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Play Easily on Piano and Keyboards
Copyright 2016 Michael Lunika
Published by Michael Lunika
Every year few millions of Americans start to study music. After one year 80% of them stop this studying. They are not talented enough? However, what they are studying for a whole year long? All music theory can be delivered for 30 minutes (even less). Of course not everyone can remember it at once. These pupils do not read the books on music? There are so many books on music theory
As a lot of people we studied music at schools. Did someone catch enough to play? We can’t say yes on this question. Afterwards we learn to play using different books and manuals. These papers promised many good things but that was sort of suffering to learn to play. By trial and error we have figured out quite enough information which can eliminate this suffering. So we decided to write a book if we could read one we would not get through difficulties for many years long.
In this book we tried to explain the origin and fundamental properties of music. We named this as anatomy of music because we tried to dive in the depth of it. We delever it in historical and logic succession demonstrating it on examples for playing piano and keyboards.
We delivered music theory quite completely trying to eliminate confusive moments.
About This Book
Play Easily on Piano and Keyboards, delivers needed information to play any song you just have heard and even more. You will be able to play without notes because you’ll understand the anatomy of music. You will be able to write them yourself. By the way you’ll get system knowledge of music. This book contains no junk and confusions. Read this book and you’ll gain the skill to play piano and keyboard (and not only) professionally in a short period.
Chapter 1: Anatomy of Music
In This Chapter:
The origin of music
Some physical aspects of music
Tones and medieval music
Why are there so many pitches and only few tones
When did music start?
All depends on what kind of sounds someone would call the music. We think the music started when someone understood that the two strings one of which is twice as much have the same voice (tone) if they are equally tensioned. To get new tones (voices} Pythagoras divided the difference of these two strings in 12 parts knowing that it gives 12 different voices. He could divide it in some other way for instance in 13 times. But the number 12 was magic at that time. So he did as he did and now we have European music. In some regions of China it is divided in 13th and they have Chinese music.
Nowadays this is known (but not for all) that if sounds have frequencies which are in 2, 4, 8…. times more or less, all these sounds have the same voice or tone. Such strings sound as if they say the same.Later you’ll find the proof of it when we’ll teach you to play “Happy birthday”.
These 12 different tones (solo voices) constitute an octave. As the range of sounds spreads from 16 Hz up to 20000Hz there are lots of pitches and can be 11 octaves. But every octave consists of the same 12 tones (lower or higher).
What is the pitch
Pitch is the quality of a sound governed by the rate of vibrations producing it; the degree of highness or lowness of a tone. The main characteristic of pitch is the frequency of vibration which can switch from 16 Hz to 20000 Hz. But why are there so many pitches and only few (twelve) tones?
Why are there so many pitches and only few tones
It’s very well established phenomena in physics. The sound is produced by mechanical vibration which is propagated through the air. The ideal vibration does not exist in nature. Even the string vibrates not as sinus. (Ideal vibration must write the sinus curve). It has distortions which physically turn to be presented as the harmonics i. e. the vibrations with frequencies of 2, 4, 8… times higher or lower of the frequency of main vibration. So if the string vibrates with the frequency saying 440 Hz there are the vibrations with the frequencies…..55 Hz; 110Hz; 220 Hz; 440 Hz; 880 Hz; 1760 Hz….. The intensity of vibration with the frequency 440 Hz is most high. The vibrations with the frequencies…..55 Hz; 110Hz; 220 Hz; 880 Hz; 1760 Hz… are called harmonics. The intensities of harmonics are lower. If the string vibrates with the main frequency saying 220 Hz there are the vibrations with the frequencies …..55 Hz; 110Hz; 220 Hz; 440 Hz; 880 Hz; 1760 Hz….. The intensity of vibration with the frequency 220 Hz is most high. The vibration with the frequencies …..55 Hz; 110Hz; 440 Hz; 880 Hz; 1760 Hz… are harmonics. The intensities of harmonics are lower. But in both cases the set of vibrations are the same. That’s why the strings which vibrate with frequencies 2, 4, 8, …. times more or less have the same tone (voice). That’s because the set of harmonics determines the voice. So if you see lots of keys on keyboard don’t be scared. There are only twelve tones (solo voices). These 12 tones (solo or simple voices) are presented in any musical instrument and the set of 12 solo voices is called an octave. All range of keys presents the range of simple sounds (voices) which frequencies are increasing in the twelfth degree root of two. So the octave will be formed when any 12 keys were taken in order. The thirteenth key will have the frequency twice as much comparatively with the frequency of first key of the set and will have the same tone (voice). That’s why every thirteenth key have the same name.
Names of tones and medieval music
This is hard to discuss what kind of music was in the ancient period. There were no recorder at that time. But in medieval times it was monophonic (sometimes it was written on a paper using notes). It means that medieval music consisted of simple voices (tones). But in the ancient time it was noticed that only seven tones from 12 make harmony. Afterwards the succession of seven tones (notes) was named a scale. That’s why there are only seven letters A, B, C, D, E, F and G used to name the simple voices (tones). Later these keys were made white and bigger on piano. Others five keys were made black. To designate five other voices the special signs were used. ♯ (sharp) and b (flat). That’s turned to be very useful because if to look at the keyboard this is easy to watch the octaves and this is easy to remember where the certain simple voice (tone) is. At first glance you see two and three black keys separated with two white keys. In this case the octave starts from C which is left from first black key and finishes B ( C, D, E, F, G, A, B). Then again it will be C of the next octave. Keyboards or pianos have few octaves. (~ 5 or 7). The range of sounds which ear can hear is from 16 Hz to 20000 Hz. So piano has lots of strings which one is tensioned to produce the some certain pitch.
The musical mode is an ancient idea. Making music using seven tones it is possible to start from any tone. It all depends where you start. For example, let’s start on the D instead of C. You’re still using only those same seven tones, but you’re starting and ending on the second tone (but by no means always). That’s a mode called the Dorian mode.
Starting on the E you get the Phrygian mode.
Starting on the F you get the Lydian mode
Starting on the G you get the Mixolydian mode
Starting on the A you get the Aeolian mode
Starting on the B you get the Locrian mode
That’s six modes so far. The seventh is the one starting on the C itself. That’s known as the Ionian mode. The names of modes come from names of ancient Greece territories.
To create a piece of music you can use just few tones not all seven. You can take even two tones. If five tones are used this case is called Pentatonic. The Pentatonic scale is formed of tones 1 2 3 5 and 6 of the scale. Two tones are omitted – tones (notes) 4 and 7. Starting on C this produces C D E G A – a five tone scale, hence the name penta-tonic. However this is possible to choose other five tones and get another penta-tonic.
The string produces the pitch
Every pitch has strictly determined frequency. In case of string the frequency of vibration depends on tension, weight and length of string. If you make the string shorter it will produce more higher sound. So if you press the string in some certain point on the fingerboard (fretboard) the string will produce some certain pitch (violin, contrabass…)
In case of a piano the certain pitch is prodused by the certain string or few strings which have the same dimensions and are tensioned equally. Keyboards use electronic generators which can generate certain pitch when certain key is pressed.
So if you press the next key you produce the sound with higher tone. The distance between two adjacent voices is called “half tone” or “one step”. (As usual it’s called as “half step”. We think this is unnatural and it is very confusive). When we are talking about the range of voices this is natural to ask about starting point. In any range must be a starting point. In music that was the sound (tone) with the frequency of 440 Hz. This tone is marked by letter a. (A). Something resonates on this frequency in human body.
So you can play now the medieval music knowing that there are only seven simple voices which harmonize each other.
Playing that way this is easy to persuade yourself that harmony depends not only on changing this simple voices in some certain order but depends on duration of each voice and pauses between them.
As the letters were invented to write the words and sentences to preserve the information the signs were invented to write the music. Modern music based not only on simple voices. To explain this, we need to explain how the music is being written on paper.
Chapter 2: What for are Notes
In This Chapter:
The musical alphabet
Real note duration
Types of clefs
Rests in general
Measures and time signature
Playing medieval music using seven simple (solo) voices in one octave it’s easy to perceive that the voices on left side are lower than on the right side. Every second key produces higher voice. As we know the frequency of that voice is bigger in the twelfth degree root of two.
To write this on the paper used the set of parallel lines which number (amount) switched up to 17th century. By the 17th century, the five-lined staff was mostly used. The system hasn’t changed much over the past four centuries. So the height of the voice we can mark on that staff. But what to do with the duration of the voice? To reproduce the duration of the simple (solo) voice on the staff the notes were invented (Example 2.1).
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Every year few millions of Americans start to study music. After one year 80% of them stop this studying. They are not talented enough? But what they are studying for whole year long. All music theory can be delivered for 30 minutes (even less). Of course not everyone can remember it at once. These pupils do not read the books on music? There are so many books on music theory. As a lot of people we studied music at schools. Did someone catch enough to play? We can not say yes on this question. Afterwards we learn to play using different books and manuals. These papers promised many good things but that was sort of suffering to learn to play. By trial and error we have figured out quite enough information which can eliminate this suffering. So we decided to write a book if we could read one we would not get through difficulties for many years long. In this book we tried to explain the origin and fundamental properties of music. We named this as anatomy of music because we tried to dive in the depth of it. We deliver it in historical and logic succession demonstrating it on examples for playing piano and keyboards. We deliver music theory quite completely trying to eliminate confusing terms.