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Re: Multiple Choice Quiz - Basic Music Theory [Re: Larry Martin] #2855793
06/05/19 02:07 PM
06/05/19 02:07 PM
Joined: May 2015
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Florida
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No book, especially one so generously provided for free, can be everything to everyone. We all understand concepts differently and learn differently. At least one more experienced forum member was not taught the circle of fifths. Therefore, I would not recommend re-writing entire sections to be based on intervals.

Of course, this is ultimately Larry’s decision, but I would wait for his thoughts about complete revision.


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Re: Multiple Choice Quiz - Basic Music Theory [Re: malkin] #2855803
06/05/19 02:43 PM
06/05/19 02:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
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Canada
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Originally Posted by malkin
Rewriting everything in steps and half steps doesn't make sense to me.
If the distance from the ground to the roof of a building is 12' then it is 12' no matter how many rungs the ladder has. You can build any ladder you want with any number of rungs that are equally spaced or unequally spaced, but the ladder will not change the distance from the ground to the roof.

Yes, this is true, i.e. "rewriting in steps and half step". However, having a grasp at the foundation level is needed, and that part gets skipped a lot. For reasons of the physics of sound, musical tones are seen within the span of an octave, and this octave is subdivided. The smallest unit in Western music is the semitone (C to C# or Db; two adjacent piano keys). Written music also reflects this basic division.

We then work with that music. We encounter theory, either through figuring things out in our music, or directly by studying theory. We get major thirds, minor thirds, perfects, major and minor chords and at some point run into C D# which uses the same piano keys as C Eb, sounds the same, but is an "aug 2". A lot of us might memorize rules, and more rules. But it's good to get a real grasp. We have two realities here. One is the "naming convention" which comes together with written notation. The other is "what it really is" - and here, an "absolute unit of measure" is called for. Our C Eb and C D# are at an absolute distance apart (for piano etc.) which can be measured in semitones, regardless of what the notes are called.

The tritone explanation of FB, degrees 4 to 7 - is a shortcut explanation which creates confusion - but understanding the tritone as 3 whole tones gives us an absolute measure.

I'd even propose something similar for time (some other occasion).

----------------------
When I taught grade 2, units of measure were introduced that grade (meter, decameter, centimeter)., Our curriculum guidelines started with establishing the need for standard units. The kids were to try measure things with non-standard things, and discover that their hands and feet were different sizes. From there we went to cm. etc. To decide which was the most suitable for measuring things (meter stick for the room: cm. for a pencil; decameter for a desk). This has also been on my mind.

Quote
If the distance from the ground to the roof of a building is 12' then it is 12' no matter how many rungs the ladder has. You can build any ladder you want with any number of rungs that are equally spaced or unequally spaced, but the ladder will not change the distance from the ground to the roof.


True. But you'll want to know that the distance from the ground is 12', and how long your ladder is. At the point where you are climbing onto a roof to do repairs, you will have grasped the concept of inches, feet, yards, miles and it all makes sense to it. We are thrown into this music world with no background, often, and we're given shortcuts to make it all go fast. I think Larry had a point to find the angle that he did.

Re: Multiple Choice Quiz - Basic Music Theory [Re: dogperson] #2855804
06/05/19 02:45 PM
06/05/19 02:45 PM
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Canada
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Originally Posted by dogperson
No book, especially one so generously provided for free, can be everything to everyone. We all understand concepts differently and learn differently.

No, but it can become a point of discussion and exploration, if anyone is interested.

I set out my thoughts to this end in a previous longer post. If there is interest.

Re: Multiple Choice Quiz - Basic Music Theory [Re: keystring] #2855869
06/05/19 06:38 PM
06/05/19 06:38 PM
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Physics of sound was a required part of my graduate training in Speech and Hearing Science. Even though it was quite a while ago, I haven't forgotten all of it yet.

Anyway, if you and Larry Martin want to see the world in terms of half steps and steps, knock yourselves out! smile


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Re: Multiple Choice Quiz - Basic Music Theory [Re: malkin] #2855884
06/05/19 07:59 PM
06/05/19 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Physics of sound was a required part of my graduate training in Speech and Hearing Science. Even though it was quite a while ago, I haven't forgotten all of it yet.

Anyway, if you and Larry Martin want to see the world in terms of half steps and steps, knock yourselves out! smile


I don't know what Larry "wants" and I certainly never said I "want" anything like that. I suggested some explorations if anyone is interested, and I gave examples in regards to a way of viewing major and minor scales, and also modes. I remember when I first studied music theory, that there were some aspects that were a bit wanting, and the angle of intervals might well fit that gap.

Physics of sound was mentioned in the context of music and the subdivision (and reason for) the octave, and is not really that important here.

It would be cool to have discussion of ideas - not discussion of whether there might be a discussion. wink

Re: Multiple Choice Quiz - Basic Music Theory [Re: Larry Martin] #2855906
06/05/19 09:48 PM
06/05/19 09:48 PM
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Maine
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I think people learn musical concepts by different paths, and find different types of explanations most helpful to them when starting out. Some people get a lucky match of congenial (for them) type of explanation the first time out of the gate; others don’t. One hopes that the ones that weren’t so lucky ultimately find an explanation that makes sense to them.

Ultimately musical concepts interlock in many ways, and I think it’s useful to understand them from many different angles. This probably develops over time for some people, rather than being absorbed all at once in beginning study.

I first learned modes the way keystring describes she first learned modes. However, what keystring found to be complicated and clumsy, seemed perfectly sensible and simple to me. The later explanation that she found more sensible, has always been more difficult for me.


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Re: Multiple Choice Quiz - Basic Music Theory [Re: PianoStudent88] #2855912
06/05/19 10:56 PM
06/05/19 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I first learned modes the way keystring describes she first learned modes. However, what keystring found to be complicated and clumsy, seemed perfectly sensible and simple to me. The later explanation that she found more sensible, has always been more difficult for me.

I must say that the first way originally was straightforward and sensible to me too. But later when I tried to actually work with them, I found myself doing rather convoluted and intellectual things.

That's why I thought that it might be fun to expand on what got started here, but only of anyone is interested in doing so.

Re: Multiple Choice Quiz - Basic Music Theory [Re: Larry Martin] #2855913
06/05/19 11:02 PM
06/05/19 11:02 PM
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And I have continued to find that first way to be usable for everything I want to do with modes — and I really like modes, so I keep an eye out for them.

For my own playing, I like Locrian best, but will take Phrygian in a pinch.

ETA: if I were playing more jazz, I think I’d have to find a different way to come at modes. But I’d also need to thoroughly revamp how I understand harmony in that case, too.

EETA: but even though I’d need to revamp completely for jazz, to get a deeper understanding of something that still eludes me about jazz, I don’t regret learning modes the way I did. I’ve gotten tons of use out of that original way I learned them.

Last edited by PianoStudent88; 06/05/19 11:08 PM.

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Re: Multiple Choice Quiz - Basic Music Theory [Re: PianoStudent88] #2855917
06/05/19 11:38 PM
06/05/19 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
EETA: but even though I’d need to revamp completely for jazz, to get a deeper understanding of something that still eludes me about jazz, I don’t regret learning modes the way I did. I’ve gotten tons of use out of that original way I learned them.

Thinking about this: The original way certainly gave me a good first handle on them, and I still refer back to it to this day.

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