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Question: What is the definition of the following?
- Tendency tone
- Stable tone
- Active tone
– Timothy (Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria)
Albert’s reply: These are harmonic terms having specifically to do with melody writing and voice leading. Let’s take stable tones first. These are the...
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”...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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?
Question: As an adult (aged 54) student of the piano, I have encountered lots of difficulty achieving stability (and/or a firm grip) on black keys and have often wondered whether this is connected with age. This difficulty first became apparent when I started learning the G-flat and the E-flat...
Question: When sight reading new music by professional piano players, are the fingering positions subject to interpretation or are the fingerings “set in stone”?
– Don (Hillsborough, New Jersey, USA)
Albert’s reply: Editorial fingerings are essentially always to be...
Question: Hi, I would like to have some explanation about the third measure of the Chopin Etude, Op. 10, No. 4. I already play it up to tempo, but only on this passage am I having some problems. it doesn’t sound exactly how I expect it to sound. I even rotate and don’t leap, even...