Music Theory 101 - Part III


Welcome fellow music lovers! This is my 2018 weekly blog about music with this week's blog exploring part III of theory.

One thing I'd like to add this week if you haven't read any of my preceding blogs is how important it is to work on one's math skills to be an effective musician.

I can't remember how many times I've had to transpose a piece of music while playing it and needed to know what the changes were. Knowing scale structures, keys, intervals, and meter intuitively enabled me to make adjustments while performing!

Now, let's finish our discussion of intervals by talking about perfect ones.

We call “perfect” intervals that way because of their sound and scalular construction. These intervals are: fourths, fifths, octaves, and unisons. In the case of seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths, these are considered major intervals relative to their construction.

For example, if you play a C tone and add an F three steps above it, that is a fourth. If you were to play a C tone and add a G four steps above, that would be a fifth.

An octave is just the same tone played with its tone or tonic and seven steps above it. Unisons speak for themselves.

Two final points about intervals: A major or perfect interval when its upper note is raised one-half step, is called augmented. If the same tone is lowered one-half step instead of raised, it is called diminished. Here are two examples:

C plus G# is called an augmented fifth

G plus Db is called a diminished fifth

Okay, so now that your eyes are crossed and your head hurts, let's take a break. Perhaps taking this up later in front of your instrument would help to reinforce these concepts. If you already have your instrument in front of you, good start!

One other point about intervals I would like to add is that I am very aware there is a LOT of information on the web about music. I've seen many, many sites that have varying content.

Depending on your level of musicianship, some of these sites can be helpful. Some are not. They're just confusing.

Please don't hesitate to send me an email if you would like some assistance. My email address is: Matt@GentleHavenMusic.com. I promise, I don't think questions are dumb and won't treat yours that way. That's exactly what I had to do and still do to learn more. I ask questions all the time!

There are other options as well: Take a class at a community college or university, visit your local library and find out who may be offering community lessons, visit a music store and see who teaches, or buy a book!

I can't tell you how important it is to continue to learn. Your art will go stagnant if you don't continue to grow and branch-out in areas that you have yet to explore!

One final note as a recap about music theory: Much of my reference material was derived from Walter Piston's book 'Harmony' as well as years of music lessons, school, books, and practice. Please do more research of your own to expand your knowledge. It's well worth it!

#Instruction #Musicians #Theory #performance