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18

Sharp-keys are in some ways nicer to play than flat ones. The preference for these keys is perhaps most extreme in folk styles: going through two collections of celtic-style fiddle music, I found the distribution to be this crass: ♭♭ : 5 ♭  : 5 ♮  : 7 ♯  : 57 ♯♯ : 70 ♯♯♯: 9 In particular D major is really a great favourite. In fiddle playing, this is ...


16

Your teacher is referring to the Doctrine of Ethos which was for the Greeks, a belief that listening to a certain type of music influenced your mood or character as a person. Throughout the centuries, this belief has taken various forms - from the key of Eb used in marches for nobility, D major being joyous, C minor being introspective, D minor being "the ...


14

When you play in D minor, the scale -- that is your "palette" of notes -- is: D, E, F, G, A, B♭, and C You'll find it's not possible to play a D major chord using those notes. D major contains an F♯. The simplest way to find the chord you want is to identify its root note, then play a triad starting on that note, using only the notes in the scale. So ...


14

Music has nearly infinite potential for subtlety, and yes, drums might seem more simple on the surface, but after a few years in music school you'll be tuning drum heads every time you sit down at a snare drum, have a mallet collection that weighs 30 pounds, and enjoy discussing the relative merits of different origin rosewood on your marimba. Most people ...


12

You may want to read this Wikipedia article section, concerning harmonic minor. Short summarized, this variant of minor keys reduces the gap between 7th and octave, so that the seventh tone can be used as a leading tone similarly as in major keys.


11

All F's should be sharp unless they have accidentals.


10

You confusion is coming from mixing "common practice" harmony theory with pop music. Both of the songs you linked are in the key of D. We know this because the D chord and melody notes clearly have tonic function, meaning they are used as a harmonic "home base", and the other chords played are designed to create a tension that resolves to D. If this was a ...


10

The answer is a relatively simple answer: it is easier for the violin an cello to play in those keys because of how the strings are configured. Look at this picture of a G scale on the violin: As you can see, the G major scale fits very nicely on as the open strings notes make the scale extremely easy. Also because of the open string notes, many other ...


10

C Major is a tempting key on the piano. I would suggest trying to improvise in G Major and F Major. G Major only has 1 sharp, and F Major only has 1 flat. They're pretty easy to improvise over and since you only have 1 black key to worry about it won't be much harder than improvising in C Major. Just stick with those keys for a while, so that you can break ...


10

This depends on the circumstances, but I would suggest it is more common to write no key signature (or the best closest match like "F" if all B tends to be Bb.) especially in the case of changes that last only a few measures. Here are my reasons: 1) It's not normal for jazz music to include alot of key changes written as new key signatures. This will happen ...


9

Start playing with guitarists. They often prefer E, A and D. This means you move from purely white keys to white and black. In each there are patterns that are similar, but not exactly the same. Learn the scales that go with new keys - they are the basic notes on the menu for each new key. Often, particular bits of tunes work better to play in other keys ...


8

You should focus on chord tones and half-step resolutions. Let's assume the key of C. The 7th chords in this key: Cmaj7: C E G B Dmin7: D F A C Emin7: E G B D Fmaj7: F A C E G7: G B D F Amin7: A C E G Bmin7b5: B D F A Let's use a classic jazz example, the iimin7 | V7 | Imaj7. In C, this would be Dmin7 | G7 | Cmaj7. To ...


8

"Can you say ANYTHING that is 100% reliable about any of these musical terms?" Yes, most of the term you mentioned, "scale, key, chord, tonal, note" have proper definitions. However, an important difference between your idea of science and music theory is that music theory is descriptive rather than prescriptive. Music theory does not dictate how music ...


8

Okay, I only got a chance to listen to the first of your suggestions so far, Take the Power Back. It's interesting what you say about the relationship between major and minor, with respect to this song; there are other semitonal/chromatic relationships too. I only listened through once, but here are a few thoughts about the pitch use and harmony of this ...


8

I hope no one minds that I got curious, and did a bit of digging into this on my own. I discovered what appears to be an excellent resource answering this very question. The book is entitled Between Modes and Keys: German Theory, 1592-1802 by Joel Lester (1989). I do not have access to a copy of the book, but I've been able to see several relevant portions ...


7

The notes C, E and G played together are always a C major chord. A C major chord is always the notes C, E and G. Fret that shape on a guitar, and it's always C Major. When you play in a different key, C major's role changes. If you're playing in the key of C major, then C major is the root chord - the I. F is the fourth chord (IV) and G is the fifth ...


7

It's been a while since I played harmonica but a C won't work for sure. You'll need either a E harmonica to play first position (or Straight harp), or an A harmo to play second position (blues style). Second position (cross harp), is a fourth higher than your tonality (that's five semitones). a key chart for harmonica The first position playing sound major ...


7

This is correctly answered by @Pat Muchmore, but I wanted to elaborate a bit so you can find your own way to understand more about this notational device. I hope it helps. The key signature is a fixed set of either sharps or flats that appear immediately after the clef at the beginning of each staff. The set is fixed in the sense that they follow the ...


7

From your question, and some of your responses to comments, it sounds like you are relatively proficient playing in all the keys, and in improvising, but you find yourself modulating back towards C over the course of the improvisation, regardless of where you start. Am I interpreting you correctly? If this is indeed the case, then you may want to figure out ...


6

Consider how the key change is approached. In Bb, the chord progression is just going from I to IV and back again, i.e. Bb - Eb - Bb - Eb. The key change comes right off of one of those IV chords, so you get a movement from Eb to Eminor. This sounds like a key change up half a step, which is rather common in this genre--this hides the fact that the tonic ...


6

a) What keys can I change to from a given key? In the 21st century, it doesn't matter so much where you go, but how you get there and whether or not you want to nod to classical tradition or ignore it. I'll outline a couple of examples, but rather than make giant lists, I'll say that the key that you aim for should be musically appropriate for the ...


6

Even though you are learning the flute, I think it is worth understanding the piano keyboard, and thinking about key signatures in terms of that. It's worth experimenting with a piano, or an electronic keyboard, or even web app like this one. The white keys are the 'natural' notes A-G. The black keys are used to play sharps and flats. Notice that B flat ...


6

A key signature is a bunch of zero or more sharp or flat signs written at the beginning of each line of music (sometimes only the first line). It tells you which notes are to be raised or lowered by a semitone by default. When you start from C and play a scale of "just the names", that is C, D, E, F, G, A, B and C, without any sharps or flats you get ...


6

The basic idea on how to establish a mode is make the tonal center of the progression and melody center the tonic chord of the modal scale. For example this progression would signify C major. C - F - G - C The progression stats and ends with C and the melody to accompany this would use the notes of the C major scale that would start and end with a ...


6

To practice improvising, practice improvising. Put on a recording that's in a key you want to be able to deal with, and start seeing what you can play against it. It's going to feel awkward at first, and that's OK; remember that when you first learned to improvise in C it wasn't all that easy either. Practice makes better. (I play an instrument which is ...


5

A C Major chord always contains the same notes (C, E, G), as a major chord is a triad including a root (C), a major third over the root (E), and a perfect fifth over the root(G). These notes can be rearranged in any order or voicing, but they will still be C, E, and G. If you were playing in a different key, such as D major, there is no diatonic C chord. ...


5

It is indeed in Bb. Which means to play in a bluesy way, you have to suck more than blow. Go up a fourth and there's your answer. An Eb harp, which, when sucked, will give notes akin to Bb9. To play an ordinary melody, you'll use Bb, the key it's in. To play blues, you need to be a perfect fifth above/ perfect fourth below your existing harp key. So, blues ...


5

Mmmmm, a flat-VII cadence! One of my favorite sounds, too. See, backdoor progression aka backdoor cadence. Also called a mixolydian cadence.


5

From the Grove Online article on Mode by the late, noted musicologist Harold Powers: "[Johan Mattheson's Das neu-eröffnete Orchestre listed] the 24 major and minor keys, [which had been] first set out as a whole in 1711, only two years earlier, in Heinichen’s Neu erfundene und gründliche Anweisung … des General-Basses." Powers quotes Mattheson specifically ...


5

I'd say to write all the key changes. Average sight-readers should be able to glance at it and instantly recognize it and reposition. If you're writing accidentals then they have to check every single one. That isn't a problem for experienced sight readers, but it's still more work.



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