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Key vs Scale Intervals theory

Which to Learn?

Question: I was about to memorize the number and types of intervals in the scales.

Then I noticed this distinction between keys and scales.

Any key (major or minor) comprises just 7 notes.

But a scale comprises 8 notes – we repeat the tonic note to make up an octave when...

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How to Tell the Key of a Song theory

Question: Hello Albert,

Many years ago, I was taught that by looking at the last note or notes of a piece of music, one could tell what key it is in, that is of course if one does not understand the key signature in the beginning of the piece of music.

That being said, I am practicing a piece of...

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How to Harmonize a Melody theory

Question: Hey Albert, I am glad to hear of your success at the TED convention.

My two-part question is one that may sound odd but “How can I be sure what chords to play on the melody note in a song?” and “Is it scientific or just creative?”

I hope you understand my...

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How Much Music Theory? theory

Question: How much theory is important when learning to play the piano? What’s most important to know?

– Barb (Wisconsin, USA)

Albert’s reply: This is a critical question for all music students. First, it’s important to understand the nature of music theory. In the...

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Double Expositions theory

Question: Hello Albert, My question today is:

Where did the idea of double expositions in piano concertos come from and how did it affect later compositions?

– Achilles (Malta)

Albert’s reply: As explained in Sonata Form Simplified, the first section of a movement in sonata form in...

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Bottom Keys of the Piano theory

Question: What are the bottom notes of the piano?

– Adrianna (Texas, USA)

Albert’s reply: Assuming you’re using a standard full-sized, 88-key piano, the bottom key plays A.

Always remember that the keys are not the notes. Since each of the piano’s keys has to be tuned to...

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