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34

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 ...


26

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 ...


25

A lot of the benefit is in how you practice them. If done mindfully and effectively, playing scales can give you a way to focus your practice on the building blocks that make up most of the music you play. Don't think of scales as a series of notes. Instead, think of them as the foundation pieces that music is built around. Here are some examples of ...


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


22

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. ...


18

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

In addition to the other answers, I believe it improves the ability to simplify the music in your mind. Researchers studied the memory of chess experts and found they could recall the positions of almost all the pieces when placed in positions typical of a game, but did no better than amateurs when the pieces were placed randomly. For me, at least, the ...


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

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 ...


12

The last chord harmony of most pieces give a feeling of ending. (It would, wouldn't it - otherwise the piece goes on, potentially).With no key signature, shown, a piece could be in C major or A minor. This last chord gives a big clue as to which key the writer thinks it's in. The presence of G#, showing usually a V-I cadence is also a good clue, except that ...


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 ...


11

There are many different ways to approach playing bass and depending on what style you are trying to go for it may be all you need to fill the sound. I'll explain a few simple styles and techniques that can spice up a bass line. Octaves Rather simple, but effective. Your still playing only the root note, but changing the octave is a very simple and ...


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 ...


10

That blues note is nebulous. It can be, and is, anywhere between a minor 3 and a major 3. Listen to blues players, and you'll hear it bent fully from min. to maj., or just hinted at with a tiny flick from minor upwards. The listener probably completes the bend in his mind's ear. It sometimes gets played as a straight major that gets wobbled down to minor and ...


9

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 ...


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 ...


9

F# minor isn't different from any other scale. Natural minor: F# G# A B C# D E F# That's your standard minor scale, with the same key signature as an A Major (which is of course F#'s relative major). Harmonic minor: F# G# A B C# D E# F# The natural minor with the 7th note raised by a half-step (the E becomes an E#, or a natural F). Melodic minor ...


9

Yes, it's the 5th mode of melodic minor, and it's usually called Mixolydian b6 or Mixolydian b13. Other names for this scale, in my opinion slightly less fortunate, are Aeolian Dominant or Hindu scale. You can find even a few more obscure names for it in the article linked above. However, in a jazz context I've only come across the name Mixolydian b6 (or ...


9

Theoretically, yes there are five modes that can be derived from the major pentatonic scale and they would be named the same way the other modes contained in the major scale. Let's look at the relative modes instead of parallel as it is slightly easier to see the patter. The C major pentatonic scale consists of the following notes: C, D, E, G, A ...


8

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 ...


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 ...



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