<![CDATA[Simteks Music - Music Theory]]>Tue, 08 Dec 2015 04:10:57 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Learn With Me]]>Wed, 05 Feb 2020 21:53:07 GMThttp://www.simteksmusic.com/music-theory/learn-with-meSo before I go all 'educator' status on this blog I felt it was necessary to provide some background on my Music Theory and my intent with this series of tutorials.  I am by no means an expert in Music Theory.  In fact, aside from 30+ years of listening experience, a college level intro to theory class, and about five years of casual self study; you could say I am a total noob.  

However, I have discovered that the (not so) simple act of creating tutorials tends to cement ideas and concepts in my head.  Therefore I plan to create tutorials for all of the theory concepts that I learn. My hope is that you may take away some more knowledge than you arrived with and that I can retain most of what I am being taught.  

Considering that I am not an expert, I encourage knowledgeable people to point out errors or mistakes that I may have made.  The end goal is education, and I would love any input that you may have.  Thanks for stopping by, and happy music making!

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<![CDATA[Music Theory 1: Basic Concepts´╗┐]]>Tue, 27 Oct 2015 13:00:45 GMThttp://www.simteksmusic.com/music-theory/music-theory-i-basic-conceptsBEGINNER LEVEL
In this tutorial I will cover the very basic starting points for learning Music Theory.  I assume you know nothing about music or musical notation.  First, let's cover some basic definitions and concepts that are key to understanding Music Theory.
Pitch - Pitch is defined as the quality of sound that determines if it is a 'high' sound or a 'low' sound.   Keys on the left side of a keyboard are 'low' pitched, and keys on the right side are 'high' pitched.  This pitch is determined by the frequency of the sound waves that are creating the sound.  Higher pitched sounds have a higher frequency, which is measured in Hertz (Hz) or Kilohertz (kHz).  The human ear can hear from roughly 20 Hz to 20 kHz.  All musical pitches fall between these two extremes. 

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Pitch Increases as you move right, and decreases and you move left.
Note - A note is the term used to refer to a specific pitch. Notes are referred to by the first 7 letters of the alphabet (ABCDEFG).  These 7 letters are arranged across the keyboard in a repeating pattern. We will talk more about this pattern later.

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Note Names and Corresponding Keys
Staff A staff is a collection of lines used to notate musical phrases and ideas.  Staffs are arranged in a pattern five lines with four spaces in between.  The value of a note written on a staff is determined by which line or space it is written in.  The lines and spaces represent different notes depending on which type of staff it is, which is determined by the Clef which is placed at the beginning of the staff.  We will cover this in detail in the future.
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Type of staff known as 'Grand Staff' Note the symbols placed at the left of each staff. These are 'Clefs'
Notehead - refers to the symbols that are used to represent notes on a Staff.  There are several different types of noteheads which will be covered in the future.  
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Example of Noteheads placed on a Staff
These are only some of the most basic concepts necessary to learn Music Theory.  In the next tutorial, we will explore the basic usage of Staffs, Clefs, and Note Names.
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<![CDATA[Music Theory 1a: Staves and Note Names]]>Mon, 26 Oct 2015 22:06:31 GMThttp://www.simteksmusic.com/music-theory/december-05th-2015BEGINNER LEVEL
Let's explore how staves are used in Music Theory.  A staff is a collection of lines used to notate musical ideas.  They are collections of five lines and four spaces each. 
Each line and space on the staff corresponds to a specific note value or note name.  Which notes the staff represents is determined by a symbol placed at the beginning of the staff.  These symbols are referred to as 'clefs'.  There are several different types of clefs used today but the two most common are the 'treble' (or 'G') clef, and the 'bass' (or 'F') clef. ​ Both the treble and bass staves are often used together and arranged as below into a staff known as the Grand Staff.
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Treble, or 'G' clef on top Bass or 'F' clef on bottom. When they are depicted together like this it is called a 'Grand Staff'
Depending on the clef used at the beginning of a staff, each line and space represents one of the 12 notes used in most Western music.  These notes are named with the first 7 letters of the alphabet:  A B C D E F G.   These note names correspond to the white keys on a piano or keyboard, and are referred to as natural notes.  The letters for each note are repeated in alphabetical pattern on the keys with each complete set of seven letters being referred to as an octave.  
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Note names on a keyboard. Notice the repeating pattern
When notating music small symbols called noteheads are placed on the staff at the corresponding line or space.  There are several noteheads, which we will cover in more detail in the future.  The picture below shows several noteheads placed on the Grand Staff and the note names that they correspond to.  
Memorizing the corresponding values of noteheads placed on staves is the essence of sight reading music.  If you plan to learn to play an instrument, write music for instrumentalist, or many other musical activities; sight reading is likely something you should invest time and effort into.  A good place to start is by committing these note names for the Grand Staff to memory.  There are several good mnemonic devices that have been created to simplify this process.  The lines on a treble clef represent the notes E G B D and F from the bottom to top.  The phrase 'Every Good Boy Does Fine' is often used to help remember this order.  
The lines of a bass clef represent slightly different notes.  From the bottom to top the lines stand for notes G B D F and A.  The phrase 'Good Boys Do Fine Always' is commonly used to remember this order.  

It is also useful to remember these orders backwards.  I like to use the phrase "Frank Digs Bubble Gum Everyday" to remember the treble clef; and "Always Frank Digs Bubble Gum" to remember the bass clef top to bottom.  They aren't the best phrases, but they work.  I'm definitely open to suggestions on those two if you have something better. 
The spaces of each staff also represent certain notes.  For the treble staff the notes are F A C E from bottom to top, which spells its own handy mnemonic device.  The bass clef notes are A C E G from bottom to top, which is often remembered as  'All Cows Eat Grass.' 
If you study the pattern of lines and spaces, you will see that they are simply repeating the alphabet in an ascending manner over and over again.   The treble clef starts at the bottom line with the note E, then the space F, line G, space A, line B, and so on.  This pattern will repeat in a similar pattern on any clef, the starting positions may just change. 
It is important to note that the Grand Staff represents an area of a piano's 88 key keyboard that is directly in the middle.  The center note of a piano's keyboard is determined by a note referred to as middle C. This is the fourth C note on the keyboard from the left.   Notes that are written on the treble clef are higher in pitch than this middle C, and those on the bass clef are lower.  
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