Download (direct link):
- If it's so important, then why isn't G on the middle line of the treble staff?
Likewise, why isn't F on the middle of the bass staff?
The answer to both of these mysteries is, of course, that the staff positions of G and F are determined by their distance from middle C. You might say middle C has some power in the musical world.
Chapter 4: Following Horizontal and Vertical Lines
Rising (or falling) to the occasion
Composers canít use ledger lines to notate all the notes that fall outside the boundaries of the treble and bass clefs ó if they did, each staff would take up an impractical amount of space on the printed page. Instead, composers use abbreviations to point you to the appropriate notes.
The abbreviation 8va tells you to play the same note but one key set higher. For example, when you see 8va above the note F on the top line of the treble staff, it means to play the next F up on the keyboard.
When you see 8vb below a note, you play the same note but one key set lower. Think of the ďbĒ in 8vb as meaning "below." For example, 8vb under the note G on the bottom line of the bass staff instructs you to play the next lower G key.
If the composer wants a really, really high or low note, you see the abbreviation 15ma or 15mb, which means to play two sets of keys higher or lower. Don't ask me why 2 times 8va equals 15ma. The laws of musical math are just funny that way.
Bustin' out the ledgers.
Lines Heading North and South
In addition to horizontal lines, music employs some verticals, too. These vertical lines help you keep track of where you are in the music, sort of like punctuation in a written sentence.
Reading this paragraph is a bit difficult it has no punctuation it is like one long sentence never ending thatís because without capital letters or punctuation marks it is difficult to understand the phrasing of a sentence music is like that too.
Think of the single or grand staff as one very long musical paragraph. The notes are the words. The vertical lines are the commas and periods, breaking up the musical paragraph into intelligible musical phrases. An example of these vertical lines is shown in Figure 4-17.
Chapter 5 tells you more about these vertical lines and the important function they play when it comes to rhythm.
Part II: Getting Sound Down on Paper
Vertical lines that divide the staff.
Don't Stop Tit \[ou Get Enough
As you read this book, you can instantly see that each page has several lines of text. You donít stop reading when you get to the edge of the page or the end of a line. Rather, your eyes continue to read from left to right, reaching the end of one line and immediately falling to the beginning of the next line. You keep reading until you get to the end of the book, the end of the sentence, or until dinnerís ready.
Reading music is similar. You play the notes on the staff from left to right. When you get to the end of the staff, or edge of the page, you drop down to the beginning of the next staff, or set of staves, and keep playing. (This applies to reading from either a single staff or a grand staff.) Figure 4-18 shows you what I mean. Notice that the appropriate clefs appear on every new line of music.
Keep on reading, keep on playing.
Drop down to the beginning of next line and keep playing
Joining the Rhythm Nation
In This Chapter
Making some notes last longer than others Recognizing note shapes ^ Measuring music without a ruler
∆usic is not just a series of long, sustained, droning tones. Sure, this description may apply to a few 20th century classical pieces ó and that stuff bagpipers play ó but you probably want to play some songs that make people dance or, at the very least, make them stay awake.
In this chapter, I show you just how important the timing of your notes is when playing the piano. As they say, timing is everything.
The Beat Goes On
When you listen to music played on the keyboard, or any other instrument for that matter, you hear notes of different lengths. Some notes sound as long as a fog horn; other notes are quite short, like a bird chirping; and others are of a medium length, like the ring of a telephone.
Depending on how long the notes in a musical piece are played, the music can sound fast, slow, or somewhere in between. These varying lengths of the different notes combine to form the rhythm of the music. Whether itís a fast-paced dance song or a slow love song, the rhythm provides the groovy groove to the music.
Measuring the beat
Rhythm is measured out in beats Like heartbeats, musical beats are measured over time. A certain number of beats occur in music (and in your heart) every minute. If youíre like me, when a doctor tells you how fast your heart is beating, you think ďWho cares? I donít know what those numbers
Part II: Getting Sound Down on Paper
mean." But when a composer tells you how many musical beats occur in a specific length of musical time, you canít take such a whimsical attitude ó not if you want the music to sound right.