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#993942 - 06/20/05 08:05 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
Ancient Upright Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 384
Thanks, that's a load off! Some of those comments were really confusing! \:D
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#993943 - 06/20/05 08:10 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Heh, I get a bit excited some times and just spew out information!
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Sam

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#993944 - 06/20/05 08:15 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
Ancient Upright Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 384
Yeah, I could tell. But you're good at explaining. ;\)

Another guy replied with about a page of information all in one paragraph. Nothin wrong with that, but, ya know, it's hard to read all that stuff.
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Remember, I'm pullin for you, we're all in this together
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#993945 - 06/21/05 10:39 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
pianocliff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 398
Loc: Washington, DC Metro
Ancient,

Try experimenting by playing some major or minor scales on the keyboard. You have to "hear" the differences to really appreciate them.

Play any major scale:
Let's choose C Major for convience.
PLAY>>C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C

Now play it's Natural Minor:
Remember how to go from Major to minor scales?
The minor scale is related to a major scale
that is 3 half-steps higher. Find this scale
and then play it. For C minor to find it's
related major add 3 half-steps (C#,D,Eb) so
it's related to Eb Major which has 3 flats,
Bb, Eb, and Ab. How did I know that? By
memorizing the Circle of fifths. Neat eh?
Also note that I chose Eb and not D#, why?
Because E is a third higher than C, D is only
a second. If you always choose the letter
that's a third away you won't have problems
with enharmonic spellings.

PLAY>> C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C

Harmonic Minor:
Now take the natural minor scale you created
and raise the 7th degree by a half-serp, you
are now playing a "harmonic" minor scale.

PLAY>> C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-B-C

Melodic Minor:
Play the natural minor again but on the way up
(ascending) raise the 6th and 7th degrees of
the scale. One the way down just play a
regular natural minor again. This is the
"melodic" minor scale. It is the only scale
that is played differently on the way up then
on the way down.

PLAY>> C-D-Eb-F-G-A-B-C (Ascending)
PLAY>> C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C (Descending)

Hopefully someone will correct me if I did this wrong. Remember to use your EAR, just knowing
this stuff intellectually is not enough. What
do your ears tell you about each of these scales?
How do they sound? How do they make you feel?
Try to improvise a melody using the notes from
these scales.


Hope this helps,

~pianocliff

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#993946 - 06/21/05 10:59 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
CliffNotes version of Cliff's notes... \:D

Play: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C (that's the major scale)

Play: C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C (that's the minor scale)

Hear how they sound different?


Some other types of minor scales:

Play: C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-B-C (that's the harmonic minor scale)

Play: C-D-Eb-F-G-A-B-C (that's the melodic minor scale)

Play: C - Bb - Ab - G - F - Eb - C - D (that's both a melodic and a natural minor scale)


Just for fun:

Play: C D E F# G# A# C (that's a whole-tone scale (a.k.a. Debussy Scale))

Play: C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C (that's a chromatic scale)

Hear how they all sound different?
_________________________
Sam

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#993947 - 06/21/05 11:03 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
Ancient Upright Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 384
Wow, Pianojerome, you made that whole page seem so simple! ;\) (No offense Cliff, but you got to admit he's got a talent!)

But, unfortunately, I'm away from my piano right now, so I can't play those things you told me.
_________________________
Remember, I'm pullin for you, we're all in this together
-From a TV Show

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#993948 - 06/21/05 11:37 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
pianocliff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 398
Loc: Washington, DC Metro
His synopsis skills never cease to amaze me... \:D


~pianocliff

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#993949 - 06/21/05 11:42 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
Ancient Upright Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 384
You got that right! :p
_________________________
Remember, I'm pullin for you, we're all in this together
-From a TV Show

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#993950 - 06/21/05 06:37 PM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
beandoc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 52
Loc: Victoria, BC
RE: different scales for different purposes.... \:\(

Here's a fun one that works for transitions between musical phrases -- the diminished scale.

It goes

tone - semitone - tone - semitone and so one

C diminished scale
C-D-Eb-F-F#-G#-A-B-C

If you recall that Cdim chord is the same as Ebdim, Gbdim, and Adim, you'll then realize that you can use this scale over any of those 4 chords. You will also see that there are, in total, only 3 diminished scales, I think!!

Cheers,

J
_________________________
John, Eh

"Remember, wherever you go, there you are" -- Buckaroo Bonzai

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#993951 - 06/22/05 07:33 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
Jamie D. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 102
Loc: Louisville, Ky
AU,
Do you hear the difference between the minor and Major scales and/or pices that you have played that are in Major and relative minor keys?

I had the same problem before I took theory and fully got an understanding of it. I was one of those that played the notes on the page...

So hearing the difference?

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#993952 - 06/22/05 10:30 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
Ancient Upright Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 384
Eeks, Jamie. \:\(

I'm not usually near my piano when I'm reading these boards, so I haven't gotten a chance to listen to them.
_________________________
Remember, I'm pullin for you, we're all in this together
-From a TV Show

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#993953 - 06/22/05 02:14 PM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
Jamie D. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 102
Loc: Louisville, Ky
Ok,
I mean in the next time you have time to sit down with the info you have gotten here- i.e. pianocliff and the circle of fifths- and the Major/minor difference- compare that info to some of the peices you have learned. If you can find some pieces in relative keys- i.e. C Major/ a minor, or G Major and e minor, etc... compare and play them to see if you can hear the difference in mood darkness rather than brightness as far as color-while still utilizing the same keys (although in a different manner altogether)on the keyboard.
Look back on what you have learned so far. Look for Pieces with no sharps or flats. Then look for some with 1 sharp, then some with 1 flat, etc...
hint- this has probably been already mentioned: for the minor key sig. a telltale sign is for extra sharps (or flats) written in. Play the ones with identical key signatures against each other. Make note of what you are hearing. References to a lot of Dominant chords- root=key name triad for C major= C E G. If you see a lot of C's Chances are it's in C Major. BUT: if it's in e minor, and you see a lot of references to e and a lot of triads constructed of e c and g, you are most likely in e minor, but with no key signature. Same goes for G malor- G b and d, the triad for the key of G. but if you are in the key of e minor, you will see a lot of e g b chords and a lot of accidentals- or sharping of d. Usually, for AB music purposes: a good sign of a minor key- the accidental (s) will happen in the third note and second-to last note (most common) of the scale.
Major: do re mi fa sol la ti do
minor: do re me fa sol la te do

The illusion for a moment will be to make the key you are in "sound" for a moment like you are in it's relative major key. Mostly for mood and general feel.

Sorry if I am re-hashing what others have already posted...
I mean well, you know.

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#993954 - 06/23/05 12:54 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3476
Loc: not in Japan anymore
I always find it hard to talk about chords and keys without a specific piece to reference. And I'm pretty sloppy about knowing the names of each key and what their signature is, I always just check the key sig for the piece. But I do pay attention to whether something is in a major or minor key, because I feel like that should guide my playing a lot.

So can we do another summing up thing here? Please correct me where needed!

1) Every major key has a "companion" minor key, which shares the same key sig. (i.e the same sharps or flats)

2) There are three different kinds of minor keys (which determines where and how the accidentals appear) but only one kind of major key.

3) In the key sig, sharps or flats always appear in the same order. If there is only one sharp, it's always going F#, two sharps, always F# and C# (never F# and G# etc)

What else? Why are these three the only things I remember?! ack!

So, I think this was addressed above, but do you think it's important to be able to look at a key sig and say "oh, this piece is in the key of D" or whatever? I always look at a piece (the key sig and sweep my eyes over it to check for accidentals and other clues) and say "oh, this piece has 3 sharps and it's a major key" or whatever. Unless it's a famous piece (and its key is famous, like Bach's Prelude in C or Pachelbel's Canon in D) then I tend not to know/remember or care what the actual name of the key is. I just think in sharps and flats (2 flats, or one sharp etc) Is that really bad?!
_________________________
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#993955 - 06/23/05 04:26 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
I have to identify the key signature because sometimes my teacher will ask me and I don't want to be embarassed any more than ususal....like when he asks "What chord is this" or when trying to explain something "So play a G# minor chord..." \:o
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It's the journey not the destination..

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#993956 - 06/23/05 09:38 PM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sandy Moore:
I have to identify the key signature because sometimes my teacher will ask me and I don't want to be embarassed any more than ususal....like when he asks "What chord is this" or when trying to explain something "So play a G# minor chord..." \:o [/b]
I'm sure your teacher doesn't ask just to embarass you! \:D

The truth is, you really don't have to know what D Major means (or C Sharp Minor, or augmented G major triads, or anything at all). All you really have to know to play the piano is how to read the notes and how to play those notes on the keys.

But, as the saying goes, "drink deep" from the river of knowledge. It will always help.
_________________________
Sam

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#993957 - 06/24/05 05:24 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
palley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 708
Loc: Binghamton, New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sandy Moore:
I have to identify the key signature because sometimes my teacher will ask me and I don't want to be embarassed any more than ususal....like when he asks "What chord is this" or when trying to explain something "So play a G# minor chord..." \:o [/b]
I'm sure your teacher doesn't ask just to embarass you! \:D

The truth is, you really don't have to know what D Major means (or C Sharp Minor, or augmented G major triads, or anything at all). All you really have to know to play the piano is how to read the notes and how to play those notes on the keys.

But, as the saying goes, "drink deep" from the river of knowledge. It will always help. [/b]
Great post Sam!

Send it to FAQ for everyone!!
_________________________
Phil

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#993958 - 06/24/05 11:09 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
I'd like to add, also, that in addition to helping one understand how to play the music, and understanding of key signatures might also help one to appreciate the music. Just as understanding English grammar and syntax helps one to better appreciate poetry and short stories, so too does an understanding of musical "grammar" help one to better appreciate music.

As an example, I'll mention the piece I'm working on: the 1st movement of Beethoven's Sonata in F Major, Op. 10 No. 2, which is often considered somewhat of a humorous work.

This movement is divided into three general sections: The first and third sections are in F major (1 flat) and the middle section is in D minor (also 1 flat). This is nothing unusual - it's the same key signature the whole time, except the middle is minor (sad) and the rest is major (happy)... almost...

BUT... Beethoven makes a little joke out of this. Instead of starting the third section in F major, as he is grammatically supposed to, he starts it in the wrong key, D major (for 10 measures or so), and then he goes back to F major. This is totally unexpected, and a bit comical...

These 10 measures or so in D major always sounded kind of wierd to me before I looked at the key it was in. It sounded way to happy and lighthearted, even for a sonata in the happy key of F major. Then I looked at the score, and skimmed through an analysis of the work, and now it actually makes me smile a little bit.
_________________________
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#993959 - 06/24/05 12:19 PM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
pianocliff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 398
Loc: Washington, DC Metro
 Quote:

The truth is, you really don't have to know what D Major means (or C Sharp Minor, or augmented G major triads, or anything at all). All you really have to know to play the piano is how to read the notes and how to play those notes on the keys.
While this is true in the strictest sense knowing theory will help you out a lot. Consider this, many of the greatest pianists were also composers and their composition skills helped them to improvise and sight-read. Bach was especially known for his ability to apply music theory in an approach towards improvisation and it was said that he could freely improvise on the spot given an arbitrary theme.

If you memorize a piece it is certainly easier to remember "that's a broken B dimished chord" than oh that's B-D-F. Remember the 7+/-2 rule, most people can only process 7+/-2 things at a given time. Theory helps you "package" musical ideas into easier to remember pieces.

When I sight-read a piece I will often look for common chords in the key i'm playing. If I want to "fake" the left hand I can do that by changing the pattern, playing octaves and chords or arpegiated chord patterns. Unless you are gifted with the ability to "play by ear" knowing your cadences, chord substitutions (like you can use a viio in lieu of a V) and common chords will help tremendously in sight-reading, composition, transposition and harmonic understanding of the piece you are playing.


Of course I'm one of those "analytical" types so YMMV. :p

~pianocliff

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#993960 - 04/18/08 01:00 AM Re: Minors, Majors, C, E, G, does it really matter?
PMcG316 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/09/07
Posts: 3

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