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Note reading: low to high? #2920480 12/06/19 07:38 PM
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I'm trying to improve my sight reading and am wondering if paying attention to how I 'see' the notes will help. (Of course, this is also an issue with pieces I am trying to learn over time.)

When reading notes, do you read them from the lowest to the highest, highest to the lowest, or do you just see them as a whole, kind of like a word?

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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920495 12/06/19 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DutchTea
I'm trying to improve my sight reading and am wondering if paying attention to how I 'see' the notes will help. (Of course, this is also an issue with pieces I am trying to learn over time.)

When reading notes, do you read them from the lowest to the highest, highest to the lowest, or do you just see them as a whole, kind of like a word?





If you are reading quickly, "word recognition" is the only way.

. . . But it takes a long time to master.

Any "note by note" system will be slow:

. . .everyone starts with that.

IMHO, music in an unfamiliar style always needs "note by note" reading.


. Charles
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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920506 12/06/19 09:26 PM
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It's my understanding that most people read low to high, but they're reading intervals and not notes per se. The notes C-E-G, for example, would be read as C, lowest note, then the note a third above that, and a note a third above that (or the note a fifth above the C). That's my understanding based on discussion in the Teacher's sub-forum. Intervals would appear to be the preferred teaching method when teaching how to read music.


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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920513 12/06/19 10:49 PM
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‘Read from the bottom up’ is a good strategy it helps standardize where/how you start reading (as opposed to randomly starting anywhere, in any direction) and it also helps you see how harmonies are constructed. But keep in mind, it’s a strategy to help you practice fundamental reading skills. Here are the fundamental skills that I find are useful to be aware of (while using ‘read from the bottom up’):

1. Note recognition - knowing how to quickly play the right key from a note
2. Intervals - knowing how to quickly get from one note to the next
3. Whole words - quickly knowing what key pattern belongs to a group of notes

In the beginning, you might learn these individually until you start to internalize how they build on and support each other. Long term, you’ll be constantly improving each individual skill fusing them more and more into the larger reading meta-skill.


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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920520 12/07/19 02:17 AM
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Hi Dutch Tea, not an answer to your question, but it helped me tremendously to use random single-note melody lines (both for treble and for bass clef) and sing the names of the notes while I played them.


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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920536 12/07/19 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by DutchTea

When reading notes, do you read them from the lowest to the highest, highest to the lowest, or do you just see them as a whole, kind of like a word?

The way you read notes in the score will change with more experience & expertise over the years.

Familiarity with common patterns (chords, arpeggios, scale passages etc) means that you'll just take in the whole lot in one go. Strange-looking or unfamiliar ones take 'time' to decipher. In the early reading years, much of what you read isn't familiar enough to be able to take in at a glance. You will have to scan up and down the staves frequently, back and forth between your hands and the score if you haven't yet developed a proprioceptive sense of the keyboard, and likely you'll also need to linger longer on 4-note chords (especially with accidentals) than on single notes, just to be able to take all the notes in.

Just like in English, if you come across a strange word like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, you'll have to linger on it to get every syllable, whereas if you come across 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", you can immediately take the whole sentence in at a glance.

In other words, efficiency comes with practice and experience, rather than a universal methodology.


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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920616 12/07/19 10:02 AM
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Thank you for the replies. That helps. I understand that chords and more difficult note configurations should be read like a word. It's just that implementing that isn't always easy. From what I'm reading here it looks like while sight reading, I should probably focus on bottom to top and intervals (which I am). I also need to get better at recognizing the right key in the notes too. It all takes time and practice, though, as you have said.

Funny story, or maybe sad, depending on how you look at it. Back when I was 40, I tried to learn the piano (I'm 60 now). I did it on my own without a teacher. I got pretty far, being able to plod my way through Fur Elise and Musette in D Major, Anh 126, but I never did learn the notes very well. I have my old Alfred's Adult piano book. Inside, almost every single note (past the basic ones) has a little letter next to it. I only learned those notes by their letter! Fortunately, my books now don't look that way. grin

Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920665 12/07/19 12:18 PM
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DutchTea, from my experience when learning a score, it is better to read the left hand notes (bass) from the bottom up. And the right hand from the top (the melody) down. Even with a teacher, I used to look at the top note in the left hand. It caused me to think of the wrong chord. For example; if I played a D with my little finger and a C with my thumb, in my mind I was thinking “C”. Even though I knew it was a D7 chord. In the right hand the most important note is the melody. If the lower note you play is the forth instead of the fifth, it’s not the end of the world.


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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920759 12/07/19 06:43 PM
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Work on Bach preludes, that'll give you some serious note recognition, LOL.


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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920764 12/07/19 07:12 PM
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You bring up a good point. I did Bach's Prelude in G Major a couple months ago. I stunk at it. My son told me I needed to just recognize the chords for it to go smoother. Easier said than done! Maybe I should take a look at that one again.

Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920796 12/07/19 09:58 PM
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Cm improved my reading so much, it was crazy! Painful, but amazing!


Lisa

Currently working on RCM 7 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP, Kawai KDP110

"Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano!" - Frederic Chopin
Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: ebonykawai] #2920811 12/07/19 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Cm improved my reading so much, it was crazy! Painful, but amazing!

Sorry to be 'duh', but what does Cm mean?

Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920825 12/08/19 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by DutchTea
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Cm improved my reading so much, it was crazy! Painful, but amazing!

Sorry to be 'duh', but what does Cm mean?


I guess i'm just as dumb. What does Cm - in this context - mean?

Regards,


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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2920831 12/08/19 01:50 AM
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Previous posts were talking about Bach Preludes so I took Cm to mean the Bach's Prelude in C minor. .. perhaps the missing piece of info is that Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier has 24 Preludes (and Fugues) for each of the 24 Major/minor keys.


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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: Groove On] #2920849 12/08/19 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Groove On
Previous posts were talking about Bach Preludes so I took Cm to mean the Bach's Prelude in C minor. .. perhaps the missing piece of info is that Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier has 24 Preludes (and Fugues) for each of the 24 Major/minor keys.


There are two books of the Well Tempered Clavier, Book I, written in 1720, and Book II, written about twenty years later. They’re often referred to as the 48, or, at least, that’s how I’ve heard Schiff refer to them. I guess a piece in a certain key is assumed to be from Book I unless stated otherwise, but it doesn’t hurt to be more specific.

Last edited by LarryK; 12/08/19 04:11 AM.

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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: LarryK] #2920860 12/08/19 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
They’re often referred to as the 48, or, at least, that’s how I’ve heard Schiff refer to them.


Or the Old Testament.

Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: johnstaf] #2920864 12/08/19 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by LarryK
They’re often referred to as the 48, or, at least, that’s how I’ve heard Schiff refer to them.


Or the Old Testament.


Book I as the Old Testament, and Book II as the New Testament? That works.


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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: BruceD] #2920880 12/08/19 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by DutchTea
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Cm improved my reading so much, it was crazy! Painful, but amazing!

Sorry to be 'duh', but what does Cm mean?


I guess i'm just as dumb. What does Cm - in this context - mean?

Regards,


I really had to sit on my hands not to be a smart a**, and answer 'centimeter'... I guess I've been watching too much of Hans Liberg LOL


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Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: BruceD] #2921004 12/08/19 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by DutchTea
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Cm improved my reading so much, it was crazy! Painful, but amazing!

Sorry to be 'duh', but what does Cm mean?


I guess i'm just as dumb. What does Cm - in this context - mean?

Regards,


Yes, sorry, Cm is my shorthand for C minor, in this case BWV 999. My internet time has been limited lately, sorry about that!


Lisa

Currently working on RCM 7 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP, Kawai KDP110

"Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano!" - Frederic Chopin
Re: Note reading: low to high? [Re: DutchTea] #2921504 12/10/19 04:52 AM
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The habits of reading notes should be brought up in a directional way. After the first stage, when each note is read directly and in isolation (the rest of the text can be blocked by white sheets), starting with two notes, you must proceed to reading BETWEEN notes using peripheral sight . In the notes, the points of direction of fixed glance are indicated by red crosses. Gradually increase the covered simultaneously group of notes.

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