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43

You can divide up the octave however you want, but it turns out that doing what you suggest doesn't really make good sounding music, at least to our western ears. It all has to do with overtones and pleasant ratios of pitches. An interval sounds consonant to us when the ratio of the frequencies is mathematically simple. It causes the waveforms line up and ...


19

The reason is that dividing an octave into 12 notes sounds the best for a very mathematical reason! The frequency of each semi-tone is 21/12 away from its neighbours. Note C × ? Fraction Note C × ? Fraction C 1 1/1 C 2 2/1 C♯/D♭ 1.059 18/17 B 1.888 17/9 D 1.122 9/8 A♯/B♭ 1.782 ...


15

Not particularly true! I've just sold a grand in mahogany. However, one of my theories could cover grands as well as guitars. I feel that if a solid guitar is made from a good looking, well grained piece(s) of wood, it's best just to lacquer it, so the good looks come through. If it's not that good - use a solid colour on it, and nobody will know! Grand ...


11

I think your question is largely about the chosen notation for the Western system, which most answers haven't really addressed. The notation we have is actually pretty natural and logical, for a simple reason: there are twelve different notes in the Western system, but only a subset of these -- seven, in fact -- are used in a given scale such as the major ...


11

Contrary to that, when going to classical concerts, I've never seen grand pianos other than black. This is likely to follow the convention of 'concert black' attire. In more formal concerts, musicians will uniform to sharp monochrome colors typically white tuxes, black bowtie, with black pants or black skirts, black shoes. The piano then fits that ...


9

Most of the answers here appear to be focusing on why we ended up with a seven note scale in western music. This is a great area of inquiry; however, it is worth noting that whatever the answer to this question, the seven note scale is a fundamentally arbitrary product of Western culture. Dissonance and harmony are culturally relative. The idea of the ...


9

Though some cite aesthetic reasons for a piano's color, it actually has nothing to do with appearance, but rather economy. Before Bartolomeo Cristofori invented the first piano at the turn of the 18th century, there existed several predecessors; chief among them, the clavichord, which I will discuss in greater detail in a moment. Up until the development ...


8

The answer to the question "was the diatonic scale designed to make pianos easier to play" is clearly "no", because the diatonic scale precedes the invention of the piano by some thousands of years. Remember, for the vast majority of the history of music, it was not played on keyboard instruments. It was played on wind or string instruments. If you want to ...


7

That is a trill, not a mordent. It actually starts on the upper auxiliary. The table below is from the Clavier-Büchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, i.e., it is Bach's own. You can read more about it here. This a duplicate of this question.


5

There is no deep reason. Western "folk music" often only used 5-note scales (approximately C D E G A in modern notation). The song "Amazing Grace" is a well known example. There have been experiments with more notes per octave - 19, 31, and 43 all work quite nicely. People have built playable keyboards for those, and other systems. There are some pictures ...


5

Look what the score is doing: you have an oscillation rising from F♯ in the initial RH part, moving up to C♯, but artfully dodging A♯. At the same time, you have an accompaniment that consists largely of the fifth D-A alternating with the auxiliary notes E-G. The entire section is acting like an elaboration of a D major chord in a kind of quasi-Lydian ...


4

Doing something unintentionally is always a sign of poor technique, muscle weakness, or some related issue. If you cannot avoid rolling your chords it is likely that you are playing too fast or ahead of your skill level — you're starting into the chord before your hand has fully assumed the correct position to just press down. You might try ...


4

The mainstay chords for most standard pop songs are I, IV and V. The minors are sometimes used - ii, iii and vi. The 7th chord, a dim., isn't put into a lot of songs. All these start as triads, and can have extra notes played with those 3. The most common is a 7th, although 9ths, sus 2 and 4, and 6ths work well. Alongside those are chords from the parallel ...


4

I'm not sure in this context if that is playing the piece 'wrong' or within the bounds of personal playing style? The short answer is "depends on who you ask," as is so often the case. Compare the beginning of these two performances of Chopin's Ballade No. 3. The first is Rubinstein, and the second is Paderewski, both Polish pianists (Rubinstein used ...


4

You're unlikely to see a classical piano concert with a piano that is anything but black. One of the reasons is that 95% of all concert pianists are Steinway Artists. Another reason is that black Steinways are the least expensive. A Steinway artist has to have a performing career, agrees to feature the words "Steinway Piano" on his programs, and agrees to ...


4

Use the sustain pedal and get the right hand out of the way. Alternately, you could make the executive decision to drop the B and E in the right hand; given that those pitches are already present in the left hand and will be coming in immediately on the next eighth note, this would be an almost unnoticeable change.


4

Yes, indeed. Computer programs for doing this have been around for more than 30 years. But to help your son with his timing, you don't want to record and display audio waveforms, and you don't want to have a computer program transcribe his recorded playing into standard music notation (there are certainly programs that can do this, but this will be of ...


4

It's 4 octaves + C: CDEFGAB CDEFGAB CDEFGAB CDEFGAB CDEFGAB C. You count 4 octaves from the starting note and add the starting note again: C1-C2 (first octave), C2-C3 (second), C3-C4(third), C4-C5(fourth), C5-C6(fifth), as above. The first example you provided: CDEFGAB CDEFGAB CDEFGAB CDEFGAB CDEFGAB is 5 octaves minus a minor second. The second example: ...


4

The key you are defines the harmony, what chords you naturally have access to, and what the tonic is From a single chord alone you cannot determine for sure either the key or the tonic especially a minor chord which doesn't have as strong as a pull towards other chords like for say a dominant chord would. There are a few possibilities of what key you are in ...


3

When there's no vocals, the r.h. needs to play the melody. It may well put chords in under this, but the l.h. takes on the job of bass line and chords, often. As soon as a vocal line is sung, there's no need for the r.h. to play the melody, as that's taken care of - unless it's doubled up, or harmonised. So the r.h. can take over chords, and other ...


3

Before I talk about cool-down exercises-- I'd be wary in your situation as you describe your feelings as "sore" and "uncomfortable". After a good practice session, you may feel a general sense of tiredness, but you should NEVER have pain or even soreness. Robert Schumann invented a device to "stretch" his fingers and ended up with an irreversible hand injury ...


3

There is a scale using tones all the way - it's called a whole tone scale. Just as there's a scale using semitones - a chromatic scale. Going with your idea of extra black keys - there's no need to change the width of the white ones, a couple of extra blacks would fit in the same way as they do between the existing whites. Trouble is, the pattern is then ...


3

Check out the Frank Mantooth book Voicings for Jazz keyboard. He gives some excellent worked examples, and the section on fractional dominant chords is an eye opener. That chapter alone lets you voice II-V-I progressions with gorgeous voicings for the V chord. Use this book to spell chords so they don't sound triadic and twee - but instead sound quartal and ...


3

Most of the other answers address the instruments' ranges. While it is true that the piano has an exceptional range, that by itself is only a very small part of a piano's value. Most music, especially pop and folk music, doesn't use the piano's full range. Neither does beginner music, or most intermediate music. Instead, the piano's biggest value is that ...


3

I have no idea what Bartok was thinking when he wrote this, but one way to create something similar would be: 1. Start with a "big idea". In this case, "hey, what happens if the left hand plays the white keys and the right hand the black keys". (OK, that's not quite accurate because the right hand plays the white key B, but you get the idea). 2. Figure out ...


2

Adding my answer from software recommendations to this thread: Check out 'Pitch' on the apple app store: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id989140910?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo=6 It shows random notes and listens for the note you play. You get a point for each right note. Here is the website: http://www.practicemakesperfect.education You can change clef and key ...


2

I never took classical piano lessons, but it does help to a degree. It helps with sight reading, should you ever decide to sit in a session and everyone are reading charts arranged for originals, etc. It helps with basic chords. Mostly Major and minor triads in different inversions, with different bass notes from the same chord. (typical feature in classical ...


2

I totally understand what you are after. When I first learned guitar, I just played the basic chords of the song with a strumming pattern that worked. My playing was okay, but I noticed that when more experienced guitar players played the same songs with the same chords, the arrangement sounded far more interesting and musical. Eventually I discovered ...


2

Three musical intervals are special: the octave, the perfect fifth, and the perfect fourth. If one plays a note and its first three harmonics, the intervals among those pitches will be an octave, a fifth, and a fourth. Scales tend to sound good if some of their notes have intervals of perfect or near-perfect fifths or fourths between them. A perfect fifth ...


2

I'm having some of the same issues with Rachmaninoff's arrangement of Kreisler's Liebenslied. The piece isn't particularly fast like Pathetique, however I'm forced to roll across 14ths with fairly small hands so the same principles apply. What I've found incredibly helpful was making up ludicrously difficult exorcises that take the same concepts that make ...



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