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teaching circle of fifth #1591577 01/06/11 12:59 AM
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pianoist d'amore Offline OP
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My teacher says that it's more than enough for non-music major students to learn scales up to the key of C# (maj, clockwise) for my entire life. I also know some teachers think it's necessary to complete the study of circle of fifth before moving onto advanced music literature. I'm curious to find out how much of circle of fifth do you teach your students and in what sequence? Thanks so much for sharing.

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Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1591937 01/06/11 01:17 PM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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I wonder if this isn't a case of a teacher not knowing well the fingerings for the flat scales? There is so much music written in Bb, Eb, and Ab, that to ignore them seems odd at best.

Just so you know, I do teach all my students all scales and chord progressions, I-IV-I-V-V7-I.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1591979 01/06/11 02:12 PM
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Some students learn it better by building it up bit by bit; others understand more easily if they can see the whole picture from the start.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: John v.d.Brook] #1591983 01/06/11 02:19 PM
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pianoist d'amore Offline OP
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Sorry if my previous post was confusing. In my handout, the circle of fifth (for major scales, skipping the relative minors for convenience of discussion) consist of the following ones in the order that my teacher plans to teach:
C -> G -> D -> A -> E -> B -> F# -> C# -> Cb -> Gb -> Db -> Ab -> Eb -> Bb -> F
So we are skipping G#, D#, A#, Fb, Bbb, Ebb, which involve double sharps or double flats.
I guess I'm trying to figure out what "all scales" typically include?

Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1591986 01/06/11 02:23 PM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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This is a completely different question. No scales are being left out, rather,you're confusing enharmonics, which are identical scales with different names. There are only 12 keys in an octave and thus only 12 possible major scales. Many have two names, ie, Cb or B; C# or Db, etc.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
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Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: david_a] #1591991 01/06/11 02:35 PM
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findingnemo2010 Offline
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Originally Posted by david_a
Some students learn it better by building it up bit by bit; others understand more easily if they can see the whole picture from the start.


For me as a student, I find it easier to learn bit by bit or key by key, then eventually I see the big picture.


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: findingnemo2010] #1592020 01/06/11 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by joeb84
Originally Posted by david_a
Some students learn it better by building it up bit by bit; others understand more easily if they can see the whole picture from the start.


For me as a student, I find it easier to learn bit by bit or key by key, then eventually I see the big picture.
Yes, but remember that's just you, and other students are different.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: John v.d.Brook] #1592124 01/06/11 05:29 PM
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pianoist d'amore Offline OP
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Right, but those key signatures only share the same scale on a 12-et keyboard instrument like piano, not an archicembalo or a harpischord. My teacher does play harpischord too... I guess the conclusion is double sharps and double flats are beyond the scope of typical piano lessons then.

Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
This is a completely different question. No scales are being left out, rather,you're confusing enharmonics, which are identical scales with different names. There are only 12 keys in an octave and thus only 12 possible major scales. Many have two names, ie, Cb or B; C# or Db, etc.

Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1592147 01/06/11 06:04 PM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Hummm, the last harpsichord I played only had twelve keys per octave. In fact, I've seen hundreds of harpsichords, and have yet to see one with 13 or more keys per octave.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
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Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1592206 01/06/11 07:33 PM
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Some older keyboards (can't remember which instruments specifically), before the temperaments of the Baroque period took hold, were built with split keys to accommodate the tuning systems then current.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: david_a] #1592245 01/06/11 08:39 PM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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David, I believe you, but now, I'm going to have to revisit the instrument museums in Berlin, Nurnberg and Munchen to "look" more closely!


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: david_a] #1592304 01/06/11 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by david_a
Some older keyboards (can't remember which instruments specifically), before the temperaments of the Baroque period took hold, were built with split keys to accommodate the tuning systems then current.


I just had a discussion with a student about the older tuning systems that led to wondering about extra keys. Must go search to see if I can find a picture of one of those keyboards.


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Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1592310 01/06/11 10:38 PM
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Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1592319 01/06/11 11:10 PM
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There is also a picture and a short explanation on Wikipedia, listed under "Split sharp".


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: david_a] #1592345 01/07/11 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by david_a
There is also a picture and a short explanation on Wikipedia, listed under "Split sharp".
I have a split sharp on my small harpsichord, but it has nothing to do with different temperaments - it's actually to accommodate two extra notes without making the keyboard longer. The low C# has a split portion which plays A, the D# has B, and what appears to be a B is actually tuned to low G.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: currawong] #1592356 01/07/11 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by currawong
Originally Posted by david_a
There is also a picture and a short explanation on Wikipedia, listed under "Split sharp".
I have a split sharp on my small harpsichord, but it has nothing to do with different temperaments - it's actually to accommodate two extra notes without making the keyboard longer. The low C# has a split portion which plays A, the D# has B, and what appears to be a B is actually tuned to low G.
That was the other possible reason for split keys: to get a couple more of the most-used low bass notes without adding another octave to the keyboard.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1592487 01/07/11 10:00 AM
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Very interesting. However, considering the tuning system in use back then, the woof tones would have precluded writing music or using modulations into keys very distant from C, G, D, & F. The dominant of the dominant of F, Eb, would have had a lot of sour sounding notes. Gb would have been unbearable. Enharmonic keys signatures were a non-issue.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1592632 01/07/11 02:08 PM
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apple* Offline
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i love this circle of fourths exercise. a fellow church musician gave this to me years ago. One simply plays the music thru the fourths. It sounds great and is great fun to play.

one plays the Ist, and then the Vth in the left hand, hits upon the seventh in the right and starts the next measure a fourth up. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy. I can email you a better copy if you pm me.

[Linked Image]


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1592680 01/07/11 03:16 PM
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Hmm, well there are no fourths, it's all fifths. I know it looks like fourths, but alas it's not (turn a fourth around and it becomes a fifth).
The way you describe, it is a cycle of Dominant fifths. V > I
Also your example is "wrong" it should be the other way around: sharps to the right, flats to the left.
(I know there are examples depicting flats left, etc)
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Re: teaching circle of fifth [Re: pianoist d'amore] #1592692 01/07/11 03:34 PM
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i should have mentioned that it is the circle of fifths, just 'played' backwards.

Last edited by apple*; 01/07/11 05:03 PM.

accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
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