How to reading music 2018

how to learn reading music notes faster and how to start reading guitar music and also describe what does sight reading in music mean
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Published Date:15-07-2017
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ReadingMusic: CommonNotation By: CatherineSchmidt-JonesChapter 1 Pitch 1 1.1 The Sta People were talking long b efore they invented writing. People were also making music long b efore anyone wrote any music down. Some musicians still play "by ear" (without written music), and some music traditions rely more on improvisation and/or "by ear" learning. But written music is very useful, for many of the same reasons that written words are useful. Music is easier to study and share if it is written down. W estern 2 music sp ecializes in long, complex pieces for large groups of musicians singing or playing parts exactly as a comp oser intended. Without written music, this would b e to o dicult. Many dierent typ es of music 3 notation have b een invented, and some, such as tablature , are still in use. By far the most widespread way to write music, however, is on a sta . In fact, this typ e of written music is so ubiquitous that it is called common notation . 1.1.1 The Sta The sta (plural staves ) is written as ve horizontal parallel lines. Most of the notes (Section 2.1) of the music are placed on one of these lines or in a space in b etween lines. Extra ledger lines may b e added to show a note that is to o high or to o low to b e on the sta. V ertical bar lines divide the sta into short sections called measures or bars. A double bar line , either heavy or light, is used to mark the ends of larger sections of music, including the very end of a piece, which is marked by a heavy double bar. 1 This content is av ailable online at http://cnx.org/content/m10880/2.9/. 2 "What Kind of Music is That?" http://cnx.org/content/m11421/latest/ 3 "Reading Guitar T ablature" http://cnx.org/content/m11905/latest/ 12 CHAPTER 1. PITCH The Sta Figure 1.1: The ve horizontal lines are the lines of the sta. In b etween the lines are the spaces. If a note is ab ove or b elow the sta, ledger lines are added to show how far ab ove or b elow. Shorter vertical lines are bar lines. The most imp ortant symb ols on the sta, the clef symb ol, key signature and time signature, app ear at the b eginning of the sta. Many dierent kinds of symb ols can app ear on, ab ove, and b elow the sta. The notes (Section 2.1) and rests (Section 2.2) are the actual written music. A note stands for a sound; a rest stands for a silence. Other symb ols on the sta, like the clef (Section 1.2) symb ol, the key signature (Section 1.4), and the time signature (Section 2.3), tell you imp ortant information ab out the notes and measures. Symb ols that app ear ab ove and b elow the music may tell you how fast it go es (temp o (Section 2.6) markings), how loud it should b e (dynamic (Section 3.1) markings), where to go next (rep eats (Section 2.7), for example) and even give directions for how to p erform particular notes (accents (p. 59), for example). Other Symb ols on the Sta Figure 1.2: The bar lines divide the sta into short sections called bars or measures. The notes (sounds) and rests (silences) are the written music. Many other symb ols may app ear on, ab ove, or b elow the sta, giving directions for how to play the music. 1.1.2 Groups of staves Staves are read from left to right. Beginning at the top of the page, they are read one sta at a time unless they are connected. If staves should b e played at the same time (by the same p erson or by dierent p eople), they will b e connected at least by a long vertical line at the left hand side. They may also b e connected by their bar lines. Staves played by similar instruments or voices, or staves that should b e played by the same3 p erson (for example, the right hand and left hand of a piano part) may b e group ed together by braces or brackets at the b eginning of each line. Groups of Staves (a) (b) Figure 1.3: (b) When many staves are to b e played at the same time, as in this orchestral score, the lines for similar instruments - all the violins, for example, or all the strings - may b e marked with braces or brackets.4 CHAPTER 1. PITCH 4 1.2 Clef 1.2.1 T reble Clef and Bass Clef The rst symb ol that app ears at the b eginning of every music sta (Section 1.1) is a clef symb ol . It is very imp ortant b ecause it tells you which note (Section 2.1) (A, B, C, D, E, F, or G) is found on each line or space. F or example, a treble clef symb ol tells you that the second line from the b ottom (the line that the symb ol curls around) is "G". On any sta, the notes are always arranged so that the next letter is always on the next higher line or space. The last note letter, G, is always followed by another A. T reble Clef Figure 1.4 A bass clef symb ol tells you that the second line from the top (the one bracketed by the symb ol’s dots) is F. The notes are still arranged in ascending order, but they are all in dierent places than they were in treble clef. Bass Clef Figure 1.5 4 This content is av ailable online at http://cnx.org/content/m10941/2.15/.5 1.2.2 Memorizing the Notes in Bass and T reble Clef One of the rst steps in learning to read music in a particular clef is memorizing where the notes are. Many students prefer to memorize the notes and spaces separately . Here are some of the most p opular mnemonics used. (a) (b) Figure 1.6: Y ou can use a word or silly sentence to help you memorize which notes b elong on the lines or spaces of a clef. If you don’t like these ones, you can make up your own. 1.2.3 Moveable Clefs Most music these days is written in either bass clef or treble clef, but some music is written in a C clef . The 5 C clef is moveable: whatever line it centers on is a middle C . 5 "Octaves and the Ma jor-Minor T onal System" http://cnx.org/content/m10862/latest/p2bb6 CHAPTER 1. PITCH C Clefs Figure 1.7: All of the notes on this sta are middle C. The bass and treble clefs were also once moveable, but it is now very rare to see them anywhere but in their standard p ositions. If you do see a treble or bass clef symb ol in an unusual place, rememb er: treble clef is a G clef ; its spiral curls around a G. Bass clef is an F clef ; its two dots center around an F. Moveable G and F Clefs Figure 1.8: It is rare these days to see the G and F clefs in these nonstandard p ositions. Much more common is the use of a treble clef that is meant to b e read one o ctave b elow the written pitch. Since many p eople are uncomfortable reading bass clef, someone writing music that is meant to sound in the region of the bass clef may decide to write it in the treble clef so that it is easy to read. A very small "8" at the b ottom of the treble clef symb ol means that the notes should sound one o ctave lower than they are written.7 Figure 1.9: A small "8" at the b ottom of a treble clef means that the notes should sound one o ctave lower than written. 1.2.4 Why use dierent clefs? Music is easier to read and write if most of the notes fall on the sta and few ledger lines (p. 1) have to b e used. Figure 1.10: These scores show the same notes written in treble and in bass clef. The sta with fewer ledger lines is easier to read and write. 6 The G indicated by the treble clef is the G ab ove middle C , while the F indicated by the bass clef is the F b elow middle C. (C clef indicates middle C.) So treble clef and bass clef together cover many of the notes 7 that are in the range of human voices and of most instruments. V oices and instruments with higher ranges usually learn to read treble clef, while voices and instruments with lower ranges usually learn to read bass clef. Instruments with ranges that do not fall comfortably into either bass or treble clef may use a C clef or 8 may b e transp osing instruments . 6 "Octaves and the Ma jor-Minor T onal System" http://cnx.org/content/m10862/latest/p2bb 7 "Range" http://cnx.org/content/m12381/latest/ 8 "T ransp osing Instruments" http://cnx.org/content/m10672/latest/8 CHAPTER 1. PITCH Figure 1.11: Middle C is ab ove the bass clef and b elow the treble clef; so together these two clefs cover much of the range of most voices and instruments. Exercise 1.1 (Solution on p. 24.) W rite the name of each note b elow the note on each sta in Figure 1.12. Figure 1.12 Exercise 1.2 (Solution on p. 24.) Cho ose a clef in which you need to practice recognizing notes ab ove and b elow the sta in Fig- ure 1.13. W rite the clef sign at the b eginning of the sta, and then write the correct note names b elow each note.9 Figure 1.13 Exercise 1.3 (Solution on p. 25.) Figure 1.14 gives more exercises to help you memorize whichever clef you are learning. Y ou may 9 print these exercises as a PDF worksheet if you like. 9 http://cnx.org/content/m10941/latest/ClefW orksheet.p df10 CHAPTER 1. PITCH Figure 1.1411 10 1.3 Pitch: Sharp, Flat, and Natural Notes 11 12 The pitch of a note is how high or low it sounds. Pitch dep ends on the frequency of the fundamental 13 sound wave of the note. The higher the frequency of a sound wave, and the shorter its wavelength , the higher its pitch sounds. But musicians usually don’t want to talk ab out wavelengths and frequencies. Instead, they just give the dierent pitches dierent letter names: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. These seven letters name all the natural notes (on a keyb oard, that’s all the white keys) within one o ctave. (When you get to the 14 eighth natural note, you start the next o ctave on another A.) Figure 1.15: The natural notes name the white keys on a keyb oard. 15 But in W estern music there are twelve notes in each o ctave that are in common use. How do you name the other ve notes (on a keyb oard, the black keys)? 10 This content is av ailable online at http://cnx.org/content/m10943/2.9/. 11 "Acoustics for Music Theory": Section W avelength, F requency , and Pitch http://cnx.org/content/m13246/latest/s2 12 "Harmonic Series" http://cnx.org/content/m11118/latest/p1c 13 "Acoustics for Music Theory": Section W avelength, F requency , and Pitch http://cnx.org/content/m13246/latest/s2 14 "Octaves and the Ma jor-Minor T onal System" http://cnx.org/content/m10862/latest/ 15 "What Kind of Music is That?" http://cnx.org/content/m11421/latest/12 CHAPTER 1. PITCH Figure 1.16: Sharp, at, and natural signs can app ear either in the key signature (Section 1.4), or right in front of the note that they change. 16 A sharp sign means "the note that is one half step higher than the natural note". A at sign means "the note that is one half step lower than the natural note". Some of the natural notes are only one half step 17 apart, but most of them are a whole step apart. When they are a whole step apart, the note in b etween them can only b e named using a at or a sharp. Figure 1.17 Notice that, using ats and sharps, any pitch can b e given more than one note name. F or example, the G sharp and the A at are played on the same key on the keyb oard; they sound the same. Y ou can also name 16 "Half Steps and Whole Steps" http://cnx.org/content/m10866/latest/ 17 "Half Steps and Whole Steps" http://cnx.org/content/m10866/latest/13 and write the F natural as "E sharp"; F natural is the note that is a half step higher than E natural, which is the denition of E sharp. Notes that have dierent names but sound the same are called enharmonic (Section 1.5) notes. Figure 1.18: G sharp and A at sound the same. E sharp and F natural sound the same. Sharp and at signs can b e used in two ways: they can b e part of a key signature (Section 1.4), or they can mark accidentals. F or example, if most of the C’s in a piece of music are going to b e sharp, then a sharp sign is put in the "C" space at the b eginning of the sta (Section 1.1), in the key signature. If only a few of the C’s are going to b e sharp, then those C’s are marked individually with a sharp sign right in front of them. Pitches that are not in the key signature are called accidentals . Figure 1.19: When a sharp sign app ears in the C space in the key signature, all C’s are sharp unless marked as accidentals. A note can also b e double sharp or double at. A double sharp is two half steps (one whole step) higher than the natural note; a double at is two half steps (a whole step) lower. T riple, quadruple, etc. sharps and ats are rare, but follow the same pattern: every sharp or at raises or lowers the pitch one more half step.14 CHAPTER 1. PITCH Using double or triple sharps or ats may seem to b e making things more dicult than they need to b e. Why not call the note "A natural" instead of "G double sharp"? The answer is that, although A natural and G double sharp are the same pitch, they don’t have the same function within a particular chord or a particular key . F or musicians who understand some music theory (and that includes most p erformers, not just comp osers and music teachers), calling a note "G double sharp" gives imp ortant and useful information 18 19 ab out how that note functions in the chord and in the progression of the harmony . Figure 1.20: Double sharps raise the pitch by two half steps (one whole step). Double ats lower the pitch by two half steps (one whole step). 20 1.4 Key Signature The key signature comes right after the clef (Section 1.2) symb ol on the sta (Section 1.1). It may have either some sharp (Section 1.3) symb ols on particular lines or spaces, or some at (Section 1.3) symb ols, again on particular lines or spaces. If there are no ats or sharps listed after the clef symb ol, then the key signature is "all notes are natural". In common notation, clef and key signature are the only symb ols that normally app ear on every sta. They app ear so often b ecause they are such imp ortant symb ols; they tell you what note is on each line and space of the sta. The clef tells you the letter name of the note (A, B, C, etc.), and the key tells you whether the note is sharp, at or natural. 18 "Harmony": Chords http://cnx.org/content/m11654/latest/l0b 19 "Beginning Harmonic Analysis" http://cnx.org/content/m11643/latest/ 20 This content is av ailable online at http://cnx.org/content/m10881/2.11/.15 Figure 1.21 21 The key signature is a list of all the sharps and ats in the key that the music is in. When a sharp (or at) app ears on a line or space in the key signature, all the notes on that line or space are sharp (or at), and all other notes with the same letter names in other o ctaves are also sharp (or at). Figure 1.22: This key signature has a at on the "B" line, so all of these B’s are at. The sharps or ats always app ear in the same order in all key signatures. This is the same order in which they are added as keys get sharp er or atter. F or example, if a key (G ma jor or E minor) has only one sharp, it will b e F sharp, so F sharp is always the rst sharp listed in a sharp key signature. The keys that have two sharps (D ma jor and B minor) have F sharp and C sharp, so C sharp is always the second sharp in a key signature, and so on. The order of sharps is: F sharp, C sharp, G sharp, D sharp, A sharp, E sharp, B sharp. The order of ats is the reverse of the order of sharps: B at, E at, A at, D at, G at, C at, F at. So the keys with only one at (F ma jor and D minor) have a B at; the keys with two ats (B at ma jor and G minor) have B at and E at; and so on. The order of 22 ats and sharps, like the order of the keys themselves, follows a circle of fths . 21 "Ma jor Keys and Scales" http://cnx.org/content/m10851/latest/ 22 "The Circle of Fifths" http://cnx.org/content/m10865/latest/16 CHAPTER 1. PITCH Figure 1.23 If you do not know the name of the key of a piece of music, the key signature can help you nd out. 23 Assume for a moment that you are in a ma jor key . If the key contains sharps, the name of the key is one 24 half step higher than the last sharp in the key signature. If the key contains ats, the name of the key signature is the name of the second-to-last at in the key signature. Example 1.1 Figure 1.24 demonstrates quick ways to name the (ma jor) key simply by lo oking at the key signature. In at keys, the second-to-last at names the key . In sharp keys, the note that names the key is one half step ab ove the nal sharp. Figure 1.24 The only ma jor keys that these rules do not work for are C ma jor (no ats or sharps) and F ma jor (one at). 23 "Ma jor Keys and Scales" http://cnx.org/content/m10851/latest/ 24 "Half Steps and Whole Steps" http://cnx.org/content/m10866/latest/17 It is easiest just to memorize the key signatures for these two very common keys. If you want a rule that 25 also works for the key of F ma jor, rememb er that the second-to-last at is always a p erfect fourth higher than (or a p erfect fth lower than) the nal at. So you can also say that the name of the key signature is a p erfect fourth lower than the name of the nal at. Figure 1.25: The key of C ma jor has no sharps or ats. F ma jor has one at. 26 If the music is in a minor key , it will b e in the relative minor of the ma jor key for that key signature. 27 Y ou may b e able to tell just from listening (see Ma jor Keys and Scales ) whether the music is in a ma jor 28 or minor key . If not, the b est clue is to lo ok at the nal chord . That chord (and often the nal note of the melo dy , also) will usually name the key . Exercise 1.4 (Solution on p. 26.) W rite the key signatures asked for in Figure 1.26 and name the ma jor keys that they represent. Figure 1.26 29 1.5 Enharmonic Spelling 1.5.1 Enharmonic Notes In common notation (Section 1.1), any note can b e sharp, at, or natural (Section 1.3). A sharp symb ol 30 raises the pitch (Section 1.3) (of a natural note) by one half step ; a at symb ol lowers it by one half step. 25 "Interv al" http://cnx.org/content/m10867/latest/p21b 26 "Minor Keys and Scales": Section Relative Minor and Ma jor Keys http://cnx.org/content/m10856/latest/s3 27 "Ma jor Keys and Scales" http://cnx.org/content/m10851/latest/ 28 "Harmony": Chords http://cnx.org/content/m11654/latest/l0b 29 This content is av ailable online at http://cnx.org/content/m11641/1.9/. 30 "Half Steps and Whole Steps" http://cnx.org/content/m10866/latest/18 CHAPTER 1. PITCH Figure 1.27 31 Why do we b other with these symb ols? There are twelve pitches av ailable within any o ctave . W e could give each of those twelve pitches its own name (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, and L) and its own line or 32 space on a sta. But that would actually b e fairly inecient, b ecause most music is in a particular key . 33 34 And music that is in a ma jor or minor key will tend to use only seven of those twelve notes. So music is easier to read if it has only lines, spaces, and notes for the seven pitches it is (mostly) going to use, plus a way to write the o ccasional notes that are not in the key . This is basically what common notation do es. There are only seven note names (A, B, C, D, E, F, G), and each line or space on a sta (Section 1.1) will corresp ond with one of those note names. T o get all twelve pitches using only the seven note names, we allow any of these notes to b e sharp, at, or natural. Lo ok (Figure 1.28) at the notes on a keyb oard. 35 Figure 1.28: Seven of the twelve p ossible notes in each o ctave are "natural" notes. Because most of the natural notes are two half steps apart, there are plenty of pitches that you can only get by naming them with either a at or a sharp (on the keyb oard, the "black key" notes). F or example, 31 "Octaves and the Ma jor-Minor T onal System" http://cnx.org/content/m10862/latest/ 32 "Ma jor Keys and Scales" http://cnx.org/content/m10851/latest/ 33 "Ma jor Keys and Scales" http://cnx.org/content/m10851/latest/ 34 "Minor Keys and Scales" http://cnx.org/content/m10856/latest/ 35 "Octaves and the Ma jor-Minor T onal System" http://cnx.org/content/m10862/latest/19 the note in b etween D natural and E natural can b e named either D sharp or E at. These two names lo ok very dierent on the sta, but they are going to sound exactly the same, since you play b oth of them by pressing the same black key on the piano. Figure 1.29: D sharp and E at lo ok very dierent when written in common notation, but they sound exactly the same when played on a piano. This is an example of enharmonic sp elling . T wo notes are enharmonic if they sound the same on a piano but are named and written dierently . Exercise 1.5 (Solution on p. 27.) Name the other enharmonic notes that are listed ab ove the black keys on the keyb oard in Fig- ure 1.28. W rite them on a treble clef sta. If you need sta pap er, you can print out this PDF 36 le But these are not the only p ossible enharmonic notes. Any note can b e at or sharp, so you can have, for example, an E sharp. Lo oking at the keyb oard (Figure 1.28) and rememb ering that the denition of sharp is "one half step higher than natural", you can see that an E sharp must sound the same as an F natural. Why would you cho ose to call the note E sharp instead of F natural? Even though they sound the same, E sharp and F natural, as they are actually used in music, are dierent notes. (They may , in some circumstances, also sound dierent; see b elow (Section 1.5.4: Enharmonic Sp ellings and Equal T emp erament).) Not only will they lo ok dierent when written on a sta, but they will have dierent functions within a key and dierent relationships with the other notes of a piece of music. So a comp oser may very well prefer to write an E sharp, b ecause that makes the note’s place in the harmonies of a piece more clear to the p erformer. 37 38 39 (Please see T riads , Beyond T riads , and Harmonic Analysis for more on how individual notes t into chords and harmonic progressions.) In fact, this need (to make each note’s place in the harmony very clear) is so imp ortant that double 40 sharps and double ats have b een invented to help do it. A double sharp is two half steps (one whole step ) higher than the natural note. A double at is two half steps lower than the natural note. Double sharps and ats are fairly rare, and triple and quadruple ats even rarer, but all are allowed. 36 http://cnx.org/content/m11641/latest/stapap er1.p df 37 "T riads" http://cnx.org/content/m10877/latest/ 38 "Beyond T riads: Naming Other Chords" http://cnx.org/content/m11995/latest/ 39 "Beginning Harmonic Analysis" http://cnx.org/content/m11643/latest/ 40 "Half Steps and Whole Steps" http://cnx.org/content/m10866/latest/

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