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29

D's central position in Wicky-Hayden layout is an artifact of the fact that Dorian mode is a symmetric scale (its descending interval pattern and ascending interval pattern are the same) in some tunings, including the twelve tone equal temperament (and it's the only such diatonic mode). Even though I'm sure this mathematical property of Dorian mode has been ...


27

It is common to use notes that are not in the scale to add color. It's called chromaticism, from the ancient Greek word for color. Think how composers use a G# instead of a G in A minor, for example as a part of an E chord. A semitone creates more tension and the tendency of G# to resolve to (go to) A is more powerful. This is called a chromatic approach ...


25

The sharps and flats are always "added" in a particular order. So, if you know how many there should be for a key, you can work out what they are. The mnemonics you refer to can help you to remember the order sharps and flats are added in. To be honest, though, I tell music pupils of mine, that learning key-signatures by using mnemonics is only partially ...


24

One option if you're primarily interested in representing the individual digits of pi is to use a representation in a base other than 10. For example pi base 12 would have an individual digital for each chromatic note. Here's a website that might help get you started: http://www.virtuescience.com/pi-in-other-bases.html


21

If you're looking for a magic number upon which scales are based, take a look at 1.5. That's the ratio of an interval called a pure fifth. It's also called a just fifth; the terms are interchangeable. (They are not necessarily the same as a perfect fifth, however. And if you're wondering why they're called fifths at all, don't get hung up on that just yet. ...


17

The reason there are multiple names for notes is that the same note may function differently in different contexts. If you just play a single note with no context, then it could have a multitude of different names. For example if you played the note in between F and G you could call it F# or Gb or more obscurely E## or Abbb. They are all valid names and are ...


15

There are big differences between those two scales. The C major scale consists of the following notes: C D E F G A B The C minor scale consists of the following notes: C D Eb F G Ab Bb 3 of the 7 notes of the scale are different so it is not a small difference. It sounds to me like you need to take ear training classes. Ear training can make you ...


14

"First it's G major, and then down to E minor, and then straight to B major(?) then back to A minor and to G major again." No. As Tim pointed out, this piece is firmly in E minor. The key signature is the first hint - one sharp indicates either G major or E minor. The fact that the piece starts with an Eminor chord is the second clue. (The upbeat starts ...


13

The number 10 doesn't necessarily map well to values in traditional musical theory. (For instance, there are 12 chromatic pitches per octave, using conventional divisions of the octave; diatonic scales have seven pitches; note durations are related as powers or negative powers of 2). So, for this reason, the world is your oyster! I guess you can choose any ...


12

Your fallacy here is in thinking that "people with much less talent than myself are considered stronger musicians just because they know the "right" fingerings?" Listen more closely to what you have actually been told: "they say that the fingerings are an absolute must." Unless you've left something out, they never actually said you are a worse musician for ...


12

Nope! It's not necessarily a mismatch. The major or minor quality of the key a song is in is only one of many, many qualities that determine its emotion. It gets to the point that a major song can be very sad, and a minor song can be very happy, depending on the context. For concrete examples, "Last Train Home" by the Pat Metheny group (listen on Spotify) ...


12

He is referring to the harmonic minor scale. Each minor scale has three variations: The Natural Minor - the exact notes of the relative major: C Major: CDEFGABC A Minor: ABCDEFGA The Harmonic Minor - Used for harmony in Western Classical, as it better implies a resolution from the V - I, since it involves the leading tone, which has a ...


12

You can build chords on any scale. You would build chords the same way you build them in the typical major and minor scales. You would take a root note of any scale degree and add the 3rd above the root and the 5th above the root and you get your chord. I'll use the example you've given that is based on the different minors. In A natural minor you have ...


11

"Is the song key is C Major or A Minor?" This piece is in d dorian. "How to find out if it's C Major or A Minor?" There are no accidentals at the beginning of the staff which could apply to both C major or A minor. But apart from the diatonic scales, there are also modes, and this happens to be in d dorian mode. The only way to really tell what ...


11

I would analyze it as follows: Em D is indeed E minor. Since you go from D back to Em, it has a "modal" feel - Aeolian or Dorian. In a diatonic E minor scale, I'd expect to see a d# somewhere. (Not saying that you should, it sounds fine) C G Still in e minor. As you repeat it more often, it might start to sound like G major (the relative major of E ...


11

This system is the result of the specific historical evolution of Western music notation. The five-line staff was not the first try at writing down the pitches being used in European music. The first systems were just mnemonic, consisting of neumes (squiggles, basically) drawn above the words of a religious text, much like the cantillation symbols that ...


10

What you mean is not a change of scale, but rather a change of key. A change of key is called a modulation. Modulation is usually established by a full cadence into the new key. If a piece in G major modulates to D major, then you'd expect to see a progression of D | G | A | D which would be I IV V I in the new key of D major. Sometimes you won't find ...


10

We could call this an A7add11 arpeggio. (Or, more accurately, the notes from an A7add11 chord.) Although this is still a set of five pitches, it is no longer a pentatonic scale in the traditional sense; one feature of the related diatonic major and minor pentatonic scales, which are in common usage, is that they do not contain any semitone intervals. ...


10

This chord progression is extremely common in a lot of rock, pop and R&B music and is usually called bVI–bVII–I (where the b's are flat signs). In other words, the A major triad is generally taken as defining A major as the overriding key, but the preceding chords are taken to be major triads built on the lowered sixth and seventh scale degrees. Bob ...


9

One could equally say that G#/Ab is also 'central'.I guess that looking at a keyboard,each is valid. But a violin, a guitar, a sax., a trumpet? In written music, one could argue that D is in fact not central, as C takes that position, being in the exact middle of the treble and bass clefs.Symmetry is co-incidental, and not that important, otherwise all ...


9

There isn't any hard and fast rule. The first thing is that the key signature narrows it down to two keys. So, for example, if there are no sharps or flats in the key signature, the key is either C major or A minor. Most of the time, the first few measures in the piece will establish whether you're in the major or minor key. Beethoven's 5th symphony is a ...


9

You can play any diatonic or modal melodies on white keys only, but anything beyond extremely basic harmonies will require the use of more than seven pitch classes (ABDCEFG). Of course, a virtual piano played on a computer keyboard is extremely limited to begin with, so perhaps playing melodies is all you're interested in. To play a diatonic or modal ...


8

The link I posted in the comments gave a good explanation on how chords resolve best in a major key and I will reiterate that and explain in general what is preferred in an progression. Let's start out with common tones as touched on by user2808054. I will be using C major as an example, but also put the Roman numerals so it may be reproduced in any major ...


8

I would recommend that first of all, you define 'happy', because it means many different things to different people. Here's an exercise I'd use to find out what to do in your own music Find examples of the mood you're trying to set. Write down as much as you can about the tempo, the instrumentation, possibly the scales and types of chords used(from sheet ...


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

That notation (1 b3 4 b5 5 b7) is used to relate a scale to the major (ionian) scale. It shows which scale degrees should be flattened or sharpened (and by how much) relative to the major scale. So, you should start with E major scale, not E minor or E phrygian (natural notes from E to E: E F G A B C D). E major scale is of course 1=E 2=F# 3=G# 4=A 5=B 6=C# ...


8

Good question. I've wondered about this before too. For example, in my answer to this question I used D as my central note in the table, because its half way between the sharp keys and the flat keys. Similarly, the Dorian scale is symmetric so that it is its own inversion -- sort of a musical palindrome (WHWWWHW). Also Sir Issac Newton recognized this ...


8

Two modes are parallel if they share the same tonic. That is, D Major, D Minor, D Dorian, and D Mixolydian are all parallel modes. Using a parallel mode will cause a chromatic alteration to your usual key signature. For example, Dorian uses #6 and Phrygian uses b2 (when compared to a minor key or Aeolian mode), while Mixolydian uses b7 and Lydian uses #4 ...


8

Just to be cautious in case someone is misled by the sharp on the G to think the F should be sharp, and also to be sure it is not confused with the melodic minor, which has an F# on the way up.


7

Sorry, but I have to chime in after all this time. The answers given here, while accurate, convey none of the most critical distinctions, nor of how modes sound to the ear in a way different from scales. And how things sound is what music is all about. Otherwise you may as well describe the difference between, say, Leonardo Da Vinci and Claude Monet by ...



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