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#1180806 - 04/15/09 09:22 AM Re: reading music [Re: keystring]  
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Bathtub and toasters sounds more like John Cage.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

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#1180810 - 04/15/09 09:25 AM Re: reading music [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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I realized that a few minutes later - should have edited rather than deleted. Schoenberg, in any case, tried to get away from tonality as I recall. I wish I could find the toaster performance. It was on something like Ed Sullivan or another television show.

#1180811 - 04/15/09 09:29 AM Re: reading music [Re: kennychaffin]  
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Kenny, I think that I did get that you got it. And I'm still getting parts of it. The "system", in any case, starts working less well as soon as you get out of the usual major and minor scales. But that is also when you realize just how hand-in-glove it does work while remaining in that context.

#1180814 - 04/15/09 09:35 AM Re: reading music [Re: Chris H.]  
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Originally Posted by Chris H.

Using a staff which shows the position of all 12 notes (as if they are equal) is a more difficult way of notating it. To me, learning the position of 12 notes HAS to be more complicated than learning just 7.


Chris, the keyboard is a repetition of sets of the 12 notes. One has to learn that. Once you learned that, you learned the staff which shows the same 12 notes with the same "black and white pitch stripe" pattern as the keyboard's key arrangement.

I am not sure that if you run a test with 100 students who has never come across any music notation system, the result will support your quoted statement - even for testing a piece of music strickly in C major scale. Forget about timing first (with btb's permission), I need only 10 minutes to make them able to figure out all by themselves what keys to play. You have 10 minutes with them, too. And I think you will also manage to explain how the Grand Staff works with the keyboard. Then we ask each student to figure out the same piece with both systems, and time them.

I am not cunningly challenging people into doing this. I am just saying tests can be designed to test certain hypothesis. I will run these scientific tests to convince people at one point.

Even if I win in the "beginner test", I remain open-minded about the "advanced player test". I hope there will come a day when we can run that test to see whether the Hao Staff really comparatively "slows down" the advance players, as keystring also suggested, due to lack of "road signs".

Just added by editing: Sorry keystring. That does not mean that I don't appreciate what you have painstakingly explained to me. But we need to run tests with a significant sample size to know what works better with more people. So far all I am claiming about the Hao Staff on this forum is based on my test with an insignificant sample size (friends I know and a handful of customers who had bothered to come back). That's also not good enough I know.

Last edited by Jeff Hao; 04/15/09 09:45 AM.
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#1180821 - 04/15/09 09:44 AM Re: reading music [Re: Chris H.]  
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Originally Posted by Chris H.
Originally Posted by kennychaffin
What he wants to do is put things (instruments) in space, and should get that opportunity at CU.


Kenny, your son wants to put pianos in space!!!!!???

And you think notation is complicated. grin


I'm sure he'd love it. He had many years of piano lessons when he was a kid. smile I'm sure he's a better piano player still than I am at the moment. smile As well as a much better physicist (which was my first run at a degree, then morphed to psychology for 4 years and then dropped (out) that and eventually got my Electrical Engineering degree and now I r a software architect)



Kenny A. Chaffin
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#1180887 - 04/15/09 11:21 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Hao
I am not sure that if you run a test with 100 students who has never come across any music notation system, the result will support your quoted statement - even for testing a piece of music strickly in C major scale. Forget about timing first (with btb's permission), I need only 10 minutes to make them able to figure out all by themselves what keys to play. You have 10 minutes with them, too. And I think you will also manage to explain how the Grand Staff works with the keyboard. Then we ask each student to figure out the same piece with both systems, and time them.


Why would you want to conduct such a test though?

I'm not interested in what someone can do after 10 minutes. I want to see what they can do after 10 months or even 10 years.


Pianist and piano teacher.
#1180901 - 04/15/09 11:48 AM Re: reading music [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Bathtub and toasters sounds more like John Cage.


I must have missed something somewhere.

Reminds me of my college days where we were forced to endure the annual contemporary music festival. In one performance members of the audience were given paper bags which they had to blow up and burst randomly. That was it!

During one excruciating lecture some guy came along and parped noisily into a trombone which was hooked up to several speakers positioned around the room to create echo effects. A freind of mine (a straight talking lad from the north of England) was asked what he though of it. He said, 'It does my head in!'. I couldn't have put it better.


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#1180921 - 04/15/09 12:21 PM Re: reading music [Re: Chris H.]  
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Here you are, Chris - bathtub and toasters - more than you ever wanted to know! grin

Ok, preamble - I got this from my little overview book and looked up Cage after reading that section. If I have it right, he wanted music to be completely aleatory. He would write notes in the score, which meant one thing happens, and another thing happens over a course of time, but even the symbols were not to dictate the same thing each time. Tongue in cheek: aleatorically aleatorical. wink He demonstrates his idea: The host smoothly moves him away from trying to explain music theory:

Cage - Water Walk

Edit: The toasters I remembered are radios. smile

Last edited by keystring; 04/15/09 12:24 PM. Reason: Correction re toasters are radios.
#1180925 - 04/15/09 12:28 PM Re: reading music [Re: keystring]  
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Hilarious!

grin


Kenny A. Chaffin
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#1180931 - 04/15/09 12:34 PM Re: reading music [Re: keystring]  
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!!!!!!!!

Thanks for that!!!

Do you happen to have the score?

What's interesting is how times have changed. A 6 minute build up before we even get to the performance. That would never happen now.

Mr. Cage would get three red X's after 10 seconds. grin


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#1180933 - 04/15/09 12:38 PM Re: reading music [Re: kennychaffin]  
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It wasn't my favourite chapter, but there was food for thought. Music consists of sounds and silences that occur over a set duration of time in sequence, and the sounds have qualities of pitch, loudness, and textures. They tried to explore every aspect in every possibility at that time.

Somebody also tried to invent "furniture music", in which the audience was asked to ignore the music being performed. Their babble was supposed to be part of the whole. It was a miserable failure because as soon as the music started, the audience stopped talking and listened to the music. However, these days you can't go into a store or some people's homes without encounter furniture music. We are now in the habit of turning on music in order to ignore it.

Um ... sorry ... this thread is called "reading music"? whistle

Last edited by keystring; 04/15/09 12:39 PM.
#1180937 - 04/15/09 12:53 PM Re: reading music [Re: Chris H.]  
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Chris, here is a link to his scores. Water Music looks like pick-up sticks casting shadows to near right.
John Cage Scores

Last edited by keystring; 04/15/09 12:54 PM.
#1180944 - 04/15/09 01:05 PM Re: reading music [Re: keystring]  
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Ah yes, I can see it now.

Simple really.


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#1180956 - 04/15/09 01:27 PM Re: reading music [Re: Chris H.]  
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Does anybody notice the blender actually goes on fire? Now that's experimental!


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#1180957 - 04/15/09 01:28 PM Re: reading music [Re: Monica K.]  
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Originally Posted by Monica K.
That's really interesting, buck. I didn't know that about the lack of empirical evidence for the superiority of the Dvorak keyboard. Makes me feel better about sticking with QWERTY. wink

Your second point here is an excellent one: Given an established system, and given the inconvenience and upheaval involved in undergoing a complete overhaul of it, we should not be quick to advocate a new system unless and until it's been shown to be significantly better. And here Chris's desire to be shown a student who can play advanced repertoire well with the Hao staff becomes stunningly relevant.

In fact, we could even make up a pithy little quote to sum up the whole debate, something like, perhaps, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." wink To be followed closely by "If it's broke, don't try fixing it unless you know the repair is better than the broken part."

You just described the main theme of almost every major paradigm shift in scientific history. So, I agree with you smile When an established system is functional and fairly complete, it's the cost of retraining that frequently prevents adoption of a new system (regardless of how difficult or nonsensical the established is perceived to be).

As far as the difficulty of teaching an absolute beginner to sit down and play in 10 minutes, why couldn't you do that with the grand staff? I had miserably poor music education in elementary school, but I've known "Every good boy does fine," "Good boys deserve fine apples," "All cows eat grass", and "FACE" since I was about 10 (can you tell I went to Catholic school? Good boys do this and that and that...), but didn't start playing an instrument until I was 22. That's when I learned (or remembered) what sharps and flats were and where middle C is. In terms of being able to read music, none of that is hard. It's hard to do at speed on a first reading, but that doesn't seem to be what we're talking about. A person obviously couldn't sight-read at speed on the Hao staff in 10 minutes either.

If our test case is in C major sans rhythm, isn't glancing to the extremes of the keyboard and counting octaves to orient yourself on the Hao staff going to take just as much time as thinking "every...good...boy...B!" for someone who's never touched a keyboard before? You don't need to understand diatonic keys or anything but the basic function (up/down) of accidentals to figure out which keys to press, and I think the difficulty of translating lines to keys on the grand staff is being overestimated. Armed with a few simple mnemonics and a pencil, a person can "read music" and build a foundation for their musical future at the same time. The Hao staff may or may not be easier for a beginner to use (I don't object to calling it easier to "understand"), but isn't it inherently limiting? Someone who learns to read music in the treble and bass clefs can take that to many other instruments and learn music theory (as well as find scores for free wink ). It seems to me that learning the Hao staff doesn't save that much effort, and that it's quite easy to outgrow. We're avoiding ten minutes of explanation that is useful forever in favor of lower initial intimidation.

In conclusion, type on all the Dvorak keyboards you want if that's what works for you, but if you don't know QWERTY, you'll be stumped whenever you're not at home wink

edit: In non-joking conclusion, the Hao staff is a financially-motivated niche tool. Why even talk about long-term benefits? That doesn't seem to be its purpose, and you can't dispute that you sacrifice room for growth by avoiding the grand staff (this latter point applies to chromatic staves as well).

Last edited by buck2202; 04/15/09 02:05 PM. Reason: real conclusion, typo
#1180963 - 04/15/09 01:40 PM Re: reading music [Re: keystring]  
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Originally Posted by keystring
Chris, here is a link to his scores. Water Music looks like pick-up sticks casting shadows to near right.
John Cage Scores


OMG!



Kenny A. Chaffin
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#1180980 - 04/15/09 01:57 PM Re: reading music [Re: kennychaffin]  
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Well said Buck! I even agree about the Hao staff because if the point were just to help the users/readers/composers then it would be public domain.



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#1181015 - 04/15/09 02:58 PM Re: reading music [Re: Morodiene]  
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I have the same exact problem I can usually listen to a song and then go from there but as far as reading the music it is beyond my thought process and i cant even seem to figure it out. I dont understand the notes that run off the scale.


connie reeves
#1181402 - 04/16/09 07:54 AM Re: reading music [Re: buck2202]  
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I realise that some of the dislike of the Hao Staff are due to:

1) It is patented (that = rip off)
2) There is a commercialised product (it costs money)

I am not going to comment back on that. It is a political-social-economical science subject. I am just playing by the rules of today's mainstream civilisation.

Back to the strengths and weaknesses of the product itself, I don't think it is just "easy to understand". If you conduct a "all-things-being-equal" test on a sizeable sample of new students, I am confident that it will prove to be "easier to read" for the beginners (I will come to the advanced players later).

I am saying that with reasoning. It is not about the time it takes to explain the system. I need 10 minutes only. The Grand Staff team can have any length of time (one hour, two hours, or whatever is needed) to explain the full works of the Grand Staff and make sure the students understand them.

Then the test is about how fast they can READ after they have fully understood both systems.

The difference is this. For the Hao Staff, the user just need to understand it to be able to read it at a workable speed. But the Grand Staff users need to understand it, AND TRAIN, to be able to read it at the same speed.

The training is about the following (I think I typed something similar in this thread before but cannot find it):

1) remembering which white key (the 7 C major diatonic scale notes) each line or space corresponds to, for both the G clef and F clef. The key word is "each". Usually beginners remember one or two, and count from those for the others. That's one pain to overcome.

2) expand the training to cover the large number of ledger lines, for the G clef and for the F clef, because they are different. How many ledger lines are there if you count all those above and below both the G clef and the F clef? Do you Grand Staffers remember the pitch name of each and every one of them? Or do you still need to count?

3) understand what sharps and flats do, and what naturals do. This is the easiest bit, compared with the others.

4) understand the circle of 5th, all the key signatures and remember which lines/spaces are varied by the key signatures. And expand that to the ledger lines !

If we are running a comparison test on a C major piece, then 3) and 4) would be irrelevant. But the Hao Staff can still win, because it does not have 1) and 2). If you are worried about how to find the middle C, the correct octave, etc., don't. My 10 minutes will cover that. And my 2-page Hao Staff User Guide explains all the tips and special features built into the design to help with these.

Now, about the long term effect. This is also responding to the point Chris made in an earlier post. I understand that it would severely limit the usefulness of the Hao Staff if it is "superior short-term; but inferior long-term".

I am interested to test it on the advanced students, too. Although we presently don't have the samples (advanced players brought up by the Hao Staff) to conduct such a test.

But if such a test can ever be done, I am pretty optimistic of the result, too. This does not mean that I don't appreciate the "road-sign effects" that keystring and Chris had tried to teach me.

The test result of advanced/speed sight-reading would be influenced by a combination of many factors (pros and cons of the two systems being studied). And when you put all those together, I don't know who will win.

One of the factors that I have not talked about is that the vertical visual distance between two notes (interval) on the Hao Staff is exactly proportional to the physical distance between two keys on the keyboard. If one is trained from the beginning, and better still with the help of the understanding of music theory (scales/intervals/chords) which the advanced students should already be equipped with, he/she will develop the sense of proportion and find the next key much easier (at a glance), without having to see exactly which pitch stripe the next note is printed on. This is speed sight-reading.

I am not saying the Grand Staffer's can't do it. Look at the number of musicians in the history. Of course it is not broke. They can do this but it will take more training. The intervals on the Grand Staff is compacted, and with sharps and flats involved. What you see is not automatically what you get. Compare the Hanon piece on both systems that I posted earlier. Of course one eventually gets the proportions with the Grand Staff, too. But it takes training.

If the Hao Staffer puts back all the time saved into training for his/her own speed read and music theory study, I am not sure 3 / 5 / 7 years later he will necessarily be slower in music reading. Maybe the marginal benefit will diminish over time. But that is not important any more. Nobody would care if there is a difference in speed of sight-reading between two concert pianists.

OK. All I am saying is ... we can all have our own personal predictions (mine included) about how the test result might turn out. But no prediction is the test result itself, before the test is done.

Best regards,
Jeff

#1181502 - 04/16/09 10:46 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]  
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For Connie

"as far as reading the music it is beyond my thought process and i cant even seem to figure it out."

That to me is at the heart of this discussion.

I dare say that you could figure it out if you had one of the better teachers (here) who would give you a well guided tour at the piano with probably some repetition so as to get it if not at first then with showing again.

What I have experienced is music teachers (like math texts) say something like; this and this and this and as you can see then etc. Well no I clearly don't see! (I do now get a least the intent which must come first and I am working on the practice required to use the GS.)

I remember my exposure to Banjo in the beginning. I had a fluent player who had the patience to show me over and over. I became embarassed to ask for yet another demo. I got a tape and wore it out. But I didn't have to impose on my friend. And I did get it.

And for the other participants here:

I have not advocated a new natation. I have though, given some thought to the statement on this thread that said if my keyboard (see my post regarding rearranged key color)is to be available to new players, he/she must have a notation that will work. That a modified key arrangment and the notation are the same coin, opposite sides.

Umm, not absolutely. My sounds are in the exact same place and I have not gone off into disonance or chromaticsm as it is understood here. I am getting another very clear understanding. I need to speak of what I have done without the loaded argument already full blown as to chromatic atonal music. I don't know how to play anything but simple diatonic music. I have seen the term bi-linear. That may be a better name for my key arrangent.

My fluency is not going to satisfy Chris who would want to see an advanced piece done flawlessly. To my knowledge, I am the only person in the world with a keyboard like mine. I am a beginner who started at 63. Three years ago. I know that I can play around twenty things. No classical. But what I can play, I can transpose to any black key and more slowly to any white key. I have not practised on the white keys as much.

The ONLY thing my key arrangment does is make transposition as easy a falling off a greased log.

If I did do a different notation, it would at first glance seem to be a clone of the GS with a bit of genetic engineering. It would include color. Middle C would be on a ledger line. I would show the note in red. C above midde C would be on a ledger line above the staff also shown with a red note. Octave notation beyond that would show all notes in the exact same place on the staff. The BLACK lines would be where the BLACK keys would be positioned and noted. Spaces (white) would be white keys.

It took me two weeks of trying a bit in the morning and evening to re-adjust my finger/brain connection to the sound. During this time I was playing on my normal piano as well. It turns out that the retraining is no more than one transposition adjustment.

Thanks all

James


#1220263 - 06/20/09 07:39 PM Re: reading music [Re: Chromatickeys]  
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I am bringing this thread to the front to show a friend who is interested in studying the subject. Just making it easier for her to find it. Did send her the direct link, but thought it more "real" for her to just see it via the PW.com -> Adult Beginners Forum -> reading music.

Hope my friends here are all well. I will be back on PW more regularly. Been busy with a few things lately.

Jeff

#1220283 - 06/20/09 08:46 PM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]  
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I took a look at your Hao staff demonstration on your website and found it more confusing. It's already difficult enough to have to simultaneously read in a horizontal line and vertical line, but with your Hao staff I have to read all over the page...top, left, right, centre, middle, etc.

Too frustrating for me. The note on the traditional staff are close together and easier for my eyes.

#1220352 - 06/20/09 11:50 PM Re: reading music [Re: pyanar]  
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Hi, razzigirl. Appreciate your spending time to try it and the candid feedback.

Cheers,
Jeff

#1220364 - 06/21/09 12:13 AM Re: reading music [Re: Jeff Hao]  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Hao
I am bringing this thread to the front to show a friend who is interested in studying the subject.
With this kind of behaviour I wonder you have any! Then again just how many? I see a bumpy road ahead.


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#1220463 - 06/21/09 09:49 AM Re: reading music [Re: keyboardklutz]  
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You gotta me give me some time, keyboardklutz.

It's an old friend, by the way. I get your point about whether I will make any new ones. So far so good. It doesn't have to be a big number to justify my effort.

Jeff

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by Piano World. 11/22/17 08:23 PM
finger tapping technique
by Osho. 11/22/17 03:28 PM
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