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Old 04-18-2013, 08:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Music Theory

I'm very new to music theory and I was just wondering if I understood this correctly...

Notes are specific sounds at specific frequencies and these are the 7 fundamental notes. After the 7 notes, they repeat, but at double the frequency and that switch to the double frequency after the 7 notes is a change of one octave?

Last edited by BasicBear; 04-18-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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there are 12 notes (you can see them as the white and black keys in a piano), the 7 fundamental notes are derived trough a formula called "the major scale".
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Afro Blue View Post
there are 12 notes (you can see them as the white and black keys in a piano), the 7 fundamental notes are derived trough a formula called "the major scale".
So, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Gm, Am, Bm, Dm, and Em?

Did I understand octaves correctly? They are simple those notes played at double, triple, etc. the frequency? So if F had a frequency of 21 Hz, a note played two octaves higher would be 63 Hz?
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Basic Harmony 101

The cromatic scale goes like this, this is basically all the notes you have one after the other = C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C

0= c 1= c# 2= D 3=D# 4= E 5= F 6= F# 7= G 8= G# 9= A 10= A# 11= B 12= C


(# is called sharp)

the numbers before the notes are called intervals, this is what the distance of the notes in relationship to the root is called.
here the root is "c" as an example, but any note can be the root.

0 = Unison 1= flat second 2= second 3= minor 3rd 4= Major 3rd 5= perfect 4th 6= Diminished 5th 7= perfect 5th 8= minor 6th 9= Major 6th 10= minor 7th 11= Major 7th 12= octave

you make the major scale by taking the unison, second, major third, perfect four, perfect fifth, major sixth, major seventh and octave.

and if you have c as the root it will look like= C D E F G A B C
but this formula can be applied to all the other notes and you come up with the other major scales.

G= G A B C D E F# G
D= D E F# G A B C# D

and so on...

after you have a scale you make up chords by using another formula and you get 7 chords from each scale.

in the C major scale you get=

C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor and B diminished.


And i think you are correct about the frequencys in the octaves, but i cant tell you the info if you want to know it in Hzs... but you can google it.

Last edited by Afro Blue; 04-18-2013 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afro Blue View Post
The cromatic scale goes like this, this is basically all the notes you have one after the other = C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C

0= c 1= c# 2= D 3=D# 4= E 5= F 6= F# 7= G 8= G# 9= A 10= A# 11= B 12= C


(# is called sharp)

the numbers before the notes are called intervals, this is what the distance of the notes in relationship to the root is called.
here the root is "c" as an example, but any note can be the root.

0 = Unison 1= flat second 2= second 3= minor 3rd 4= Major 3rd 5= perfect 4th 6= Diminished 5th 7= perfect 5th 8= minor 6th 9= Major 6th 10= minor 7th 11= Major 7th 12= octave

you make the major scale by taking the unison, second, major third, perfect four, perfect fifth, major sixth, major seventh and octave.

and if you have c as the root it will look like= C D E F G A B C
but this formula can be applied to all the other notes and you come up with the other major scales.

G= G A B C D E F# G
D= D E F# G A B C# D

and so on...

after you have a scale you make up chords by using another formula and you get 7 chords from each scale.

in the C major scale you get=

C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor and B diminished.


And i think you are correct about the frequencys in the octaves, but i cant tell you the info if you want to know it in Hzs... but you can google it.
So if my root was A, my major scale would = A B C# D E F# G# A?

I still have to learn the difference between sharp, flat, diminished, perfect, major and minor.

Thank you for the lesson I'm trying to learn it while learning guitar so I still have a long way to go before everything makes practical sense.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default good times

learning that stuff is half the fun. i spent many hours going trough that info again and again, doing sheets of those scales until it all made sense..

now a day im thnkful that i did that, after your done you find out that this is basic stuff and theres more to come but you become more secure of yourself.

Dont presure yourself with anything, it will all grow with you.

lucky you that you have a forum where you can ask and people can teach you stuff just like that.. i had to go trough books and stuff.

Its all definetly worth while.
keep at it and find out where it will take you. : D
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BasicBear View Post
So, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Gm, Am, Bm, Dm, and Em?

Did I understand octaves correctly? They are simple those notes played at double, triple, etc. the frequency? So if F had a frequency of 21 Hz, a note played two octaves higher would be 63 Hz?
No. Octaves are always either doubling or halving the frequency. So an octave above 21 Hz is 42 Hz and two octaves is is 84 Hz and the next is 168 Hz and so on.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Gm, Am, Bm, Dm, and Em?
No. It would be A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G# and back to A again.

A# (A-sharp) is also Bb (B-flat). G# is also Ab. These are called enharmonic equivalents.

So, your scale could read as A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, E, Fb, F etc.

Now this is standard 12 TET (12-tone equal temperament). Other scales as quarter-tone have separate sharps and flats (i.e. A# is not the same note as Bb).

There is no sharp or flat note between B and C and also between E and F.

Last edited by Lord Larehip; 06-08-2013 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just saw this on my mobile and had to jump on the computer.

There are historical reasons for most of this but just start with your C scale as a starting point (also easier because no sharps/flats).

The 7 tones you're referring to, that is a diatonic (dia = 7; tonic = tones). It is the most common scale pattern in Western music (also pentatonic, 5 tone scale, penta meaning 5).

Now in Western music, you have 12 total tonalities, each of which has an enharmonic equivalent (same note, different name; the name you use depends on the context).

C
C#/Db
D
D#/Eb
E
F
F#/GB
G/F *
G#/Ab
A
A#/Bb
B
C

*(double sharp, rare to see this but goes back to historical technicalities)

Now scales are made up of how each of these tones relate to one another by interval degree.

C D E F G A B C
This is your C Major. The pattern of steps (one half step is two tones next to each other, C to C# for instance or E to F; whole step is two half steps) would be: w w h w w w h

The octave is the root. Now the scale patterns are useful but not as useful from a theoretic standpoint.

What we have then is intervals and their relationships. Of these, in Western music, diatonically based scales you have 4 perfect tones (1 4 5 8 [octave]) and 4 major tones (2 3 6 7). Lower case m = minor, upper case = Major, + = augmented, - = diminished (listed without enharmonic equivalents with the exception of augmented 4/diminished 5):
Root (P1)
2m
2M
3m
3M
P4
4+/5-
P5
6m
6M
7m
7M
Octave (P8)

The interval pattern is simply what it takes to map out, from the root, the major scale. P1, 2M, 3M, P4, P5, 6M, 7M, P8:
C (P1/Root)
C# (2m)
D (2M)
D# (3m)
E (3M)
F (P4)

F# (4+/5-)
G (P5)
G# (6m)
A (6M)
A# (7m)
B (7M)
C (P8)


Now the way intervals work is also what determines chord builds (must have root, third, fifth for a proper triad, typically [exceptions abound]).

Your sharps and flats essentially mean one half step up (for sharp) or down (for flat) from the given tone. So if you had to modulate, Writing an F note in the sheet music and flatting it would give you an E, but for theoretical purposes and playability via site reading and so on, you wouldn't write E, you'd write Fb (which also shows a modulation). Don't worry with modulations for now. Just explaining what sharp and flat means.

There are 12 fundamental tones in Western music which repeat. You don't really need to know much about frequency in most cases, just know that the frequency perfectly doubles when you go up one octave. If you place a C and then play the next octave of C (often written C' which is called C-prime), then the wavelengths perfect match to make them perfectly harmonious, though the C octave is twice as fast (perfectly twice as fast) and therefore is a higher pitch.



Now back to intervals.

Your intervals can be major or minor and your chords can be major or minor (M/m); they can also be diminished or augmented.

However the NOTES in the scale are NOT individually major or minor. A note by itself can only be natural (♮), sharp (♯) or flat (♭). These are called Accidentals. You usually won't see a natural unless you need to alter a note that, according to the key signature or modulation, is usually sharp or flat, as being natural.

OK so for something simple and highly relevant, writing out a scale and the enharmonic equivalents.

A Major, since that was mentioned. You only use each tone (C D E F G A B C) ONCE. Never use the same tone twice, that's what accidentals and enharmonic equivalents are for.

Correct: A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A
Wrong: A, B, Db, D, E, Gb, Ab, A

This goes back to readability on the staff (sheet music). If you're going to learn theory, being able to read sheet music at least moderately is a MUST. It will get more and more imperative as you advance in theory to be able to read sheet music.

Going back to C major, you may see it listed by Roman numeral. These indicate the triad chords on each degree. For the major scale (regardless of tonal key being C or D or whatever, this is ALWAYS the major scale):
I ii iii IV V vi vii°

Capital numeral is major, lower case is minor and a lower case with a ° is diminished.

So to make a proper triad, as I said before, you need root, third and fifth. This is based on the actual root of the chord, not the root of the scale so for C major... (root of chord in bold at bottom):
G A B C D E F G
E F G A B C D E
C D E F G A B C


Now look at the first chord, CM (I). You have your root C P1, (d = second, skip), your third which is a Major third interval above the C and then your G is your fifth above C and it is perfect, so you have a major triad (R, 3M, P5).

Look at the second chord. You have your root of D, then the F is a minor third above the D (F# would be a Major third), and then your A is a perfect 5th of D so you have a minor triad (R, 3m, P5).

The last chord is diminished, the B because you have over the B, a minor third and a diminished 5th. (R, 3m, 5-). Look at the list of intervals above and map it out from the B: B is your root, then you have C 2m, C# 2M, D 3m, D# 3M, E P4, E# 4+ but because we already have an E in the key (C Major), it must be F which makes it 5-.
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Last edited by anathematized_one; 06-08-2013 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
diatonic (dia = 7; tonic = tones)
Sure? "Dia-" means "across" to the best of my knowledge. Like diametric--"measure across".
Diatonic = "Across the tones"

I would also advise the OP to ear train BEFORE delving too deeply into theory and notation or he might get sidetracked. It's important to develop a good ear for music before doing anything else.
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