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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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Metric Accents theory

Question: Hi, I just wanted to ask some short questions:

  1. Explain the following time signatures and tell where the accents fall in each: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4.

  2. What are accents and what effect do they have?

– Courtney

Albert’s reply: Courtney, these are really one and the same...

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Memorizing the Keys in Sheet Music theory

Question: I’ve often read that to play the piano properly, you must be proficient in key identification (knowing what the key is, based on the number of sharps or flats it has). As long as I play the music as written, why is it necessary for me to know what key it’s in? I’ve...

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Major Scales for Piano theory

Here are all the major scales for piano, with all proper fingerings, for free download! Simply right-click the download icons or links and select “Save” to download the major piano scales worksheet.

Major Scales for Piano

Most piano students struggle with learning their scales, but...

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Learning Music Theory in Lessons theory

Question: I am 67 years old and returned to piano less than a year ago. My teacher is a world class pianist who doesn’t have much time for me. But then too I don’t feel I need lessons every week as I practice 2–4 hours every day on the Bach invention and Beethoven sonata she...

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