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Should I learn right hand first or try to learn both hands simultaneously? Do you follow any algorithm that helps you with learning new pieces? This really depends on your overall skill level, and what you're trying to achieve in learning a particular piece. If you're advanced enough so that you can read proficiently and have the technique to play ...


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Part of the problem is that beginners are trying to learn at least three different things at the same time: How to read sheet music How to play their instrument How to play the specific piece that is in front of them. If you concentrate mostly on #3, then learning #1 and #2 will be slower, and (relatively) unstructured and disorganized. You need to work ...


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There is no 'correct' way to learn a new piece. There are many good ways, but they are quite subjective. They will depend to a degree initially on how good one is at sight-reading. In fact, several of the guys I have played with over the years are so good at sight-reading, they never have to actually 'learn' pieces. If that's not a great indictment to learn ...


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Are we talking about "piano lesson" playing, or about learning songs? If the former yes, hands seperately, slowly enough to get it RIGHT (and if it isn't right, sort out why - don't just keep making the same fluffs). But if you're learning songs (which "sheet music" suggests you might be) it can be more about finding out how it "goes" and working out what ...


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I definitely agree with a lot of what Old John pointed out, but I would also like to add certain additional points that are important in my opinion when it comes to learning new pieces. First about the question of whether to learn a piece with both hands toghether first or not: I would say this actually depends on the piece/the section of the piece you ...


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There really isn't a best way of learning new pieces, at least not one that all piano teachers and pedagogues would agree on. Some insist that learning hands together is best, and others insist that learning each hand separately is better, so really it tends to boil down to which method works best for you, or which method your teacher advises. From my own ...


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Simply put you analyze the score. You need some rudimentary knowledge of non chord notes and the like. Let me give you an example to aid your comprehension. This is an excerpt from the piano piece La Romanesca by Franz Liszt. They key is a minor. In the first bar we have the melody in the right hand and the harmony in the left. The left hand jumps from A ...


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First of all, you need to find what scale the song is in (if any). This will be determined by the key signature and if it's a minor scale, there might be some accidentals. After you've found out what scale you are in, you need to see what notes are being played and make out which chord they form. For instance, you might see that the notes being played are ...


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The duration of the beat is set by the tempo marking, usually an italian word like lento, andante, vivace, etc. that you may have noticed at the beginning of musical scores. These words correspond to an approximate setting of beats per minute (bpm), that you find for example in wikipedia and is usually also marked on the scales of metronomes. But the ...


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One beat is as long as the composer says it will be. Usually signified at the beginning of a piece with 'bpm', This stands for beats per minute, so if it stated 60bpm, there would be one beat every second.A tune twice as fast would be 120bpm. No-one actually times abeats per se, but instead would use a metronome to set the speed of the piece.It's also very ...


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There is a difference between "conventional musical terms that were originally Italian" and "the Italian language". A common example is "con sordino" with a mute or "sordini" (plural) - the "correct" Italian is sordina/sordine, but most musicians either don't know or don't care whether their mutes are grammatically masculine or feminine. Another is "D.S. ...


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The architecture of Sonata Form is Theme 1 (in the tonic key), Theme 2 (in a contrasting key), Development (mess around freely with themes A and B), Theme A (tonic key), Theme 2 (modified to be also in the tonic key. There may also be an introduction, for which the technical name is "Introduction" :-) And maybe a tailpiece, wrapping up the whole piece, for ...


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Coda means "tail" in Italian. It's a tail-end part of a longer piece. A coda may be used however a composer wishes: to extend a cadence, to recapitulate some material, even to introduce new material.


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Normally it goes after a repeat with dal segno sign or to coda, it's a musical term in Italian it means go to the sign, play from the sign but don't repeat as you finished before there is a special ending or cadence to bring the music to a close. That ending is called in music nomenclature coda.


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Here's a little test of your ability to read music without a time signature. This is the theme from a piece by a very well known composer - note, I transposed it into a different key because the original key might frighten some people. Which is the correct version - 3/4 time or 4/4? (I'll add a link to the original after a day or so, to give the OP time to ...


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Why, in that case, is the bottom number required either? Use time signatures and bars if they help organize the rhythmic patterns of your music. Most composers find they do, both for musical and practical reasons - what would you prefer, "go from bar 123" or "go from the 1,103rd note"? :-)


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You can (theoretically) read a score without bar lines, and indeed bars (or measures) and bar lines, in the sense that we use today, are a relatively new invention, from the mid of 17th century. Before that, "bar" lines were not used at all, or were used only to visually divide a piece into sections or phrases. In fact if we go all the way back to Gregorian ...


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Most (Western) music divides neatly into regular sections. We call those bars. Without them, there would be no particular emphasis on the first beat of each bar, which is where the composer got the top number from. When he wrote the music, he felt it had a rhythm, and translated that into number of beats - the top number. The bottom number, as you state, ...


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Sometimes when you have F# in the key signature, it's better to use E♯ so you don't have to go through the trouble of making F natural and then making it sharp after again. Same with C♭.


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One way of thinking about it is to avoid the equal temperament trap and assuming things like G#=A♭. This is not the case. The theory side of it is based on harmonic context in which you can not have 2 of the "same" note (e.g. D♭ and D#) in one scale. For instance, the A♭m (aeolian) scale goes as such: A♭, B♭, C♭, D♭, E♭, F♭, G♭, A♭. You cannot have B♭ and B ...


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The preferred method depends on the instrument in question. The violin and the clarinet, for examples, are accustomed to playing a couple octaves' worth of ledger lines above the trebleclef. Cello parts may have a stack of ledger lines, or they may jump from bass to clef, or get annotated "8va" . I once had to explain to a music major (underclass) that, ...


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Music is fundamentally made up of intervals, which are ratios of pitches (sound frequencies). The "simpler" the ratio, as in a fraction with smaller numbers, the more consonant the interval. For example: the perfect octave is 2:1, the perfect fifth is 3:2, major third is 5:4, the diminished fourth is 32:25. To produce music, we chain the intervals together, ...


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Another way is to use ledger lines. Ledger lines and different clefs (by octave or other transposition) are all common. One (supposedly) uses whatever is easiest to read. A related complication is that some instruments are transposing; what you read (native to that instrument) isn't the note that sounds. (A clarinet or trumpet plays what that instrument ...


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Another option is to use a transposed G or F clef:


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You can write the Octave Sign that can indicate octave up or down for the really high and low notes. So for instance you can if you want to notate a note an octave up from. So instead of this... This


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Generally, the pitch is fixed. However, if you are playing music for other instruments, there may be some justification for adjusting pitches. For example, guitar is usually written one octave higher than it is played (when written correctly, an 8 below the clef indicates the shift). However, its bass notes tend to have an "unmuddier" sound than that of ...


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In writing for the violin family, a small circle also means harmonic, which is produced by lightly touching the string enough to stop it vibrating but not enough to play the note. Sometimes the string is stopped lower down as well, in order to play a different range of harmonics.


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You're asking quite an advanced question to which there can be many different answers, all true; the idea is the harmonic context. As the man said, in a scale there is A B C♯ D E F♯ G♯ A. Now clearly that last G♯ couldn't be A♭, because the scale demands that the note before the top A, be a G. But if it's a normal G, the scale doesn't come out right. So we ...


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Standard sheet music specifies the octaves quite precisely. The lowest line in the treble clef, for example, is E4 (the E in the fourth octave): Ledger lines can also be added above and below the staves to extend their range, and you might sometimes see 8va written above or below certain notes to indicate that they should be played an octave higher or ...


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NReilingh gave a good general-case answer. I'll give you a specific case just to demonstrate that the concept is useful. First consider a C major chord. C-E-G, right? Then you make it into a minor chord by flattening the third, to get C-E♭-G. So far, so good. Now, consider an A♭ major chord: it's spelled A♭-C-E♭. But what happens when ...


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B and Cb are different notes. One is a kind of B and the other is a kind of C. Information about harmony is contained both in the note name and any accidental alterations to it — C to any kind of E is a third, and C to any kind of F is a fourth, and those intervals have different meanings, even if they sound "the same". And these pitches are only the same ...


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If all you're given is chords, then you don't really have enough information to go on to answer that question. It's up to you to pick the chord inversions/voicings and decide how high or low to play them, and so on. One simple way to play that Dm, for example, might be to play D4-F4-A5 in the right hand and D3 in the left hand. The C would be C4-E4-G4 ...


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Yes the bass is generally played with the left hand on the keyboard, when played with 2 hands. I think your question is very general because these rules can always be broken, i.e,. the chords can be played in the right hand and the melody played with the left, but allow me to clarify something. The bass isn't necessesarily dependent on the hand you play it ...



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