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Transposing to C Major theory

Question: How can I transpose a hymn in any key into the key of C? My friend plays the organ by ear and can only play in the key of C, so I need to know how to transpose to the key of C… thank you!

Albert’s reply: It’s essential to be able to play in all keys! It’s...

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Transposing Scales theory

Question: I was wondering how to transpose C major into the key of F major, on scales.

– Alana (Dubai)

Albert’s reply: Scales are the way to transpose! You have to make sure you know all your piano scales as well as you know your own name, as the great pianist Josef Lhévhinne...

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Transposing Music theory

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 before attempting transposition? Lately I have been playing Chopin’s Prelude in E minor (Op. 28,...

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Tonic in Music

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 tonic.

Since the tonic is the main note in any key, it’s sometimes also called the key note....

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Sonatas and Sonata Form theory

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 then changed into multi-movement?

And just confirming, a sonata form is just one movement in a...

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Sonata Form theory

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 given us. Fortunately for us, however, sonata form nearly always refers to a single-movement structure...

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Sonata Form and Symphonic Form theory

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 aspects?

– Achilles (Malta)

Albert’s reply: This is a great question, and one that confuses...

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Playing in Different Keys theory

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 at the key of B-flat but a hard time playing in A.

Albert’s reply: To improve playing in...

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Piano Theory Book theory

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 basic and actually purchasing off the net, one takes a chance with the wrong book.

Actually there is...

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Natural, Harmonic and Melodic Minor theory

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)

Albert’s reply: While we need to know all three forms of the minor scale, if you only practice...

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Names of Piano Keys theory

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: You remind me of the time my brother scratched the note names on the piano when we were kids!

...

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Music Theory Through Piano theory

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, including the right selection of chords, chord progressions, etc.

Kind regards,

– Achilles (Malta)

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