Understanding intervals
15 June 2024 | 2:31 pm

There are two ways to understand intervals: the right way, and the way I learned them. Before we get into that, let me point you to some good resources for learning the right way. I like the online tutorials by Robert Hutchinson, Chelsey Hamm and Bryn Hughes, musictheory.net and musicca.com. I really love Nate May’s visual …

What is voice leading?
12 June 2024 | 2:06 pm

Sit down at the piano and play the chords C and F in root position, back and forth, like so: (C E G) to (F A C). Pretty clunky! Now invert the C chord; that is, move the bottom note up an octave. Alternate that version of the C chord with the F chord, like …

Visualizing note and rest durations
11 June 2024 | 8:14 pm

Kids need to learn how to read staff notation. However, they would rather look at the MIDI piano roll. My question is, why not show them both? Each view has its own affordances. Staff notation is more human-readable and space-efficient, but the piano roll is more discoverable for beginners. The staff doesn’t show microrhythmic subtleties, …


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