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.
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Benatar and Geraldo - Still Rockin on a High Note
Most people look forward to the summer months because they bring warmer temperatures, vacations, outdoor gatherings, and longer days. Those are all fine and dandy, but what really gets my fires stoked for the warm season is when the Queen of Rock (a.
Zen and the Art of New Age Piano
We all want to be in the moment. That's where real transformation takes place.
Guitar Buying - The Pros and Cons of Vintage vs. Reissue
To most people, owning the "genuine article" is the only thing that will suffice. As a guitar player, and one who appreciates classic "vintage" instruments, I can fully understand this point of view.
College Radio: The Most Important Radio Level for Musicians
For the self-promoting independent artist, the idea of taking on a radio promotion campaign can, in itself, become overwhelming. But, this idea is usually based on such artists attempting to obtain worldwide airplay on a local budget.
All About Eminem
Marshall Mathers, was born October 17, 72, and could be by far the most notorious and recognised rap music musicians of this age, having the alias Slimshady. Slim Shady is perhaps best known for being one of the very few influencial white rappers in the hip hop industry, and not only one of the most critically acclaimed.
Improvisation and Musical Form
Do you ramble on endlessly with your improvisations? If so, good. This has its place in music making and in new age piano playing in particularly.
These MIDI Tools Are Music To My Ears
Curious about MIDI? Want to find out what tools are out there and what they do? Here are a few pointers.MIDI Maestro is music software designed for use by amateur and professional music directors, conductors, and soloists in live musical theater and similar musical accompaniment situations.
Health Insurance for Creative Artists -- A Multi-Talented Health Investment
For the Creative Artist -- Good Health Insurance is Truly a Lifetime InvestmentFellow artists, buying good health insurance is the best investment you can make in your lifetime! You can purchase fine jewelry, art works, vintage cars -- but none of these can assure you the value, well-being, and peace of mind that a comprehensive health insurance plan will bring you. And you don't have to pay for expensive expert advice before buying, either.
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.
CD Mastering using Har-Bal
Feel free to download the entire manual detailing the mastering process from Har-Bal complete with pictures of all the tools needed to create a great sounding mastered cd .http://hdqtrz.
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?Well, there are many simple and obvious precautions you can take that will prevent most injuries.
Top 50 Music Quotations
Discover the phenomenonal complexity of music and reflect on the way it can positively influence your life with this sound collection of riveting quotes..
Its Jewish Music, But Is The Music Jewish?
A while back I was driving along the Jerusalem highway scanning the radio stations. On one frequency, a very intense dance beat was exploding out of the speakers.
Art of the Recording Engineer: From Michael Jackson to Mutant Radio, Matt Forger Speaks Out
Interviewed by Scott G (The G-Man)G-Man: When people think of Matt Forger, they usually think of your work with Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Glen Ballard, and Bruce Swedien, yet when you hand out a CD with examples of your producing, engineering or mixing, it almost always has new and emerging artists, people like Mutant Radio, Laughing With Lulu, The Dharma Bomb, or Fjaere. What's your thinking behind the choice of avoiding the big names?Forger: While my association with those big names was a wonderful experience, it's also in the past.
To Record or Not To Record - At Home, That Is
I will be honest. I am addicted to music recording.
Managing Your Time, when Music isnt Your Day Job
You CAN do everything.Repeat.
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