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Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992207 05/15/08 03:40 PM
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The "doh" in sole mio does change for those of us who lived exclusively in that world, but I think this discussion will only lead into confusion. The occasion is too brief to do much with it.

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Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992208 05/15/08 04:03 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by LaValse:
For some reason reminded me of "Earth: mostly harmless".
I miss Douglas Adams.

Died way too young. The brilliant sometimes do.


"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro
Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992209 05/15/08 05:13 PM
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ROMagister, this is what I was talking about to give a rough idea:
Sample
This piece is in an ABA pattern that modulates from C major to G major to C major. C is circled in green and G is circled in red.

You have the same theme repeated over and over and then there are various little variations. You can see it geometrically becuase the same shape of note patterns happens (circled). The left hand states the theme, the the right repeats it an octave below.

When you get to the red part the whole thing has slid up 5 notes. There's your modulation to G major. I've circled the telltale F#.

Then it goes back into C major. That B with an arrow leads into the original key: It's like somebody lifting their foot and waiting to put it down again and you want to hear that C.

Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992210 05/15/08 05:36 PM
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huami Offline OP
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thank you all for the replies.

I am looking forward to reading up on all the suggested links.


tricia
Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992211 05/15/08 06:36 PM
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Hi huami,

Perhaps a plain English overview of what keys are might help. I'll attempt one.

"Keys" are just a way of picking a smaller team of notes from the 12 available. The underlying idea is that the team you choose are likely to combine well together to give certain effects, without too many clashes and problems. However it doesn't mean that you always have to ONLY use that team. You can bring a substitute in if you like. wink



The terms "Scale" and "Key" don't mean exactly the same thing, but they are closely related ideas. If we're building a scale for G Major, for instance, it means that we apply the formula for selecting a major scale and pick 7 notes from the full 12, starting with G. There are other ways of building different scales that use only 5 or 6 notes, etc but 7 is the usual number for 'standard' major or minor keys.

When we play "In the key of G major" we do indeed mostly use the notes from that scale to build our chords and play a melody line. But we don't HAVE to stick to only using the "team". We can add notes from outside the scale if we find them useful. The concept is that the piece in G Major will "centre" around that sound and feeling - even if the G Major chord itself is not obviously prominent. It's also usually where the piece takes you to at the end, although that's not strictly essential either.


It's perhaps a bit like looking at one of your pictures. You might mostly use a palette of carefully selected tones that are known to go well together to create a certain look, feel or mood, yet in any given square of paint use a dash of something else to help create the effect. You choose your overall palette with care, but what you're really after is the "spirit" of Meher Baba, for instance, not just a snapshot of what he looked like, so you may go outside the precise set of colours that were found in his skin tones and clothes.


Hope that didn't make it more confusing... shocked

Cheers,

Chris


Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...
Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992212 05/15/08 08:08 PM
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Hope that didn't make it more confusing... [Embarrassed]
Not at all Chris. that is an excellent way of putting it.


tricia
Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992213 05/15/08 10:45 PM
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Well I'll just throw this little tidbit out there for anyone having trouble identifying Major key signatures:

Sharps:
Look at the last sharp in the signature (reading left to right), the key name is half a step above the last sharp. So if the last sharp is g#, the key is A major. If the last sharp is f#, the key is G major, etc. Eventually you will recognize the key signature just from it's 'signature'.

Flats:
Look at the next-to-the-last flat in the signature, that's the key name. So if the next-to-last flat is Eb, the key is Eb. If the next-to-last flat is Bb, the key is Bb. This doesn't work for the key of F because it only has one flat, but that's easy to memorize.

If you subsequently determine that the piece sounds minor, you will have to step down to the relative minor. (If the key signature looks like Db major but the piece sounds minor, the key is probably Bb minor).


"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown
Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992214 05/15/08 11:15 PM
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For perspective and historical reasons only: There was no music education at all while I went to school. The exception was a primary grade in which a teacher set up a vertical solfege board and used a pointer for us to sing patterns. That sustained me for the next 35 years until very recently. All my "reading" during that time was based exclusively on the following:
- "do" is one note up from the last sharp
- The last flat is "fa" (It works)
- If you feel like saying "la" instead of "do" then it's in a minor key.
- ability to sing the major & natural minor scale and some common musical patterns.

Imagine learning a Beethoven piece or a guitar Sarabande having only that.

When I discovered music theory I was like Helen Keller with Teacher spelling W-A-T-E-R into her hand, then running around like mad wanting to know what everything else was called. Musical illiteracy in schools is neglect.

Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992215 05/16/08 12:16 AM
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Thanks Keystring for the Pachelbel Fughetta example and explanation !

But if the sequence is exactly shifted (say 7 semitones, C to G) that's called transposition ?

Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992216 05/16/08 01:34 AM
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But if the sequence is exactly shifted (say 7 semitones, C to G) that's called transposition ?
AFAIK, we call it a transposition when an entire piece is rewritten in a different key. (??) The piece is an example of a modulation: that means the music has moved into a different key but that key is only indicated through accidentals. There is a new tonal centre. Now it happens that this piece of music repeats a lot of things because it's a fugue. So the melodic line in measure 1 is repeated in bar 5 in G major, so technically I suppose it is a transposition. The same melody occurs again in bar 15, and this time it is an octave higher than in bar 1. Technically it's been transposed up an octave.

Here is a bit of that piece transposed into Bb major: transposed sample
The original is in C major, Bb is a major second below C, so all the notes are moved down by one note. The key signature takes care of the intervals within the piece.

When you get to bar 5, the music has modulated up a fifth, like the original, but this time it has moved from Bb major to F major. In the original we raised the note below the new tonic (G) (the 7th note of the scale) by a semitone from F to F# by adding a sharp. This time we raise the 7th note from Eb (in the key signature) to E natural by cancelling the flat through a natural sign.

So that's transposing music. All that gets into theory but I found it helped me understand the music I was reading to know how this works, and what a modulation was.

Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992217 05/16/08 01:45 AM
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Thanks again. Is that your handwriting especially for this example for me ? ;-)

So I understand now: transposition is 'permanent' (or for a whole piece), modulation is temporary, and for very short passages there's almost modulation ? Guess a piece 'flowering' around a chord sequence like I-V-vi-iii-IV-I-IV-V7 (you know them ! one Mother and dozens of chickens...) has this almost-modulation for each bar ?

Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992218 05/16/08 02:29 AM
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Well, I think that the word transposition is used most often when an entire piece is written in a different key with a change of key signature. But technically, because the Fughetta happens to repeat its little prhases completely, they are in essence transposed phrase.

Quote
Guess a piece 'flowering' around a chord sequence like I-V-vi-iii-IV-I-IV-V7
No, you are mixing two separate thing. That chord progression lies within each of the three modulations. Let me explain each in turn.

The piece as a whole is divided in three sections. You could continue the colour code of green for CM to the end of the first line. All of the next 2 lines are red for GM. The last 2 lines are green again. I see an aerial view of a farmer's land: corn field, potato field, corn field - yellow square, brown square, yellow square. The music plays out on these alternating fields. The listener experiences the motion from one key to the next as a broad, whole thing. There is a reason that the new key is often a P5 above the old key, but it's not part of chord progressions per se.

Your chord progressions are something else. Traditional music is like a series of sentences that have to be completed. You start with stability, move away from it, and find your equilibrium again. You are moving toward something which is related to the tonic. That helps this sentence to become a complete sentence. This happens within these chord progressions where eventually you're back at I. If you leave out the I, or stop before the end of the sentence you start itching to finish it because the music has not come home. Have you ever heard someone answer his cell phone before the passage plays through, and had to restrain yourself from homing the rest of it?

So the chord progressions are a way of making these sentences or that movement toward a homecoming happen. I don't understand more of it myself at this point. However, I can feel some of it when I listen to music or play it.

We can get caught up too much in the details. Sometimes when you start listening for these patterns which are like little stories they reveal themselves to you.

I don't know if I have confused more than explained.

Your chord pro

Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992219 05/16/08 02:56 AM
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Sorry for confusing. The chord progression I referred to was Pachelbel Canon [and Jolly Old St. Nicholas and lots of others...], not the Fughetta you wrote. And yes, not ending in I it still wants to cycle round and round...
I meant, each phrase that happens in one bar (or half-bar, depends on edition) is a different modulation, or not ?

Yes, the first scanned page of the Fughetta has 3 modulations (C, G, C').

I agree on the multi-leveled language of music.

So is car driving... a voyage epic, a mountainous curvy stretch poem, passing another car a sentence, changing gears an idiom, each pedal and hand move a phoneme... sorry for this OT.

Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992220 05/16/08 03:56 AM
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At this point I'll be talking out of my hat so I'll leave it where it is. Afaik, many canons are meant to go round and round. [Linked Image]

Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992221 05/17/08 05:52 AM
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huami Offline OP
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kind of amazing where this thread has lead.

i do not have much of an idea wot you are all talking about, but one day i will.

thank you all for getting into it & giving me something to boggle my brain about. laugh


tricia
Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992222 05/17/08 07:32 AM
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Hi Tricia,
I'm guilty of having gone off on a tangent. The problem with discussion boards is that different people are in different places.

The essential is this:
* Each key signature features a major scale that always sounds like a "do a deer" major scale, and the name of the key signature is the name of the starting note. I have a feeling that you already have a handle on that part.

* There are patterns that can let you memorize these key signatures and their sharps and flats with little effort.

* When you see lots of accidentals and it sounds as if you are in a different key than the major key, you might be in a minor key. Knowing how to tell whether you are in a minor key and how that works is very handy. Once you know how to do that it is good to make this the first step in playing a piece. That way you won't be lost because the written music makes sense.

I think at this point it is good simply for you to know that there is such a thing as a minor key, and that it has the same key signature as a major key.

Then it is also good for you to know that there is such a thing as a modulation. In a modulation, they have artificially changed the key signature using only accidentals. You can play the piece without ever being aware of a modulation, so it's not essential to know about it. But if your mind keeps telling you that you are hearing G major when you see a signature of C major, then it's less disorienting to know this.

In formal lessons or method books, these things are often presented in order, so that you don't encounter the minor keys and modulations right away. Then they will present a piece in a minor key and tell you "This is a minor key, and this is how it works." and you're all set to go.

It is helpful to study basic theory a little bit at a time (the site I gave is excellent) because then the music makes more and more sense.

Best

KS

Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992223 05/17/08 08:27 AM
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huami Offline OP
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thanks Ks .

I appreciate that all this will fall into place as soon as i study further. I have no problem with you all talking amongst yourselves & over my head. Once it all makes sense to me, i will be most appreciative. Alas, i am already. It was a fun read never the less.
I have come to the conclusion that musos are exceptionally good people. Well - i always knew that anyway.

xx


tricia
Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992224 05/17/08 08:49 AM
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I'd like to add something I've only just been taught. I had always figured out the minor key signature by determining the relative major (minor 3rd above)and raising the 6th and 7th on the way up (for the melodic minor) and lowering them again on the way down. This is not that difficult, but just this week my teacher explained it in a different way that is easier and makes more sense musically.

To play for example, C minor, we know the C major scale, now just lower the third to Eb for the ascending scale and lower the 7th (Bb)and 6th (Ab) on the way back - keeping the lowered 3rd. This of course it the same as its relative major of Eb. Thinking of it this way for me makes more sense aurally - helping me actually hear the differences between major and minor.


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Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992225 05/17/08 10:08 AM
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I'm Playing - Yessss! Thank you for that. You're talking about the melodic minor, of course. It has always sounded to me like The Scale That Can't Make Up It's Mind. wink

You can hear it talking to itself on the way up. "I'm a minor scale, yes I am, yes I am. Uhuh, uhuh, minor I am, minor." Then it gets past that Eb and it says "What makes you think I'm a minor scale? I started on C, I'm ending on C, and I do what any decent C major scale does." Then while descending, the pernicious beast says " Obviously I'm a natural minor scale. Can't you hear?"

I swear, the first time I heard a melodic minor scale, it was talking to itself and I overheard it. My average age is probably 5 with a vivid imagination.

Your teacher's approach is very helpful.

Re: playing in the key of bumptity bump
#992226 05/18/08 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by keystring:The essential is this:
* Each key signature features a major scale that always sounds like a "do a deer" major scale, and the name of the key signature is the name of the starting note. I have a feeling that you already have a handle on that part.
You can't depend on that! The name of the key is not allways the same as the starting note. Sometimes the first chord is not even a tonic chord.

This reminds me of a time when I was playing keys with a band, providing accompaniment for a variety show. A singer comes up with her guitar and announces she is going to sing "He Touched Me" in the key of D. She made the same mistake; since the first chord was D (dominant) She assumed that was the key of the song.

The band was lost at first and just stoped and listened to her guitar chords and soon realized she was in G.


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
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