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Solfège ear training

Doe, a deer…

Solfège is a system for singing notes. If you’re familiar with the famous Rogers and Hammerstein song “Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music, you already know the solfège note names: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la and ti.

A Brief History

The first and last...

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The Language of Music theory

Music is a language. Like spoken language, music is rhetorical. The language of music has grammar and punctuation. It has phrases and sentences, loud and soft, fast and slow, accents and dramatic silences. In speech and music alike, timing is everything.

As in speech, in music we need to...

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How to Play a Piano Scale theory

Piano scales are one of the biggest stumbling blocks for most piano students. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to build any major scale at the piano; starting from any note.

We’ll focus on major scales since they’re best suited as a starting point. (There are three types of...

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How to Learn the Sharps and Flats theory

With up to seven sharps or seven flats in a key signature, it can seem daunting to try to remember the order—yet there’s a simple shortcut that makes it easy.

You just need to remember three simple things: 1. Sharps raise notes, while flats lower notes. 2. The first sharp and first...

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Music Modes theory

Why does a piano keyboard look the way it does? The answer has to do with music modes. The modes are types of scales. A scale is simply a specified sequence of intervals from one note to the same note an octave higher, say, from A to the next higher A.

In order to understand this point it is...

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What Is Sympathetic Resonance? piano

An acoustic phenomenon that helps make a piano sound beautiful is sympathetic resonance. If we play a note on the piano, other, compatible notes vibrate in sympathy as long as there are no dampers to, well, put a damper on them. This video lesson demonstrates this phenomenon and two ways you can...

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Perfect Pitch: Blessing or Curse? ear training

What exactly is "perfect pitch"? This lesson explains what it is, the difference between perfect pitch and relative pitch, and what you should pursue if you weren't blessed—or cursed!—with it.

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What is Voicing? theory

You may have heard pianists talk about “voicing.” If you’ve been confused it’s certainly understandable, since the term actually has several entirely different meanings in piano playing. This lesson will clarify the different meanings of "voicing” as it relates to...

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Hearing Protection for Musicians

Everyone should protect their hearing, especially musicians. In this video, pianist Albert Frantz shares tips designed especially for musicians, including hearing protection while traveling and optimizing the acoustics of your practice room.

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iPad Pro for Musicians sheet music

For the past several years I’ve used a standard-sized iPad. I’ve had several models over the years, all with a 9.7" (diagonal) screen. For me it’s been a general-purpose device, something easy to toss in a briefcase and use for reading and writing email, drafting blog posts, as...

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Why Do We Play Music?

Why do we play music? Music stirs the emotions. It’s beautiful. We love music. We have favorite pieces of music we never tire of. These are all wonderful reasons to play music.

Constructive reasons

Love for a musical instrument, its sound, its expressive possibilities is a similarly...

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How to Conduct Basic Rhythms piano practice

What do Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt and Bernstein have in common? All were not only composers, they were also pianists and conductors. In our time many famous conductors started their careers as pianists, including André Previn, Daniel Barenboim and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Why should pianists...

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