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#2156407 - 09/23/13 08:00 PM Really really stupid question...
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
On page 117 of Alfred's One.
There is a song in GM.
Every single F in the song is naturalized.

So why did Alfred do this?

Could have saved a bunch of ink and made it CM. ... Doh!
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Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2156415 - 09/23/13 08:16 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
Derulux Online   content
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5379
Loc: Philadelphia
How many B-flats?
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#2156419 - 09/23/13 08:27 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 813
Loc: New England, USA
Ron,

Good question! I used to think like you too... But here is what the experts say:

Originally Posted By: From Wikipedia

The key usually identifies the tonic note and/or chord: the note and/or major or minor triad that represents the final point of rest for a piece, or the focal point of a section.

Although many musicians confuse key with scale, a scale is an ordered set of notes typically used in a key, while the key is the center of gravity, established by particular chord progressions.


In this particular piece you pointed to (I found my wife's book), you see that the key is G Major as the last chord is G Major (measure 8).


Edited by Amaruk (09/23/13 08:33 PM)
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#2156431 - 09/23/13 08:50 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
findingnemo2010 Offline
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Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1521
Are you serious? The piece is in G major but uses flatted sevenths to give it that blues vibe. It uses the g blues scale.
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#2156432 - 09/23/13 08:50 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Derelux.....no B flats

Amaruk....in other words.... If I were to push all those chords in the left hand up three notes to C in the base note. Especially the last chord. Then I could get rid of the sharps on F in the signature and call it C major. And I could get rid of all the natural signs on the F's.
Correct?
Only one slight little problem....it sounds awful.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2156434 - 09/23/13 08:54 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
It's not bad if I push everything up three notes. smile

Seriously...thank you.... I"m just trying to get a good grasp of chords and all. You helped me to understand.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2156438 - 09/23/13 09:01 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: findingnemo2010]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: findingnemo2010
Are you serious? The piece is in G major but uses flatted sevenths to give it that blues vibe. It uses the g blues scale.


Oh yes. I'm quite serious. This is a beginners forum. I'm just beginning to form an understanding of written music. I don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about with "flatted sevenths". I must be playing them because you say so. ???
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Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2156445 - 09/23/13 09:07 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: rnaple
Originally Posted By: findingnemo2010
Are you serious? The piece is in G major but uses flatted sevenths to give it that blues vibe. It uses the g blues scale.


Oh yes. I'm quite serious. This is a beginners forum. I'm just beginning to form an understanding of written music. I don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about with "flatted sevenths". I must be playing them because you say so. ???

Flatted seventh is the minor seventh degree of the scale, or the regular major seventh lowered by a half step. For example, in A major, the flat seventh is G natural. In Cb major, it's Bbb.
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#2156447 - 09/23/13 09:08 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
really really really like the wiki definition of it.

i too would think "why bother?" if its in c major and only the B's are flat... like why not write in F?
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#2156449 - 09/23/13 09:10 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: Sweet06]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Sweet06
really really really like the wiki definition of it.

i too would think "why bother?" if its in c major and only the B's are flat... like why not write in F?

Because the tonal center is not F; it's C.
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#2156450 - 09/23/13 09:11 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: rnaple
On page 117 of Alfred's One.
There is a song in GM.
Every single F in the song is naturalized.

I love how you say "naturalized." grin
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#2156454 - 09/23/13 09:16 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: Polyphonist]
Sweet06 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/13
Posts: 408
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Sweet06
really really really like the wiki definition of it.

i too would think "why bother?" if its in c major and only the B's are flat... like why not write in F?

Because the tonal center is not F; it's C.


Right! I finally get that now smile thanks!
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"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"

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#2156458 - 09/23/13 09:19 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: Derulux]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Derulux
How many B-flats?

Let me change my statement.
As far as the key signature is concerned. No B flats.
There are many B flats in the song though. Also B's that are natural.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2156459 - 09/23/13 09:21 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: rnaple
Originally Posted By: Derulux
How many B-flats?

Let me change my statement.
As far as the key signature is concerned. No B flats.
There are many B flats in the song though. Also B's that are natural.

It doesn't matter.
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#2156467 - 09/23/13 09:29 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: Polyphonist]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: rnaple
On page 117 of Alfred's One.
There is a song in GM.
Every single F in the song is naturalized.

I love how you say "naturalized." grin


Thanks.... I still haven't figured out how to Green Card them. smile

Seriously....Thank You... You're helping me to understand.
You and Amaruk have done plenty to satisfy my curiosity.
I think you would agree that I shouldn't push it.... Just take the knowledge as it comes in my learning.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2156479 - 09/23/13 09:37 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
Derulux Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5379
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: rnaple
Derelux.....no B flats

Sorry, thought it was G-minor, but now see otherwise through context clues in the thread. smile

The "tonal center" answers are probably the best ones, so I'll leave it to what's already written.
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#2156491 - 09/23/13 09:47 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Maybe just for my ego's sake?
Just want to let you all know I may very well have read on my own and understood theory better by now. But...
My biggest problem is playing with both hands right now. Feel like I'm literally creating a place in my autonomic brain/nervous system in order to do this. It is a major problem. It's what I spend my time on.

Again...Thank You....
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2156587 - 09/24/13 01:17 AM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 346
Loc: San Diego, CA
As someone who is often confused by key vs scale, this Wikipedia quote:

"Although many musicians confuse key with scale, a scale is an ordered set of notes typically used in a key, while the key is the center of gravity, established by particular chord progressions."

gives me some comfort. Now what could "the key is the center of gravity" mean? I know how to calculate the center of gravity of an object, but the center of gravity of music? Half the notes are above it and half below? Some sort of weighted average?

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#2156614 - 09/24/13 02:13 AM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: SoundThumb]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3878
Loc: Northern England.
Why not write all music in "C" and just add the sharps and flats?
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#2156620 - 09/24/13 02:46 AM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: rnaple]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 995
The key signature tells you where home base is. If you stopped on anything other than G, you wouldn't feel home. That's what the "tonal center" or "tonic" means. (Unless you're talking about a gin and tonic, that's something different smile ) Derulux was onto something though. They probably wrote the key signature in G major because that's the way a beginner learns keys. But there are more scales than major, which is why the question of minor came up. Based on the notes you described, it sounds like this is bluesy, and modal sounding, alternating between a mixolydian and a dorian scale. All this means is that notes of the scale are altered, usually making them "flatted" or lowered by one note. The difference between the 2 modes is the third scale degree, the B (G-1 A-2 B-3) which alternated from being normal and flatted (to B flat).

Technically, if this was written for anything other than a beginner book, you could use a key signature like C major with no sharps or flats. A player seeing that and hearing that G is the tonic would recognize that it's mainly G mixolydian or a G blues. Just like if it had 2 flats in the key signature and the tonic was still G, we would know it is in the G minor key.
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#2156623 - 09/24/13 02:52 AM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: peterws]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 995
Originally Posted By: peterws
Why not write all music in "C" and just add the sharps and flats?
That seems to make sense when you're starting out, but as you get more experienced it would actually make things harder. Once you know what key you're playing in, and are very comfortable in that key, accidentals tell you that you are playing something outside of that key. If you don't see any accidentals in a song, you can pretty much ignore 5 notes, since you'll never be playing them. And usually an accidental says you'll be playing one of those 5 notes. So for a simple example, if it's the key of C, accidentals will be black keys. No accidentals, no black keys. But if it was the key of D with no accidentals, I can ignore Fs and Cs. If I see a natural on the page, it's probably going to be an F or a C.

When I make a mistake reading something, typically the first thing out of my mouth is "What key am I in?" Once you starting thinking in keys, it does make playing much easier.
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BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
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#2157083 - 09/24/13 08:50 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: Brian Lucas]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Brian Lucas
The key signature tells you where home base is. ...

Technically, if this was written for anything other than a beginner book, you could ...


Thank you Brian. You've filled in some blanks for me.
Yes, I only know three keys. Fourth one is coming this Thur. smile

I discovered one really good thing on this song. A little sophistication for the left hand. Definitely clicked for me. Picking up playing both hands a little bit at a time.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2157105 - 09/24/13 09:39 PM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: Brian Lucas]
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 346
Loc: San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: Brian Lucas
Once you know what key you're playing in, and are very comfortable in that key, accidentals tell you that you are playing something outside of that key. If you don't see any accidentals in a song, you can pretty much ignore 5 notes, since you'll never be playing them. And usually an accidental says you'll be playing one of those 5 notes.

... Once you starting thinking in keys, it does make playing much easier.


I really like your explanation. Now my problem is, will I ever start thinking in terms of keys. Maybe I'll no longer be a beginner if I can reach that point.

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#2157234 - 09/25/13 03:37 AM Re: Really really stupid question... [Re: SoundThumb]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 995
Originally Posted By: SoundThumb
Originally Posted By: Brian Lucas
Once you know what key you're playing in, and are very comfortable in that key, accidentals tell you that you are playing something outside of that key. If you don't see any accidentals in a song, you can pretty much ignore 5 notes, since you'll never be playing them. And usually an accidental says you'll be playing one of those 5 notes.

... Once you starting thinking in keys, it does make playing much easier.


I really like your explanation. Now my problem is, will I ever start thinking in terms of keys. Maybe I'll no longer be a beginner if I can reach that point.
Definitely achievable. For me, knowing a key is not just how many sharps and flats there are, but how it feels under the fingers and what it looks like on the keys. I think of a major scale being a bunch of whole steps interrupted by a few half steps. One of the half steps is at the end of the scale, right before home base, so it's fairly easy to see. The other one, between 3 and 4 is the main one to look for. Once you can see that, it gets easier. So while playing a scale, say to yourself "Whole steps to 3, half step to 4, and then whole steps until I get back to home base". This way you're practicing the concept of a major scale and not just trying to memorize all of them.
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