Learning Music Theory

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LEARNING MUSIC THEORY 

IN

 ANNEX TO THE PARHAM ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS

 DR. SMITH’S STUDIO

child-piano-prodigy

 

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LESSON 1

Music-staff.svg

 

This is a staff.  It has 5 lines and 4 spaces.  The lines are E G B D F  (the first letter of this phase “Every Good Boy Does Fine).

The spaces are F A C E:

Note that the notes used on both staves are whole notes.

Here’s what you have learned from this lesson:  A staff has 5 lines and 4 spaces.  The names of the lines are E G B D F and the names of the spaces are  F A C E.  The notes used on both staves are whole notes.

That’s enough for today.

Things for you to do:

Find a music book or sheet music and name the nine notes that we have discussed today.  They will not be in the same order because they form a melody, but . . . name them anyway!

Here’s a little practice for you:

Name only the notes we have discussed!

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notes-used-to-divide

LESSON 2

Lesson 2 introduces the bass clef.

 The bass clef sign looks like this.

The bass clef has five lines and four spaces like the treble clef.

The lines are G B D F A and the spaces are  A C E G.

Recall the notes are whole notes.

These notes are quarter notes and can be placed on a staff with the stems up or down.  Name them without checking out the answers above.

Here is what happens when the treble clef and bass clef are working together:

Things for you to do:

  1. Draw a bass clef.  Draw a treble clef.
  2. Place them on a staff–the thing with 5 lines and 4 spaces.
  3. Name the notes below that we have discussed from both staves–treble and bass:

   4.  Review both Lessons 1 & 2.

Keep at it, you are getting good.  The next lesson will show you the notes that we have learned on a keyboard.


notes-used-to-divide

 LESSON 3

Here are the notes we have learned:

Image result for images of the notes in bas and treble clefs

With a keyboard or piano, discover where these notes are.  Look closely at where the line or space each note is placed in both treble and bass clefs.

Image result for images of the notes in bas and treble clefs

Image result for images of the notes in bas and treble clefs

Locate each of these notes on the piano or keyboard.  These are called the “white keys” of the instrument.  “F” is to the left of three black keys.  “C” is to the left of two black keys.  Find all “Fs” and “Cs” on the piano or keyboard.

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LESSON 4

Meter Signatures

A meter signature is typically (with a few exceptions) two numbers, one sitting on top of the other.  Each serves a specific purpose.  There are many meter signatures.  The one below is a 4/4 meter signature.

Image result for images of meter signatures

What does it mean?  The top number says there are 4 beats to each measure.   The bottom number says: A quarter note gets one beat.

Image result for images of meter signatures

Simply, a measure is the space on a staff between bar lines as the example below reveals.

measure-bar

The example shows how 4/4 meter is counted rhythmically.

common-time

Things to Do

Name the five notes by letter.  Find them on your keyboard.

Count the rhythm:  Each quarter note gets one beat.  The half note gets 2 beats.  That means Play on “1” and hold on “2.”  The whole notes gets 4 beats … play on “1” and hold on 2, 3 and 4.

Play the notes in rhythm on you r keyboard.

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LESSON 4

Other Key Signatures

Image result for images of meter signatures

A 2/2 meter signatures means there are 2 beats to a measure and a half note gets one beat.

The 6/8 and 9/8 meter signatures indicate an eighth note gets one beat.

The top numbers indicate the number of beats in a measure:  3/4 = 3 beats to a measure; 2/4= 2 beats; 6/8 = 6 beats and 9/8= 9 beats.

Image result for images of meter signatures

Image result for images of meter signatures

Clap and count the rhythms above according to the meter signatures.  You may need assistance from someone who understands music theory.

Review the information on notes to make this example clearer.

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LESSON 7

Whole Steps and Half Steps

A whole step includes 3 keys.  It can be two white keys on a keyboard with a black key in the middle or 2 black keys with a white key in the middle.

whole-steps

Examples of whole steps:  C to D is a whole step.  D to E is another whole step. F to G; G to A; and A to B.

black-key-whole-step

G to A is a whole step.

Half steps include 2 keys with no key in between.

half-steps

C to C# is a half step.  B to Bb is a half step.  E to F is also a half step involving two white keys.

Find whole and half steps on the keyboard below:

keyboard

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LESSON 6

Accidentals – Sharps, Flats and Naturals

music-accidentals

A sharp raises a note by one-half step.  A flat lowers a note one-half step.  A natural changes a sharp or a flat by one-half step returns it to its natural state.

sharps-flats

C to the black key (C#) above is called C sharp, and is a half step using white and black keys.  D to the black key to the left of it is a half step (using the same black key) is Db.  Find other on the key board.

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