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Memorizing the Keys theory

Question: Hi Albert,

I’m finding it nearly impossible to memorize the keys. (Which key has 5 sharps, which key has 4 flats, etc.) It may not help that I’m 74 years old, but I would have a difficult time memorizing them even if I was 24. I’m hoping you have a “trick”...

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Minor Chords in the Major Scale theory

Question: Hey, good day to you. I’m a bit confused when it comes to chords/chord progressions. The thing is if I’m in a scale, let’s say G major, I would play the chords (triads) G, C and D major since the notes that make up the chords are in the scale. But can I also play...

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Music Theory Intervals theory

Question: I have a question about intervals. My assignment is to write the full name of each interval:

  • D to C-sharp?
  • F to E-flat?
  • B to G-sharp?

I’m very confused. Can you help me?

– Beibei (Singapore)

Albert’s reply: While initially they can be among the more confusing...

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Piano Key Chart theory

If you’re just learning to find notes on the piano keyboard, this basic piano key chart is designed for you. The chart includes naturals (C, D, E, F, G, A, B), flats and sharps. (Double sharps and double flats have been omitted, since the chart would otherwise get too confusing and do more...

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Piano Notes Chart theory

This simple piano notes chart is designed to help beginners find their way around the piano keyboard. If you’re just getting familiar with the piano keyboard, all you need to do is recognize this pattern of black keys:

As described in the article Layout of Piano Keys, this pattern of...

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Piano Theory theory

A piano is indispensible for learning music theory. Piano theory implies the use of the instrument, which in turn implies sound, which of course is what music is all about. However, many music students make the grave mistake of learning music theory on paper only.

Hearing the music first in your...

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Sharps and Flats theory

Question: How do you know if a note is a sharp?

When the sharp sign (#) is next to the G clef and F clef, how do I know what notes in the music piece are played as sharps?

Albert’s reply: One sharp is the key signature for G major and its relative key of E minor.

Here is the key signature...

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The Major Scale theory

Question: These are the questions that my music teacher asked me and I didn’t quite know what he was trying to tell me.

Here are the questions:

  • Of what is the major scale composed?
  • What degrees of the scale are used to build the major scale?

Could you help?

– Courtney

...

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What Is Music Theory? theory

Question: I had been formally trained in piano quite a long ago for a short duration of time. I have not been so much in touch with it since then, but I have always been into music.

Recently I have gotten interested (very much) in music theory and will pursue it if I get a chance to do so. In...

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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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