always wander off like that. This is for BEGINNING (starting out) analysis, starting with simple, basic things. I have a huge respect and love for simple basic things because everything complex is built on them. The simple basic things are also extremely profound, and it is a mistake when books and courses geared for adults skim through them.

    I started as an adult student on another instrument, and went very fast through the first grades without discussing theory at all. When I finally caught up to it, this was a hugely important thing. The fact of meter made a tremendous difference to how I played a piece.

    Top
    #2017218 - 01/19/13 11:55 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Greener]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 900
    Loc: Italy
    Originally Posted By: Greener
    For M7 I would write the first chord in this measure as C/G.


    So, that would be a C chord with the G as bottom note, right? What my Alfred's books call a C in 2nd inversion. This slash thing looks interesting.
    _________________________
    Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
    All one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself. (J.S. Bach)
    http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia

    Top
    #2017258 - 01/19/13 01:23 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: sinophilia]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: sinophilia
    Originally Posted By: Greener
    For M7 I would write the first chord in this measure as C/G.


    So, that would be a C chord with the G as bottom note, right? What my Alfred's books call a C in 2nd inversion. This slash thing looks interesting.

    Correct. It is another way of looking at chords where we assume CEG (C on the bottom is a default), and if another note is on the bottom, that note is named after the slash. In more complex music, there may even be a note on the bottom which doesn't belong to the chord. The musician can see instantly what's in the whole chord. For people who play by ear and improvise, this is important.

    Top
    #2017265 - 01/19/13 01:41 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    neildradford Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/10/11
    Posts: 148
    Loc: United Kingdom
    Originally Posted By: keystring
    Originally Posted By: neildradford
    I'm starting to think this thread isn't going to be for me after all.

    Neil, if it's because of the daunting list of things to consider in analysis, or the complicated ideas on slash chords, consider them aberrations. Discussion threads will always wander off like that. This is for BEGINNING (starting out) analysis, starting with simple, basic things. I have a huge respect and love for simple basic things because everything complex is built on them. The simple basic things are also extremely profound, and it is a mistake when books and courses geared for adults skim through them.

    I started as an adult student on another instrument, and went very fast through the first grades without discussing theory at all. When I finally caught up to it, this was a hugely important thing. The fact of meter made a tremendous difference to how I played a piece.


    It seemed to be going in a direction that was going over my head. I have learnt a little about chords and chord inversions, from a study at home course I was using (Will Barrow's Learn and Master Piano) when I was self teaching for a couple of months, then I realised a teacher was a better option. We haven't really gone into chords yet, apart from practicing broken chords and arpeggios.

    I'll try and keep up because it is all fascinating and obviously beneficial, I'd just hate to get lost and confused.

    Neil.
    _________________________
    Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
    Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
    Started learning: October 2011
    Started lessons: January 2012
    YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

    Top
    #2017299 - 01/19/13 02:24 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Looking at this and the long list that follows:
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90
    Here's a suggestion for an analysis checklist/template....


    I see two different applications:

    1) working on music (playing)
    You will look at time signature and general structure, either on your own or under your teacher's guidance if you're not there yet. For composer, era, genre (Gavotte, Waltz, Sonata, Prelude) you may not yet have the knowledge. This is the situation I've been in. So for the piece I was working on I would get at least a rough idea what a Gavotte was about, how people thought in the 1700's or whatever. It's not solid knowledge, but a rough idea as a first practical step.

    The other is for analysis - here.
    If I were a beginner to analysis I'd find that list overwhelming. Even where I am now, it might be. I think what we have in that list is a grab bag of concepts that can be fleshed out as we work on music. And they do have to be fleshed out and explored, or else they become superficial concepts and largely meaningless. We are at the level of understanding what a time signature is. This is also not trivial.

    I'm looking at some of the items at random. "sonata and prelude" for example. If you are an advanced musician, this will mean something. We are doing analysis of sonatas in the other thread, and so naming something as a sonata has some meaning. I've analyzed a series of Chopin preludes with my teacher along a few angles, so I have an idea about preludes only along that period with this composer. Otherwise that name would be meaningless too.

    Date? You have to know something about what happened in music during various periods. Again, this is an area of study many of us don't have.

    Quote:

    Texture, colour (chromaticism) and dynamic range

    Rhythmic dependence, diversity and details

    Melodic, thematic, figurative or motivic treatment

    At THIS level? ! I've got a couple of inherited university books on my shelf which I've browsed through. One is called "The Study of Form in Music." I figure that it would take me at least a year to go through the material in that book. Before doing so, I don't think I could discuss those things in this forum.

    The rest of the things that follow in that list, likewise. Those kinds of headers in this thread, for beginner analysis - no way. And the names themselves are fancy and intimidating. Yet, some of these ideas are simple. "Dynamic range" for example. It means that this piece of music spans two octaves throughout. Another piece covers the whole length of the keyboard.

    I suggest keeping these things in mind for advanced musicians who are helping out, but keep it simple. If using specialized terms, be prepared to explain it fully and simply. What do you think?

    Top
    #2017309 - 01/19/13 02:30 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: neildradford]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: neildradford
    I'm starting to think thiI'd just hate to get lost and confused.
    Neil.

    PianoStudent88 started this in a very good way. She gave us a simple familiar song - Happy Birthday - and asked questions about basic concepts to check what the group here knows and would have questions about. We then had Richard's "everything including the kitchen sink" brainstorming - and brainstorming is just that - it's when you throw everything on the table and then say "nah!" to most of them.

    Slash chords got complicated too. When the specialists argue, I'd steer around it and wait for simplicity to return.

    Top
    #2017322 - 01/19/13 02:42 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
    Originally Posted By: keystring

    The note getting the beat (bottom number) - and note value:......

    That's quite a thorough post. The one thing you didn't mention are tuplets -- triplets, quintuplets, etc. I sort of just play them without giving it much thought. Is there anything we should know about them? Are they more common in popular songs than elsewhere, perhaps because lyrics force the count?


    I kept to the simplest and most basic concepts in key signatures to make sure these are straight. Tuplets are special considerations for certain note groups.

    There is a second group of key signature that goes in threes: 6/8, 9/8, 12/8. The eighth note is counted, but in 3's. 6/8 = 2 beats (3 + 3), 9/8 = 3 beats (3 + 3 + 3), 12/8 = (3 + 3 + 3 + 3). I think we shouldn't go into this until we have that kind of a piece. Happy birthday is in 3/4 time, and that's enough to start with.

    Top
    #2017327 - 01/19/13 02:47 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    neildradford, please stay with us. The thread has burgeoned with a lot of advanced information which is of interest to some on the thread, but is way more advanced than anyone needs to have yet for this thread. I am going to try to keep my posts focused on the basics that I envision us walking through slowly and progressively.

    As a way of getting oriented and not getting bogged down in the too-advanced stuff, read through what I've posted so far and let me know where you have questions, or where you are familiar with the information already, or where the information is new but makes sense without further explanation. It's this kind of feedback from you and others similarly starting out which is very helpful to guide us on this thread, so that it can be useful for the beginners it's intended for.

    Note that I haven't talked about chords yet, and I will be posting some information to help with answering the chord question I asked about Happy Birthday 1.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2017347 - 01/19/13 03:19 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Mark... Offline
    4000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 11/27/06
    Posts: 4372
    Loc: Jersey Shore
    I think no matter what your level, you can learn and gain something. If it's over my head, I just leave it alone and move to the next nugget of wisdom.

    PS: I'm enjoying the chord dialog by the way...I'm changing teachers and working towards some chord based playing.

    Top
    #2017549 - 01/19/13 09:57 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Valencia Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 237
    So the Happy Birthday chords in the bass clef then:

    1-C
    2-G
    3-G
    4-C
    5-C
    6-F
    7-C then a G
    8-C


    Here are some questions. Sorry if this stuff was covered in the above posts. If so maybe just refer me back to the post. There is a LOT of stuff here and it will take awhile to understand it thoroughly. If for some of what I ask is better to wait and explain later, no problem.:

    We’ve said this piece is in C major because there are no sharps or flats. But then it was also mentioned that A minor also has no sharps or flats. What is A minor scale? Why does it have the same key signature of C major?

    Keystring mentioned: Because C to E is a major third, it is a C major chord. –a major third means what….? Is this four half steps or tones from the C to the E?

    What are V and I and IV chords? For C major, keystring posted that I=C, IV=F, and V=G. So that is in reference to the 1, 4, and 5th notes of the C major scale, right? But how is it that we can turn them into chords and so they branch out into a different key? (Like into F major and G major…) As I thought the piece was in C major…..so it is an F major chord but we are still in the key of C major?

    Are dominant and subdominant (notes? Chords? Both?) always the 4th and 5th notes of any scale?

    Why is F significant in this piece as the fourth note of the scale(“subdominant”) when the piece is in C major and F isn’t part of the snowman (tonic?) chord? (CEG)

    I’m not sure I understand the G7 thing right now, but maybe I’ll get it in time. I’m also not sure I would completely recognize or understand all the inversions, although the handdrawn examples of the C major chord in different formations make sense to me as do the chords in happy birthday with C in different forms.

    I don’t understand the stuff about dissonant chords or notes?

    Is a “chord” considered any grouping of notes played simultaneously, no matter the interval? (so even any two notes?)

    What is the difference between melody and harmony? (because we are using those words a lot to distinguish what we are looking for in the analysis). When I think of melody, I think of what I might whistle to myself if I was whistling the music. The main, overarching “theme”. Is this basically what the melody is? And then from the posts, I take it harmony is just adding tones to the melody to make it more rich--or looking at the relationships between notes? But then in some pieces, like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement, or Appassionata 1st movement…..is there just no melody in these pieces? (I find these ones harder to whistle….).

    Richard mentioned the key is significant in tonal music. What is tonal music?

    Haven’t had a chance to look through the Sad birthday yet. I’m getting there!

    Thanks everyone for all the help and explanations so far! smile

    Top
    #2017618 - 01/20/13 12:52 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Cool! Questions! smile
    Originally Posted By: Valencia
    We've said this piece is in C major because there are no sharps or flats. But then it was also mentioned that A minor also has no sharps or flats. What is A minor scale? Why does it have the same key signature of C major?


    What I'm laying out is actually a summary of a whole chapter in my rudiments theory book. This is actually a lot shorter. blush Please do explore at the piano when that is suggested. Music is sound.

    Keys first. The kind of music we're the most familiar since childhood will be in major and minor keys. Let's stick with simple things like Happy Birthday and Itsy Bitsy Spider (and for those who want to jump in) not "modulations" and such. So what does "major key" and "minor key" mean? What's "key"?

    Our music has a main note that it hovers around and wants to finish on. This main note is called the "Tonic", and "tonal music" means music that has such a main note (which is probably everything you know.) Happy Birthday is in C major, and C is the tonic. The melody finishes on C. If you sing it, the second "to you" in the first half lands on C and it feels sort of finished, and the very last "to you" in the song lands on C, and it feels definitely finished. If you were to stop the song on "to" your brain would be itching to hear that last C. So if a piece is in the key of C major or C minor, its tonic is C, and that is where it wants to land.

    Ok, so in the key of C major, C is the tonic. If you play every note in the key of C major, you get C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C. This is a major scale. A scale consists over every single note played or sung in a row, like that. We're staying with the common scales of major and minor.

    Go to the piano and try this: Play the following scales, and listen to how they sound the same. All of them are major scales:

    C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C (major scale in key of C major)
    D,E,F#,G,A,B,C#,D (major scale in key of D major)
    G,A,B,C,D,E,F#,G (major scale in key of G major)
    F,G,A,Bb,C,D,E,F (major scale in key of F major)

    If you can hear what a major scale sounds like, try playing the scale of D major with and without the sharps:
    D,E,F#,G,A,B,C#,D (with sharps - correct)
    D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D (without sharps - not scale of D major)

    Can you hear how they are different? The second one sounds odd, and it no longer sounds like a D major scale. It's actually a scale in a "mode" called "Dorian" but we won't worry about that. We need those two sharps to give us the sound of the D major scale.

    The key of C major is set up in such a way that if you play a scale from tonic to tonic (C to C) you will end up with the sound of a C major scale. We also end up with specific chords if we use only the notes in that key. The way those chords end up being major or minor influence how the music works. All of these things work together. It's like our bodies having systems for blood, oxygen, skeletons, muscles, all of them working together.

    Now that you have listened to the sound of major scales, let's explore the major scale further. This time we're looking at the piano keys, and we're looking at intervals. An interval is a distance between two notes. The smallest interval is from one piano key to the next one touching it, and it is called a Half Step or Semitone. C touches a black key; C to C# or Db (it has both names) is a Half Step (H). C to D is a Whole step (W). The piano keys E,F are both white keys but touch each other. E to F is a half step. so is B to C.

    Explore our 4 major scales at the piano, and find out where those half steps are. I'll give the answers but it's best if you wrote them out as above, and discovered this on your own. You should get the following.

    C (W)D (W)E (H)F (W)G (W)A (W)B (H)C
    D (W)E (W)F# (H)G (W)A (W)B (W)C# (H)D
    G (W)A (W)B (H)C (W)D (W)E (W)F# (H)G
    F (W)G (W)A (H)Bb (W)C (W)D (W)E (H)F

    Notice two patterns:
    1. We are using every single letter name without skipping or doubling any. For example, in D major, we don't write D,E,Gb,G. The notes line up neatly on the staff on lines and spaces.
    2. The intervals between the notes always go WWHWWWH. That is what gives them all that same "major scale" sound.

    So if music is a system that hangs together, and if the simplest form is music totally based on the notes of the major or minor key, then we want all the notes in a major key to have these intervals of a major key to form a major scale going from tonic to tonic. This means that:

    - In the key of D major, every F must be an F#, and every C must be a C#.
    - In the key of G major, every F must be an F#.
    - In the key of F major, every B must be a Bb.

    It would be tedious to write in # or b every single time. Therefore key signatures were invented. Therefore when music is in the key of D major, we see F# C# in the signature, telling us that every single F is raised to the black key to its right, making it F#, and ditto for C to C#. When the music is in the key of F major, we see Bb in the key signature, telling us that every single B is lowered to the black key to its left, making it Bb.

    There are also patterns for remembering these key signatures along the "circle of fifths", but that is a separate topic.


    Edited by keystring (01/20/13 02:12 AM)
    Edit Reason: correction

    Top
    #2017642 - 01/20/13 02:07 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Second half of this:
    Originally Posted By: Valencia
    ... But then it was also mentioned that A minor also has no sharps or flats. What is A minor scale? Why does it have the same key signature of C major?


    Minors are a bit trickier. Let's start with the first 5 notes of an A major and A minor scale, and let's take a chord out of that.

    Start of A major scale: A,B,C#,D,E
    Chord from notes 1,3,5 - AC#E (A major chord)

    Start of A minor scale: A,B,C,D,E
    Chord from notes 1,3,5 - ACE (A minor chord)

    Listen to the two scales and chords, and hear what is the same and what is different. The major scale and chord should have a bright, happy quality, while the minor scale and chord should have a sad, more subdued mood. You will have your own reaction to these qualities.

    Here are the intervals:
    A (W)B (W) C# (H)D (W)E (start of a major scale)
    A (W) B (H) C (W) D (W) E (start of a minor scale)

    The 3rd note, C#, has been lowered by a half step.

    I've stayed with the first 5 notes because as mentioned before, notes 6 & 7 tend to toggle. ONE of the three possibilities we're considering goes:

    A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A (A natural minor)

    Notice that it contains the same notes as a C major scale. Therefore it is very handy to borrow the key signature of C major. "No sharps or flats", because the A natural minor scale has no sharps or flats.

    Let's take C minor, and compare it with Eb major.
    C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C (C natural minor scale)
    Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C,D,Eb (Eb major scale)

    Both of these scales use exactly the same notes. So if we want to write music where the scale going from tonic to tonic is minor, and is going from C to C, we will use the key signature for Eb major, because it has the same notes.

    That is how the key signatures relate, as per earlier explanations.

    Now in real music it's not as neat as that. You'll have music that is in a major key, and the composer will create a cool effect by making it go minor for a while. He'll just raise and lower notes. So there is another way of looking at this:

    C major:
    C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C
    C minor:
    C,D,Eb,F,G .... lower note 3 (3rd degree note)

    C natural minor:
    C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C
    from C major to C natural minor, lower degrees 3,6,7

    If the music is primarily in C minor, the key signature takes care of that. The key of Eb major already lowers Eb,Ab,Bb.

    Top
    #2017647 - 01/20/13 02:26 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    Cassiesmom Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 52
    Loc: Mid Atlantic, US.
    What an easy to understand explanation of scales/ intervals.
    Returning to the piano, it's amazing what I don't remember about how music is constucted.

    I've been practicing scales, but the book has no explanations about any of this.. great refresher for me

    Thank you !

    Top
    #2017651 - 01/20/13 02:51 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Valencia's questions about chords

    Qualities of chords (major, minor).
    CEG is a major chord
    CEbG is a minor chord

    Both are triads (3 note chords), skipping letters, and in root position, sit on adjacent lines or spaces. The interval between the outer notes is the same for both - a Perfect 5th (P5). definition - Perfect 5th
    You could consider it like a CG sandwich, with E or Eb as the filling - sweet jam or salty cheese. You could also consider the middle note to be like a toggle switch turning major into minor. Play a few such chords back and forth, by toggling the middle.

    CEG (major) CEbG (minor) - simply move your middle finger down.
    DF#A (major) DFA (minor)
    BbDF (major) BbDbF (minor)
    =================================
    There are 7 notes in a major or minor key, with the 8th being a repeat of the first, making an octave. They are numbered in degrees, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 = C,D,E,F,G,A,B in C major.

    You can build chords (triads) from these degree notes, by stacking two more notes on top as follows:
    These are the chords that you get if you use only the notes belonging to that key. They are designated through Roman numerals. I means the chord that is built on the 1st degree note C (1) = CEG.
    Some of these notes will end up being major, and some minor. As we saw, DF#A is major, and DFA is minor. Therefore DFA is Dm. There are several conventions. Frequently capitals are used to denote major chords, and small letters denote minor chords. I = major, ii = minor 2nd degree chord etc. Another convention being adopted is I, IIm, IIIm, IV... which is closer to letter names C, Dm, Em, F....

    In all major keys, the default chords end up having this sequence of qualities of major and minor.

    Quote:
    Are dominant and subdominant (notes? Chords? Both?) always the 4th and 5th notes of any scale?


    In the way harmony works, the most significant chords are I, IV, V. The names "Tonic, Subdominant, Dominant" aren't that crucial, but since they are being used, you should know at least Tonic (I) and Dominant (V).

    Quote:
    As I thought the piece was in C major…..so it is an F major chord but we are still in the key of C major?

    Good question because it highlights a problem with the word "major". It is used for too many different things. frown

    - A major key has a scale going from Tonic to Tonic which is major along the sequence WWHWWWH that we explored. It ends up having the chord qualities going I ii iii IV V vi viio (major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished.

    - A chord has a major quality if the middle note is a major third from the root as in CEG, and the outer notes in root position are a P5 apart. It has a minor quality if the middle note is a minor third from the root as in CEbG.

    Seriously, they should have different names!!!

    Any major or minor chord will be found in a number of different keys. Let's take the F major chord (let's call it the F triad which has a major quality) FAC. Here's where we'll find it:

    key of F major - it's chord I (built on 1st degree note of that key).
    key of C major - It's chord IV (built on 4th degree note)
    key of Bb major - It's chord V (built on 5th degree note)

    Top
    #2017658 - 01/20/13 03:39 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: Valencia

    What is the difference between melody and harmony?

    Yes, the melody is the part that you might whistle and sing, which is "how the song goes". In music, you see melody as going across the score from one note to the next, horizontally. When you listen or perform music, the horizontal movement travels across time, from one moment to the next. Goetschius called music "painting on a canvas of time". heart 3hearts

    Harmony is what you hear when a number of notes are played together at the same time, such as when there is a chord, or melody and chord. In written music, these notes are stacked underneath each other, and it is the vertical part of music. When your stacked notes are CEbG it gives the C in your melody a minor or sad quality. If CEG then it gets a major happy quality. And if CDEFG you want to run away!

    Chords also move from one chord to the next (chord progression). A common progression is I IV V I. (C F G C in the key of C major). This creates movement, and part of the meaning of a chord is how it fits into the whole, just like words get meaning by their place in a sentence. PianoStudent88's Happy birthday ends with G-C (V-I), and this says "the end". Harmony theory is the study of how chords work together. Theory is the study of all of it.

    Earlier I wrote a minor version of Happy Birthday. It has the same I IV V chords but in a minor key it has a different mood:
    Sad Happy Birthday played in a minor key - played
    If you switch voices so that the bass plays the melody, and the RH plays the chords, you get another effect again, but still within this minor mode.
    minor Birthday switching voices



    Edited by keystring (01/20/13 03:46 AM)

    Top
    #2017672 - 01/20/13 05:09 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Allard Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Netherlands
    Wow Keystring, that's an excellent explanation. Thank you so much for writing it all down. The Alfred books go over this theory, but it's scattered among the pages. Really nice to put it all together.

    Liked the Sad Birthday song. Sounds impressive when you switch voices.
    _________________________
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#: I. Adagio sostenuto
    David Lanz - Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D

    Top
    #2017695 - 01/20/13 07:34 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    mabraman Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/24/12
    Posts: 304
    Loc: Valencia, Spain
    I find this thread will be exhausting for you to write, Keystring.
    Wouldn't it be better to link some good sites/books who have already explained all of this clear like water?
    I beg your pardon in advance, but maybe this kind of site is enough for beginners:
    http://www.teoria.com/index.php

    There's an english mirror. It's free (currently, maybe in some future it will have some restringed areas, as usual, but it's just a thought) . It has rythm and mellody dictates you can customize (and mobile apps). And you have all the basic theory very well structured. IMO it's a must.
    Hope it helps.


    Edited by mabraman (01/20/13 07:36 AM)
    _________________________
    Learning piano from scratch since September, 2012.
    Kawai ES7.

    Top
    #2017704 - 01/20/13 08:14 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Greener Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 05/29/12
    Posts: 1059
    Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Originally Posted By: mabraman

    Wouldn't it be better to link some good sites/books who have already explained all of this clear like water?

    Perhaps, but where is the fun in that?

    As Allard and Cassiesmom have just alluded to, hearing it explained here by Keystring, is a new perspective and like an enlightening experience.

    I can also attest to this. Yes, there are other resources already written and available that may cover much of this material. But, did I ever use them? Nope. When I started out on the Classical Analysis thread, I can tell you that if I was just pointed to a bunch of links where the same material is covered, it would have ended very quickly for me. Instead though, I became thoroughly engaged and we have ventured in many directions with many related and not so related topics that would just not be possible otherwise.

    I believe what the coaches are doing on this thread (and other similar threads) is fabulous stuff, and unique to us at PW. I am surprised it is free. But it is smile

    EDIT: I will agree though that side links (for those inclined to further research) can also add tremendous value. Thanks for sharing this.







    Edited by Greener (01/20/13 08:51 AM)
    Edit Reason: Value add side links

    Top
    #2017754 - 01/20/13 10:17 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Further to Valencias questions not yet covered by keystring's excellent posts...

    The steps or degrees in a scale have names and the triads built on each degree is named after that degree so dominant is both the note and the chord. Where appropriate it is a convention to distinguish them by numbering them in arabic numbers for the notes, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 and Roman nmerals for the chords I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viio. The convention of writing major chords in upper case and minor chords in lower case is not universal.

    For some, III is major and IIIm is minor.

    The names of the degrees are
    1 tonic
    2 supertonic
    3 mediant
    4 subdominant
    5 dominant
    6 submediant
    7 leading note

    The supertonic is the note above (super) the tonic.

    The mediant is the midpoint between the the tonic and dominant

    The subdominant and submediant are a dominant and mediant interval below the tonic (an octave higher) respectively.

    The leading note really needs a one word name but it doesn't have one. It leads to the tonic, it 'wants' to go to tonic. When we hear it, we want it to go to tonic.
    __________________________________

    The dominant chord dominates the key. Many of the features of interest in the music will revolve around the dominant. Most of the cadences will feature it.

    The subdominant has a similar role because, like the dominant, it is a fifth away from the tonic (but in the other direction) and doesn't have the strong leading note effect.

    Because these chords, between them, cover all the steps of the major scale they can harmonise most simple songs adequately and many songs have been written around this three-chord-trick.

    __________________________________

    We will cover the dominant seventh, G7, when it occurs in a piece we are studying.

    Chord inversions have little that we need to undertsand immediately. Until we get to an in-depth look at cadences I imagine that you can ignore the difference between the inversions for the time being.
    __________________________________

    Dissonance and consonance is a physical effect. When there is an integral relation between the frequencies of combined notes, and the relationship involve small numbers, the waves make a pattern on our ears.

    The octave is a 2:1 relationship. It sound 'the same but different' to us. All civilisations recognise the octave as fundamental in music. Up the Renaissance the octave was divided into steps from the harmonic series. Our equal temperament system, known as Western Harmony, was the result of a mathematical intervention of dividing the octave into 12 equal semitones.

    It has done away with the pure harmony you can still hear in Gregorian Chant but in return has given us the ability to change key and have cadences.

    The dominant has a 3:2 relation with the tonic (exactly in pure harmony, very close in Western harmony). The subdominant has 4:3 relationship (the pattern of waves repeats every seven waves).

    The leading note has a relation in the order of 20:11. The pattern won't repeat until over 30 waves and the pattern is easily recognised (many pianists struggle with 4 vs 3). This pattern not being easily recognised we call dissonance.

    People exposing themselves to a wide range of musical styles will develop a greater appreciation of dissonance but it's a reaction not dissimilar to people liking or disliking chilli's.

    _________________________________

    Colloquially a combination of two notes or more but strictly two notes is an interval. C-G-C is a 'fifth' chord, tones 1 and 5. Three notes, two tones, one chord.

    The chords we deal with in music can be very wide ranging but we start with the triads (three note chords built on root, third and fifth) from the major and minor scales.

    As keystring has already pointed out ALL major scales provide us with
    1 Tonic major
    2 Supertonic minor
    3 mediant minor
    4 subdominant major
    5 dominant major
    6 submediant or relative minor
    7 seventh or leading note diminished (not a seventh chord as G7, but a diminished chord on the seventh degree; B diminshed in C major)
    ______________________________

    Tonal music is music written from the development of our diatonic scales out of the modal music of the Renaissance and earlier, and leading to equal temperament. It continued in classical music until the advent of atonality with Berg, Schoenberg and Webern.

    All music based on major and minor scales is tonal music but the period from around 1600 to around 1900 the key or tonality played a very major role in the development of music.

    It's significance is indicated by being part of the title, e.g. Nocturne in E flat, Prelude in C, Symphony in G minor, etc.
    ________________________

    Links to other articles are excellent but here you can ask questions if you don't understand, clarify your understanding from multiple answers, and see what you might have overlooked from seeing other questions and answers you might not have considered.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2017765 - 01/20/13 10:50 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    rocket88 Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 09/04/06
    Posts: 3158
    Originally Posted By: keystring
    Originally Posted By: Valencia

    What is the difference between melody and harmony?

    Yes, the melody is the part that you might whistle and sing, which is "how the song goes". In music, you see melody as going across the score from one note to the next, horizontally. When you listen or perform music, the horizontal movement travels across time, from one moment to the next.



    I would add that in music that you whistle or sing, or play a single note instruments such as a sax, the melody is the very top note.

    You can see this if you look at a hymnal, or a pop music piece that has vocals, and the melody (sung) notes are the top notes of what the piano or other instruments play.

    Such music often has three staffs...a grand staff at the bottom which is for the piano/organ, and second treble staff above the grand staff that is for the vocalist. The vocal notes will be the same as the top notes of the grand staff.

    This is because our brains are hard-wired to pick out the top note as the melody note. I often demonstrate this to my students by playing a simple piece, but burying the melody note below some other notes, and the original melody virtually disappears as the ear picks out the new top note as the melody.
    _________________________
    Music teacher and piano player.

    Top
    #2017778 - 01/20/13 11:25 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: rocket88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: rocket88

    You can see this if you look at a hymnal, or a pop music piece that has vocals, and the melody (sung) notes are the top notes of what the piano or other instruments play....

    I often demonstrate this to my students by playing a simple piece, but burying the melody note below some other notes, and the original melody virtually disappears as the ear picks out the new top note as the melody.

    Ok, a couple of things bother me about this explanation. First, the melody is not always the top note. It often is. In fact, in the demo of Sad Birthday that I recorded yesterday, the second half has the melody in the bass. I didn't put much time into recording it, but I think the melody can still be heard. One of the things we learn to do as we advance in piano is to play in such a way as to bring out the melody wherever it occurs. We do that by playing the melody louder than the other notes, and emphasizing dynamics - making the melody especially expressive.

    I have listened to Bach chorales being played in a way that the melody disappears even when it is in the top notes, because the person played them like a series of chords. I have also heard the various voices shift from place to place as Bach intended, when played by masters such as Horowitz or Gould. When anyone here gets into polyphony, this will be important.

    I have just participated in a competition on another site that centered around a piece that switches voices in the middle. In fact, the piece has a melody and "countermelody" - imagine that a soprano is singing and a man, a bass, is singing a melody in harmony with hers, but a bit softer, while a choir is softly singing the middle notes. Since the votes of the competition are not yet in, I will link to a professional recording of the piece which brings this out.

    Cubus playing Sweet Dreams (Tchaikovsky)
    Listen at 0:46 where the left hand takes over the melody. Cubus brings this about two ways. He plays the LH very softly up to 0:45, so that he can really bring out the contrast when the LH takes over, and he makes the Rh ultra quiet for contrast.
    ----------------
    Addendum: Early on when I was a student, I sometimes got simplified explanations which were intended to make things easier to understand. What happened, however, is that I then thought that this was how things were, and I based myself on it. Then later when it turned out to be a simplification, I had to readjust what I thought I knew. In the long run, at least for me, this was harder.


    Edited by keystring (01/20/13 11:36 AM)

    Top
    #2017781 - 01/20/13 11:36 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: mabraman]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: mabraman
    I find this thread will be exhausting for you to write, Keystring.
    Wouldn't it be better to link some good sites/books who have already explained all of this clear like water?
    I beg your pardon in advance, but maybe this kind of site is enough for beginners:
    http://www.teoria.com/index.php

    Teoria.com is an excellent site, and I would recommend it. I have used it as a resource myself from time to time. However, in the few years I've been here I've seen the same questions over and over despite books and sites. Personally I am studying with a teacher now and that is a much different thing. Anything that you find in a book or on a site can be explored, expanded. Also, anything presented in a book or on a site has to be limited, and you can't have a dialogue like here. I commend PianoStudent88 for this initiative. smile Excellent idea.

    Top
    #2017784 - 01/20/13 11:46 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    rocket88 Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 09/04/06
    Posts: 3158
    Originally Posted By: Keystring
    Ok, a couple of things bother me about this explanation. First, the melody is not always the top note. It often is.


    I am confused. The thing is that this thread is supposed to be about basics, a new thread because the Sonata analysis thread was too hard for many.

    The OP opened the thread with this:

    Quote:
    Several people have commented at various times that they are interested in analysis, but the current Sonata Analysis thread is too hard for them.


    My post about the melody being the top note is what beginners need to understand before getting into more complicated things.

    To illustrate the level of beginner understanding in this thread, my post was a response to Keystring's answer to the poster who wanted to know the difference between "melody" and "harmony".

    Originally Posted By: Valencia


    What is the difference between melody and harmony?


    My view is: A student who does not understand the difference between melody and harmony is hardly ready for music such as Bach which has more than one melody voice, or a voice inside the music.

    This is a problem I see with many transfer students...they have had "teachers" on the web or elsewhere who do not build a solid foundation of basics before introducing more advanced things, and thus the students get confused and lost. With many musical concepts, there are exceptions, and threads such as this often bring up the exceptions, which is fine unless it is a thread for basics, in which case, stick with the basics. Just MHO.

    Bottom line, for beginners, the melody is the top note. The majority of music is like that, and the overwhelming majority, if not all, of beginner music is that. They need to understand and hear that first in the music.

    But yes, once the student clearly understands where the melody is with "simple" music, then a good teacher will progress further to define the different voices in, say, Bach. But to teach advanced concepts to a beginner when they do not understand the basics is, IMHO, wrong.

    For example, every time I have taught a basic concept to an adult student, and than tossed in a quick aside about the more complicated version of that concept, every one of my students has frantically waved their hands and said "No...stop...I am not ready for that!!! Don't confuse me!!!"

    BTW, K's illustration of Tchaikovsky is listed in the link below as level #4, which is way above the level of "Happy Birthday". I do not consider that Tchaikovsky piece, or anything at level #4, to be beginner level.

    http://www.pianostreet.com/tchaikovsky-s...-21-c-major.htm

    _________________________
    Music teacher and piano player.

    Top
    #2017849 - 01/20/13 02:10 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    rocket88, you are absolutely right that I want this thread to be a good place for beginners, so people who are interested can participate and learn and ask questions without having to feel like they have to give up because it's too advanced.  I think we're all trying to learn how to do that effectively in this medium, given that it's not one-on-one, it's not face-to-face, and it's not being taught by a single person.

    Because it's not one-on-one, there are people with a variety of knowledge, so questions come at a variety of levels.  Also, some people here are more advanced in their playing than they are in their theory knowledge.  So a piece like the Tschaikovsky might well be within the range of what they are playing already.

    Because it's not face-to-face, those of us offering explanations can't quickly judge when we're losing someone.  Everything is asynchronous: give an explanation that we think offers what someone or most people on the thread need to know, and then wait and hope that people will say "that was helpful" or -- and this is really important -- "no you lost me."  It's only by getting the latter responses that we can know what needs clarifying, or to reassure that they don't need to know it yet and it will come up again later, or to understand people's needs better for further explanations.

    Because it's not being taught by just one person, each of us has our own ideas about what is useful at this level.  For example, between you, me, and keystring, we each have different philosophies and different experiences which guide those philosophies.

    You described your experience with beginners saying "no, stop" or transfers having been confused by advanced topics without getting the basics solidly.  So you have a philosophy of presenting just the basic explanation at this level.

    Keystring has the experience of having been confused by only having had the basic explanation when she got to more advanced music and topics, and wishing she had known from the beginning that the basic explanation is not the full story.  She also has the experience of working with a beginning theory student in this way, and making it work by presenting the additional things beyond the basics.  So she has a philosophy of mentioning not only the simplest basics, but also some information beyond the simplest basics.

    I didn't have the same experience as keystring: I seem to have for the most part been able to absorb generalizations and refinements of the initial basic definitions without even noticing it was happening.  So my philosophy is that I'm more comfortable presenting what I think is basic information with perhaps only a small elaboration or indication that there are other refinements to the idea which we'll get to later.

    Maybe as we go along we will find better ways to indicate with our posts "this is the basic initial information" or "this is a refinement, even if we haven't seen it in the pieces here yet.". Yours is a valuable voice to emphasize the part about "this is what I see, through my experience, as the essential foundational information", and I hope you will continue to participate.

    I'm hoping we can value everyone's contribution and context on this thread, and simply neutrally point out where we think a different emphasis or set of information is more important.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2017861 - 01/20/13 02:27 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    rocket88 Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 09/04/06
    Posts: 3158
    Nice post, 88. Thank you.

    You are correct...it is my basic philosophy that to teach properly, one must explain the basics in such a way that they are firmly established.

    However, I surmise that at least some of people reading this thread do not have a teacher, or have one (or had one) that did not cover the basics. (Most of my transfer students have had little or no theory, for example)

    That is why it is so important with threads for beginners (on the ABF!) to start at square one, which is what I tried to do with the melody on top explanation.

    Yes, there are exceptions to just about everything in music, but I did not see posting about the exception(s) as helpful to a beginner thread. Instead, I saw it as an overload potentially leading to confusion.

    But perhaps the thread will "self-focus", as you say, by (here, for example) explaining that the exception is not the usual and common, and perhaps file it away for later use, so as not to confuse; and perhaps my post is one such focus.

    All the best...


    _________________________
    Music teacher and piano player.

    Top
    #2017882 - 01/20/13 03:02 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Yes, stay with us, rocket88.

    Starting out in Analysis is hardly the place for someone starting out in theory but here we are. We are all learning here whether our rôle is on the giving end or receiving end.

    We are all 'dipping our toes in to test the water' though some of us, like myself, tend to splash in and muddy the water regardless. Let's all recognise these tendencies to try and accommodate the audience without trying to confuse the absolute beginner, mislead the intermediate, or frustrate the expert. We all have good intentions here even if we sometimes miss the mark.

    If there's disagreement with the answers let's assume it's a simplification for didactic purposes and add clarification where it might be considered misleading.

    I, too, have blinkered vision and can learn from the breadth of experience here.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2017922 - 01/20/13 04:09 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: rocket88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: rocket88

    My post about the melody being the top note is what beginners need to understand before getting into more complicated things.

    I understand this line of thinking, and I want to address it. Theory rudiments is something that I have taught, so for once I am writing from a place of experience, besides that of being a student in other areas.

    Beginner things must be presented clearly, simply, and basically. Any concept that you present becomes the foundation for everything that is learned later on. You want to have concrete examples, something to play with etc. I think we're on the same page so far.

    I believe strongly that presentations must also be true and accurate. Both as a student, and later in teaching, but especially as student, I have encountered explanations that turned out to be simplifications and not really what the thing was - and it has messed up understanding. What are the possible consequences from this kind of teaching:

    - possibility: The student believes that melody is always the top note, and we only hear it that way. Later the teacher expands the explanation, and the student (hopefully) gets the full picture. This is easier if the student didn't try too hard to understand the first time round, and had restricted listening.
    - possibility: The student believes that this is the nature of melody, and rejects anything else he hears, even blocking himself from hearing melody in the bass when it occurs, because it doesn't fit what he "knows".
    - possibility: The student is open to the real explanation, but he has to recalibrate everything that he thought he understood so far. This is an enormous effort, which could be prevented.

    I have experienced all three, and in various areas, not just in music, have had to pull students out of such things. Shortcuts are "easier" in one sense. Say that the "eighth note is half a beat" instead of mapping out relationships to notes, and worry about 3/8 time later when it occurs in music. Say this about melody now, and it will be easy to get the student to think "top line" --- beginner music is written that way. But what about the concepts being formed during the most critical time?

    I also believe that beginners can hear or start hearing things which they cannot yet play. In the same way, even with the melody in the top line, a beginner may not yet be capable of bringing out that melody.

    I had to work my way out of a number of such misconceptions which I'm sure were written in the books I worked on, or the explanations I was given, with the purest intent. And the hardest thing in teaching is get at a basic concept which is misperceived, and turn that around.

    Top
    #2017940 - 01/20/13 04:50 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    In theory we also have a more general meaning of "melodic" vs. "harmonic" which are two theory terms that have been used. In this case, "harmonic" (anything) refers to what we see vertically, as in stacked notes one beneath the other. These are the notes we hear all at the same time. "Melodic" (anything) refers to what we see going across the age vertically, and happens over a period of time from one beat to the next beat. You have "melodic intervals" which means when you play C, then D, then E, and you have "harmonic intervals" which means you are playing CEG or CE both at the same time. Since we are using these terms, I set up my explanation along those lines.

    Top
    #2017945 - 01/20/13 05:05 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    torquenale Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/29/12
    Posts: 225
    Loc: Italy
    First, thanks to all the excellent tutors that are making great this thread.

    Different ways of teaching - different levels of explanation - are welcome. We are students, real or false beginners, but all of us adult and strongly motivated to face a not really basic presentations. Examples are really appreciated.
    _________________________

    Top
    #2017989 - 01/20/13 06:58 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    There were some problems with the minor Sad Birthday I wrote so it's gone back to the drawing board.

    Top
    #2018087 - 01/21/13 12:12 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    I want to say something about chords, directed towards learning how to name the chords in Happy Birthday 1, and then a little bit extra to explain why the chords in Happy Birthday are "major" chords.

    First off, what is a chord?  Perhaps the most basic definition is "several notes played at the same time."

    We'll actually be stretching this definition in several ways in the future: naming chords for sets of notes that are not played at the same time, or taking some of the notes and saying they're not part of the chord after all.  But to start with, I think it's safe to start with "several notes played at the same time."

    A chord can be any set of notes.  Go ahead, sit at the piano and bring your fingers down anywhere.  That's a chord.  But western music has traditionally used certain combinations more than others.  I think it's useful to start from the simple traditional chords, and only build up later to the wider ranges of chords used more frequently in later eras.

    Go to the piano again.  Using just the white keys, play three notes at a time alternating piano keys (that is, skipping one piano key between each piano key that you play).  For example CEG, or DFA, or EGB, etc.  Now pull out some staff paper (or draw a staff with five lines on blank paper) and notate your chords.  All three notes will fall either on three adjacent lines, or on three adjacent spaces.  These are called "triads in root position".  "Triads" because there are three notes.  "Root position" because in each case the "root" of the chord is at the bottom.  (Unfortunately, I can't quite define "root" without simply giving a circular definition, so I'm going to gloss over that.  Hopefully it will become clear by example, or maybe someone else will rescue me with a good definition.  Please note that I am deliberately avoiding talking about intervals yet.)

    Pick one of these chords, say CEG.  This is a C major chord.  Now play combinations of C, E and G at the same time, but anywhere on the keyboard and in any order.  Use both hands and see how many Cs, Es and Gs you can cover at the same time.  Include at least one of each note, C, E, and G.  Ta-da!  These are all C major chords.  Notate them on your staff paper if you like.

    Repeat with some of the other chords.

    At this point you're actually ready to identify the chords in Happy Birthday 1.  All except one of them you can now recognize as "root position triads", and you can read the name from the bottom note of the chord: C, G, or F.  The one chord that isn't in root position, at the start of measure 7, what are its notes?  GCE which is just a scrambled form of CEG, our friend the C major chord.

    Let's listen to and look at these chords a little more closely.  I called it a "C major" chord, not just a "C" chord.  What does that mean?

    Play your white-key triads starting on C (notes: CEG), starting on F (notes: FAC), and starting on G (notes: GBD).  Now play white-key triads starting on D (notes: DFA), starting on E (notes: EGB), and starting on A (notes: ACE).  Can you hear that the chords in the first set sound similar to each other, and the chords in the second set sound similar to each other?  But the two sets sound different.  If you can hear this, what you're hearing is "major" chords in the first set and "minor" chords in the second set.  If you can't hear it, don't worry: I struggle with it too.  (Try playing CEG vs. CEbG and see if you hear the difference there -- using flats is the approach keystring took earlier; I'm covering similar material but from a different angle.)

    Whether or not you could hear the difference, let's count half-steps in a chord from one note to the next.  For example, in CEG.  Start at C.  From C to C#, one half-step.  From C# to D, a 2nd half-step.  From D to D#, a 3rd half-step.  From D# to E, a 4th half-step.  So there are four half-steps from C to E.  Start at E now.  From E to F, one half-step.  From F to F#, a 2nd half-step.  From F# to G, a 3rd half-step.  So there are three half-steps from E to G.  This relation: four half-steps from the first note to the second, and then 3 half-steps from the second note to the third, defines a major triad in root position.  (OK, there's actually a bit of refinement which I'm ignoring having to do with note names, but I think the 4-3 half-steps is sufficient for now.  If we'd started this thread by a linear progression through rudiments, I would just define these chords as two intervals -- a major third and a minor third -- but I'm trying to avoid talking about intervals yet).

    Check out the triad starting on F and the triad starting on G.  You should find the same pattern:  4 half-steps, then 3 half-steps.  These are all major triads.  Major chords can be named just with their letter name: we can call these chords C major, F major, and G major.  Or for short we can just say C, F, and G, and the "major" is implicit.

    Now check the triads from the second set: starting on D, starting on E, and starting on A.  You should find a different pattern: first 3 half-steps, and then 4 half-steps.  For example in the triad DFA, there are 3 half-steps from D to F, and 4 half-steps from F to A.  This pattern gives a minor triad.  These triads are named D minor, E minor, and A minor.  For short, we can write Dm, Em, and Am.

    Practice counting the half-steps, and check that you're coming out with the same answers that I do.  If you don't, please post so we can clarify the discrepancy.

    I left the white-key triad starting on B out of our fun and games.  The notes are BDF.  What are the half-step counts from B to D, and from D to F?  Can you hear that this chord sounds different from both the major and the minor chords?  How would you describe the sound?  (Again, you may not be able to hear this difference.). This pattern of 3 half-steps and 3 half-steps gives a "diminished triad.". This chord is called "B diminished", and can be written Bdim for short.  (I should mention that AIUI in lead sheets a "dim" chord often is understood to include a fourth note added to the triad.  I don't want to get into that yet -- perhaps it will suffice to say that there are a lot of conventions about realizing lead sheets and interpreting chord symbols for a modern sound that are beyond this post's initial introduction to chords.)
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2018088 - 01/21/13 12:13 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Valencia Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 237
    Thanks so much for everyone for addressing my questions. Your posts are all extremely informative and helpful! It's getting late so I'll be back to post more tomorrow, but I've already learned heaps from this thread and we've only just started! I'm putting music theory and analysis in my daytimer for tomorrow so, see you then...:)

    Top
    #2018115 - 01/21/13 01:32 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    My post on chords may look long: it would be so much easier to show you this sitting at the piano with you. If you haven't yet, take the time to explore chords as I described. This material is the first building block for "harmonic analysis". Harmonic analysis means understanding the chords and progressions (sequences of chords) used in a piece, and what effects they create. This can help with deciding what to bring out in a piece, with understanding where the phrases end, with understanding the logic of a piece so it's easier to memorize, with understanding why a piece sounds the way it does, with appreciating a piece's standing (whether typical or revolutionary) in the history of music. And I think it's fun, quite apart from any practical benefits.

    Once you've played and worked through that exercise, congratulations! You now know every root-position triad built out of only white keys. That means you know ALL the triads native to the key of C major. How many are there, and what are their names?
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2018123 - 01/21/13 01:47 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: keystring
    Originally Posted By: rocket88

    My post about the melody being the top note is what beginners need to understand before getting into more complicated things.

    I understand this line of thinking, and I want to address it. ....


    Perhaps a way to handle this would be to replace the single word "always" with: "almost always, and you won't have to deal with the exceptions for quite a while".

    As Al used to say, all things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2018128 - 01/21/13 01:50 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Another benefit of harmonic analysis (or, more simply, identifying chords): it can guide you in where to (change) pedal in a piece.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2018145 - 01/21/13 02:30 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    I  (I should mention that AIUI in lead sheets a "dim" chord often is understood to include a fourth note added to the triad.  


    Interesting -- I haven't seen that. "dim" so far as I've seen means a three note chord. "dim7" is used quite commonly, and "dim9" less so. I suppose you could also write "dim6", but "m6b5" gets you the same chord, and is used more often. If there's a fourth note included in "dim", which one is it?

    As for three note chords, there's one more worth mention, Aug.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2018159 - 01/21/13 03:49 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    As a way of getting oriented and not getting bogged down in the too-advanced stuff.....

    It would be great if there were some way of maintaining and revising a core text, and updating it as questions are asked about it. Maybe it could be a PDF or text file that you could link to. After a while it would contain the refined polished results of these discussions, and it would be far more useful to beginners because it would be a lot less material to go through than the whole thread. Sort of like a wikipedia article.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2018198 - 01/21/13 07:30 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    A diminished chord is two stacked minor thirds. The diminished seventh is yet another minor third again.

    In practise "dim" is often used to signify a dim7 chord or a dim7 chord is frequently played in it's stead. The difference in sound does not change the essential character of either chord.

    A good reference work on harmony and theory can serve as summary. The bonus of this thread is that even advanced works that would be too much for self study are made understandable by the interaction here.

    We can leave the augmented chord until we need it. Let's stick with the triads that are formed from the diatonc major scale first. Hmm?
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2018220 - 01/21/13 08:25 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

    It would be great if there were some way of maintaining and revising a core text, and updating it as questions are asked about it. Maybe it could be a PDF or text file that you could link to. After a while it would contain the refined polished results of these discussions, and it would be far more useful to beginners because it would be a lot less material to go through than the whole thread. Sort of like a wikipedia article.

    What would have been awesome is if we had a section called "music theory", just like there is a section for composing. And then have a bunch of stickies evolving, one for each topic such as chords, key signatures, chord degrees, which we could refer back to as they evolve.

    Top
    #2018228 - 01/21/13 08:46 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    rocket88 Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 09/04/06
    Posts: 3158
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

    First off, what is a chord?  Perhaps the most basic definition is "several notes played at the same time."

    A chord can be any set of notes.  Go ahead, sit at the piano and bring your fingers down anywhere.  That's a chord.


    I never teach that a chord is several notes played at the same time.

    Play five or six notes in a row, all at once...C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, for example.

    It sounds horrible, and, unless there is some odd exception somewhere on the planet, a group of random notes (half-steps here, for example) played together is NOT a chord.

    It is a mess.

    Alfred books teach the "Three notes played together is a chord" thing, so for beginner students, when we reach that in the book, I always clarify the phrase: "A chord is several notes played together that sound good."

    I don't have to teach that to more advanced students because they already know that chords are a specific and precise group of notes, not just any.

    And of course further (much further) ongoing discussion about chords continues throughout virtually every lesson from then on.

    (ps...Yes, I am aware of Schoenberg's 12 tone approach.)
    _________________________
    Music teacher and piano player.

    Top
    #2018232 - 01/21/13 09:02 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    I would teach triads first, which is a specific kind of chord consisting of three notes which in root position skips letters and visually is on adjacent lines or spaces. Triad kinds are: major, minor, diminished, augmented. Usually only majors and minors are taught first.

    But a chord IS a group of notes played together and belonging together. As horrible as it sounds, C C# D D# E F F# IS a chord and it even has a name: "cluster chord". wink

    When you get into more advanced analysis, you have to start deciding which notes that are played at the same time in music are part of the chord, and which are "non chord notes". Chords can get quite complex, and at that point it's your understanding of the music and it's context that lets you decide. I don't think that we'll be dealing with these complex chords in this thread.

    PianoStudent88's definition is correct, with the caveat that in more complex music you need to decide which notes belong to the chord.

    Top
    #2018253 - 01/21/13 09:46 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    rocket88 Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 09/04/06
    Posts: 3158
    Originally Posted By: keystring


    But a chord IS a group of notes played together and belonging together. As horrible as it sounds, C C# D D# E F F# IS a chord and it even has a name: "cluster chord". wink



    Yes, there are cluster chords, and if you want to write a music encyclopedia, then cluster chords do belong.

    However, if there ever was a rare item in music, cluster chords would be at the top of that list.

    And if there ever was an unpleasant sound in music, its a cluster chord.

    And if there ever was something that beginners would never encounter, its a cluster chord.

    The only time I see cluster chords in any of my teaching work is when someone makes a mistake and plays the wrong notes. laugh

    The focus of this chord discussion has been (appropriately) that chords are groups of notes in a specific pattern. That is true for 99.9 percent of the time.

    But if this thread is to morph into a music encyclopedia, rather than a focused teaching for beginners, then yes, include the very rare .001% random notes groups as "chords".

    But my students find it very helpful to know that just any old fist-pound of notes is not a chord except in the most esoteric definition.

    Stick with triads, root and the inversions, diminished, augmented, sevenths, major and minor, etc. Thats enough for a few years of study and practice.
    _________________________
    Music teacher and piano player.

    Top
    #2018268 - 01/21/13 10:03 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Rocket88, if you could bear with me (us) for a moment so that we're all working together. I think I see a couple of things going on. There are some differing teaching philosophies, which we may be getting caught in.

    One philosophy gives a broad overview of a subject, and then starts mapping out the details. Another begins with a few select details which it presents in limited form (or not), and then expands those details over time. (What Alfred, which you quoted seems to do.) One might begin with rudiments like RCM does, and another may begin with analysis, and discover the rudiments via analysing pieces. What we have here is probably a hybrid via concerted effort.

    Ok - Alfred's presentation:
    Quote:
    Alfred books teach the "Three notes played together is a chord" thing, so for beginner students, when we reach that in the book, I always clarify the phrase: "A chord is several notes played together that sound good."

    Alfred is presenting triads, which are a kind of chord. So Alfred is doing the approach of presenting a detail in a limited manner, expecting to expand on it later. It is also utilitarian - the immediate need is for a student to be able to play the music which has chords and melody. So you give it a simple name, and a fast definition which will work with the kind of music the students will play.

    I thought for a long time that triads and chords were the same thing. Then when "seven chords" were added, I expanded my definition to "major chord with a minor third plopped on top". But at some point I had to understand that triads are a type of chord, and that "chord" is to "triad" what "animals" is to "cattle". I'd prefer to know from the onset.

    Alfred seems to be introducing the primary and secondary chords that belong to the key signature in diatonic music. In C major, these are I, IV, V (C, F, G chords) for primary, and ii, iii, vi, viio (Dm, Em, Am, Bdim) for secondary - with the last usually skipped in favour of the V7 (G7 - GBDF).

    All of these chords except Bdim "sound good" as you say. They are all major and minor chords, so there is no dissonance.

    It is GOOD that you are presenting these solid chords this way. Personally I wanted to have a handle on some solid chords that are easily recognized, and where I can see a direct relationship to the music I am playing. If my piece is in C major, and I have an F major chord, I can recognize this triad and I can also see that all of its notes are the notes of the key of C major. That gives me a handle - a reference point.

    That said, chords themselves are as broad as PianoStudent88 wrote. If I were starting out I would want to:
    a) know that chords are a group of notes that belong together. They can be played at the same time or staggered as in arpeggios and "broken chords".
    b) decide to work ONLY with the simple basic chords until I had solid footing.

    The men and women here are not children, and are not in any single controlled music program, with varying backgrounds. In that scenario I prefer to give a full idea of what something is, but then suggest to start with simple things in their studies. I include myself in this btw.

    Top
    #2018270 - 01/21/13 10:09 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    rocket88 Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 09/04/06
    Posts: 3158
    Originally Posted By: keystring

    The men and women here are not children,


    For your information, the Alfreds book I referred to is the Adult version.
    _________________________
    Music teacher and piano player.

    Top
    #2018274 - 01/21/13 10:12 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: rocket88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    We are studying theory here, and in theory terms need to be defined correctly. A chord is not just triads. A chord is not just the notes belonging to diatonic music. If we give an incorrect definition of chords, it will mess up understanding of theory. The idea that chords only consist of pleasant sounding groups of notes as in major and minor triads is incorrect. It already falls apart for a V7 chord, which contains the dissonance of a major third, as well as a tritone.

    These are all chords:
    - major, minor, diminished, augmented triads (the latter not sounded that "pleasant" to the ear.
    - all seven chords
    - cluster chords
    - polychords
    - C9, C11, C13 etc.
    - quartal

    And then you also get the chords that have been touched on already which we're skirting because it's too advanced for this thread: you have a pedal tone with chords dancing over it. I'm analyzing a Mozart concerto right now which is "basic" in most things, but it has pedal.

    In addition, if you stay with "pleasant sounds", you are avoiding an essential element of music - the movement of dissonance to consonance which is elementary to making music work.

    Top
    #2018280 - 01/21/13 10:23 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    rocket88 Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 09/04/06
    Posts: 3158
    Quote:

    The idea that chords only consist of pleasant sounding groups of notes as in major and minor triads is incorrect. It already falls apart for a V7 chord, which contains the dissonance of a major third, as well as a tritone...


    In addition, if you stay with "pleasant sounds", you are avoiding an essential element of music - the movement of dissonance to consonance which is elementary to making music work.


    Thank you for schooling me in such elementary topics, Keystring.

    For your information, by "pleasant" I meant NOT a cluster-style assemblage of notes, which move way beyond "dissonance" into a sound that everyone I have ever demonstrated it to reacted with "unpleasant", like scratching one's nails on a chalkboard.

    Of course dissonance is necessary. (except, of course, not in elevator music...at least some elevator music!)

    Have a listen to my free song in my signature line...lots of dissonance, V7 chords, etc.

    _________________________
    Music teacher and piano player.

    Top
    #2018298 - 01/21/13 10:46 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Allard Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Netherlands
    A chord is a couple notes played together, but sitting your butt on a random part of the keyboard does not make a chord.

    Sounds like a fine definition to start with. No need to exhaustively list every possible combination until we get to the more complex ones. (Though I do wonder about these dim7 and add9 chords in my book...)
    _________________________
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#: I. Adagio sostenuto
    David Lanz - Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D

    Top
    #2018300 - 01/21/13 10:49 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Allard]
    rocket88 Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 09/04/06
    Posts: 3158
    Originally Posted By: Allard
    A chord is a couple notes played together, but sitting your butt on a random part of the keyboard does not make a chord.


    Not in real life, anyways. Good post.
    _________________________
    Music teacher and piano player.

    Top
    #2018350 - 01/21/13 11:48 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: rocket88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    This is an open forum, and a thread where a large number of people are trying to understand basic theory. When I explain something, it is not in order to "school" you, Rocket88. Earlier you corrected Piano88's presentation of what a chord is. You then gave this information:
    Quote:
    Alfred books teach the "Three notes played together is a chord" thing, so for beginner students, when we reach that in the book, I always clarify the phrase: "A chord is several notes played together that sound good."

    This implies, to anyone reading it, that the definition of a chord is: "three notes played together", and also "several notes played together that sound good." This will give people starting out the impression that a chord is only a chord if it is a triad.

    For this reason, I took the time to write out some of the possible chords that do exist, in order to correct that impression.

    Top
    #2018357 - 01/21/13 12:00 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: Allard
    A chord is a couple notes played together, but sitting your butt on a random part of the keyboard does not make a chord.


    1:20

    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2018367 - 01/21/13 12:12 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    rocket88 Offline
    3000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 09/04/06
    Posts: 3158
    Originally Posted By: keystring
    This is an open forum, and a thread where a large number of people are trying to understand basic theory. When I explain something, it is not in order to "school" you, Rocket88. Earlier you corrected Piano88's presentation of what a chord is. You then gave this information:
    Quote:
    Alfred books teach the "Three notes played together is a chord" thing, so for beginner students, when we reach that in the book, I always clarify the phrase: "A chord is several notes played together that sound good."

    This implies, to anyone reading it, that the definition of a chord is: "three notes played together", and also "several notes played together that sound good." This will give people starting out the impression that a chord is only a chord if it is a triad.


    My original post will only give that impression if the reader were to read just the fragment of the post as quoted by you.

    The actual meaning of my post, if one reads it fully, is to show for beginners that a fist-pound selection of notes is not a chord, unless you get into esoterica.

    My post was in direct response to this from PianoStudent88:

    Quote:
    First off, what is a chord? Perhaps the most basic definition is "several notes played at the same time.


    To which you countered with "cluster chords", an odd and rare thing.

    As with many threads for beginners, they often morph into people sharing encyclopedic amounts of knowledge.

    IMHO, that can be good if the student is in the teaching studio, and the teacher can see whether or not the student is getting it, or is overwhelmed by the avalanche of minutae.

    On the web, there are some who will get it, but others will be overwhelmed, and the poster of the avalanche most likely will never hear of their confusion.

    But the teacher in me always looks out for the little guy, and always wants to make sure that no one is left behind by a blizzard of info.

    Keystring, I have made two attempts in this thread to simplify concepts for beginners (Melody usually on top, Chords not a random mess of notes but a pattern).

    In each, you have countered with an encyclopedic showing of your knowledge.

    That is a very different approach from mine, an approach that I have never found helpful in teaching adults or children.

    I will add that I do agree with you that a quick overview of the overall topic (which I do with some people who I can see are "getting it") is helpful to show that there is more to it than what we are teaching at the moment.

    But most know that there is more to it because they are, after all, "beginners", and they know they are beginners, and the music they hear others play contains more that a root triad. laugh

    But the operative word is "quick" because I have yet to have a beginner who is learning about chords understand any of the advanced chords. They usually have enough to deal with with inversions!

    So if you are going to be the "thread police" and search for all the available exceptions however odd or rare to correct me, then carry on!

    You have a lot of good information, just a very different style, and I do not have the time to constantly re-explain myself in an attempt to keep it understandable for the folks.
    _________________________
    Music teacher and piano player.

    Top
    #2018392 - 01/21/13 12:49 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Rocket88, before responding to your post, I wrote posts of my own. A post which responds cannot be as clearly set out. I covered each topic in a clear and careful manner. It is meant to be studied and maybe kept somewhere. It is not "encyclopedic" - it gives the necessary information. My response to you was of a different order, and here I am also writing to an advanced musician.

    This thread attempts to teach basic theory via examples of music, which began with Happy Birthday. The problem with that is that if you want to discuss chords, key signatures, cadences, Dominant etc., the students need to have basic knowledge OF chords, key signatures, cadences etc. For that reason I created reference material.

    This is not how I teach when I teach rudiments. Some of the things that I covered in a single post encompass two or three separate chapters in the source book I use. We also don't launch straight into a concept's definition. We explore with concrete things, via experience, build the definition, make sure it's understood, and then work with it.

    But the fact is that there is this disparate group of people with all kinds of backgrounds gathering in one place, considering examples drawn form music, and analyzing for chords, degrees, intervals, cadences and whatnot. Some kind of basic concepts have to be there. And we're all winging it.

    Top
    #2018393 - 01/21/13 12:57 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: rocket88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: rocket88


    The actual meaning of my post, if one reads it fully, is to show for beginners that a fist-pound selection of notes is not a chord, unless you get into esoterica.

    I usually suggest to anyone that the first step in responding to a post is to ask, "What did you mean by this?" or "Did you mean xxx, which is how I'm understanding your post?" So I'm getting that the impressions I got are not the message you were trying to convey.

    Thank you for your explanations.


    Edited by keystring (01/21/13 01:11 PM)
    Edit Reason: simplified

    Top
    #2018394 - 01/21/13 01:00 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: rocket88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: rocket88
    I never teach that a chord is several notes played at the same time.

    The Oxford Dictionary of Music, a very respectable publication, defines a chord as "Any simultaneous combination of notes, but usually not fewer than 3". (So now we can sit at the piano or on it to produce chords.)

    We don't have to introduce or study more chords than is necessary but we do need to define our terms correctly whoever is the intended audience.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2018464 - 01/21/13 03:13 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    joyoussong Offline
    500 Post Club Member

    Registered: 11/19/09
    Posts: 727
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90
    Originally Posted By: Allard
    A chord is a couple notes played together, but sitting your butt on a random part of the keyboard does not make a chord.


    1:20





    Jerry Lee Lewis does it, with assorted other body parts too.
    _________________________
    Carol
    (Started playing July 2008)



    Top
    #2018559 - 01/21/13 06:45 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Valencia Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 237
    Exercise:
    Once you've played and worked through that exercise, congratulations! You now know every root-position triad built out of only white keys. That means you know ALL the triads native to the key of C major. How many are there, and what are their names?


    1.C major CEG
    2. D minor DFA
    3. E minor EGB
    4. F major FAC
    5. G major GBD
    6. A minor ACE
    7. B diminished BDF (so no major or minor..just diminished?)

    To help with the major and minor, I tried to match the sounds with two songs: When the Saints Go marching in for the major, (between the first two notes of the triad), and O Canada for the first two notes of the minor chord triads. The major chords sound like Saints between notes 1 and 2 of the triad, and O Canada between notes 2 and 3. The minor chords sound like O Canada between notes 1 and 2 of the triad, and Saints between notes 2 and 3 of the triad. B diminished sounds like O Canada on both ends of the triad. (I am Canadian so this was helpful for me, but I'm not sure what would be helpful for those who don't know this anthem!).

    hahaha.....love the rhapsody duet! smile

    Thanks everyone...this is so helpful!

    Top
    #2018577 - 01/21/13 07:26 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: Valencia
    ...
    7. B diminished BDF (so no major or minor..just diminished?)

    A triad is two stacked thirds; root, third and fifth.

    A third can be either major (4 semitones) or minor (3 semitones)

    A fifth can be diminished (6 semitones), perfect (7 semitones) or augmented (8 semitones).

    A major third and a minor third together make a perfect fifth. If the fifth is perfect we name the chord by its first third, major or minor - that implies the fifth is perfect.

    If the fifth is not perfect we name the chord by its fifth. Two minor thirds make a diminished fifth and two major thirds make an augmented fifth (we haven't got to augmented chords yet).

    By naming the fifth, diminished or augmented, the third is known by implication. By naming the third, major or minor, the fifth is perfect by implication.

    Min 3rd + min 3rd = diminished 5th, dim chord
    Min 3rd + maj 3rd = perfect 5th, min chord
    Maj 3rd + min 3rd = perfect 5th, maj chord
    Maj 3rd + maj 3rd = augmented 5th, aug chord

    I got this in less than twenty years smile
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2018624 - 01/21/13 09:03 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Greener Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 05/29/12
    Posts: 1059
    Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I can't help myself from jumping in when chords are being talked about.

    Spot on with the chords Valencia. If you were to come across these in a score, they'd be written as;

    C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim or B°

    Correct it is just diminished (but made up by stacking two minor 3rds.) A dim chord by itself is not all that common. You are more likely to come across a dim7 before just a diminished. Although they do occur.

    All of the chords above that you have correctly labeled, can be made in to a 7th chord by adding a minor 3rd (3 half steps) on top.

    Example, C would become C7 with the addition of a minor 3rd on top; C,E,G,Bb = C7

    Yes, oddly enough I am familiar with the Saints Go Marching in and O Canada. Good observation. I see exactly what you mean.

    Top
    #2018769 - 01/22/13 03:07 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    sinophilia Offline

    Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


    Registered: 06/26/12
    Posts: 900
    Loc: Italy
    Alfred's books never say chord = triad (at least I haven't understood it that way), but just that a triad is a basic kind of chord, plus it teaches 4-note seventh chords from the very beginning (adding that in these chords the third or the fifth is often omitted).

    It's not really useful to quarrel about the meaning of every word. One needs to start with clear definitions and concepts, even if this means you have to simplify and water down some of them. Less is more.
    _________________________
    Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
    All one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time, and the instrument plays itself. (J.S. Bach)
    http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia

    Top
    #2018776 - 01/22/13 03:33 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90
    In practise "dim" is often used to signify a dim7 chord or a dim7 chord is frequently played in it's stead.


    I sometimes go back and take a careful look at the lead sheet of something I've been playing for a while, and discover that I'm in the habit of playing dim7 where plain dim is written. I always thought that was just me screwing up, not the composer or arranger's intention. Sometimes it's m7 instead of m, too.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2018780 - 01/22/13 03:44 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    A little clarification on the sevenths (though we're not really there yet).

    All this will be covered again when it comes up in context.

    Adding a minor third to C creates C7 (C-E-G-Bb) but this is a non diatonic chord. Bb is not in the C major scale.

    The primary triads are formed first layer of chords is formed using alternate notes, 1, 3 and 5 from each of the seven scale degrees. The next third layer adds sevenths.

    In the C major scale the secondary seventh chords are:
    C-E-G-B = C maj 7
    D-F-A-C = D min 7
    E-G-B-D = E min 7
    F-A-C-E = F maj 7
    G-B-D-F = G 7
    A-C-E-G = A min 7
    B-D-F-A = B min 7b5

    The three minor chords Em, Dm and Am become minor sevenths (minor third + major third + minor third)

    The tonic and subdominant major chords C and F become major sevenths (major third + minor third + major third)

    The dominant major chord has a major third + minor third + minor third. Because this combination is unique to the dominant step we call this a dominant seventh but notate it simply by appending a 7 to the chord name.

    The diminished chord becomes a half diminished chord or a minor 7 flat 5.

    We'll come across all this later.

    _______________________________

    Edited to correct errors in nomenclature. Thank you, keystring. smile


    The primary chords are the tonic, dominant and subdominant formed on the first, fourth and fifth steps of the scale. As I mentioned in an earlier post, they cover all the degrees of the scale between them. The dominant is a fifth away from tonic and the subdominant and fifth in the other direction. The move from tonic to subdominant is one of the most relaxed progressions but the dominant chord announces the imminent return to tonic.

    The secondary chords are formed on the 2nd, 3rd and 6th step of the scale. They are the relative minors of the primary chords; D minor, relative minor of F, E minor, relative minor of G, and A minor, relative minor of C.

    Tertiary chords are chords formed by thirds.



    Edited by zrtf90 (01/22/13 10:35 AM)
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2018788 - 01/22/13 03:55 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Also a little OT but...

    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
    Sometimes it's m7 instead of m, too.
    This is most likely to happen when the seventh is carried in the melody line and a simple minor can be played underneath. The combination provides the minor 7th.

    If the note C occurs in a melody (in C major) it can be harmonised by any of three triads, C (C-E-G), F (F-A-C) or A minor (A-C-E). By extending into sevenths it can also be harmonised with D min 7 (D-F-A-C). Because the C occurs in the melody line a simple D minor can be played underneath.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2018798 - 01/22/13 04:18 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: rocket88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: rocket88
    Alfred books teach the "Three notes played together is a chord" thing, so for beginner students, when we reach that in the book, I always clarify the phrase: "A chord is several notes played together that sound good."


    This is another place where it might be better to insert a few more words and say "...usually sound good" or "...almost always sound good".

    There are chords that, isolated and examined by themselves, really massively suck. But they serve a purpose in context.

    There's an example in a favorite song of mine, "I'll be Seeing You" (Sammy Fain, 1938). Bar 13, the melody note is A4, and the chord is Dm7/G. The way I play it is: G3, A3, C4, D4, F4, which is quite dissonant. It goes immediately to the melody note G4 and a G7 chord. When I was learning the song, that stuck out to me so much that I was wondering if it was a typo. When I was able to play it through at a reasonable tempo, it was obviously right. (BTW, I'm not sure if this chord is as originally written, the sheet is from Wikifonia.)

    Concentrating on a single chord by itself is sort of like taking a freeze frame from a movie. Mostly you'll get good looking pictures, but sometimes you catch an actor in the middle of saying a word, and his mouth is frozen in some strange position.
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2018841 - 01/22/13 07:45 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    Greener Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 05/29/12
    Posts: 1059
    Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90

    In the C major scale the secondary chords are:
    C-E-G-B = C maj 7
    D-F-A-C = D min 7
    E-G-B-D = E min 7
    F-A-C-E = F maj 7
    G-B-D-F = G 7
    A-C-E-G = A min 7
    B-D-F-A = B min 7b5

    ...
    The dominant major chord has a major third + minor third + minor third. Because this combination is unique to the dominant step we call this a dominant seventh but notate it simply by appending a 7 to the chord name.

    A light just came on. This thread is filling in a lot of blanks for me. I knew about a dominant 7th., but had not put together how it differed from the others in the key (scale.) At least not in this way. Just that it was always in the 5th degree.
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

    There are chords that, isolated and examined by themselves, really massively suck. But they serve a purpose in context.

    There's an example in a favorite song of mine ... The way I play it is ... quite dissonant ... stuck out to me so much that I was wondering if it was a typo. When I was able to play it through at a reasonable tempo, it was obviously right.

    Concentrating on a single chord by itself is sort of like taking a freeze frame from a movie. Mostly you'll get good looking pictures, but sometimes you catch an actor in the middle of saying a word, and his mouth is frozen in some strange position.

    Well put, John. Sometimes when I am working on a piece, I think "that can't be right" but when I can play it through and at a reasonable tempo, it often ends up being the greatest part of the arrangement.

    Top
    #2018861 - 01/22/13 08:42 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Richard - problem with calling the seventh chords "secondary chord". In the theory books I studied, primary and secondary is reserved for the main diatonic chords used in harmony, vs. the ones that are not as crucial, as follows:

    Primary: I, IV, V (C, F, G in key of C major)
    Secondary: ii, iii, vi, vii dim (Dm, Em, Am, Bdim)

    (The major and minor qualities being for a major key, which I'm using as default)

    Top
    #2018887 - 01/22/13 09:33 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
    Mark... Offline
    4000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 11/27/06
    Posts: 4372
    Loc: Jersey Shore
    Originally Posted By: Valencia
    Exercise:
    Once you've played and worked through that exercise, congratulations! You now know every root-position triad built out of only white keys. That means you know ALL the triads native to the key of C major. How many are there, and what are their names?


    1.C major CEG
    2. D minor DFA
    3. E minor EGB
    4. F major FAC
    5. G major GBD
    6. A minor ACE
    7. B diminished BDF (so no major or minor..just diminished?)




    I am in the process of switching teachers and working with more of a chord based system. First assignment was what you posted, with some other related exercises, particularly:

    Play the I, ii, iii, I chords and add specific exercises off of these cords.

    Top
    #2018903 - 01/22/13 09:58 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

    Concentrating on a single chord by itself is sort of like taking a freeze frame from a movie. Mostly you'll get good looking pictures, but sometimes you catch an actor in the middle of saying a word, and his mouth is frozen in some strange position.

    This quote should be gilded and framed! THANK YOU!

    Top
    #2018912 - 01/22/13 10:14 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90

    If the note C occurs in a melody (in C major) it can be harmonised by any of three triads, C (C-E-G), F (F-A-C) or A minor (A-C-E). By extending into sevenths it can also be harmonised with D min 7 (D-F-A-C). Because the C occurs in the melody line a simple D minor can be played underneath.

    The first time I encountered the term "be harmonized", I had no idea what that meant. I think this means how you can move one chord to another chord with smooth movement. So in your examples:
    C and F, you could have
    G=>A
    E=>F
    C=>C
    where you are playing a C chord, then G moves up to A, E moves up to F, and C stays - voila - an F chord! And similar with other chords that share a note in the way that C and F share a note.

    Is this what "to harmonize" means?

    Top
    #2018920 - 01/22/13 10:20 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: sinophilia]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: sinophilia
    Alfred's books never say chord = triad (at least I haven't understood it that way), but just that a triad is a basic kind of chord, plus it teaches 4-note seventh chords from the very beginning (adding that in these chords the third or the fifth is often omitted).

    Thank you for that explanation. It's hard to know without seeing the book, so it's good to have a clearer picture. (and it's easy to get the wrong one).

    When we're doing theory, some terms are important, and others less so. The meaning of "chord" is important because it's a basic thing we work with in theory. When I did theory studies, for three levels the only chords we ever saw were the ones in thirds. I just assumed that "chord" means "something stacked in thirds". Then at the very last level they said "by the way, there is such a thing as a "dominant 7" and they only introduced V7's. They mentioned ultra briefly that there are other kinds of sevenths, and spent maybe a single page in a 350 page book on "other kinds of chords". So everything I thought I knew about chords was skewed until the end by dint of omission.


    Edited by keystring (01/22/13 10:21 AM)

    Top
    #2018933 - 01/22/13 10:48 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
    zrtf90 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 2222
    Loc: Ireland (ex England)
    Originally Posted By: keystring
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90

    If the note C occurs in a melody (in C major) it can be harmonised by any of three triads, C (C-E-G), F (F-A-C) or A minor (A-C-E). By extending into sevenths it can also be harmonised with D min 7 (D-F-A-C). Because the C occurs in the melody line a simple D minor can be played underneath.

    The first time I encountered the term "be harmonized", I had no idea what that meant. I think this means how you can move one chord to another chord with smooth movement. So in your examples:
    C and F, you could have
    G=>A
    E=>F
    C=>C
    where you are playing a C chord, then G moves up to A, E moves up to F, and C stays - voila - an F chord! And similar with other chords that share a note in the way that C and F share a note.

    Is this what "to harmonize" means?

    No, that's not what I meant.

    Harmonisation is providing harmony below a melody - working out the cords to a song/tune.

    The melody notes on the beats usually form part of a chord. As long as that note occurs in a chord that chord can be used to harmonise the melody at that point.

    So, if C is a melody note in a tune any chord with a C in it can harmonise with the melody. C major is the most likely (root of the chord C-E-G), F next (fifth of the chord F-A-C), and A minor next (third of the chord A-C-E). The other possibilities are more remote.

    Sorry if I've caused confusion or wandered off topic.
    _________________________
    Richard

    Top
    #2018942 - 01/22/13 11:03 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    JohnSprung, did you have an arrangement of Lili Marlene you can link to? or a chord chart? If not, I've found a simple chord chart and can make a simple arrangement to illustrate our next set of concepts.

    We're ready for a new piece, but we have several more concepts to fill in and practice with before starting on Burgmüller Opus 100. Concepts include: chord inversions, dominant seventh chords, and non-chord tones. These have all been mentioned before on this thread, but I propose that we work with them in some other pieces before getting to Burgmüller.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2018947 - 01/22/13 11:15 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90

    No, that's not what I meant.

    Harmonisation is providing harmony below a melody - working out the cords to a song/tune.

    The melody notes on the beats usually form part of a chord. As long as that note occurs in a chord that chord can be used to harmonise the melody at that point.

    So, if C is a melody note in a tune any chord with a C in it can harmonise with the melody. C major is the most likely (root of the chord C-E-G), F next (fifth of the chord F-A-C), and A minor next (third of the chord A-C-E). The other possibilities are more remote.

    Sorry if I've caused confusion or wandered off topic.

    To the contrary - this is a place for learning. Thank you. smile Concepts are more important than terms, but terms are important so that we know what's being talked about. Apparently I've been doing it, but didn't have a name for it.

    So in our example we are actually getting into music theory, and how music is put together. In music we have a relationship between melody and harmony (chords). The chords in music usually have an underlying pattern of I IV V I with other chords in between. We have a feeling of beginning, middle, arriving, end. The chords bring that about. But even melody alone does that.

    If you have a song in C major which has a D and a C in it. You have a choice of chords containing these notes:
    G - GBD, CEG, EGB etc.
    C - CEG, ACE, FAC etc.
    But this is the end of your song, in C major, so you would want to end it with a V-I chord. So let's look at V: It's GBD. I: It's CEG. We also see that the G and C major chords both contain G. We probably will use G-C to "harmonize" the melody notes "D & C". We also probably ended up with the melody notes D & C because of these chords, because they fit hand in glove.

    So now I know this is called "harmonizing", as in "harmonize this melody".

    Top
    #2018968 - 01/22/13 11:40 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
    joyoussong Offline
    500 Post Club Member

    Registered: 11/19/09
    Posts: 727
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90
    Originally Posted By: keystring
    Originally Posted By: zrtf90

    If the note C occurs in a melody (in C major) it can be harmonised by any of three triads, C (C-E-G), F (F-A-C) or A minor (A-C-E). By extending into sevenths it can also be harmonised with D min 7 (D-F-A-C). Because the C occurs in the melody line a simple D minor can be played underneath.

    The first time I encountered the term "be harmonized", I had no idea what that meant. I think this means how you can move one chord to another chord with smooth movement. So in your examples:
    C and F, you could have
    G=>A
    E=>F
    C=>C
    where you are playing a C chord, then G moves up to A, E moves up to F, and C stays - voila - an F chord! And similar with other chords that share a note in the way that C and F share a note.

    Is this what "to harmonize" means?

    No, that's not what I meant.

    Harmonisation is providing harmony below a melody - working out the cords to a song/tune.

    The melody notes on the beats usually form part of a chord. As long as that note occurs in a chord that chord can be used to harmonise the melody at that point.

    So, if C is a melody note in a tune any chord with a C in it can harmonise with the melody. C major is the most likely (root of the chord C-E-G), F next (fifth of the chord F-A-C), and A minor next (third of the chord A-C-E). The other possibilities are more remote.

    Sorry if I've caused confusion or wandered off topic.



    No, you haven't caused confusion at all! I've never quite understood what "harmonize" meant either, but your explanation makes it perfectly clear. And clarifies some of the mysteries of improvisation, too. Thanks!
    _________________________
    Carol
    (Started playing July 2008)



    Top
    #2018973 - 01/22/13 11:48 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    To take stock of where we are:

    Participation

    There are several people who expressed interest in the thread from whom we have not heard recently. I am hoping that they are all reading along and learning as we go. I am concerned though that some people may have felt overwhelmed already.

    Please ask questions! Even to say "I'm so confused I don't even know how to say what I'm confused about." (I had a situation like that at work just the other day, so I sympathize.) We won't know what we need to slow down on, introduce, give more explanations, make simpler examples, etc. etc. etc., unless you ask questions. This is your thread!

    Thank you to everyone who has participated by giving answers, asking questions, or even posting just to say "that was helpful."

    Template

    As a template for analysing pieces, I propose starting with the basic set that I proposed for Happy Birthday:

    1. Overview
    2. Time signature
    3. Key
    4. Form (this is new, and may not be relevant for a while)
    5. Melody
    6. Harmony
    7. Playing

    Features like rhythm, patterns, dynamics, articulation, phrasing, progressions, etc. can be touched on ad lib under Melody, Harmony, and/or Playing.

    Richard has given us a comprehensive list of aspects we could look at. Feel free to dip into that list and grab a topic or two to talk about or ask about as we proceed, but don't feel that you must apply or learn all of those right away.

    Topics

    A lot of information has been touched on.

    The core information that I hope people feel more comfortable with at this point are: time signature (at least for 3/4 time smile ); key of C major; some initial ideas about lyrics, phrasing, and climax; root position triads in C major.

    Other topics that have been touched on which will come up again later, so it's OK if you passed them by on this first pass: chord inversions and other chord voicings, non-chord notes, minor keys and scales, roman numeral notation, chord names that include numbers and/or slashes, intervals (in particular, major and minor thirds and perfect and diminished fifths). When they come up again we may discuss them in full again, or link back to the discussion that's come up so far and then ask what more needs clarification.

    Approach

    rocket88 raised the issue of people being confused by seeing complex and advanced information before getting solid in the basics. We have seen some disagreement about what exactly constitutes "the basics". For the reader, there is an aspect of caveat emptor. This is an internet thread, and somewhat of a one-room schoolhouse, so you will read different ideas about how to introduce these topics and different levels of questions and answers based on the different levels of experience people bring. I hope that the advantages of the internet -- having a broad range of experience to draw from, being able to hear answers from different points of view, being able to ask questions at any time rather than waiting for a once a week lesson, being part of a learning community -- will outweigh any disadvantages.

    The general consensus seems to be that we have a new thread for each piece we start on. But I would like us to stick with this thread at least until we have covered a set of basics (perhaps approximately when we have fleshed out the topics I listed above). That's so that we don't fragment too much this initial exploration of "the basics". I'm thinking that when we start Burgmüller will be the right time to start a new thread. (I think this information is really valuable, and some people are ready to absorb it already. I'm just trying to provide a guide for people for whom there's too much information overall to absorb yet.)

    I'll maintain an index of all the threads in the set, and put it on each new thread. I'll also maintain an index to each of the pieces we cover in this thread. I'll also add some links to other relevant threads, for example the Music Theory 101 (or some such title) thread that we have here in ABF.


    Edited by PianoStudent88 (01/22/13 11:55 AM)
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2018975 - 01/22/13 11:49 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    OK, your turn. What do you like so far about the thread? What might we do differently, to improve it?
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2018986 - 01/22/13 12:10 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Happy Birthdays 1-4

    While waiting underneath the lamplight, by the barracks gate, for Lili Marlene, some more arrangements of Happy Birthday.

    Happy Birthday 1: The original arrangement.

    Happy Birthday 2: Broken chords.

    Happy Birthday 2 is just like Happy Birthday 1 except that the chords in each measure have been broken up and the notes are played one at a time as quarter notes (2 at a time in m.7). Print this out, and in each measure, circle the left hand notes that correspond to the chords in the original arrangement. (So for example, one circle around all three bass notes in m.1, etc.). In harmonic analysis, we still name these as the same chords as we did in Happy Birthday 1 -- even though the notes aren't played at the same time. Name the chords that correspond to the circled notes (just like in Happy Birthday 1: one chord per measure, except two chords in m. 7.)

    Happy Birthday 3: A different key

    This arrangement is very similar to the Happy Birthday 1, except it's in a different major key. Can you see or hear how this is the same arrangement, except transposed into a different key? What key is it in? How do you know? What does the sharp in the key signature mean? Name the chords.

    Happy Birthday 4: Another different key, and broken chords.

    This arrangement is very similar to Happy Birthday 2, with the chords broken apart into quarter notes in the same way, except it's in a different major key. Can you see or hear how this is the same arrangement, except transposed into a different key? What key is it in? How do you know? What does the flat in the key signature mean? Name the chords. Print this out and in each measure circle the bass clef notes that correspond to the chords.

    If anyone would like to upload playing these arrangements, please do. Otherwise I expect to be able to do so tonight.


    Edited by PianoStudent88 (01/22/13 06:57 PM)
    Edit Reason: added bold title
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2018991 - 01/22/13 12:20 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    JohnSprung, did you have an arrangement of Lili Marlene you can link to? or a chord chart? If not, I've found a simple chord chart and can make a simple arrangement to illustrate our next set of concepts.

    I read back through the thread and realized that you have the arrangement, but are having difficulties uploading it. The way I upload my scores is, I take a screenshot of them and save it as a jpeg file, and then upload the screenshot to Piano World. Then I just include that as a link in my post, (rather than embedding it as an image): this is so the page doesn't get too wide.

    I can do that for you if you like; let me know.


    Edited by PianoStudent88 (01/22/13 01:11 PM)
    Edit Reason: add a thought
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019028 - 01/22/13 01:15 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Mark... Offline
    4000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 11/27/06
    Posts: 4372
    Loc: Jersey Shore
    I think showing the counting of a piece to be extremely important, as it is generally a weakness in many beginners and critically important. It is also my major weakness... smile

    Top
    #2019046 - 01/22/13 01:27 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Allard Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 03/27/12
    Posts: 323
    Loc: Netherlands
    We've had very thorough explanations about some concepts from different standpoints. There is a lot to learn here, but... yeah, it can be overwhelming. Personally, I've just ignored most of the discussions between keystring and rocket88, and several of the more advanced chord explanations that don't occur in Happy Birthday. I think it's better to discuss those when we have an example to go with the theory (a next piece).
    _________________________
    Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#: I. Adagio sostenuto
    David Lanz - Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D

    Top
    #2019132 - 01/22/13 03:47 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Mark... (and others), can you say more about what you know about counting and where it gets weak? For example, on a single melody, do you know what to say (numbers/words/syllables) for counting it? Do you have tendencies like rushing or slowing down certain note values? Does it start to fall apart when there are different rhythms in the two hands (or multiple rhythms in one hand)? Tend to dive in and play before checking the counting? Find it hard to play and count at the same time? Other strengths and challenges?
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019162 - 01/22/13 04:54 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    torquenale Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/29/12
    Posts: 225
    Loc: Italy
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

    Participation

    There are several people who expressed interest in the thread from whom we have not heard recently. I am hoping that they are all reading along and learning as we go. I am concerned though that some people may have felt overwhelmed already.



    PianoStudent, so far so good.
    I'm following the thread with real pleasure, even if time zones hinder me. Usually I read only when here in Italy is evening, and I have almost a whole day of discussion to catch up with, and my questions have been already answered.
    I'm amazed by the effort put here, thank you to all tutors!
    _________________________

    Top
    #2019190 - 01/22/13 05:43 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    I read back through the thread and realized that you have the arrangement, but are having difficulties uploading it.


    I was able to upload the PDF, which is here:


    http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/Norbert_Schultze_Lili_Marlene_C_LS_Analysis1.pdf

    It's just that I wanted to give you the .MSCZ and .XML versions, which you could pull into MuseScore or another notation program, so you could modify them far more easily than a PDF.

    One good thing about this piece is that it's in public domain, so you can use it as an example anywhere.

    My first question is, What do you call the C#dim in the Roman numeral system?



    Edited by JohnSprung (01/22/13 05:47 PM)
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2019191 - 01/22/13 05:43 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Allard]
    neildradford Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/10/11
    Posts: 148
    Loc: United Kingdom
    Originally Posted By: Allard
    We've had very thorough explanations about some concepts from different standpoints. There is a lot to learn here, but... yeah, it can be overwhelming. Personally, I've just ignored most of the discussions between keystring and rocket88, and several of the more advanced chord explanations that don't occur in Happy Birthday. I think it's better to discuss those when we have an example to go with the theory (a next piece).


    Allard has just written exactly the sentiments I have. I'm enjoying the thread but I skipped a lot of the convo about chords as it was all just going over my head.

    Neil.

    Edit: Timing is also one of my weaknesses, like Mark said.

    Edit 2: I have no problem with the timing in 'Happy Birthday', my main issue is when the left hand notes are played out of sync with right hand notes, particularly when notes are of short duration, or tied. Hope I'm making sense


    Edited by neildradford (01/22/13 05:47 PM)
    _________________________
    Venables & Son Custom 133 Upright Acoustic Piano
    Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
    Started learning: October 2011
    Started lessons: January 2012
    YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

    Top
    #2019238 - 01/22/13 06:53 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Lili Marlene

    Thanks for the Lili Marlene lead sheet (new improved version here: Lili Marlene Version 2), JohnSprung. Personally, when I'm using upper- and lower-case Roman numerals, I would call C#dim in this context vii°/ii. But that's for academic analysis more than lead-sheet playing.

    In another convention used by a teacher here, everything would be in upper-case, and C#dim would be #Idim. In that system, C would be I, Dm7 would be IIm7, G7 would be V7, etc.

    There are surely other systems of notation as well; these are just the two that I know. Anyone else have ideas on this?

    This is a different rhythm than I'm used to for the song. Is this drawn from a recording? I'm wondering if this is a particular singer's interpretation, that I haven't had the pleasure of hearing yet.

    It would be helpful for us to have a version with a blank bass clef added, where people could practice writing in a bass part, or at least the block chords that go with the chord symbols. Is that something you can easily create, JohnSprung? If not, I can do it.

    Some topics coming up that go with this Lili Marlene lead sheet from JohnSprung: 7 chords, intervals, roman numerals, and realizing a lead sheet. (I am faaaaaaaaar from an expert, in fact I'm barely a neophyte, at lead sheet playing, but I'll share the little I know, and others please chime in).


    Edited by PianoStudent88 (01/23/13 04:16 PM)
    Edit Reason: added link to new version
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019241 - 01/22/13 06:55 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Now that we have multiple pieces, I recommend putting the title of the piece you're talking about at the beginning of each post in bold, as I've illustrated in the previous post. That will help orient us for each post.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019252 - 01/22/13 07:13 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: neildradford]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Originally Posted By: neildradford
    Edit 2: I have no problem with the timing in 'Happy Birthday', my main issue is when the left hand notes are played out of sync with right hand notes, particularly when notes are of short duration, or tied. Hope I'm making sense

    I understand what you're saying. Any examples of pieces with this challenge? I'll keep my eyes, ears, and meagre arranging talents open for examples of this, also, to use on the thread.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019374 - 01/22/13 11:13 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Happy Birthdays 3 and 4

    a.k.a. Keys, Scales, and Chords

    keystring wrote a post about keys and major scales which would be worth reviewing or reading at this point.

    Happy Birthday 3 is in the key of G major. G major is the major key with one sharp (F#), the melody ends on G, and the final chord is a G major chord (notes: GBD, in any order).

    Happy Birthday 4 is in the key of F major. F major is the major key with one flat (Bb), the melody ends on F, and the final chord is an F major chord (notes: FAC, in any order).

    Some basic things to do to get familiar with a key, its scale, and its chords:

    Find the scale. For example, for G major, start on G and check that if you ascend following the WWHWWWH pattern of whole steps and half steps, that the only sharp you need is F#. Listen to the sound this scale makes, ascending and descending.

    Find the root position triads. For example, for G major, start on G: GBD. Start on A: ACE. Start on B: BDF#. And so on. Remember to use F#, not F natural. The last triad will start on F#: F#AC. What are the names of these triads? Which are major? Which are minor? Which are diminished? (Do you remember how to tell which are which?). Play and listen to the triads.

    Now do the same thing for F major: verify the scale and work out the root position triads. Remember to use Bb, not B natural. Play and listen to the scale and the triads.

    Now you have in your arsenal the names of the chords you need to identify the chords in Happy Birthday 3 and Happy Birthday 4. (You also have several more chords that haven't been used yet.)
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019392 - 01/22/13 11:49 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    The Pattern of Triads in a Major Key

    Now that you've worked out the triads for C major (previously), G major, and F major, you may have started to notice some patterns. For example, each key has three major triads, three minor triads, and one diminished triad. The diminished triad always has for its root the seventh note of the major scale. And so on. What other patterns have you noticed?

    Write the triads for each scale in order. Ideally, do this on staff paper and label them with their names.

    key of C major: C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim
    key of G major: G, Am, Bm, C, D, Em, F#dim
    key of F major: F, Gm, Am, Bb, C, Dm, Edim

    Amazing! They all have the exact same pattern of major, minor and diminished triads in order:

    Major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished.

    If I use Roman numerals to say which note of the scale the triad is built on, this pattern is:

    I, IIm, IIIm, IV, V, VIm, VIIdim

    Just like with letter names for chords, an uppercase Roman numeral all by itself stands for a major chord. If it has an "m" after it, it stands for a minor chord. And if it has "dim" after it, it stands for a diminished chord.

    This shorthand is useful because it allows me to talk in very compact ways about relationships between chords. For example, I could say:
    • In the key of C major, the Happy Birthday chords are C G G C; C F, C G, C.
    • In the key of G major, the Happy Birthday chords are G D D G; G C, G D, G.
    • In the key of F major, the Happy Birthday chords are F C C F; F Bb, F C, F.
    • And so on for each of the other 7 major keys in which a singer might ask you to play Happy Birthday.

    Or I can just summarize all of that in one statement:
    • The Happy Birthday chords are I V V I; I IV, I V, I.

    (I say "the" Happy Birthday chords, but of course this is just for the particular chords I chose for my arrangement.)
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019433 - 01/23/13 02:27 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    dire tonic Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 07/17/11
    Posts: 1038
    Loc: uk south
    I'd recommend looking for (or writing - not too difficult*) another arrangement of Lili Marlene - your current PDF version has a timing rupture at the transition between bars 7/8 where the F chord , which should be at the beginning of bar 8, has been pushed 1 beat later thus putting the rest of the tune and the chord accompaniment out of kilter. It sounds so unnatural I'd be surprised if it doesn't cause confusion.

    *or just adapt the existing but check youtube versions for the correct - or at least, more natural - rhythm for the melody.


    Edited by dire tonic (01/23/13 02:45 AM)

    Top
    #2019435 - 01/23/13 03:00 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Artur Gajewski Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/07/10
    Posts: 304
    Loc: Helsinki, Finland
    This topic has a funny link on front page's summary: Re: Starting out with anal...

    Anyway, one day I will master those Happy Birthday chords on my piano and will be able to play it for my daughters at their birthday smile
    _________________________
    - Artur Gajewski

    Author of Piano Lessons Package for Synthesia & Child's Piano Play

    Top
    #2019440 - 01/23/13 03:35 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: dire tonic]
    JohnSprung Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 08/02/11
    Posts: 1027
    Loc: Reseda, California
    Re: Lili Marlene
    Originally Posted By: dire tonic
    - your current PDF version has a timing rupture at the transition between bars 7/8 where the F chord , which should be at the beginning of bar 8, has been pushed 1 beat later thus putting the rest of the tune and the chord accompaniment out of kilter.


    I have this in MuseScore as a MSCZ file, so I can work on it quite easily. I'll put in this correction and add the bass clef staff that PS88 requested during the day tomorrow (It's late at night here right now).

    I have several versions in MP3, mostly I listened to the 1939 Lale Andersen recording. It's the one that Rommel had played every night at 9:55 PM from Radio Belgrade during the North Africa campaign. Our side listened too, which is how the song became so well known. I tried to upload it, but got the Piano World broken link error screen yet again. Here's the site that has them:

    http://ingeb.org/garb/lmarleen.html

    Despite the error screen, it did upload here:

    http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/LiliM_1939_LAndersen.mp3


    Edited by JohnSprung (01/23/13 04:54 AM)
    _________________________
    -- J.S.

    Knabe Grand # 10927
    Yamaha CP33
    Kawai FS690

    Top
    #2019445 - 01/23/13 03:53 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Artur Gajewski]
    landorrano Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 02/26/06
    Posts: 2443
    Loc: France
    Originally Posted By: Artur Gajewski
    This topic has a funny link on front page's summary: Re: Starting out with anal...


    That seems to hit the nail on the head!

    Top
    #2019511 - 01/23/13 08:43 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: landorrano]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    Originally Posted By: landorrano
    Originally Posted By: Artur Gajewski
    This topic has a funny link on front page's summary: Re: Starting out with anal...


    That seems to hit the nail on the head!

    If you are saying that Artur's statement that we see "starting out with anal.." in the subject header, accurately reflects that we see "starting out with anal...." then you are correct that this is what we all see.

    Top
    #2019520 - 01/23/13 08:59 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
    dire tonic Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 07/17/11
    Posts: 1038
    Loc: uk south
    Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
    Re: Lili Marlene
    Originally Posted By: dire tonic
    - your current PDF version has a timing rupture at the transition between bars 7/8 where the F chord , which should be at the beginning of bar 8, has been pushed 1 beat later thus putting the rest of the tune and the chord accompaniment out of kilter.


    I have this in MuseScore as a MSCZ file, so I can work on it quite easily. I'll put in this correction and add the bass clef staff that PS88 requested during the day tomorrow (It's late at night here right now).

    I have several versions in MP3, mostly I listened to the 1939 Lale Andersen recording. It's the one that Rommel had played every night at 9:55 PM from Radio Belgrade during the North Africa campaign. Our side listened too, which is how the song became so well known. I tried to upload it, but got the Piano World broken link error screen yet again. Here's the site that has them:

    http://ingeb.org/garb/lmarleen.html

    Despite the error screen, it did upload here:

    http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/LiliM_1939_LAndersen.mp3



    - the C 1/4 note at the beginning of bar 8 of your pdf should be the final 1/8 note at the end of bar 7. If you then advance everything from bar 8 forward by a 1/4 note you should be more or less there.

    You're going to have to simplify this anyway because the recording you've linked to is verging on 12/8 time (a slight swing) while your PDF is a little bit confused on the meter (the dotted 1/8th+1/16 at the beginning of the melody can quite often imply 12/8 in modern piano copy ).

    Since the melody and harmony are probably more important to you at this stage I would write the whole piece out using only 1/4 and 1/8 notes while allowing a slight swing feel to the discretion of the performer.



    Top
    #2019528 - 01/23/13 09:12 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Lili Marlene

    I've always seen Lili Marlene written in 4/4 time using dotted 1/8th + 1/16th.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019529 - 01/23/13 09:12 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Greener Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 05/29/12
    Posts: 1059
    Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Lili Marlene - Analysis
    Also, as I believe PS88 pointed out earlier, the posted arrangement has some embellishments which are not part of the main melody. Example second half of M5 and a couple of extra notes in M15. This is fine, but it may be good if someone would volunteer to play our final arrangement (if being posted again) and upload it here.

    I know I like to always listen to what I am about to learn before I try to tackle it on the bench. With a posted performance it would line up with the arrangement (our score) and be in the correct key. All of the performances I have come across so far, have been in a different key.

    At any rate here is one performance for easy access of how the tune goes.


    Top
    #2019535 - 01/23/13 09:20 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Lili Marlene

    Greener, when you say the performances are in a different key, are they all in a different key from each other? Or are they all in the same key, but it's not C major?

    There's a standard rhythm and tune for Lili Marlene AIUI, and then performances you hear may stretch or modify that for interpretive purposes. I think it would be useful for us to have a score with the standard tune, rather than something more rhythmically and melodically complex that tries to capture a single performance.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019537 - 01/23/13 09:21 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    dire tonic Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 07/17/11
    Posts: 1038
    Loc: uk south
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
    I've always seen Lili Marlene written in 4/4 time using dotted 1/8th + 1/16th.


    Yes, but it's an approximation. Dotted 1/8+1/16 sounds much more fierce than is ever reflected in a performance. The singer's first two notes here are much closer to a pair of 1/8 notes. Vera Lynn's are triplet 1/8ths. Take your pick.

    In any case, the main problem here is the error from bar 8 on.

    Top
    #2019546 - 01/23/13 09:37 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Greener Offline
    1000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 05/29/12
    Posts: 1059
    Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Lili Marlene
    Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

    Greener, when you say the performances are in a different key, are they all in a different key from each other? Or are they all in the same key, but it's not C major?

    There's a standard rhythm and tune for Lili Marlene AIUI, and then performances you hear may stretch or modify that for interpretive purposes. I think it would be useful for us to have a score with the standard tune, rather than something more rhythmically and melodically complex that tries to capture a single performance.

    This one by Vera Lynn (recently posted,) I believe is in the key of G. Marlene Dietrich appears to like to do it in Eb (I think.) The key of C of course is fine, but agree that we may want to find a more straight up arrangement in terms of melody.

    Top
    #2019564 - 01/23/13 10:07 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Lili Marlene

    While waiting for a revision of the melody from JohnSprung, we can play with the chords. We know they'll include C, C7, Dm, Dm7, G7, and C#dim.

    C7, Dm7, and G7 are four-note chords.

    For Dm7 and G7, chords in C major, you can form them the same way you did the triads: start with the triad, skip another white piano key, and add the next white piano key. This is just a quick and dirty way to get to these particular chords. We'll get into intervals and the universal interval definitions for chords soon, which will explain more generally how to find 7 chords.

    Note that in Dm7 and G7 the new fourth note is 3 half-steps above the third note of the original triads Dm and G. That tells you how to find C7: start with the C major triad CEG. Then go up three more half-steps. What note do you find?

    Note that the note you need to complete C7 is not part of the C major scale -- but it is part of the F major scale. Hmmmmmmm. When we talk more generally about 7 chords, we'll find out why.

    For C#dim, count half steps: three half steps, then three more half steps. Notice that the C# is outside of the key of C major.

    What notes do you find for the new chords C7, Dm7, G7, and C#dim?

    Find all 6 of these chords at the piano. Experiment with different voicings. Here, "voicing" means a choice of which notes of the chord to use in which order, and how far apart. Practice moving from one chord to the next, in the order they appear on the Lili Marlene lead sheet, or in other orders. Experiment with voicings where the hand has to move very little (the root of the chord might not be the lowest note any more, to achieve this). Experiment with omitting one of the notes of the chord. Listen to the various sounds. Do you like some voicings more than others?

    Practice notating the chords and at least some of the voicings you find.

    (Note: "voicing" has at least two meanings in music. One is the way I used it above: which notes of the chord are chosen, in which order, and how far apart they are.

    Another way "voicing" is used means which notes of a chord or piece are being brought out and made louder than the others. For example "voicing the melody" means making the melody more prominent.)
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019566 - 01/23/13 10:12 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    Chord voicings

    To illustrate voicing meaning choosing which notes of the chord to play and where: keystring's post on Chord Inversions shows several voicings of the C major chord.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019582 - 01/23/13 10:47 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    keystring Online   content
    Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 12/11/07
    Posts: 11157
    Loc: Canada
    For chord voicings, inversions is a must of course, since that is what you do to do voicings -- have a choice of which note goes on the bottom. There is more to it than that, but this is a beginning.

    Top
    #2019583 - 01/23/13 10:49 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    PianoStudent88 Offline
    2000 Post Club Member

    Registered: 06/16/11
    Posts: 2975
    Loc: Maine
    I'm also thinking of voicings as things like your stretched out chords shown in your earlier post: for example instead of CEG all as close together as possible, play C (skip E) play G (skip C) play E (that one might take two hands). Or choosing to add the octave: instead of CEG, play CEGC. And so on.
    _________________________
    Ebaug(maj7)

    Top
    #2019600 - 01/23/13 11:34 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
    Valencia Offline
    Full Member

    Registered: 12/06/11
    Posts: 237
    Exercise: Happy Birthday 3
    (G major—since there is an F#--Fs are raised a half-step/tone)
    1. GBD –Gmajor (tonic) I
    2. DF#A-Dmajor (dominant) V
    3. DF#A-Dmajor (dominant) V
    4. GBD –Gmajor (tonic) I
    5. GBD –Gmajor (tonic) I
    6. CEG-Cmajor (subdominant) IV
    7. DGB-Gmajor (2inversion? Tonic) I and DF#A-Dmajor (dominant) V
    8. GBDG-Gmajor (tonic) I

    And then the root position triads for G major:
    Find the root position triads. For example, for G major, start on G: GBD. Start on A: ACE. Start on B: BDF#. And so on. Remember to use F#, not F natural. The last triad will start on F#: F#AC. What are the names of these triads? Which are major? Which are minor? Which are diminished? (Do you remember how to tell which are which?). Play and listen to the triads.

    Root position triads for G major (remember F#):
    1. GBD-Gmajor (tonic)I
    2. ACE-Aminor
    3. BDF# ???? When I write out the scale: BCDEF#GA I get HWWHWW for steps, so that doesn’t help because it doesn’t give me one of the patterns we went over above. So then I looked at the chord and counted semi-tones: B to D is 3 semitones. D to F# is 4 semitones. So, that is a minor chord….Bminor??
    4. CEG-Cmajor (subdominant) IV
    5. DF#A-Dmajor (dominant)V
    6. EGB- Eminor
    7. F#AC-?? This is three semitones on each side F# to A is 3 semitones, and A to C is three semitones, so is this a diminished chord? F#dim?

    Top
    Page 1 of 13 1 2 3 ... 12 13 >

    Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
    What's Hot!!
    HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
    -------------------
    Sharing is Caring!
    About the Buttons
    -------------------
    Forums Rules & Help
    -------------------
    ADVERTISE
    on Piano World

    The world's most popular piano web site.
    -------------------
    PIANO BOOKS
    Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
    (125ad) Dampp Chaser
    Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
    Sheet Music
    (PW is an affiliate)
    Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
    Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
    sheet music search
    sheet music search

    sheet music search
    (ad) HAILUN Pianos
    Hailun Pianos - Click for More
    (ad) Lindeblad Piano
    Lindeblad Piano Restoration
    Who's Online
    97 registered (Atrys, AZ_Astro, a_dee, ADWyatt, 25 invisible), 1288 Guests and 42 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Forum Stats
    74198 Members
    42 Forums
    153491 Topics
    2249184 Posts

    Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
    New Topics - Multiple Forums
    Bechstein 7
    by PhilipInChina
    20 minutes 49 seconds ago
    Premier Piano of New York
    by FenderJazzMan
    Yesterday at 11:58 PM
    Top selling self-taught pianists?
    by Sand Tiger
    Yesterday at 11:06 PM
    Just got my MP11!
    by Dan Clark
    Yesterday at 10:18 PM
    Cracks in my soundboard??
    by Markarian
    Yesterday at 09:35 PM
    (ads by Google)

    Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

     
    Our Piano Related Classified Ads
    | Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

    Advertise on Piano World
    | Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
    | |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


    copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
    No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission