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Week 1 Notes for Theory I

by: Joi Harper

Week 1 Notes for Theory I MUSI 115 - 002

Marketplace > George Mason University > Music > MUSI 115 - 002 > Week 1 Notes for Theory I
Joi Harper
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About this Document

These notes cover the basics of writing on the staff. This includes Key signatures, Octave Locations, Clefs, and Sharps and Flats.
Theory I
Dr. Elaine Rendler
Class Notes
Music, MusicTheory




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Joi Harper on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MUSI 115 - 002 at George Mason University taught by Dr. Elaine Rendler in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 46 views. For similar materials see Theory I in Music at George Mason University.


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Date Created: 09/04/16
Harper 1 Theory I Notes 9/1/16 What is pitch? - Pitch is basically how high or low a note is - The ear hears certain tones through consistent frequency which is what we know as pitch Order of writing on manuscript 1. Staff: The five lines that are used to place music notes 2. Bar line: The line that divides measures in a staff 3. Clef: This tells you how to read the notes on the staff; a different clef will allow you to avoid using ledger lines a. Treble Clef or G Clef b. Bass Clef or F Clef c. Alto Clef or C Clef d. Tenor Clef or C Clef How to read the clefs 1. Treble Clef a. The spaces on the staff spell out F-A-C-E starting from the first space b. The lines on the staff spell out E-G-B-D-F or Every Good Boy Does Fine c. Notice that the clef curls around the G which is the second line on the staff. This is why this clef is nicknamed the G Clef. 2. Bass Clef a. The spaces on the staff spell out A-C-E-G or All Cows Eat Grass b. The lines on the staff spell out G-B-D-F-A or Good Boys Do Fine Always c. Notice that the two dots are above and below the F and the clef also sits on the F. This is why this clef is nicknamed the F Clef 3. Alto Clef a. The spaces on the staff spell out G-B-D-F or Good Boys Do Fine b. The lines on the staff spell out F-A-C-E-G or FACE with a G c. Because this is a C Clef, the note in the middle of the clef is middle C 4. Tenor Clef a. The spaces on the staff spell out E-G-B-D or Every Good Boy Dances b. The lines on the staff spell out D-F-A-C-E or D-FACE (feel free to get creative with this acronym) c. This is also a C Clef, so the Clef is centered around middle C So what‛s the difference between the tenor clef and the alto clef? Harper 2 - The Tenor Clef and the Bass Clef are actually centered around the same line even though F in Bass Clef is C in Tenor Clef - The Alto Clef is centered around the middle line which is middle C *Whenever you are changing clefs you are actually transposing the notes from the other clefs. *Tip: In each clef the top space is the same note as the bottom line and the bottom space is the same note as the top line. Key Signatures - Sharps always occur in fifths - Order of sharps: F-C-G-D-A-E-B - There are several mnemonics for this order: Fried Chicken Goes Down Awful Easy Brother, Father Charles Goes Down And End Battle - Key Signatures with Sharps - 1 sharp: G Major (F#) - 2 sharps: D Major (F# and C#) - 3 sharps: A Major (F#, C#, and G#) - 4 sharps: E Major (F#, C#, G#, and D#) - 5 sharps: B Major (F#, C#, G#, D#, and A#) - 6 sharps: F# Major (F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, and E#) - 7 sharps: C# Major (F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#, and B#) - Tip: to find the key with sharps, take the last sharp and go up a half step (ex. In the key of G Major the last sharp is F# so a half step up from F# is G) - Flats occur in fifths backwards and fourths forwards - Order of flats: B-E-A-D-G-C-F - The mnemonic I use for this: Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles‛ Father - You can also remember: BEAD with Greatest Common Factor at the end - Key Signatures with Flats - 1 flat: F Major (Bb) - 2 flats: Bb Major (Bb and Eb) - 3 flats: Eb Major (Bb, Eb, and Ab) - 4 flats: Ab Major (Bb, Eb, Ab, and Db) - 5 flats: Db Major (Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and Gb) - 6 flats: Gb Major (Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, and Cb) - 7 flats: Cb Major (Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb, and Fb) - Tip: to find the key with flats, use the second to last flat to name the key - Here are some tricks to help remember key signatures: Harper 3 - All plain letter scales are sharps except F - All other scales arer flats except F - Always remember F Major is one flat (Bb) - If you can remember sharps but not flats or vice versa, remember 7 is the magic number - Ex: You want to know what accidentals fall into Ab Major - If you know that A Major has 3 sharps then this is a breeze - Just take 7-3 which is 4 - This is the number of flats in Ab major - If all else fails use the keyboard trick - Just draw a keyboard like this on your paper and you see all the steps you need to find the key signatures - Sharps and Flats and Naturals - What is the difference? - Sharps go up a half step - Flats go down a half step - This is why Gb is the same note as F# - Naturals cancel out any sharps and flats that were either in the key signature or in the given measure - Double Sharps and Double Flats - Double sharps go up a whole step and are notated as “x” - Double flats go down a whole step and are notated as “bb” - To cancel only one of the flats or sharps in a double flat or sharp you must use a natural sign before a single flat or sharp - Once the bar line occurs that accidentals from the previous measure do not apply to the current measure The Grand Staff - The Grand Staff shows all possibilities for notes on a keyboard - On a keyboard, every next move is a half step - C dictates which octave the notes are played in - C4 is middle C - The lowest C on an 88 key piano is C1 and the highest is C8 - A0 is the first note on an 88 key piano - Ledger lines which are line above and below the staff allow for an extension on the grand staff - The reason that so many different clefs can be used is to avoid the excessive use of ledger lines - In C Clefs, the C that the clef is centered around in C4 or middle C - Harper 4


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