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#2016609 - 01/18/13 09:51 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3171
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.
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#2016618 - 01/18/13 10:13 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3171
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 .)
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#2016639 - 01/18/13 10:40 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
zrtf90 Offline
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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.
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#2016656 - 01/18/13 11:17 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
keystring Offline
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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.

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#2016670 - 01/18/13 11:39 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
keystring Offline
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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?

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#2016671 - 01/18/13 11:41 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Allard]
keystring Offline
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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

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#2016684 - 01/18/13 11:55 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: keystring]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3171
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)
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#2016692 - 01/18/13 12:03 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
keystring Offline
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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".

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#2016697 - 01/18/13 12:16 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
keystring Offline
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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".

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

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#2016729 - 01/18/13 01:22 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Mark...]
keystring Offline
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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)

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#2016757 - 01/18/13 02:20 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3171
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
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#2016765 - 01/18/13 02:46 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3171
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.
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#2016793 - 01/18/13 03:59 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
torquenale Offline
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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.
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#2016810 - 01/18/13 04:45 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
sinophilia Offline

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

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

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#2016828 - 01/18/13 05:34 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
Allard Offline
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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
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#2016887 - 01/18/13 07:48 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Allard]
keystring Offline
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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)

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#2016992 - 01/18/13 11:58 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
Valencia Offline
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Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 248
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

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#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

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

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1325
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

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

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1325
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

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

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1325
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

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

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1325
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

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

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1325
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

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

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1325
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

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

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1180
Loc: Toronto
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


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#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: 2339
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

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#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: 2339
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

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