# Chapter 1. Natural Notes

### Theory

This first chapter teaches you about natural notes. I explain what natural notes are by using the piano keyboard. Are you not yet familiar with the piano keyboard? First, I show you how the keyboard is structured. Then, you learn the names of the white keys. To practice the structure of the piano keyboard, you'll do an exercise to be played on the piano. Don't you have a keyboard at your disposal? No problem, then you can skip this exercise. In the video, I show you what natural notes are and what they are called. You’ll practice these names at the end of this chapter.

## 1. The piano keyboard

The keyboard has a regularly recurring pattern of white and black keys. The black keys are subdivided into evenly repeated groups of two and three keys. The keys descend in tone towards the left, and ascend in tone towards the right.

### Exercises to be played on the piano

Learn about the division of white and black keys. Don't you have a keyboard at your disposal? No problem, then you can skip this exercise.

### The black keys

Play all the groups of two black keys from the lowest to highest.
Then play all the groups of three black keys from lowest to highest.

Depress the right pedal as far as you can. Choose a black key, for example the key on the left in the group of two. Play this black key wherever it occurs on the piano’s keyboard.

Playing this black key along the length of the keyboard, we can hear that the tone is the same, only the keys make it sound higher or lower. The tones sound fine when they are played together – they are, after all, the same tone!

#### Examples

On most pianos, there is a single black key at the lowest end of the keyboard. This black key is the right-hand key in the group of three black keys.

### The white keys

The white keys can be recognized with the help of the black keys.

#### Examples

Depress the right pedal as far as you can. Choose a white key, for example the key in the middle of the group of two black keys. Play this key wherever it occurs on the piano’s keyboard.

Playing this white key along the length of the keyboard, we can hear that the tone is the same, only the keys make it sound higher or lower. The tones sound fine when they are played together – they are, after all, the same tone!

#### Examples

A modern piano has a total of 55 white keys. But how many are different?

• There are three white keys grouped around the group of two black keys.
• There are four white keys grouped around the group of three black keys.

There are seven different white keys, and five different black keys.

## 2. Natural notes: the names of the white keys

You have learned that a white key is repeated with a regular pattern. That these keys are the same. That is why they have the same name. You also learned that there are seven different white keys. The white keys have the names of the first seven letters of the alphabet.

These seven white keys are named A, B, C, D, E, F and G.

### Which name belongs to which key?

We'll start with the A. That key belongs to the group of 3 black keys, to the left of the right black key. Or to the right of the middle black key, it depends on how you look at it.

The B is one white key higher, belongs to the group of 3 black keys, to the right of the right black key. The white key again one higher is called the C. And so on, up to the G. After that comes another A.

### Natural notes: the names of the white keys

A tone is a sound, a tone is what you hear. The tones that you write in musical notation, are called natural notes.

The names of the natural notes are A, B, C, D, E, F and G.

A note is a written tone, a note is a tone written down in musical notation. Only the natural notes are written down.

On the piano, the natural notes are the white keys with de names A, B, C, D, E, F and G.

### Video

As you would expect, the note Middle C is positioned (almost) in the middle of the keyboard.

#### This is what Middle C sounds like

On most pianos, the lowest white key on the keyboard is an A.

## 3. Practise

Note Reading exercise 1: practise the names of the white keys