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How do I know what octave to play? #2632687
04/13/17 11:06 AM
04/13/17 11:06 AM
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Cutestpuppie Offline OP
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I know this is a dumb nooby question and everyone should know but I don't know and I am still a noob.

Basically when you play a piece (the piece I play have big jumps) how do you know what C, G, Fb, and B etc etc etc to hit on the keyboard? Where does it say on the sheet music that you need to play this C on x y z?

Typed on iPhone


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Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2632689
04/13/17 11:28 AM
04/13/17 11:28 AM
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Morodiene Offline
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Each line or space on the staff (or above/below the staff) refers to a specific key on the piano. So technically, there is a specific line or space in sheet music that refers to each and every key on the piano:

[Linked Image]

Practically, speaking, however, reading 7-8 ledger lines (those are lines that go above or below a staff to extend it) is problematic. Some there are "shortcuts" like using the "8va" or "15ma" signs for playing the written notes an octave or two octaves higher (if written above the note) or lower (if written below the note).

[Linked Image]


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Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2632691
04/13/17 11:40 AM
04/13/17 11:40 AM
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Morodiene Offline
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Note: I couldn't find a diagram that showed all of the notes on the staff that the piano can play.


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Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2632694
04/13/17 11:48 AM
04/13/17 11:48 AM
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The other thing you really have to watch out for is that sometimes the clefs will have a tiny sneaky little 8 or 15 above or below them. If above, the whole staff goes up an octave or two. If below, it goes down. It's just like the "8va" or "15ma", only without the horizontal dotted line everywhere.

Circle them in red, highlight them, they're tiny but they make a big difference.



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Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2632700
04/13/17 12:00 PM
04/13/17 12:00 PM
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rocket88 Offline
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Another thing to watch out for is that the clefs can change.

For example, instead of having a Treble clef on top and a Bass Clef on the bottom of the Grand Staff, it can be two Treble clefs, one on top and one on the bottom.

And these changes can occur in the middle of a piece.


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Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2632715
04/13/17 12:58 PM
04/13/17 12:58 PM
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Alexander Borro Offline
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FWIW, I suppose another way to look at it which is clear from the diagrams above posted by Morodiene is that there is a unique one to one correspondence of each key/note on the keyboard to a unique place on the staff.

I know it is kind of stating the obvious, but the fact that you asked the question makes me think that you think middle c could be written in more than one place, an octave above or below and map to the same key, which is not the case ( apart from the conventions pointed out using notations like 8va and such. With that in mind, on the treble clef

[Linked Image]


the above note, middle C corresponds to the middle C key on the keyboard ... only, there is no ambiguity, not any other note or an octave higher or lower.

Just like math, there is a good analogy with sets, that we all learned in school at some stage.

[Linked Image]

Think of the points in the set on the right as the notes on the staff, the points on left as key positions, note that there is just a one to one mapping/correspondence in this representation, if there wasn't, there would be ambiguity. In math or musical notation there is no room for such things, the information must be precisely defined.

No pun intended here on musical expression of course laugh , which cannot be precisely defined with musical notation, another topic, but in terms of specifying the length and exact note to be played on the keyboard, it's black and white, there is only one correct answer.

All that means in the above analogy is that the mapping of musical notation on the staff to keys on a keyboard cannot be like so

[Linked Image]


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Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2632846
04/14/17 02:39 AM
04/14/17 02:39 AM
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Middle C is approximately where the key hole is on an acoustic piano.

On a digital keyboard it will be the C that is closest to the midpoint, when, and only when you have reset any electronic key-bed transposition that you may have.

To find any other notes in the right octave, you use that as a reference.


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Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: JohnSprung] #2633032
04/14/17 04:36 PM
04/14/17 04:36 PM
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Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
The other thing you really have to watch out for is that sometimes the clefs will have a tiny sneaky little 8 or 15 above or below them.
This notation is technically an option, but is rarely seen in common practice.



Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2633066
04/14/17 06:51 PM
04/14/17 06:51 PM
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Cutestpuppie Offline OP
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Thank you everyone! I appreciate all your answers smile
I have 1 last request. May someone link a piece that has moving octaves? I want to check them out and see if I can pin point them on the keyboard laugh

Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2633079
04/14/17 07:43 PM
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Polyphonist Offline
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What do you mean by "moving octaves"?


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Polyphonist] #2633081
04/14/17 07:49 PM
04/14/17 07:49 PM
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Cutestpuppie Offline OP
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sorry i meant pieces that have different octaves with the same notes. Sorry my english sucks and I'm on my phone too laugh

Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2633095
04/14/17 08:49 PM
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Literally any piece you choose will contain some instance or another of the same note occurring in different octaves.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2633099
04/14/17 08:59 PM
04/14/17 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Cutestpuppie
sorry i meant pieces that have different octaves with the same notes. Sorry my english sucks and I'm on my phone too laugh



Bottom of page 1, and page 2 of (also top of page 4)
Malaguena- Lecouna

Last edited by dogperson; 04/14/17 09:02 PM.
Re: How do I know what octave to play? [Re: Cutestpuppie] #2633230
04/15/17 11:21 AM
04/15/17 11:21 AM
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I suspect a weakness in how you first learned to read notes. That is, if you learn to read notes by memorizing note names for the notes on the staff: C, D, F, G etc., and you also memorize note names of piano keys, which also have the 7 names of C, D, E, F, G, A, B - then if you "read" by saying "this note is A", that A corresponds to a bunch of A's on the piano.

You need to develop an association with the notes on the lines and spaces and location on the keyboard. Maybe at this stage you can begin with landmark notes. Middle C is an obvious one, since this marks where you sit. Find where the next C up is on both staff and keyboard.

I learned something helpful last year to add to my reading. I traced where the bottom and top lines in the treble and bass staff are, on the piano. In the treble clef that is E4 and F5. I put my hand covering that span of notes, playing the E and F, and just internalizing that. In the bass clef it is G2 (2?) and A3 - I do the same there. After doing this for a while, those two areas of the keyboard just sort of lit up as "the place where that range of notes on the page are". I had some weaknesses in register in the past, and could easily end up playing in the wrong octave. I didn't necessarily hear that it was wrong, either.


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