Quick, what’s the interval between A and C?
Ok, it’s a trick question. The answer is it depends on which
octaves the notes are in, and specifically which note is
higher. That’s the concept of interval
inversions that I will talk about here. I suggest
reviewing my lessons on The
Musical Alphabet and Intervals.
Continue reading Interval Inversions
As someone who is interested in
both music and science, I
find myself fascinated with the concept of scales. Why are they the way
are? If music is so mathematical, why does it seem so arbitrary. There
notes in an octave, but what’s so special about this number 12? Then
scale is formed from seven of those notes, which is strange. If the
is so nice and melodious and all that, why aren’t the notes evenly
Well, I set out to find some answers. I spent hours scouring the
visiting the library, reading books, scratching figures in a notebook.
don’t have to do that, because here’s what I found out, all nicely
Continue reading Pythagoras and Me
So you’re a guitarist. You play by ear, you play what sounds good. You’ve never taken any theory lessons, and that hasn’t stopped you from writing kick-ass songs. Why should you care whether you’re playing in a minor key or a major key? Why should you care about intervals and note names and chord alterations and chord substitutions? Well, I’ll tell you why.
Continue reading Why Learn Music Theory?
Category: Music theory
In the last lesson, we talked about the musical alphabet, and
how notes are named. We discussed that the distance between two
adjacent notes is called a half-step, and that two half steps is
called a whole-step. Very exciting, I'm sure.
The generic term for the distance between two notes - any two
notes - is an interval. Turns out there are names for lots
of intervals, not just the half-step and whole-step. And some of
these intervals have more than one name. Remember how I said that
much of music theory is giving fancy names to things you may
already understand? Well, here is a perfect example. Intervals are
something we get instinctively. It's when they get names like
"diminished seventh" that people run for the hills. Don't. In this
lesson, you can listen to them, hear them in context, and see
where they are used in real life, and not just read about them
Continue reading Music Theory Lesson: Intervals
This article presents an introduction to the way musical notes
are named and referred to. If you already know even a little music
theory, this may seem pretty basic for you, so you may want to
skip ahead or come back for more advanced lessons. If you’re a
“play by ear” musician, you may not see the need to learn any
theory at all. In many ways, music theory is giving names and
complicated explanations to things we already know
instinctively. Still, the next time you’re jamming and someone
asks you to play an A sharp, it would be good to understand what
that means. In addition, this lesson provides a base for later,
more interesting, lessons.
Continue reading Music Theory: The Musical Alphabet