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How can I find sheet music for melodies with only natural notes (i.e. with no sharps or flats). I would prefer to avoid musical notation but find sources with just "letter-names".

This is because I'm trying to learn using a virtual piano online and instead of just learning CDEFGABC notes in order I would like my fingers to memorize the keys by finger instead of in order. I cant play the black keys easily due to the virtual interface.

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closed as off-topic by Dom, Tim, Lee White, nonpop, Jason W Jul 28 at 13:07

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on identifying (or finding) a particular song, genre, instrument, etc. are off-topic since they are rarely useful to future readers." – Dom, Tim, Lee White, nonpop, Jason W
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Hello all. I nominated this for reopening, as I've edited it to make it ask about the process of finding suitable music, rather than asking for a list. –  Bob Broadley Jul 28 at 22:57

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you reduce the amount of notes you need slightly further, you will be able to avoid the monotony of playing in C Major, for every single piece you play. Many well known melodies (particularly in various types of folk music) only use Pentatonic scales, which have only five pitches. The C Major scale ("white-notes" on the piano), C D E F G A B, actually contains three Major Pentatonic scales:

  • C D E G A - C Major Pentatonic
  • F G A C D - F Major Pentatonic
  • G A B D E - G Major Pentatonic

(It also, therefore, contains three Minor Pentatonic scales, and the other modes of the Major Pentatonic scale; but it might not be necessary to know about that just yet.)

This webpage shows each of these Major Pentatonic scales, as being part of the C Major scale. It then goes on to give a number of examples of melodies using pentatonic scales. (Although these melodies are written using conventional notation, a helpful diagram in the middle of the page shows these pitches with their associated letter names and solfege notation.)

As other comments and answers have pointed out (here and with your other question), you can transpose pentatonic melodies that are not in one of these keys, in just the same way as is possible with Diatonic melodies; however, in this case, you have the option of transposing into any of the three keys listed above.

Having the possibility of three different keys, to play pentatonic melodies in, helps you in one very important way, too. Some tunes may have the tonic as the lowest note; others may have notes both above and below the tonic. In the latter case, it may not be possible to play such a melody using C Major Pentatonic on your "virtual-piano", but it may be possible to play it in one of the other two keys. (As, I'm guessing, your virtual piano has only an octave range.)

There are many resources available online with pentatonic melodies. On the first Google page alone I found this, this and this. (The first is a list of songs, requiring you to do a little more research of your own, to find sheet music for these tunes; the third is a page linking to resources on many other websites.)

Finally, a few thoughts about the way you are intending to play music (which echo the answers and comments elsewhere on this page).

  • You will be very restricted as to the music you can play, if you only use the notes of a C Major scale.
  • Learning to use conventional musical notation will open up a world of new music (and musical understanding) to you; using letter-names is very restrictive (and restricts the resources you can use).
  • Playing single line melodies on your "virtual-piano" will do very little to help you learn the technique used to play the piano.
  • Using a "virtual-piano", you are missing several fundamental aspects of piano music and playing: playing with both hands (which creates chords, music in more than one part, harmony…); dynamics (louder and softer notes); and, of course, music with the full chromatic range (which this post is all about, I guess!)

Although I initially thought about voting to close this question, I figured you have shown enthusiasm, for finding solutions to overcome a number of restrictions, in order to make music; this can only be a good thing! However, I hope you use this current experience with a "virtual-piano", to lead you onto playing a real keyboard or piano. If you can beg, steal or borrow even a keyboard with a few octaves of keys, you will (I hope), both be really excited by the extra musical possibilities it offers, and understand more fully the comments made by others on this page.

Good luck!

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thank you for the wealth of information and for not closing th question. looks like it has info i'm interested in and will get cracking on it. The site list is amazing and don't think I would have discovered by myself as this is the first I've heard of a pentatonic scale. I will take your advice about learning musical notation to heart as you're right about it limiting my options. –  user1278255 Jul 27 at 12:24
No problem - glad to help! Many beginner piano books start with pentatonic melodies, as they don't require learning so many notes to start with - and, they usually don't introduce sharps and flats initially, so they use the pentatonics in the keys of C, F and G. My 7-year-old son has this book at the moment: amazon.co.uk/Thompsons-Easiest-Piano-Course-Part/dp/0711954291/… It has some pentatonic pieces. –  Bob Broadley Jul 27 at 12:29

Playing a piano by only using white keys is rather like having a guitar and learning after taking some of the strings off! They are an intrinsic part of a piano ! If that particular virtual piano has awkward to play black notes, sorry, it's not that good.Find a better one.Yes, most people learn on the white notes first, partly because they're all in a nice straight line, but partly because at the beginning the music is simpler without sharps and flats. However, it's not long before those need to come into play. What do you do then ? You'll use the black notes as reference points if nothing else - D is always between the two blacks, etc.

Apart from that, this site seems to be unhappy with lists. Almost any tune containing just diatonic notes is able to be played on white notes - key of C major and A natural minor, and loads of sheet music sites will have key change facilities, so you can change a tune to being in C.But - there are equally loads of tunes out there, in C which will have to use a black note at some point. As you will, when you realise that music often sounds more interesting with 'odd' notes included.

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While this post is useful, it's not an answer to the question. I think you're better off posting this as a comment. –  Lee White Jul 27 at 9:07
I'm trying to help by looking beyond the immediate problem, which seems to be the virtual piano itself. Lists of songs in C are readily available elsewhere, and MP&P will probably disallow this plea for a list.The actual answer to the question in the OP's first sentence is yes, but that's not much help. –  Tim Jul 27 at 10:12
The reasons im still using THIS virtual piano is that it has the most keys, has a finger layout i've attuned to and also that ive seen youtube videos of people playing songs like youtube.com/… Heart wil go on using only white keys –  user1278255 Jul 27 at 12:35
Looks like the keys themselves are rather small.How does one play the notes? –  Tim Jul 27 at 13:28

look for the key of the song if it is in C major then the cdefgabc are in it that's ignoring if the song has a blues note or any other form of playing outside the scale. Strictly major scale! not harmonic minor or anything else.

edit: or the A minor scale

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