Categories
Music Lessons

Sound pitch and notation, how the staff works

How does music notation work? What are the five lines of which it is composed? In this lesson we will look at how the staff works and in particular how it is used to write down one of the main qualities of sound: pitch.

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Music Lessons

Major scale, pentatonic scale and other scales, what a musical scale is

What is a musical scale? Anyone playing an instrument is accustomed to practicing with scales, but the concept of a scale has much broader implications than just technique. In this lesson, we look at scales of five to eight sounds in general, in particular the major, minor and pentatonic scales.

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Music Lessons

George Russell and the Lydian Chromatic Concept

In the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization (1953) George Russell makes the Lydian scale the centre of the tonal system, instead of the traditional major scale. His system was a great inspiration to a whole generation of jazz musicians, who used it to try to expand the language of their improvisations. Let’s see how…

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Music Lessons

Simple and compound time

What is the difference between simple and compound time? Often the beginner student is misled by the term “simple time” and thinks it is a synonym for “easy time”. This is why any tempo that is unusual and difficult can be misclassified as compound time.

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Music Lessons

Chord symbols, how to read them

In this lesson, you will learn how to read chord symbols. In many theory books and online tutorials you will find charts that help you read chord symbols, but if you understand how chord symbols work, you will find it much easier to learn how to play chords. We will therefore see how the different…

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Music Lessons

Seventh chords and harmonization of the major scale

What are seventh chords? What are they used for? How can they be studied? In this lesson, we will try to answer these questions. In particular, we will look at what the harmonization of the major scale is, in order to discover the origin of chords.

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Piano

Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine, review and study guide

Mark Levine’s Jazz Piano Book is a great jazz piano classic. It is probably the best known jazz piano book of all time, a masterpiece for the study of jazz harmony and improvisation. The Jazz piano book covers many topics, but does not always do so in an orderly fashion. Especially for those who have…

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Monday Notes

Lester Young Trio, The Man I Love

[Monday Notes No.35] The Man I Love is a great classic of jazz and American music, one of the most beautiful love songs composed by George Gershwin. The lyrics of the song tell the story of waiting for love, the protagonist daydreams of the arrival of the man who will make her happy, her predestined…

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Monday Notes

Lester Young Trio, I’ve Found a New Baby

[Monday Notes No.34] In this trio recording of I’ve Found a New Baby Lester Young plays with Buddy Rich on drums and Nat King Cole on piano, who hid behind the witty pseudonym Aye Guy because he was under contract with another label and could not appear under his real name. The line-up is unusual…

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Monday Notes

Chet Baker, Little Girl Blue. The instrument as a voice

[Monday Notes No 33] In jazz, the voice often performs like a musical instrument, e.g. Billie Holiday has been known to imitate Louis Armstrong’s trumpet. Sometimes the reverse happens and it is the instruments that try to imitate the human voice. This is what happens in Little Girl Blue, performed by Chet Baker.