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Demystifying Piano Tone piano

For generations – centuries even – pianists have sought the secret to playing with a beautiful tone. Teachers have attributed a beautiful sound to a certain type of hand and shape of the fingers, to touching the key with the “fleshy” part of the finger, to playing with...

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iPad for Sheet Music sheet music

Digital sheet music has come a very long way since the awkward initial attempts to turn laptops into contortionists a few daring musicians hoped would miraculously stay on a music stand. For several years, I’ve kept a digital score library on an iPad to supplement the traditional paper...

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Key Signature Chart theory

This Key Signature Chart is designed to help you learn all the key signatures easily. It’s written with increasing sharps and flats.

It’s essential for all musicians to memorize the key signatures. As you study it you’ll quickly learn its patterns and discover that it’s...

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Piano Technique piano technique

Piano technique is the ability to get the right sound at the right time out of the piano. It is the ability to realize music, how we interact with our instrument. It is the ability to say what we want to say, to speak through music. Like our instruments themselves, technique is but a means to an...

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D Minor Chord piano chord chart

The D minor triad, more commonly called the D minor chord, is a minor triad consisting of the notes D, F and A. Here it is on the treble clef staff:

… and on the piano:

Here is the D minor chord on the bass clef staff:

As a minor triad, the D minor chord consists of a minor third...

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Toastmaster Magazine Cover Story

I’m humbled and overwhelmed to get to share some wonderful news with you. Toastmaster Magazine’s editorial staff unanimously chose me for a major cover story for its monthly print edition in over 140 countries!

For nearly a century, Toastmasters International has been the...

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Key Signatures theory

Key signatures are designed to simplify music notation by indicating the key. Without them, composers would be forced to write accidentals (sharps and flats) every time they’re used, which would greatly complicate reading music.

Because each key signature indicates two keys (one major and...

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Chord Inversions theory

Chord inversions are “spellings” of a chord with a note other than the fundamental in the bass. Let’s take a simple example:

The C major triad consists of the notes C, E and G, in that order:

As long as the C is on the bottom, the chord is in root position. Both the above...

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Circle of Fifths theory

The Circle of Fifths depicts all key signatures in order of increasing sharps and flats:

It’s a very easy way to learn the key signatures by depicting them graphically. With C major at the 12 o’clock position, the Circle of Fifths starts with zero sharps or flats, also called ...

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Bach's Musical Signature theory

Question: How do I calculate Bach’s musical signature?

– Alfi M.

Albert’s reply: Bach often wrote his name in musical notation, sometimes hiding it in his works. In German, the note B-flat is called B, and B natural is called H. Thus, B-A-C-H in German is played B-flat, A, C,...

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Bach's Ornaments theory

Question: Great Web Site!

I am studying the Bach B Minor Invention BWV 786. In the Explication, the manner of execution of the trill is very clear, and yet one can find conflicting interpretations in the recordings and in edited manuscripts.

It seems that most performers allow themselves...

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Common Chord Progressions theory

This lesson will introduce you to the most common chord progressions, so widely used that they can be found in virtually every piece of tonal music regardless of genre or era. Astonishingly, the following chord progressions are used as frequently in Renaissance and Baroque music of centuries past...

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