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Music Basics

The Prinicples of Music

Lessons in the General Music series. The principles of how music works.

PUBLISHED: Jan 1, 2003 UPDATED: Jan 1, 2003 • VIEWS: 3 • SERIES CODE: ML-basic

12 Lessons in the “Music Basics” Series

Glossary of Music Terms • Updated: Jan 18, 2019

A glossary of common music terms. Common and not so common music terms. Knowing the language and terms used with music aides in your own understanding when exploring your music potential.

Whole Steps and Half Steps Explained • Updated: Jun 7, 2019

The distance between any two notes can be defined by steps - half steps, whole steps, semi-tones, whole tones. From this series of steps you can get the names of the notes of ANY of the fifteen major scales.

The Chromatic Scale • Updated: Nov 26, 2018

The only scale in music with ALL twelve notes of one octave. Not much use for improvisation or solos – but a great scale for learning the notes of the ukulele fingerboard, figuring out scales, chords and more...

Enharmonic Equivalents • Updated: Feb 13, 2020

An Enharmonic Equivalent is where a musical pitch can have different names depending on the context in which it is functioning. An example is G# produces the same pitch as Ab.

The Major Scale • Updated: Feb 11, 2016

Called the learning scale for a reason. The major scale is a great scale for learning how music and chords work. It’s a core scale from which a majority of your core, essential scales can be derived. There are 15 major scales.

Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths and Fourths • Updated: Nov 18, 2019

There is a load of information in traditional Key Signatures. Unlocking the principles in this circle leads to a better understanding of music and how things work.

A key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating the notes that are to be consistently played higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation. Each major and minor key has an associated key signature that sharpens or flattens the notes which are used in its scale.

Ear Training • Updated: Oct 21, 2017

Ear Training is the development of the active and passive capability to relate to music aurally. This includes the ability to recognize melodic and harmonic intervals, chords, chords progressions, rhythm, melody, and harmony.

Chord Spelling - Triads • Updated: Oct 21, 2017

This lesson presents the traditional approach for learning the chord tones of chords with a little twist to make it a bit easier. A Chord is three or more notes sounded simultaneously - together or almost together. The minimum number of notes required for a chord are three. These three note chords are called triads. Two notes are usually referred to as an interval or dyad. Each note of a chord is called a chord tone.

Chord Spelling - An Alternate Approach • Updated: Nov 26, 2018

An alternate approach to determining the chord tones of any chord. Bottom-line is, it's the notes that make the chord, not the shape. A C chord is C, E, G - NOT this or that shape.

Metronome - Playing in Time • Updated: Feb 13, 2020

There is no way around it. A musician must be able to play in time. Playing in time is an important musical skill for ALL musicians. A metronome is an external time device for developing an accurate internal time.

Demystifying Cut Time by Chuck Anderson • Updated: Feb 25, 2019

Cut Time is a source of confusion for many musicians. What exactly does it mean and how do you apply it? Here is a guest esson by internationally renowned jazz guitarist and educator Chuck Anderson

Practice, Play and Rules (Theory) - The Three Words • Updated: Jun 6, 2019

Chuck Anderson wrote a great blog entry about the three words Play, Practice and Theory that send the wrong message to players and the general public.

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