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# 139139 29-Jan-2014 09:12
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Just starting, for relaxation, to attempt to learn to play a keyboard.

 

I know there is a relationship between music and mathematics so for someone with an engineering background all should be OK.

 

On to the keyboard, 88 keys – all in groups of eight, and notes that are an octave apart played together sound good. Marvelous !

 

On to musical notation, hang on there are nine positions here, not the eight on the octave. And they are not from A to G - as would be logical- but from E to F. And two notes an octave apart are in different parts of the stave – the lower F is between the lines, the upper on the line.

 

So thinks – I suppose this is because “middle c” is in the middle of the stave- but hang on a minute it is not, it’s in the space above the middle.

 

Aaaarrrrgggghhhh …………………

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  # 976452 29-Jan-2014 09:22
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Sounds like fun. I used to play Guitar when i was 10 and only knew the intros to 100's of songs.

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  # 976503 29-Jan-2014 10:11
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I use to play keyboard, knew a lot of show tunes by memory... ask me now tho, and Im lucky to remember much at all...




XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

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  # 976504 29-Jan-2014 10:12
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I learned piano when I was five, did really well, and was later good at maths. There is some relationship or correlation.

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  # 976511 29-Jan-2014 10:30
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I play three instruments and program keyboard/synth stuff, and have been playing for 25+ years.
Never got good at theory or reading music but... but that's what I love about rock instruments, you can get away with learning by ear.

I DID study music. But would go blank and stare out the window when it came to theory. I just loved playing.

The end result: Failed bursary music but still got the fangled music award for contribution to the music department over the years, which wasn't given out every year either.




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  # 976950 29-Jan-2014 22:49
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Go learn some music theory, I started learning music both practical and theory at primary school and ended up being an engineer. Now I mostly play keyboard piano guitar harmonica violin whatever for relaxation by ear. I do a bit of piano tuning from time to time, quite fascinating using a digital tuner on Phone to do tone generation etc.

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  # 976967 29-Jan-2014 23:10
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Reanalyse: Just starting, for relaxation, to attempt to learn to play a keyboard. I know there is a relationship between music and mathematics so for someone with an engineering background all should be OK. On to the keyboard, 88 keys – all in groups of eight, and notes that are an octave apart played together sound good. Marvelous ! On to musical notation, hang on there are nine positions here, not the eight on the octave. And they are not from A to G - as would be logical- but from E to F. And two notes an octave apart are in different parts of the stave – the lower F is between the lines, the upper on the line. So thinks – I suppose this is because “middle c” is in the middle of the stave- but hang on a minute it is not, it’s in the space above the middle. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh …………………


If it helps, middle C is centred between the treble and bass staves, in the middle of the great staff. The C you are referring to is an octave higher than middle C. 

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  # 976980 29-Jan-2014 23:52
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On to musical notation, hang on there are nine positions here, not the eight on the octave. And they are not from A to G - as would be logical- but from E to F. And two notes an octave apart are in different parts of the stave – the lower F is between the lines, the upper on the line. So thinks – I suppose this is because “middle c” is in the middle of the stave- but hang on a minute it is not, it’s in the space above the middle. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh …………………


For me, I find it easier not to group notes together in lots of 8 (or 12 for a chromatic scale), but think of them all as individual components. That way, once you start moving onto more complex work (you will get there if you stick with it), you won't struggle when certain melodies or chords don't fit within the 'groups' that you ingrained in yourself earlier. Maybe I just think of it that way since I've been doing music for a while, but I really think this way makes it easier to work with more complex notation. Once you get over the initial shock of learning a new language (cliche?), you'll realise that music notation does make a look of sense.

I find a lot of amateur guitarists have the problem of learning only chords (groups of notes), but never the notes within the chord and therefore when you ask them to play a G in the Gmaj chord they just played, they give you a blank look.

 
 
 
 


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  # 978246 31-Jan-2014 16:49
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Have a look at the sheet music and musical notation pages on wikiP for a detailed explanation.

Consider buying a guitar for a more practical appreciation than you will get from a piano.

Consider a few links between maths and music:

Double the frequency and you go up one octave. That is why the octave fret on a guitar halves the length of the string. (Engineering will explain why.)

Treble the frequency and you go up just over one and a half octaves - that takes you from C to G and the explains why C and G together also sound good.

Multiply the frequency by four and it should be obvious that you are two octaves up.

Multiply by 5 and you reach the E above the C that was two octaves up from where you started. The notes C, E and G also sound good and they make up the chord of C major.

You can see this most easily with a guitar. Place a finger on the mid point of a string. Do not push the string down to the fret, just rest it on the string and now pluc the string. The string will sound one octave up. You suppressed the lowest vibration frequency of the string so that you are effectively plucking a string of half the length. Now repeat that one third of the way up and see what note you get.

It is all easy and works perfectly, yeah?

Now lets see where it falls apart.

Multiply the starting C by 25 and you will go up four octaves and then up to G#. 25 is 5*5 so if 5 times is two octaves up and then on to E, then 25 times is another two octaves up from that E and then on to G#. Got that? Look on the keyboard and work it out from there. Multiply by 5 again and where will that take you? Up another two octaves and then on from G# up to....? Yes back to C. Seven octaves up which of course should be 128 (2 to the 7)  times the original frequency except that we got there by going 5 cubed which is 125. Oops.

That lovely mathematical relationship just broke down badly. (You can see the same thing by going up by factors of 3 until you get back to the note C but you have to go up by 3 to the twelfth power before you get back to C but it should be clear that 3 to the twelfth can never be an exact power of two.)

So in fact, the frequency relationships between the notes are not really as perfectly sorted out as they first appear.

Hundreds of years ago, Bach worked out all of this and he then came up with a tuning for a keyboard that will work acceptably well. All of the notes are slightly tweaked away from what at first seem to be the perfect frequencies so that you can play a major or minor chord, or a scale starting from any note and everything sounds good. He then wrote some musical pieces under the title, "The Well Tempered Klavier" that demonstrated how a keyboard (German Klavier) could be tuned so that you can play all of the pieces which cover all available keys and get good sounds.

The actual tunings have been lost in the passage of time and it is not clear if the note spacings were all an identical factor apart - being multiplied by one + the twelfth root of two - of if they were slightly different. Musical theorists are still arguing that one.

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