The Art of Unit Testing: With Examples in .Net

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As we mentioned before, the Melody line of a piece is usually found in the very top line and we read those notes from left to right. If you are asked to identify the Melodic and Harmonic lines of a piece, you would look at the top line for the Melody and the bottom lines for the Harmony. The image above shows the melodic line in this music example.

In piano music, much of the melodic line will be in the Treble Clef - right hand, and the harmonic line will be found in the Bass Clef - left hand. It's interesting to note, that melody flows in one direction and harmony flows in another direction. Harmony plays a "supporting role" to melody and the way it is written in the music almost demonstrates that; as we see chords seemingly hold up the melody line to give it support, texture, and strength.

Now we need to understand how we know what notes to play in these melodic and harmonic music lines. We do this through Key Signatures. Let's see what they are. In music, a Key is what tells us what notes we are going to play in a given piano piece. Have you ever noticed how all music doesn't sound the same? In part, this is because music can be written in many different keys, which has different notes from each other when we're playing in a certain Key.

The way we can know what Key we're playing in is by looking at the Key Signature at the beginning of every piece, and at the beginning of every line of music in that piece. It's always on the left The Key Signature will tell us what notes we are to play sharp or flat throughout the piece. All of our melodic and harmonic lines will be built using the Key indicated by the Key Signature. There will never be a Key Signature that contains both sharps and flats together, but The best way to learn your Key Signatures is by playing Scales.

For example, a C Major scale starts on C and ends on C.

Understanding Basic Music Theory

C Major has no sharps or flats in it. As you learn each Key Signature you'll know what notes to play for each major and minor scale. The notes in between are included in the scale and the notes must be the same as the key signature of C As we play through an entire scale we can see how each note connects to each other by counting the intervals between the notes that we're playing.

One of the first things that you will begin working on in your piano playing as a beginner is scales. We usually start with C Major and then progress through what we call the Circle of Fifths to learn all the rest of our scales. Learning our scales makes learning our piano pieces much easier! If you know how to play the E Major scale, you'll be able to learn a piece in that same key a lot faster; especially if you practice on that scale before you start working on your piece each day in your practicing.

The Essentials of Music Theory

Scales are the building blocks for the chords that we play - which remember are a part of the Harmonic Line in music theory. Let's look at how we can build Chords out of our scales. Chords are different from melody lines.

Understand Music Theory

Chords are notes that are played together, at the same time. In our music, they are stacked on top of each other Chords can be made up of any combination of two or more notes. What's neat, is that we have a different name for each type of chord that we build.

Natural and harmonic flavours explained

Triads are made up of 3 notes and are one of the most common chords that we learn at the beginning of our music theory studies. There are in fact many different types of Triads made up from adding in some notes or even taking away some notes.


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  • The Complete Guide to Music Theory for Beginning Piano Students.

The possibilities are actually numerous in terms of how you can change notes around to make up different Triads. Chords serve to define or describe the type of harmony that we have in a piece. Everything in music theory is really about defining what is happening with the notes that we see and play. The final part of our lesson today will deal with how we can create patterns from the chords that we play. Each note of a scale can be turned into a Triad by stacking 2 notes on top of it. See image 2 - see how there are 3 note chords all the way up the scale?

This example is in the key of C Major. Usually, the numbers for each chord are written with Roman Numerals in our music. Now what we have are seven different chords that we can use. These are called Primary Chords. It covers most of the topics needed to understand and develop your musical skills - with your favorite training tool EarMaster of course!

This fantastic mine of information was written by Catherine Schmidt-Jones et al. Although it is significantly expanded from "Introduction to Music Theory", this course still covers only the bare essentials of music theory. Music is a very large subject, and the advanced theory that students will want to pursue after mastering the basics will vary greatly. A trumpet player interested in jazz, a vocalist interested in early music, a pianist interested in classical composition, and a guitarist interested in world music, will all want to delve into very different facets of music theory; although, interestingly, if they all become very well-versed in their chosen fields, they will still end up very capable of understanding each other and cooperating in musical endeavors.

The final section of this course does include a few challenges that are generally not considered "beginner level" musicianship, but are very useful in just about every field and genre of music. The main purpose of the course, however, is to explore basic music theory so thoroughly that the interested student will then be able to easily pick up whatever further theory is wanted.

Music history and the physics of sound are included to the extent that they shed light on music theory. Students who find the section on acoustics The Physical Basis uninteresting may skip it at first, but should then go back to it when they begin to want to understand why musical sounds work the way they do.

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8 Steps To Understand Music Theory

Remember, the main premise of this course is that a better understanding of where the basics come from will lead to better and faster comprehension of more complex ideas. It also helps to remember, however, that music theory is a bit like grammar. Languages are invented by the people who speak them, who tend to care more about what is easy and what makes sense than about following rules. Later, experts study the best speakers and writers in order to discover how they use language. These language theorists then make up rules that clarify grammar and spelling and point out the relationships between words.

Those rules are only guidelines based on patterns discovered by the theoreticians, which is why there are usually plenty of "exceptions" to every rule. Attempts to develop a new language by first inventing the grammar and spelling never seem to result in a language that people find useful. Music theory, too, always comes along after a group of composers and performers have already developed a musical tradition.

Theoreticians then study the resulting music and discover good ways of explaining it to the audience and to other composers and performers. So sometimes the answer to "Why is it that way? In the case of music, however, the answers to some "why"s can be found in the basic physics of sound, so the pivotal section of this course is an overview of acoustics as it pertains to music. Students who are already familiar with notation and basic musical definitions can skip the first sections and begin with this introduction to the physical basis of music.

Adults who have already had some music instruction should be able to work through this course with or without a teacher; simply use the opening sections to review any concepts that are unclear or half-forgotten.