Music Theory Lesson Five – Intervals Part I

The distance between two notes is called an interval.  Music is all about the relationship from one note to another and these intervallic distances are measured in a very precise way.  The names of these intervals and how they relate to the 12 musical keys should be memorized, much like the numeric multiplication tables.  Understanding and internalizing these relationships is one of the most important aspect of music theory. 

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Music Theory Lesson Four – The Circle of 4ths and 5ths

What is the circle of 4ths and 5ths?  This video breaks down this common circular diagram into an easy to understand chart that shows the order of keys along with their corresponding accidentals.  The 4ths ascend as flat keys and the 5ths ascend as sharps.  Also importantly discussed is how the reverse order of the circle of 4ths follows the exact same order as the ascending circle of 5ths.  There are multiple ways to think about the same thing.  Important things to remember include the semi-tone relationship of both intervals.  There are 5 half steps in a perfect 4th and 7 half steps in a perfect 5th. 

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Music Theory Lesson Three – Modes and Minor Scales

A minor scale is nothing more than playing a major scale, but starting on a different note.  This idea of maintaining the major key but starting on different scale degrees is known as modes.  Each scale degree has a corresponding mode, each with their own unique flavor.  Just like there are 7 notes in a major scale, there are 7 musical modes.  Luckily, the two most common modes are major and minor, also known as Ionian and Aeolian.  They are both essentially the same scale, just starting on different degrees of the scale.  This means that if you already know the major scale, you are very close to also being able to play its relative minor. 

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Music Theory Lesson Two – Major Scales

The major scale is the foundation of all keys, chords and musical modes.  There are 12 major scales to learn.  This video starts in the key of C and gives the semi-tone formula that shows the blueprint to playing the major scale starting on any note.  This video also introduces new musical terms that will allow you to think about music more precisely as well as communicate your ideas better to other musicians.  After watching the video, discover the remaining major scales not addressed using the W W H W W W H formula. 

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Music Theory Lesson One – Note Letter Names

Welcome to the first lesson of Practical Music Theory!  We’re going to start at the very beginning by identifying the notes of the keyboard.  Regardless of the instrument you play, this internalization is the foundation that all other musical concepts will be built upon.  Learning how the notes on your instrument relate to the keyboard will allow you to “see” how music is organized.  Practice identifying the notes through repetition until completely memorized.  Once you no longer need to “think” about the letter names and have embedded them in your mind at a subconscious level, proceeded to the next lesson. 

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