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...
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,...
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....
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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?
Albert’s reply: You remind me of the time my brother scratched the note names on the piano when we were kids!
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.
– Achilles (Malta)
Question: Hi, I just wanted to ask some short questions:
Explain the following time signatures and tell where the accents fall in each: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4.
What are accents and what effect do they have?
Albert’s reply: Courtney, these are really one and the same...