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#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: 1049
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).


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#2017148 - 01/19/13 09:29 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: sinophilia]
Greener Offline
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Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
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



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#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: 2230
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
_________________________
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#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: 1049
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.

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#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: 2230
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

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#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.
_________________________
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Yamaha DGX-640 Digital Piano
Started learning: October 2011
Started lessons: January 2012
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/neildradford

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#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: 11188
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.

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#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.
_________________________
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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

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#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
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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.

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#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

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#2017299 - 01/19/13 02:24 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
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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?

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#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: 11188
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.

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#2017322 - 01/19/13 02:42 PM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: JohnSprung]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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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.

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#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: 2978
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.
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#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.

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

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 239
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

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#2017618 - 01/20/13 12:52 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: PianoStudent88]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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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

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#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: 11188
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.

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#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 !

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#2017651 - 01/20/13 02:51 AM Re: Starting out with analysis, all invited [Re: Valencia]
keystring Online   content
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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)

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#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: 11188
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)

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#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

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#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.

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#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: 1073
Loc: Toronto
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

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#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: 2230
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

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#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.

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#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: 11188
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)

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#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: 11188
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.

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#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.

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#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: 2978
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)

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