Thursday, 10 November 2011

Music theory 101

Last Friday, Fiorella came to my house to teach me some music theory. I had taken Music in high school, but it was a total different system of music reading in Peru. What you usually know here as C D E F G A B C, we know it as Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si Do. Plus, I knew all the names for music signs in Spanish. So whenever I wanted to talk about music with any of my musician friends, it was nearly impossible to understand each other. It was very frustrating since I really love the subject. Plus, I want to understand it so I can create my own music with the help of any of my friends. Some of them say I should do something with my voice. They encourage me to sing and be in a band. And it has always been my biggest dream: to be able to perform in a stage with my band! But I can't make music if I can't understand my fellow bandmates. So I decided to start by the beginning. Music theory.

Fiorella and I spent an hour in my bedroom with my keyboard, my new music book and a notebook. Drawing notes, telling me what a whole note or a semi-note was; what is a Major scale and a Minor; what's the difference between a chromatic and a diatonic note. I learned so much in that sole hour. I was very excited when she would ask me to do something in the keyboard, and I would do it without a mistake! I genuinely learned! Learning is the best feeling in the world. I felt proud of myself.

But one hour of class wont change my life. She's coming back next Friday for some more Music Theory, and I already have homework! But she is a good teacher. Patient enough, and with all the answers to my random questions (music-related anyway).

Then I showed her how I usually learn a song to play it on the keyboard. I took the sheets from Epica's song "Linger" that I made for my own understanding, and it looked like this:

As you can see, there are no tempos, no Right or Left hand indications, nothing. The lines above or below every note tells me in which scale (or octave) the note is in the keyboard. It seems that now I'm going to have to change that. From now on, I have to write everything in my new learned system.

Oh, and how do I get the songs? I download them as Midis. I look at the piano the program has, and pause and play the song every 2 seconds to write down the notes. One song can take me from one whole day to weeks (depending on how much I procrastinate and how complicated is the song). It's a lot of work, but my laziness works in mysterious ways ;-)

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