CHAPTER I. 1.1 A NOTE is a symbol used to represent the pitch (height) and the length of

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1 CHAPTER I THE STAFF 1.1 A NOTE is a symbol used to represent the pitch (height) and the length of a sound. A note with a frequency of 440 cycles per second will be higher than one with a frequency of 30 cycles per second. 1.2 The five horizontal lines and four intermediate spaces on which the notes are written is called the STAFF. The plural of staff is STAVES. 1.3 The position of a note on the staff affects the PITCH of the sound. lf a note is higher in the staff, its pitch will be higher; if a note is lower in the staff, its pitch will be lower. 1.4 A CLEF is a sign placed at the beginning of the staff. It indicates the pitch of the lines and spaces of the staff. The two most common clefs used are the TREBLE and the BASS. 1

2 1.5 The TREBLE CLEF, originally a fancy letter G, centres around the second line of the staff. Therefore, this line is called the G line. The BASS CLEF, originally a fancy letter F, is made up of two dots: one above and the other below the fourth line of the staff. Therefore, the fourth line of the bass staff is called F. It is relatively simple to determine the names of the other lines and spaces once a clef is in place. In music, we use the first seven letters of the alphabet: A B C D E F G These seven letters are placed alphabetically on the staff. The notes in the treble and bass clefs are: 1.6 MIDDLE C is located between the treble staff and the bass staff. 2

3 1.7 LEGER LINES are used to write notes that go beyond the staff. 3

4 CHAPTER II NOTE VALUES 2.l NOTES of different shapes are used to represent the length of a musical sound. 2.2 RESTS are signs used to indicate silence in music. 2.3 Here is a chart of all the SIMPLE NOTE VALUES. 4

5 2.4 The whole note is the basic simple note value. All subsequent notes are fractions of this value. Therefore The following chart shows how the various simple note values relate to one another. 5

6 2.6 A DOT placed after a note or rest, increases its value by half of its initial length. 2.7 A TIE can also increase the length of a note. When a tie joins two notes of the same pitch, their values are added together and played as a single unit. 6

7 2.8 Here are the different parts of a note: When writing notes in the staff, it is important to follow these rules: RULES a) For notes written above the middle line of the staff, stems go down and to the left of the body. b) For notes written below the middle line of the staff, stems go up and to the right of the body. c) For notes written on the middle line of the staff, stems go up or down depending on neighbouring notes. 7

8 d) Flags are always on the right of the stems. e) When writing dotted notes on the staff, always place the dot on the right side of the note. If the note is in a space, the dot goes in the space. If the note is on a line the dot goes in the space above the line. 2.9 Often flagged notes are grouped by beaming the flags together. When this occurs, the stems take the direction of the note which is farthest from the middle line of the staff. In the example below, F is the furthest note from the middle line. Since it also happens to be above, all the stems of the group will go down according to rule a). Here also, the F is the furthest note in the group. Since it is also below the middle line, all the stems of the group will go up according to rule b). 8

9 When all the notes of the group are equidistant from the middle line, the stems can go up or down according to rule c). When both of the outermost notes of the group are equidistant from the middle line, the remaining note or notes will determine the direction of all the stems of the group. 9

10 CHAPTER III RHYTHM & METRE 3.1 RHYTHM is a general term encompassing all of the elements described in this chapter; elements such as metre, bars, note values, speed & time signatures. When these elements are combined, the result is rhythm. 3.2 BAR LINES are vertical lines placed in the staff to group music into organised sets of note values. 3.3 The section between two bar lines is called a MEASURE or BAR of music. Each bar contains an equal amount of note values. 3.4 A DOUBLE BAR LINE is used to indicate the end of a section of music. An END BAR LINE is used in the final bar of a piece of music. 3.5 METRE is the division of a bar into 2, 3, or 4, recurring accents called pulses or beats. SIMPLE METRE is a binary metre where beats and subdivisions of beats can be divided by multiples of 2. 10

11 3.6 A fraction placed at the beginning of a piece of music tells us the number of beats there will be in each bar. This fraction is called a TIME SIGNATURE. Some common time signatures are 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, 2/2, 4/ The numerator of the time signature tells us the number of beats in each bar. The denominator tells us which note value is worth one beat. denominator 1 = the whole note denominator 2 = the half note denominator 4 = the quarter note denominator 8 = the eighth note denominator 16 = the sixteenth note Examples: 3 - The numerator 3 tells us there are three beats per bar. 4 - The denominator 4 tells us the quarter is worth one beat. 3 - three beats per bar. The sixteenth is worth one beat two beats per bar. The eighth is worth one beat. 8 Here are samples of bars in simple metre. 11

12 12

13 CHAPTER IV TONES, SEMITONES 4.1 A SEMITONE or 1/2TONE is the smallest distance between two notes. It is also the distance between two adjacent keys on the keyboard. In the keyboard figure above, you can see that there is a semitone between F and the black key which follows it. Note that there is a semitone between E and F, as well as between B and C. This is because these pairs of white keys are adjacent. 4.2 Here are the most commonly used accidentals. The SHARP which moves a note up a 1/2 tone 13

14 The FLAT which moves a note down a 1/2 tone The NATURAL which cancels a previous sharp or flat. 4.3 There are two other accidental used in music. The DOUBLE SHARP raises the note two semitones or a tone. The DOUBLE FLAT lowers the note two semitones or a tone. 4.4 We use a NATURAL SHARP to lower a double sharp one semitone. We use a NATURAL FLAT to raise a double flat one semitone. We use two NATURALS to cancel a double flat or double sharp. 14

15 4.5 Examine the following: G + 1/2 tone = G# or Ab There are often two solutions to most semitone questions. 4.6 When the name of the note in the solution is the same as in the question, the semitone is CHROMATIC. G + 1/2 tone = G# Here are some examples of chromatic semitones. NOTE: Chromatic semitones are always on the same line or space. 4.7 When the name of the note in the solution is different than in the question, the semitone is DIATONIC. G + 1/2 tone = Ab Here are some examples of diatonic semitones. NOTE: With diatonic semitones, one note is on a line, while the other is in the space above or below that line or vice versa. HINT: Diatonic and Different both start with a D. 15

16 CHAPTER V ACCIDENTALS, KEY SIGNATURES & MAJOR SCALES 5.1 An ACCIDENTAL is a sharp, flat or natural sign placed immediately before a note within a bar of music. This accidental is written only once and affects all subsequent notes of the same pitch within the one bar. 5.2 Instead of accidentals, a KEY SIGNATURE can be used to group all the sharps (or flats) at the beginning of the staff right after the clef. The key signature tells us which notes are to be altered throughout a piece of music. 5.3 a) Here are the first four sharps as they appear in the key signature. F# C# G# D# Here is how they must be placed on the treble & bass clef staves. Note that when read from left to right, the sharps are in the correct order. FCGD FCGD 16

17 b) Here are the first four flats as they appear in the key signature. Bb Eb Ab Db Here is how they must be placed on the treble and bass clef staves. Note that when read from left to right, the flats are in the correct order. BEAD BEAD 5.4 SCALES There are two kinds of scales: DIATONIC and CHROMATIC. 5.5 The CHROMATIC SCALE (chromatic meaning colored) consists of all twelve semitones, starting on a note and ending an octave higher. This scale is part of grade II rudiments. 5.6 The DIATONIC SCALE consists of seven consecutive notes, placed alphabetically, beginning on a note and ending an octave higher. C D E F G A B C Each of the seven note names are used and none are repeated. The notes are spaced out in tones and semitones. The order of these tones and semitones can produce two kinds of diatonic scales: MAJOR and MINOR. 17

18 5.7 MAJOR SCALES To create the sound of the major scale (do, ré, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do), you must use the following arrangement of tones and semitones. In major scales, semitones always occur between III-IV (mi-fa) and VII- VIII (ti-do ). Roman numerals are used to represent the degrees of scales. 5.8 When using only the white keys of the keyboard, we find that C is the only starting note that will produce the correct major scale sound with tones and semitones in the accepted order. When using G as the starting note, we find that the second semitone is out of place. 18

19 In order to move the semitone from position VI-VII to the accepted position VII-VIII, we must bring the F closer to the G and further from the E by sharpening it, F#. This has the effect of changing the position of the semitone. Likewise, if F is used as the first degree of the scale, the first semitone is in the wrong position. To bring the B closer to the A and further from the C, we must flatten it, Bb. In order to obtain the proper major scale sound (do, ré, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do ), you must use an F# in G major and a Bb in F major. This is how key signatures came to be. 5.9 The KEY or TONALITY of a song is indicated by its key signature. Here are the first nine MAJOR KEYS and their key signatures. 19

20 20

21 5.10 The first note of every major scale (do), is called the TONIC or first DEGREE. A roman numeral I is used to represent the tonic. The fifth note of every major scale (sol), is called the DOMINANT or fifth degree. A roman numeral V is used to represent the dominant. do ré mi fa sol la ti do1 (tonic) (dominant) (tonic) I V I 5.11 HOW TO WRITE MAJOR SCALES STEP 1 - Read the instructions carefully. Highlight or underline key words to ensure all tasks are completed. STEP 2 - Place the correct clef at the beginning of the staff. 21

22 STEP 3 - Write the notes of the scale ascending and descending (unless specified). Write the top tonic once and use the entire staff to write the scale. Count the letter names as you write to ensure none are missed. If no time value is specified, use whole notes. In the above example, eighth notes are specified. This means you will need to pay attention to the placement of stems and flags. STEP 4 - Identify the key of the scale. STEP 5 - Insert a key signature or accidentals. If a key signature is required, place the altered notes of the scale at the beginning of the staff immediately after the clef. If accidentals are required, as is the case here, place them immediately before the altered notes. Write accidentals in both the ascending and descending form of the scale. 22

23 STEP 6 - If instructed, slur the semitones. In major scales, semitones always occur between the third and fourth degrees (mi/fa) as well as the seventh and eighth degrees (ti/do) of the scale. Connect these degrees with a curved line. STEP 7 - If instructed, indicate the tonic and dominant notes. Write the roman numeral I beneath each tonic (do) of the scale and the numeral V beneath each dominant (sol). STEP 8 - Check your scale. 23

24 CHAPTER VI MINOR SCALES & KEYS 6.1 Here are the first four notes of C major and C minor. Notice how the semitone has shifted. It is the very nature of the lowered third degree which gives the minor scale its distinctive sound. 6.2 Here is the natural A minor scale. Notice that it is exactly like the C major scale, except that it starts on the la or sixth degree of that scale. In music, we say that C major is the RELATIVE MAJOR of A minor and that A minor is the RELATIVE MINOR of C major. This means that when we write the A minor scale, we use the key signature of C major. Since A is the sixth degree of C major, we can conclude that the la of every major scale is its relative minor. 24

25 6.3 Finding the relative minor of a major scale is as simple as locating the sixth degree of the major scale. Doing the reverse is not as simple, hence the advantage of memorizing key signatures. EXAMPLE STEP 1 Begin with the notion that F is the sixth note of the major scale you are trying to locate. Therefore, F is la. STEP 2 If F is la, then ti which is a tone higher, must be G. STEP 3 If G is ti, then do which is a diatonic semitone higher, must be Ab. To verify your answer, simply ask yourself, Is F the sixth note of Ab major? If the answer is Yes, you are correct. Therefore, the key signature of Ab major is used when writing in F minor. 25

26 6.4 Here are the first nine MINOR KEYS, their relative majors and their key signatures. These must be memorized. 26

27 6.5 HOW TO WRITE A HARMONIC MINOR SCALE STEP 1 - Read the instructions carefully. Highlight or underline key words to ensure all tasks are completed. STEP 2 - Place the correct clef at the beginning of the staff. STEP 3 - Write the notes of the scale in the staff ascending and descending (unless specified). Write the top tonic once and use the entire staff to write the scale. Count the letter names as you write to ensure none are missed. If no time value is specified, use whole notes. STEP 4 - Find the relative major of the scale in order to obtain the correct key signature. In the question above, the relative major of F minor is Ab major whose key signature is four flats - Bb Eb Ab Db 27

28 STEP 5 - Insert a key signature or accidentals. If a key signature is required, as is the case here, place the altered notes of the scale at the beginning of the staff immediately after the clef. If accidentals are required, place them immediately before the altered notes. Write accidentals in both the ascending and descending form of the scale. STEP 6 - Use an accidental to raise the seventh degree (sol) of the scale one semitone higher (sol becomes si). In this case, you would place a natural in front of the E. 28

29 STEP 7 - If instructed, slur the semitones. In harmonic minor scales, there are three semitones. They are between the second and third degrees (ti/do), the fifth and sixth degrees (mi/fa), as well as the seventh and eighth degrees (si/la) of the scale. Connect these degrees with a curved line. STEP 8 - If instructed, indicate the tonic and dominant notes. Write the roman numeral I beneath each tonic (la) of the scale and the numeral V beneath each dominant (mi). STEP 9 - Check your scale. 29

30 CHAPTER VII INTERVALS 7.1 An INTERVAL is the distance between any two notes. 7.2 The SIZE of an interval is measured by counting the number of letters or DEGREES between and including both notes. There are eight simple intervals from the unison to the octave. To distinguish one kind of interval from another, each interval is given a QUALITY. Here are some of the symbols used to show the quality of an interval. - + P (minor) (major) (perfect) 7.3 For the time being, you can assume that all unisons, fourths, fifths and octaves are perfect (P). 7.4 Seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths can either be major (+) or minor (-). The simplest way to find out, is to assume that the bottom note of the interval in question is the tonic of a major key. If both notes are NORMAL for that key, the interval is major. 30

31 If they are one semitone smaller than normal, the interval is minor. 7.5 Sometimes it is necessary to identify an interval with a key signature. Example Although the key signature is that of Bb major, the interval must be identified from its bottom note. Step 1 Apply the effect of the key signature on the notes of the interval. Step 2 Identify the interval in the usual manner. In the example above, Eb is not the normal seventh note for F major. The interval is one semitone smaller than normal and therefore, is a minor seventh. 31

32 7.6 An interval is HARMONIC when both notes are played simultaneously. An interval is MELODIC when both notes are played consecutively. The procedure used to identify either melodic or harmonic intervals is the same. 32

33 CHAPTER VIII CHORDS 8.1 A CHORD is produced when three or more sounds are played together. The simplest chord form is the TRIAD. 8.2 Here are the three parts of a triad. a) The ROOT is the bottom note. We use this note to name the triad. b) The THIRD of the triad is a third above the root. c) The FIFTH of the triad is a fifth above the root. 8.3 A MAJOR TRIAD is made up of a perfect fifth and a major third above the root. Here are some examples of major triads. 33

34 8.4 A MINOR TRIAD is made up of a perfect fifth and a minor third above the root. Here are some examples of minor triads. 8.5 Here are the triads on the tonic (do) and the dominant (sol) of the scale of D major. Note that both of the above triads are major. This is the case for all tonic and dominant triads of major scales. Conclusion All tonic-[do-mi-sol] triads and dominant-[sol-ti-ré] triads are major. 34

35 8.6 Here are the triads on the tonic (la) and the dominant (mi) of the scale of G minor. Note that the triad on the tonic is minor but that the dominant one is major due to the raised third. This is the case for all tonic and dominant triads of minor scales. Conclusion All tonic-[la-do-mi] triads are minor. All dominant-[mi-si-ti] triads are major. REVIEW Minor triads only occur on the tonic of minor scales. Major triads occur on the tonic of major scales and on the dominants of both major and minor scales. NOTE: It is important to remember that the third of the chord on the dominant of a minor scale is the seventh degree of the scale and must be raised one semitone. 35

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