key-notes

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Transposing Music

Question: Hello Albert. Thanks a lot for putting together this helpful website.

My question regards transposing music. Would you say it is best to memorize a piece of music in its original key...

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Tonic in Music

Miscellaneous

Question: What’s a tonic?

Albert’s reply: The tonic is the first note of any scale. If the key is C major, then C is the tonic. If you’re in A-flat major, then A-flat is the...

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Sonatas and Sonata Form

Question: I am confused about sonatas. I’ve read that sonata is a single-movement piece, but others say that it has several movements… or was it only a single movement earlier on and...

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Sonata Form

From the Italian sonare meaning simply “to sound,” the sonata has undergone enough changes throughout music history to fill several encyclopedic volumes, as some scholars have indeed...

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Sonata Form and Symphonic Form

Question: Some time ago, I read your interesting article about ‘Sonata Form’ simplified.

What’s the relationship between sonata and symphony, both regarding form and other...

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Playing in Different Keys

Question: Hi, I am wondering how to get better at playing pieces in different keys. Different keys have different chords, which have different fingerings. For example, I am good at playing songs...

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Piano Theory Book

Question: Hello Albert,

About theory, what book would you suggest to purchase please? I need a book which will carry me through to the highest level. Most books one finds on the internet are just...

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Natural, Harmonic and Melodic Minor

Question: Which minor scale… natural, harmonic, or melodic, should I be practicing on when playing the major scale, then to its relative minor scale?

– Richard (North Carolina, USA)

...
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Names of Piano Keys

Question: Hi Albert,

I’m just beginning to play. Is there such a thing as a paper/cardboard thing you put on the keyboard with the notes on it?

Thanks,

– Gigi

Albert’s reply:...

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Music Theory Through Piano

Question: My idea of teaching music theory through piano was always burning in my mind… at last I think I found the right place to learn more.

I am interested especially in harmony,...

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Metric Accents

Question: Hi, I just wanted to ask some short questions:

  1. Explain the following time signatures and tell where the accents fall in each: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4.

  2. What are accents and what effect do they...

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Memorizing the Keys in Sheet Music

Question: I’ve often read that to play the piano properly, you must be proficient in key identification (knowing what the key is, based on the number of sharps or flats it has). As long as I...

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Major Scales for Piano

Here are all the major scales for piano, with all proper fingerings, for free download! Simply right-click the download icons or links and select “Save” to download the major piano...

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Learning Music Theory in Lessons

Question: I am 67 years old and returned to piano less than a year ago. My teacher is a world class pianist who doesn’t have much time for me. But then too I don’t feel I need lessons...

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Key vs Scale Intervals

Which to Learn?

Question: I was about to memorize the number and types of intervals in the scales.

Then I noticed this distinction between keys and scales.

Any key (major or minor) comprises just...

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How to Tell the Key of a Song

Question: Hello Albert,

Many years ago, I was taught that by looking at the last note or notes of a piece of music, one could tell what key it is in, that is of course if one does not understand...

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How to Harmonize a Melody

Question: Hey Albert, I am glad to hear of your success at the TED convention.

My two-part question is one that may sound odd but “How can I be sure what chords to play on the melody note in...

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How Much Music Theory?

Question: How much theory is important when learning to play the piano? What’s most important to know?

– Barb (Wisconsin, USA)

Albert’s reply: This is a critical question for...

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Double Expositions

Question: Hello Albert, My question today is:

Where did the idea of double expositions in piano concertos come from and how did it affect later compositions?

– Achilles (Malta)

...

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Bottom Keys of the Piano

Question: What are the bottom notes of the piano?

– Adrianna (Texas, USA)

Albert’s reply: Assuming you’re using a standard full-sized, 88-key piano, the bottom key plays A.

...

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Yamaha Digital Piano

A Pianist’s Review of the AvantGrand

I recently had an opportunity to play the AvantGrand, the new Yamaha digital piano that represents the current state of the art, and wanted to share my...

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Who Invented the Piano?

It was a harpsichord maker named Bartolomeo Cristofori who invented the piano in 1700. Cristofori (pronounced kris-TOFF-or-ee) (1655–1731) was from Padua, in the Republic of Venice in...

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What Are the Notes on a Piano?

Question: I was wondering, what are the notes on a piano?

– Lily (Corpus Christi, Texas, USA)

Albert’s reply: I assume you’re talking about the names of the keys… but...

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Upright Piano Value

Question: I have a Concord upright cabinet grand piano, serial #22580. I want to sell it but am not sure what to charge. I’ve been researching for a while but can’t seem to get...

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Una Corda Pedal

Question: What does u.c. mean?

Albert’s reply: u.c. stands for una corda and it refers to a piano’s leftmost of the three piano pedals. It is also called the soft pedal because...

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