José David
  • Member for 5 years, 9 months
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Why are different keys necessary / important?
21 votes

The tonal system is an historical inheritance, but we could not do without it today in the realms of most classical, popular and main stream music, even if we wanted to (and why would we want it?, ...

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Are there scales and chord progressions particularly used in Rag music?
12 votes

Structurally ragtime harmony is pretty much classical tonal harmony, but there are of course some idiomatic specificities that give ragtime its characteristic sound. One progression very ...

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How do I notate a 'wailing' sound?
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12 votes

In classical terminology portamento would probably be the most appropriate naming for the effect you wish to notate, and the notation for that is a slur connecting the notes in the "gliding" range ...

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What are the different types of Electric pianos?
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11 votes

Electric pianos are (typically) vintage instruments that produce sound in a mechanical way, capturing the sound with an electro-magnetic transducer of some kind (much like the pickups of an electric ...

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String ordering - Top vs bottom?
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10 votes

Yes, by convention when schematically drawing the strings of an instrument, the strings are drawn ordered top-down from the higher pitched to the lower pitched. So, in a drawing, the 1st string of an ...

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What is the name of the object on the strings of the violin behind the bridge
Accepted answer
8 votes

It's a damper, or mute, like this one here When you wish to mute the sound of the instrument you slide it near to the bridge in order to dampen the bridge vibrations.

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Air tube to change the sound of guitar
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7 votes

It's a "talk box". It works by projecting the sound coming from the instrument (typically a guitar) into the mouth of the performer (the tube is coupled with a speaker inside the box). The performer ...

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Composing a Piano sonata
7 votes

The word "sonata" may refer to different things. In the Baroque period a sonata was just an instrumental piece (like Scarlatti's sonatas). I suppose, though, that the OP may be referring to the term ...

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Was Bach the first to use thumbs on a keyboard?
7 votes

(Sorry, this was to be a comment continuing on the previous thread, but I wanted to include pictures) This picture was used in a video class I've seen, by Prof. Craig Wright from Yale where he ...

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How can I prevent clipping when using a microphone with a tube amp into a PA?
6 votes

Clipping in this situation could be caused by: 1) the microphone not being the most appropriate to the task at hand, and not being able to capture your audio without, well, clipping. Positioning the ...

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Self-learning how to play the piano
6 votes

Starting with the last question, if you can you still become a professional, it's risky and presumptuous to give a definitive answer, but not to let you end on a complete blank I'll give you my ...

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Theory of scales in piano improvisation
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6 votes

There is a jazz scale theory, coming mainly from the modal period, with contributions from the jazz theorist George Russell, that approaches improvisation by viewing "every chord as having one or more ...

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Do I need a microphone to record percussion on electroacoustic guitar?
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5 votes

Simple answer, yes, a (most commonly used) piezo pickup will pick percursive actions performed on the guitar. However the result may be quite different from what you hear acoustically, as the sound ...

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What did John Cage mean by 'harmony' in his explanation to Arnold Schönberg?
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5 votes

First let's consider that it is Schoenberg who asks the question and uses the word "harmony". In is book THEORY OF HARMONY he defines (pag.13) harmony as "...the study of simultaneous sounds (...

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Getting Chopin Etude Op 10 no 1 up to tempo
5 votes

First of all, attempting that piece after 5 years of study is probably too early. I guess it's possible, depending on your study "regimen" for these 5 years, your age, and your natural talent, but to ...

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Larynx raising when entering head voice
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5 votes

Yes, in principle you should try to keep the larynx low in order to achieve higher and clearer high notes, but "rock solid" is perhaps not the best metaphor, as what's needed is a high degree of ...

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Getting good tone on piano with guitar calloused fingertips
5 votes

Alfred Brendel was notorious for having his fingers bandaged when playing. I've read several contradictory justifications for this, but the most credible, attributed to a personal interview, is that ...

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What does the tempo marking "Andando" mean?
5 votes

"Andando" does mean "walking" both in Portuguese and Spanish, and is used to describe the Andante tempo marking in common words, but as far as I know and have ever seen, the word is not used as a ...

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Can I use general dynamic markings for an ensemble, and where do I put them on the score?
5 votes

If you're just working on your "manuscript" for later final typesetting, you can of course use all abreviations that you and the typesetter agree upon. But if you're preparing a score for performance ...

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How to choose between different tabs/chords for the same song?
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5 votes

There can be different chord renditions for the same song for several reasons: 1) They correspond to different recorded versions of the song. The song structure (e.g. number and sequence of verses, ...

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Why is this stripe (or N) used to display a crotchet rest?
5 votes

The Beatles Complete Scores was originally produced and edited in Japan in 1989. The transcriptions are attributed to 4 Japanase guy's, but there is almost no information about the typesetting process,...

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How can you distinguish instruments by their timbre characteristics?
5 votes

On a practical/engineering approach, once we have the spectral analysis (i.e. the characterization of the frequency spectrum along time in terms of transients, and harmonic and inharmonic partials, as ...

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What is the length of the beat?
5 votes

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 ...

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Why is a plectrum banjo played with a guitar pick and not with finger picks?
5 votes

Easy strumming was probably the market reason for the creation of the so called plectrum banjo. For strumming you don't need a pick for each finger, and because of the metal strings the most natural ...

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Why top number of time signature/dividing music into bars is required?
Accepted answer
5 votes

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. ...

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Which (apparently keyboard) instrument is this?
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5 votes

Just found this picture, it's the same picture from the original question by nsn, but with a framing and caption from a magazine. The legend says "Vianna da Motta aged five, playing the harmonium ...

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Recording an acoustic guitar with passive under-saddle pickup-system and having much noise
4 votes

I don't know this instrument, but a passive transducer "suitable for any PA system" is hard to believe. An under the sadle pickup is most likely a piezo pickup (unless there's some technology ...

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Exactly as written?
4 votes

Arranging and transcribing is not uncommon, for reasons such as, for example: Sometimes (although not, I think, not in the case of Mozart), we are not sure what instrument the piece was written for, ...

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Weird and Irritating Problem With My 3rd Finger in Piano Performance
4 votes

I strongly recomend that you go to a specialist doctor. If there is a physical condition, anything you do may worse the situation and perhaps cause irreparable damage. If after doing a thorough ...

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What is the term for a when a performance is technically correct but misses the overall vibe?
Accepted answer
4 votes

I think what you are talking about can be refered to generically as "interpretation", but other words could be used too (perhaps with slightly specific meanings), like "sentiment", "feeling", and yes, ...

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