topo morto
  • Member for 6 years, 11 months
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What do 'vent holes' do on a music stand?
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77 votes

They save weight. They don't save a large percentage of the overall weight of the stand, but they make it less top-heavy and therefore more stable when raised high or angled back a long way. Just to ...

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Will playing without mistakes at all become easy for me in the future?
62 votes

If your aim is to record smooth performances without having to do too many takes, the simple answer to that is to perform pieces that are comfortably within your capabilities, rather than pieces where ...

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What does play with feeling mean?
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51 votes

So my only conclusion is that they didn't want me to play what was on the page. Correct. Standard notation is very flexible, but it often only allows for an approximation of how the piece might be ...

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Why is there no indication of relative loudness on sheet music?
46 votes

There are lots of indications - explicit loudness markings (from ppp, pianississimo - very very soft - to fff - fortississimo - very very loud). crescendo and diminuendo marks (which can be textual ...

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Why do E♯ and F♮ not sound the same (according to Wikipedia)?
45 votes

I think this particular phrasing is rather confusing, as it is trying to talk about two concepts at the same time: enharmonic equivalence, and intonation. The concept of intonation (and temperament, ...

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Why don't "classical" stringed instruments mark their note positions?
39 votes

With many string instruments, it's seen as a bad thing to need to look at the fingerboard - often, it's desirable to be able to play the instrument by feel. This is essential if you're reading music ...

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Why can any song can be played starting from any note?
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36 votes

This is because most people have a sense of relative pitch, so as you say, as long as the intervals (tone distances) are kept the same, the piece of music is recognisable. Think about how we ...

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Can one tell by ear whether a bowed instrument is being played up or down?
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33 votes

It's easiest for the player to put downward pressure on the instrument string when the bow is making contact with the string near the end that the player holds (the 'frog' end). This means that on a ...

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Is CD audio quality good enough for the final delivery of music?
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31 votes

Tentatively: Yes. As medium for final delivery, I've not yet seen any strong evidence that a well-designed 16-bit, 44,100 Hz system can be significantly improved on as a vehicle for listening to the ...

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How can I learn to compose?
31 votes

Don't get hung up on 'learning theory' or 'not learning theory'. What you want to do is gain knowledge about music, so you can use that knowledge to produce music. In the field of music, some of that ...

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A chord is three notes? What do you call just two notes?
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31 votes

From my experience, there is no one 'best' term for two notes played together that is universally (or near-universally) agreed-on. dyad is the most specific term for a pair of pitches sounding ...

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Why don't organs have weighted keys?
30 votes

A piano doesn't have weighted keys to "feel premium", but because the hammer is part of how the piano works. The hammer isn't part of how an organ works, so it doesn't have weighted keys. the ...

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Does octave not matter when tuning?
30 votes

Why does it not matter what octave you're tuning to? If you want to set a string to a certain pitch, of course it does matter what octave you adjust the string to. Setting a string to A3 (220Hz) is ...

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What are the four chords that so many pop songs are based on?
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29 votes

This chord progression is common enough to have a Wikipedia page: I–V–vi–IV progression The 'axis of awesome' video you refer to is talking specifically about those chords in that particular order - ...

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Is it better practice to read straight from sheet music rather than memorize it?
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28 votes

Very simply, playing a song from memory is one very useful skill, whilst being able to sight read is another very useful skill. It sounds like you have a wise teacher who is giving you a balanced ...

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Why can I easily sing or whistle a tune I've just heard, but not as easily reproduce it on an instrument?
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27 votes

Voice is an 'instrument' that many people learn in almost an ideal way. We start young, and practice with it very frequently - even speaking teaches you how to control the pitch of your voice. And ...

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Expectations from a violin teacher towards an adult learner
26 votes

As a beginner, you can't expect to get a piece sounding 'perfect' in any reasonable length of time, because you haven't yet built up all the skills - intonation, bow control, phrasing, your own style -...

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Melody using a different scale than the bassline - what is it called?
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26 votes

Suppose I'm playing the piano, using my left hand to repeatedly hit the note C as a very simple bass line to give the key of my song (C major). Then I use my right hand to ... [play] the melody using ...

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Why use odd time signatures?
26 votes

It basically comes down to how the way the notes/beats are emphasised affects how your ear hears how the beats are grouped. Listening to a piece in 5/4, you'll hear that the beats are audibly in ...

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Can I turn any synthesized instrument into a bass by lowering the frequency?
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26 votes

when I'm picking a "bass" can I choose any instrument..? Yes, you can. However, you might find that not all instruments work well to your ears as 'bass' instruments. When you see 'bass' in a synth ...

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Is there any way to find a key of song somehow mathematically/algorithmically?
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26 votes

There's no such thing as a 100% sure identification of what 'the key' of a song is if you aren't taking notation as your reference - sometimes different people hear the same song as being in different ...

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Is it ok for a choir to learn by listening?
25 votes

I'm in a high school choir and we just got a new teacher. He is adamant that we don't listen to rehearsal tracks or recordings, because "real musicians don't." Is there merit to this? It's certainly ...

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A (440 Hz) and A (880 Hz) are completely different sounds to me. Does this mean I'm tone deaf?
25 votes

They're not the same sound, and depending on how specific you're being, they're not the same note (though they're both 'A', 440Hz is A4, 880 is A5). In most contexts, they'll be the same degree of ...

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Why is the relationship between frequency and pitch exponential?
24 votes

It's because the way the ear actually hears pitch differences (for most people) is based on frequency ratios, rather than absolute frequency differences. If I played you "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"...

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Why do people, not devices, play music?
24 votes

As you probably know, there are many non-human devices that play music. Dekkadeci has mentioned some historical examples; today, a typical workflow is to feed MIDI (or MIDI-like) data to a computer or ...

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How do I stop muting nearby strings or will my fingers reshape after some practice?
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22 votes

You're not going to mutate significantly. In time, you'll learn to place your fingers more precisely. In some cases, this might mean placing the finger to one side rather than in the middle, because ...

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Why can't notes be tuned according to a defined frequency?
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21 votes

Why can't notes be tuned according to a defined frequency? They can. But what we can't do is tune them to "the correct" frequency, because there are different ways in which the 'correct' frequency ...

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How to play a D major chord lower than the open E major chord on guitar?
21 votes

If you are wanting to stick with standard tuning, then obviously there's no note lower than the low E in the open E chord - but as a chord, this D/F# (or 'first inversion' of D) might give some ...

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Is the Violin a difficult instrument to play for a beginner?
20 votes

It certainly takes most people quite a long time to achieve the kind of fine bow control that's required to make a smooth sound. It's not straightforward at all - you've got to dig in enough at the ...

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Why does rock music use higher fret alternatives on guitar?
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20 votes

Off the top of my head... the fret spacing is tighter there, so fingering a fast passage may be easier than in the lower position the timbre of the notes is mellower and 'bluesier', which may be the ...

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