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Note Reading and Music Theory

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Harmony: explanation with piano added

In all chapters Harmony, the lesson plan makes extensive use of text, images, audio and video clips. There are many note examples, for example, Harmony Chapter 1.7 Major and minor seconds about major seconds:

notenvoorbeeld Click on the icon for more image explanation.

 

Now, in addition to all the note examples, I have also made examples that show how these notes are played on the piano. View an example:

notenvoorbeeld Click on the icon for more piano keyboard explanation.

 

To create these images, I used Synthesia. In total I made 1298 pictures.

Note Reading: new F-clef and G-clef exercises

For the F-clef and the G-clef I have made extra exercises.

Five types of exercises have been added:

  • Smart notes with time limit: practise reading smart notes with time limit of 2 minutes and 30 seconds for the whole exercise.
  • Reading all notes with time limit: practise reading all notes with time limit of 2 minutes and 30 seconds for the whole exercise.
  • Reading all notes with invisible clef.
  • Accidentals: practise reading notes with sharp and flat.
  • Accidentals: practise reading notes with double sharps and double flats.

These exercises can be found in Chapter 9. F-clef and the Chapter 10. G-clef. With these two chapters, you are able to study and practice the F-clef and the G-clef separately.

Seven exercises are now available for each of these chapters:

Chapter 9. F-clef

  • Exercise 8a: F-clef: smart notes: practise reading smart notes.
  • Exercise 8b: F-clef: smart notes with time limit: practise reading smart notes with time limit of 2 minutes and 30 seconds for the whole exercise.
  • Exercise 8c: F-clef: reading all notes: practise reading all notes.
  • Exercise 8d: F-clef: reading all notes with time limit: practise reading all notes with time limit of 2 minutes and 30 seconds for the whole exercise.
  • Exercise 8e: F-clef: reading all notes with invisible clef.
  • Exercise 8f: F-clef: accidentals: sharps and flats: practise reading notes with sharp and flat.
  • Exercise 8g: F-clef: accidentals: double sharp and double flat: practise reading notes with double sharps and double flats.

Chapter 10. G-clef

  • Exercise 9a: G-clef: smart notes: practise reading smart notes.
  • Exercise 9b: G-clef: smart notes with time limit: practise reading smart notes with time limit of 2 minutes and 30 seconds for the whole exercise.
  • Exercise 9c: G-clef: reading all notes: practise reading all notes.
  • Exercise 9d: G-clef: reading all notes with time limit: practise reading all notes with time limit of 2 minutes and 30 seconds for the whole exercise.
  • Exercise 9e: G-clef: reading all notes with invisible clef.
  • Exercise 9f: G-clef: accidentals: sharps and flats: practise reading notes with sharp and flat.
  • Exercise 9g: G-clef: accidentals: double sharp and double flat: practise reading notes with double sharps and double flats.
New questions exercise Ear Training Degrees and melody level 4, level 5 and level 6

For Ear Training Exercise Degrees and melody level 4, level 5 and level 6, I have made new questions.

The purpose of this exercise is to learn to notate the degrees I, VI, II, IV, V and V7, or tonic, subdominant, dominant and dominant seventh by ear.

 

See example question Ear Training exercise Degrees and melody level 5.

The following degrees are being played: I - ? - ? - ?

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

Use Roman numerals to notate the missing degrees.

Practical steps

The first chord is provided and is the tonic. When playing the chord progression listen for:

  • identical chords.
  • chord functions; is a tonic, subdominant, dominant or dominant seventh being played?
  • the dominant - tonic (V - I) progression.
  • the difference between V and V7.

Then play the chord progression and notice that:

  1. the fourth chord sounds the same as the first chord (tonic). The fourth chord is a first degree (I).
  2. the third and fourth chords sound like a dominant - tonic (V - I).
  3. the third chord sounds like a dominant seventh (V7).
  4. the second chord sounds like a subdominant but is, however, not the fourth degree but the second degree (II).

Answer: II - V7 - I.

Octave clefs

An F-clef with a figure 8 symbol added below the clef means: play all notes one octave lower than written.

The top staff (played with the right hand) has an F-clef with a figure 8 symbol added below. This means: play all notes one octave lower than written. So, you cross the right hand over the left hand and play the two lowest E's on the piano.

View here the explanation of the G-clef with a figure 8 symbol added below.

For further explanation, I have made a new chapter in Elementary Music Theory level 2, namely Chapter 2.1 Musical notation. Here I also give a few examples.

New questions exercise Ear Training Degrees and melody level 2 and level 3

For Ear Training Exercise Degrees and melody level 2 en level 3, I have made new questions.

The purpose of this exercise is to learn to notate the degrees I, IV, V and V7, or tonic, subdominant, dominant and dominant seventh by ear.

 

See example question Ear Training exercise Degrees and melody level 3.

The following degrees are being played: I - ? - ? - ?

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

Use Roman numerals to notate the missing degrees.

Practical steps

The first chord is provided and is the tonic. When playing the chord progression listen for:

  • identical chords.
  • chord functions; is a tonic, subdominant, dominant or dominant seventh being played?
  • the dominant - tonic (V - I) progression.
  • the difference between V and V7.

Then play the chord progression and notice that:

  1. the fourth chord sounds the same as the first chord (tonic). The fourth chord is a first degree (I).
  2. the third and fourth chords sound like a dominant - tonic (V - I).
  3. the second chord sounds like a subdominant (IV).

Answer: IV - V - I.

New questions exercise Harmony embellishing tones

For Harmony exercise 7a: embellishing tones, I have made 50 new questions from which 8 questions are randomly chosen, this allows you to do the exercise several times without repeating the same questions.

Melody tones do not always belong to the particular chord being used. These tones are called nonharmonic tones or embellishing tones. Melody tones belonging to a particular chord are called harmonic tones.

There are four main types of nonharmonic tones:

  1. passing tone
  2. neighboring tone (or auxiliary tone)
  3. anticipation
  4. suspension

 

Sample question

Question

What type of tone is the note indicated by the arrow?

No image!

   
Practical steps 1. D, the note being played, is a nonharmonic tone.
2. D is being played between the two harmonic tones E and C.
3. D is a passing tone.
   
Answer Choose: passing tone
Scale degrees entry-level: new ear training exercise added

To Ear Training level 2, I have added a new exercise: Ear Training exercise 2c: scale degrees entry-level.

Ear Training exercise 2c: scale degrees entry-level is a preparatory exercise for Ear Training exercise 2d: scale degrees. This exercise is intended for students who find this exercise difficult. The melodies for Ear Training exercise 2c: scale degrees entry-level are shorter and have a smaller tonal range. I have made 36 questions from which 8 questions are randomly chosen, this allows you to do the exercise several times without repeating the same questions.

By adding a new exercise the numbering of the subsequent exercises has been changed.

The goal of this exercise is to be able to recognise on which tone of the scale a melody ends, or at a fragment or phrase within the melody. That is to say, which tone counting up from the tonic of the scale. This is indicated by a number:

  • 1 = the first tone of the scale - the tonic
  • 3 = the third tone of the scale
  • 5 = the fifth tone of the scale - the dominant

 

View an example question

On which tone of the scale does the following melody end?

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

Sing the melody being played to form an idea of this melody.

1. sing until you find the most stable tone

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

2. the tonic

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

3. sing the last tone you hear

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

4. and descend through the scale of the fragment to the tonic

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

Answer: the melody ends on the fifth tone of the scale, the fifth.

New questions exercise Ear training scale degrees level 2

For Ear Training exercise scale degrees level 2, I have made new questions, or better, new melodies. These new melodies are shorter and the tonic is easier to hear.

The goal of this exercise is to be able to recognise on which tone of the scale a melody ends, or at a fragment or phrase within the melody. That is to say, which tone counting up from the tonic of the scale. This is indicated by a number:

  • 1 = the first tone of the scale - the tonic
  • 3 = the third tone of the scale
  • 5 = the fifth tone of the scale - the dominant

 

See example question and practical steps.

On which tone of the scale does the following melody end?

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

Sing the melody being played to form an idea of this melody.

1. sing until you find the most stable tone

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

2. the tonic

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

3. sing the last tone you hear

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

4. and descend through the scale of the fragment to the tonic

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.

Answer: the melody ends on the third tone of the scale, the third.

Note Reading: added explanation with piano keyboard images

I have added explanation with piano keyboard images in the next chapters:

  • Chapter 4. Grand Staff
  • Chapter 5. Reading All Notes
  • Chapter 6. Accidentals
  • Chapter 7. Ledger Lines

This extra piano keyboard images helps understanding the place of the note on the piano keyboard.

Try yourself and click on the images

Explanation with notes only

notenvoorbeeld

Explanation with piano keyboard images

notenvoorbeeld

Musictheory.education is finished and online, after 10 month of translating, building and testing.

For the translation I had the fantastic help of Christina Viola Oorebeek, an American-Dutch composer.
Making Musictheory.education was only possible because of her help, so I would thank Christina for doing this huge amount of work.

A short overview of what has been done: the translation of 289 chapters, 123 videos, 261 exercises and many images.

May I invite you to take a look and to sign up for a free trial if you like.

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Finished English translation of all text

Finally I finished translating all text on www.musictheory.education.

Also, I almost finished checking all pages and exercises on musictheory.education. Things I have to check are all links to chapters and exercises, the lightboxes with images and text, all exercises, bookmarks and much more.

And I made some improvements. For example I improved the exercises result scale.

I celebrate the official opening of www.musictheory.education on 1st July 2017!

 

Finished English translation of all images

Music theory is not only explained by videos but also with images. Some of these images contains text. I had to translate this text from Dutch to English but I also had to translate note names. In Dutch a F sharp is called 'Fis'. A lot of images contains note names, so I had to do a lot of work. I finished translating and uploaded the new images today!

Finished English translation of all videos

After four weeks of translating Dutch into English text, with help of the American-Dutch composer Christina Viola Oorebeek, and one week of recording and editing I finished all the 231 videos accessible on this site.

Here you can see an example of a video belonging to Harmony Chapter 2.4 Triads:

You must have the Adobe Flash Player installed to view this player.