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Music Mini Course: Learn The Basics Of Reading Music On A Keyboard Instrument
Welcome to the wonderful world of music. As you begin reading this Music Mini Course it is fun to realize that you are also participating in a very important cultural aspect from around the world which has been going on for centuries. Did you know that pianos in some form have been around for over 500 years? Some of the first instruments of this kind were created in the late Medieval Period and were called clavichords. They had a very light, metallic sound because the small hand-pounded 'hammers' were made of very light weight metal-like material. These hammers struck strings of varying lengths to create different tones or pitches. The next cousin to the clavichord was the harpsichord invented by Cristofori in Italy around 1450 A.D. This keyboard instrument had a mechanism in it called the plecktrum which 'plucked' the strings and produced a slightly stronger sound than its predecessor. Whether you are playing an acoustic instrument, which is the closest relative to the history just mentioned, or an electronic keyboard, you are now participating in a centuries old musical art form.
SOME PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS: PIANO OR KEYBOARD?
Does it matter if you apply the information in this course to a keyboard or a piano? Certainly not. The only real difference is that a full size piano has 88 keys (counting both the white and black keys). Keyboards come in several different sizes. Some have 60 keys, some even less. There are also 88 key electronic keyboards and digital pianos that produce very realistic acoustic sounds. Whatever size your instrument may be, remember that the ARRANGEMENT of the keys and the ORDER of the KEY NAMES is the same on both instruments. Rest assured that your basic knowledge of the fundamentals of music can be done very effectively either on a keyboard or a piano.
Begin your musical study by becoming familiar with these very important musical terms:
BAR LINE - A vertical line which separates notes into groups
DOUBLE BAR LINE - A set of two (2) vertical lines which stand for the end of a piece of music
REPEAT SIGN - Double bar with two dots at the end of a section or piece of music which indicates that section will be played twice.
MEASURE - The distance between two bar lines.
TREBLE CLEF - The S-shaped symbol which stands for notes played with the right hand. This is also referred to as the G cleff since this inner curve of the symbol rests on the G line.
BASS CLEF - The reversed C-shaped symbol which stand for notes played with the left hand. This clef is also referred to as the F cleff since the two dots beside the clef surround the F line.
STAFF - The five lines and four spaces of both the bass and treble clefs.
QUARTER NOTE - Musical symbol with solid note head and stem which gets one count of sound.
QUARTER REST - Musical symbol resembling a sideways W which gets one count of silence.
HALF NOTE - Musical symbol with hollow note head and stem which gets two counts of sound.
HALF REST - Solid half block sitting on third line of the staff which gets two counts of silence.
DOTTED HALF NOTE - Musical symbol with hollow note head, dot and stem which gets three counts of sound.
WHOLE NOTE - Musical symbol resembling a circle on the staff which gets four counts of sound.
WHOLE REST - Solid half block hanging from the second line on the staff which gets four counts of silence.
CHORD - Two or more notes played at the same time.
BLOCKED CHORD - Two or more notes from the same chord played at the same time.
BROKEN CHORD - Two or more notes from the same chord played in sequence.
INTERVAL - The distance between two notes on the musical staff.
FINGERING - Refers to which finger number is used to play a particular note (See Chapter Two: Fingering)
CURVED FINGER - Refers to playing with a rounded finger and on the tip of each finger. This is the best position of the fingers for playing piano or keyboard because it develops finger strength and independence.
INTRODUCTION TO THE WHITE KEYS
There are only seven (7) letter names used on the piano: A B C D E F G. It is interesting to note here that no matter what instrument you play, whether it is piano, tuba or violin, ONLY the seven letter names above are used in the entire realm of music! There are two very easy ways to visualize and remember the names of the white keys on your piano and keyboard. Remember, the note names on an electronic keyboard are the same as on the acoustic piano.
C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B
Understand that the 'CDE' note groups are always located directly underneath the two black note group. The letter name 'D' in the white key always located directly in between the two black key note groups. ANY TWO BLACK NOTE GROUP on the piano has the letter name 'D' as the white key located in between them.
Go to your keyboard NOW and start to play all of the C-D-E groups from the lowest (bottom left) to the highest (top right) on your keyboard. Say C - D - E as you play each key. The F - G - A - B note groups above are located directely beneath each three black note group on any piano or keyboard. Simply locate any three black note group on your piano or keyboard and realize that the F-G-A-B white keys are located directly beneath them. Directly outside of the three black note groups are 'F' on the left hand side of the three black note group and 'B' on the right hand side of the three black note group. Just fill in the outer 'F' and 'B' with G and A and you are done!
Go to your piano or keyboard NOW and find all of the F-G-A-G white keys underneath each three black note group. As above, play slowly and evenly saying the letter names as you play the F-G-A-B groups from the bottom of the piano or keyboard (low left hand end) to the top of your piano or keyboard (top right hand end). Congratulations! You now know ALL of the white key names on the piano!
TREBLE AND BASS CLEF NOTE NAMES
Both the Treble and Bass clefs each have five lines and four spaces. Learning the actual note names of each line and space (the spaces between each line) is very simple. Please memorize the sentences below for the Treble Clef Line and Space Notes: Treble Clef Line Notes (starting from the bottom line and moving up) E G B D F Every Good Boy Does Fine (the first letter of each word helps you remember the order of the notes)
Treble Clef Space Notes (starting from the first space and going up): F A C E Just remember that the treble clef spaces spell the word 'FACE'.
Bass Clef Line and Space Notes are as follows: Bass Clef Line Notes: G B D F A Great Big Dogs Fight Animals Bass Clef Space Notes: A C E G All Cars Eat Gas
Now you know all the names of the white keys on your piano or keyboard. You have also learned the actual letter names of each line and space on both the treble and bass clefs. You are now on your way to the next level of piano education. Be sure to memorize the information above and you will be ready to begin to learn to read music notation on the piano or keyboard.
The Revolution of Electric Guitars
Sometime during the 1930's electric guitars were introduced onto the music scene, which began a revolution in sound and technology that continues to this day. After Rock and Roll was born in the 1950's, it didn't take very long for electric guitars to grow in popularity and become one of the most coveted instruments of all time. Things really began to take off when the Beatles turned the world on its ear in 1964 by "invading America". Soon to follow were groups like the Rolling Stones, Cream, and the The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Music was forever changed and today electric guitars dominate the scene.
New Age Music - What Is It Good For?
Let's face it. The world will not end if there isn't another new age music CD on the market. So why bother? Why play when most people don't care or want to hear the kind of music you like? The answer lies in the nature of art itself, for the world really does not need art. It can survive without painting, sculpture or music. It can survive, but it would be a pretty dreary place.
Arpeggios and New Age Piano Playing
Chopin used them extensively. So did Beethoven and Mozart. Arpeggios are beautiful and are perfect for the New Age piano style too!
Your PC Is An Awesome Singer... If You Let It!
As an amateur songwriter, who struggles with a computer far from powerful enough to run the necessary software to record vocals of good quality, I have looked for good solutions. And I've found a few.
Guitar Practicing or Guitar Playing?
Just because you're holding your guitar doesn't mean that you're playing it, and just because you're playing your guitar doesn't mean that you're practicing. There is a real difference and it needs to be acknowledged if you want to improve your level of playing skill. Some people say they have spent the entire day practicing their guitar when in reality, all they've done was sit in front of the TV all day eating cheesy poofs. The sad thing is that they really do believe it was practicing since they had their guitar on their lap next to their cheesy poofs all day. Most of us know someone who does this and we may even be guilty ourselves.
How to Download Music From The Internet
Most of you have probably heard of the RIAA's quest to crush online music piracy. The illegal sharing of copyrighted songs via the MP3 format over the Internet costs the music industry billions of dollars. This is conventionally done using illegal file sharing programs like KaZaa and iMesh. This article explores the legal ways to download and enjoy music from the Internet.
The King of the Delta Blues Singers - Robert Johnson Still Stands at the Crossroads
Probably the most enigmatic Singer and Guitarist of the twentieth Century is now one of the most revered and respected of all Musicians who make up the Genre of the 'Blues'. I speak of course about the wonderful Robert Leroy Johnson. Born in 1911 in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, in a Deep South plantation, he, in his pitifully short life, has become one of the founding Fathers of the Blues.
Why Do Music Lovers Still Prefer to Buy Records?
In the late 1940's, the 45-RPM record replaced the 78-RPM record. The 45 was smaller, less breakable and could be made and sold more cheaply. Despite these advantages, it took ten years before the 78 became obsolete, and in the meantime, record companies sold their product in both formats. In 1982, the major record companies introduced the compact disc, which offered a smaller size, "perfect" sound, and less likelihood of damage in day to day use. As the compact disc offered a much larger profit margin than did the long-play record album (LP) the record companies were eager to rid store shelves of records once and for all. Given that the 78 lasted ten years after the introduction of the 45, it seemed likely that the LP would be gone from the market by 1990. The expected disappearance of the LP never happened. Despite the efforts of the music industry, music fans and collectors not only continue to buy records today, but sales of records and record-playing equipment are on the rise.
New M3 with Competition Package
The new competition package available for the BMW M3 is almost sad as it is wonderful. With everyone knowing of the strong rumors of the M3's power plant changing to a V8, it's almost heart breaking to think about the legendary straight 6 cylinder being laid to rest. The competition package has many pretty neat extras that give the beamer something to beam about.
The Future for Independent Record Labels
Small independent record labels are facing a different fight today to obtain a share of the music industry. The best possible means in which small labels were able to get their CD's sold vanished in 2003 when Southwest Wholesale Records and Tapes closed the doors. The ability to have their music placed in a position to be sold along the same shelves as the major record labels is becoming increasingly more difficult. The absence of competition on the shelves has generated an increase in profits for the major labels. What can smaller more nimble labels do to compete with the major labels?
The First Step and Most Important Thing in Learning Guitar
Most of the guitar lovers playing guitar for few years but still unsatisfied with their progress. They feel like still stand at the starting point and can't enjoy their playing. This mainly caused by most of them don't build up a strong foundation at the begining. I found that some of the guitar learners even just playing guitar for one to two years but are more better than so many that playing for over five years. This is the foundation problems. Me myself was an example when I started playing guitar long time ago.
How to Create Hip, Mature, and Lush Harmonies [correction]
Rarely is a chord played with its tones contained in a single octave, the root on the bottom, the third in the middle, and the fifth on the top.
Legal Free Music Downloads - Songs You Want at No Cost
It's all over the news these days. Download music from the Internet and you could be sued, fined, and/or go to jail. The truth is free music downloads, done correctly, are completely legal.
Facts about MC Big Proof
Facts about MC Big Proof"If I was you, suicide would be a way of life. If you was me , you'd kill you." (Proof)Before I start talking about D12's gifted Mc Proof, I would like to thank and to give credit to the webmaster of the following Derty Harry website for the rare info I found about Deshaun Holton aka Derty Harry aka Proof:http://angelfire.com/bxc3/dertyharry/main_bio.htmlDeshaun Holton aka Proof was born on October the 2nd 1975 in Detroit.Although they didn't attend the same High School, Eminem and Proof have been friends since 1988. They used to live in the same street in Detroit.Proof used to go to Osbourne High school while Eminem was attending Lincoln High. Both friends used to skip high school in order to rap together: in fact Eminem skipped Lincoln High and used to come to Proof's school very often, because both friends wanted to rap together. This is how they met:"I was skipping school, and he was skipping school also, passing out flyers for his concert he was having in Centerline. That had to be, like, '88 or something." (Proof)Some (white) underground Mcs from Detroit like Backstab the Kingpin are convinced of Proof's racism. But Deshaun's statements seem to prove the contrary. CDNow has asked Proof how he felt about Eminem's skin color at the time they met:CDNow: Did you wonder what this blond, white kid was up to? Proof: "You know, I went to Catholic school and had a great, great friend of mine who happened to be Irish; we were best friends since the sixth grade. So when I saw [Eminem] was white, I didn't even jump off like that; when he rapped, he was dope. What made us get dope and become great friends was we both rhymed "first place" and "birthday," and we've been tight ever since [laughs]."Eminem and Proof have been real friends since the beginning. When Eminem was kicked out of his home, he would sleep at Proof's house.It is well known that Proof is an amazing freestyler.He won the freestyling competition in the Source magazine in 1999. He his a better freestyler than Marshall, but Marshall's force is in the way he handles his words in his lyrics. That's exactly what Proof states about their complementary talent:"We were both impressed with each other. The advantage I've got over Em is freestyling; I'm the kind of guy who freestyles off the head, right? The advantage he had over me was that he knew how to write intricately; he knew how to put a song together and bring feelings about. That's why I journeyed under him, like, "Yo, show me the ropes, homeboy." The idea of the D12 group composed of talented MCs and sick aliases with popped into Proof's mind:"I was in New York; I had this deal with Tommy Boy that didn't work out, unfortunately. But I just had this idea that we could put together a team of dope MCs, put a lot of Detroit on as far as having MCs with skills. Everybody's solo took so we'll make aliases, like Eminem's Slim Shady and I'm Derty Harry, and call it the Dirty Dozen -- and at this time, to be honest with you, we thought The Dirty Dozen was a Western movie; we didn't know it was an army movie [laughs]. That fits us, army rather than Western, 'cause we see ourselves more as gun-slingers, lyric-slingers. Then the idea was to form a pact whereas this team, whoever gets out first comes back and gets the rest of the group."Proof has always been confident in Eminem's loyalty, even if some other members of the group may have been worried:"Not me; I've been there since day one, almost. I think the rest of the group may not have been there, but Proof has been beside Eminem all this time. I play a leadership role in the group, where I talk to everyone else; Em is like the president, and I'm the general. I talk to the rest of the fellas and put 'em in line and show 'em the direction. It's a family, too, so there'll be a lot of fighting and bickering, and some people might have felt it might not be the way it should be. So, yes, there were times when people felt funny about things. But now everybody thinks back to that, and we were tripping out over nothing."Acccording to Proof, Eminem's success was the best thing that could have happened to D12:"Right. Some people look at us like, "You're gonna be Eminem's group. You're gonna be in his shadow." They don't realize how positive and great that is to hear; if you're in the shadow of a guy who can sell almost 10 million records in just the states alone, great. That's not a dis to us. But when they hear the album, they hear the individuality of each person, how everybody holds their own."It is so true that each D12 emcee has his own talent and ability to rap.It is less known that Proof's first stage name was "Maximum". Proof has always been appreciated in Detroit for his raps and his freestyling qualities. He changed his nickname when people started calling him "Living Proof", because in many people's minds, Proof was the "living proof of the living MCs in Detroit".Proof has collaborated and still collaborates with numerous artists such as Dogmatic.Proof's first released Cd was called "From Death" and was co-produced with Da Goon Squad.He has released a CD called "Promatic" with Dogmatic and a six Track solo EP called "The Search For Jerry Garcia".As well as for Eminem, Detroit has been very influencial to Proof who describes his hometown as "the type of place where eye contact can get you killed" and also as " a city where the sun never shines, full of pot holes, snow and con artists ready to jack everything you got".
Avoiding Injuries When Playing Guitar
To avoid any sort of injuries when playing guitar a common sense approach is recommended. Just what do I mean by that?
Music Business Contacts: Music Business Registry connects artists, managers, publishers, producers &
"The difference between success and failure is information," notes Ritch Esra, and he should know. Along with his partner, Stephen Trumbull, Esra is a leading part of the number one most-reliable source of information on "who's who" and "who does what" in the music business. Best of all, they can tell you where everybody is located.
The Life and Music of Beatle George Harrison
Propelled into fame as one of the Beatles, along with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr, George Harrison was known as the "quiet one" of the group, and also as the "spiritual one." He was the lead guitarist.
Is Your Child Capable of Composing Music? Maybe the Next Mozart?
We've all heard of them. Child prodigies who begin composing music at some ridiculously young age. For instance, history reports that Mozart was writing minuets by the time he was five years old. Amazing. At five years of age, I'm not sure that I knew the difference between my finger and my thumb and I certainly wasn't composing music.
How to Create an Original Melody
Here's a method I use that works. First, sit down at your piano or keyboard and just improvise. I suggest improvising first because music that is created in this way is at its freshest. It's not adulterated or thought up. It is pure inspiration. Now, there will come times during improvisation where you may say to yourself, "this is nice and I'd like to develop it." You see, now you have an original melody to develop.
Piano Chords and New Age Music
There are basically two ways you can compose a piece of music. The first and most traditional way is to write out the melody and then harmonize it. Some call this working from the top (as opposed to the chords on the bottom.) The second approach is where you create some kind of rhythmic harmonic pattern and improvise (or compose) the melody on top. Now, which one is best for New Age music?
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