Learn to Read Music: Music Theory part 1 | Angelika Yevstratenko | Skillshare

Learn to Read Music: Music Theory part 1

Angelika Yevstratenko, Practical Piano Tips

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11 Lessons (45m) View My Notes
    • 1. Introduction

      1:11
    • 2. Keys on the Piano

      3:31
    • 3. The Music System

      6:00
    • 4. Landmark Notes

      5:05
    • 5. Directional Reading and Intervals

      6:18
    • 6. Treble Clef Notes

      5:32
    • 7. Bass Clef Notes

      3:37
    • 8. Note Values and Rests

      4:51
    • 9. Bar Lines, Measures, and Time Signatures

      6:26
    • 10. Class Project - Apply What You Learned

      1:56
    • 11. Thank you for watching!

      0:27

About This Class

If you are completely new to music and would like to learn to read and understand music, this class is for you. If you know how to play a musical instrument by ear, but are not familiar with music notation, this class is for you. If you are taking music lessons, but are having trouble reading music, this class will give you the tools to succeed. 

This class will cover the following concepts:

1) Names of the keys on the piano 

2) The system of reading music 

3) Directional Reading and Intervals

4) Landmark Notes to help you remember the names of the notes on the staff 

5) Names of the notes on the Treble Clef Staff

6) Names of the notes on the Bass Clef Staff

7) Note Values and Rests

8) Simple Time Signatures

If you want to succeed in learning to read music, please watch and listen to these videos and complete the exercises, suggestions and the class project. Good luck in your musical journey! 

Transcripts

1. Introduction: If you want to learn to read music, This class is for you. If you are completely new to music, this class will give you a great start. If you only play by ear, but want to learn to understand music notation, you are at the right place. I will give you the tools. If you are taking music lessons and struggling to read music notation, this class will help you get on track. My name is Angelica And I am a piano teacher here to help you reach your goals. In this class, we will go over the names of the keys on the piano. The music system, directional reading and intervals, landmark notes, treble clef and bass clef note names, simple note values and breasts, and simple time signatures. To make this class work for you, you need to not only listen, but watch and maybe even take notes. You will also need to do the exercises that I suggest in order to be successful at reading music. Good luck. I hope this class will be helpful in your musical journey. 2. Keys on the Piano : By the end of this video, you will learn all the keys on the piano and an easy and quick way to memorize them, the music alphabet is simple. It's just the first seven letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and then the cycle starts over again from F to find the white keys on the piano, use the Black Keys. The Black Keys come in a pattern of two and three to find C. . Look at the two Black Keys and on the left we have C.. So now let's find C using our middle finger and relaxed hand. Now, you can do this playing just one note at a time or doing it in a rhythm. To find D look at two Black Keys and D right in the middle, so let's find all the D. To find it again, we look at two black keys on the right, let's play all the E's. Now by the two black kids, we have three notes city. Now let's play these three notes going up the piano, singing. Now, let's look at the three Black Keys to find if we're going to look at three black keys on the left. So let's play all the F's. To find be, let's look at three Maki's bees on the right and let's play all the bees. Then. And the two notes we have left are G and A and there are right in the middle of the two blockings G. So let's play all the Geets. And so by the three black blackies, we have four notes and a B. And so let's play the FGB going up the piano. Now, to memorize these notes, go through this process a few times each day for about a week, try different rhythms, try saying the letter names out loud and in no time you will have all the keys on the piano memorized. 3. The Music System : This is the music staff. It is made up of five lines and four spaces. Notes are placed on the lines of the staff and on the spaces in between one and no is on a line. The line ghost Great through the note. When notes are placed line space line space. The notes are moving to the very next note, which is the next letter name or white key. When notes are placed. Line line, we are skipping a no in between like this or like this. We're going down. One notes are placed space space. We are also skipping a note in between like this or like this, or like this. There are two plus to classify notes. A cleft means that all the notes on that staff will be named a surgeon weight or more. Which note we will start from since all the notes will go in order anyway. Travel club is for the high notes on the panel. The bottom line starts from E and if you place notes online, space line space and so on, you are going to the very next know each time. So you would have B G hey on So on Uh, based club is for the low notes on the piano. The bottom line starts with G on. If you place notes, line, space line space and so on, you will be going to the very next know each time. So you will have. Remember, in the music alphabet we only have seven letters for seven notes, and then after G, we start all over again from a each line or space on the staff stands for a specific note on the piano. So this is trouble clef e every time travel class. He is right there every time. No matter what type of note it is, it could be a whole or has or corn turnout or, for that matter, any other type of note. Bass clef G is right there every time. So no matter what type of note it is, as long as it's on that bottom line of the base. Plus it's going to be a G, and it's going to be actually that particular t on. Let's go a little further. The lowest no, on the trouble cough staff is this e. And the highest note is this F. So the travel cleft covers all of these notes and on Lee these notes on Lee the notes in between these two notes e and F actually fit on the treble clef staff. The lowest snow on the bass clef staff Is this cheat on the highest? Is this a so all off? These notes written on the bass clef staff and on Lee, the notes into these two notes actually fit on that base. Club staff notice that the piano has many keys 88 to be exact, and that's a lot more than their more there. So where did all the other notes go? Obviously, all of the notes did not fit on these two stabs. Soto write the notes going higher than the staff or lower than staff. We use ledger lines. I think of them as little imaginary lines or a continuation of the invisible staff. The notes can keep on going up space line, space line or down space line space line on each of the staffs. Don't worry. You don't have to memorize all of these notes and ledger lines just yet. We will get to that in one of the next lessons, but let's go a little further a music note needs to tell you two things which notes to play and how long toe Hold that note. You can tell which notes to play by where it is located. On the music staff up, We're down. You can tell how long to play a note by what type of know it. ISS Quarter note. Half no whole note etcetera. Further, the rhythm will be written left to right. This was just a quick overview of how notes work on the staff and the staff. We will go in detail on each of these concepts and on the notes and the note values in the next videos, so keep watching. 4. Landmark Notes: Landmark notes. We will use the landmark notes to memorize all the notes on the staff. With the landmark system, you will be able to find all the notes on the staff quickly by memorizing initially only several notes. These are the landmark notes that we will use. Remember that each line and space stands for a specific note on the piano. Middle C. It's located right there, right in the middle of the piano by this sign. And on the staff, middle C looks very similar, or basically the same for both the treble clef and the bass clef and has a little line through it. For the treble clef, it's right below the staff. And for the bass clef, it's right. Treble clef G is located on the second line of the staff. And another way to remember G is treble clef is also called a G-Clef. The G-Clef circles the second line or the G line. And any note on this line is a G. Every time on the piano, G is located right here. So here's middle C, and here is trebled G. We will look at these landmark notes as if there is a mirror right here in the middle. So the next landmark note is the bass clef. F is on the second line from the top of the base class. And another way to remember this is between the two dots is the F line. And any note on that F line is always an F. So here is f on the, Here's middle C, and there is F. Let's go back to the treble clef. So treble clef C is on the third space, 123. And on the piano, that is treble clef C. So here's metal scene. There is trouble G and trebled. And let's take a look at that mirror. So bass clefs C is on the third space from the top, 123. So on the piano and bass clef C is right there. Here is middle C, then B and C. And next is treble Class F. And it's on the very top line of the treble clef on the piano. We play it here. So here is trebled and high F. Let's take a look at that mirror. Bass clef G is on the bottom line. And on the piano we play it right here. Below lowest note on the bass clef staff. So here is middle C, f. We just have two more notes. Treble clef high C is located on the second ledger line above the treble clef staff. And on the piano is located right here. So to review, here's middle C than trebled gene, treble and high C. And looking at that mirror again, bass clef low C is on the second ledger line below the base class on the piano. It's located right there. So again, let's review. There's middle C, then there's F, C. C. Remember that each of these nodes represents and exact note on the piano. The landmark notes are very important because they help you to figure out the rest of the notes on the music staff. So practice these notes, memorize them. If you have some flashcards, pick out these notes and practice them until you have them down very well. You can also get somebody to test you. Another thing that you can do is take some staff paper and write out these notes for yourself as a reminder so that you can look at that and help you to figure out the notes in a piece of music. When you are having some trouble. Good luck, you will do great. 5. Directional Reading and Intervals: There is more than one way to get to the next note. Don't get me wrong. You do need to know all the notes on the staff to read music, but you also need to know directional reading and intervals to read music well, directional readings simply means do the notes go up or down. Let's start with the piano keys. On the piano keys, high is to the right. So that is going up when we move to the right and low is to the left. And that is going down when we move to the left. So here's high like a bird and low like in line. Now back to the staff. This is note's going up. Here are the high notes. And this is notes going down. And here's the lowest note on the staff code. This is up and this is down. This is up and down, up and down, up and down. This way. If you start with E and go up one note, you know, if you start with d and you go up one note, you know that the very next note is if you start with B and you go up to the very next note, you know, you got to see. But what if the nodes are not going? Line space, line space? In music, we use intervals to measure the space between two notes. We need to count the first node, last node, and every node in between. Let's start with the intervals on the piano keys. On the piano keys, for now we will use just the white keys. So this is a second one. Here's a third one. Here's a fourth one. That's a sixth, 12345671234123. And these can be, these intervals can be going up or down, starting on any note. That's all second. Those are all thirds. And again, it can be going up or down. It doesn't matter, it is still a fourth. It could be playing one note at a time, or playing together. It is still a fourth. Now let's go back to the staff. So remember we need to count the first note, every note in-between, and the last note. To read intervals on the staff, you need to count the lines and spaces. So line to the next space is a second line, space line is a third line space line space is a fourth. And here's the theft. I will use the access for the notes that we do not play. Here's a sixth and the seventh and an octave on. Let's do a couple of examples. So take a look at the staff. And let's count 12345. That's a fifth. And let's do another example. 123, that is a third. And our last example, 1234567. That is a seventh. To practice directional reading an intervals, look into your music, make a copy of your music and mark it up. Look between each two notes. Do the notes go up or down? What is the different distance between those two notes? 6. Treble Clef Notes: Treble clef notes. The main treble class notes go from middle C to high F. Of course, we can go higher or lower on the staff using ledger lines. But that is for another video. Remember those landmark notes. Put the landmark notes together with what you learned in the video number three about the music note system and directional reading and video number four. And you can figure out any notes on the staff. Just count the lines and spaces and say the music alphabet. Since this is C, middle C, This must be D and E and f. Now we can figure this out because we have line space, line space. And to review when we go from a line to the very next space, we are going to the very next note, when we go from a space to the very next line, we are going to the very next note. And if we are moving up on the staff, that means we are moving to the right on the keys. So again, this is middle C. Then this must be dv and then e, and then f and the bottom space. And then G is our next landmark note on the second line. So right next to G is a on the second space. And then on the middle line, because it's, it's coming right after a. And then our next landmark note is on the third space. And then of course, after c we have d and e. And then our very next landmark note is F. So that's all the notes, again, C, D, G. And that's that as long as you remember the landmark notes, you can figure out Amy note on the staff. Remember that each line or space represents a specific note on the piano keys and a specific octave. So middle C is here, not here, not here. And this D right below the staff is right here, right next to the Middle C. So we have middle C and then this d right next to it. And so it's not going to be this. It's going to be the D right next to middle C. And then the E on the bottom line of the treble clef is going to be this e, the e That's right above the middle c. And then the F on the first space is the F right above the middle c. And right next to that trouble G. And then of course there's our trouble g that we already talked about in the landmark notes. And then a, this a on the second space as right here. So it's the a right above the middle c. And then the B on the middle line is the b that's above the middle c, and right below the trouble C. And then the treble c is the c right above the middle c. Now this D is going to be the one that's next to the trouble. See, since it is higher on the stack. So look, the higher than no on the staff, the higher it's going to be on the keys, which means it's more to the right on the keys. The lower the note on the staff and the lower it will be on the keys or more to the left on the keys. And then this e is going to be next, next to the treble c, not the, not the Middle C. So it's the E That is right above the treble C. And then there's R, F. So again, all the notes on the treble clef staff are right here. Between these two notes, the middle C and the high f. But now I want you to go further and memorize each of the notes on the treble clef staff using the landmark notes to help you. The better you know your notes, the easier it will be for you to read music. Now that you have memorized the landmark notes, memorize the treble clef notes as well. If you memorize these nodes, it will be so much easier to read music. You won't regret it. So definitely take some time to memorize these notes. If you have some music note flashcards, then take these treble clef notes out so that you can practice them separately and ask a friend to test you so that you can get even better at memorizing these notes. 7. Bass Clef Notes: Base class notes. The bass clef nodes go from base G, middle C. Here are the landmark notes that we learned for the bass clef. Use the landmark notes and line and space directional reading to figure out the rest of the notes on the base class staff. Since this is g on the bottom line of the bass clef. The note on the very next space going up is a. In the music alphabet after G comes a. After a is B on the very next line. And then our landmark note based C after C is D on the middle line and 0s on the space. And then f is another landmark net. Then we have G on the top space and a on the top line. And then be above the staff. And we got back to middle C. So middle C is located right here on the hese bright where that sign is in the middle. And base G is located. If you see there's another C right here, and then the very next G. So there's our base G. So let's start with base G Again. Based g compared to middle C is right here. And then here's that a on the bottom space. It's right next to that. Gee, it's below the base SI, and see how far it is in comparison to middle C. Hears that? And again, see how far it is in comparison to the middle seat. So it's not the mean next to the middle C, It's the B below. And then the base SI is right here. So the base SI is the seed that is below, right below the middle. Here's the base C. Then the d on the middle line of the bass clef is the d that is below the middle C. Then the E on that space is going to be the 0s below the middle C. Then the f or landmark note is the F below middle C. You see how the notes are getting closer, they're getting higher on the staff. And so in the bass clef, when the nodes are getting higher on the staff, they're getting closer to the metal. See, when they are getting lower to the staff, that when they are getting lower on the staff that are getting closer to the base g, k. Let's keep on going. Here's another gene synthesis that gee, that's on the top space of the base class. And it is the g that's below the middle C. And then the a on the top line is the a below the middle C. And then the B right next, right above the staff, has to be right next to the Middle C. Just like an a last lesson, memorize these nodes as quickly as they can so that you can quickly recognize them when you are reading music. 8. Note Values and Rests : In this video, we will talk about Nope values and rests. Each note tells you not only which note to play on the keys, but also how long to hold that note. The location of the notes on the staff tells you which note to play and this is up or down. The note value or what type of note tells you how long to hold that note. Let's go over some common note values. This is a whole note. It gets four beats for whole notes sound like this. 234343. For 234. This is a half note. It gets two beats for half notes sound like this. 1221212. And this is a quarter note. A quarter note gets one beat. Four quarter notes sound like this, 1111. And finally, this is an eighth note and 2 eighth notes look like this. And eighth note gets half a beat. So for eighth notes sound like this. Now let's draw a chart to help us visualize this. We will start with the whole note. A whole note gets four beats. If we divide the whole note in half, we get a half note. A half note gets two beats. If we divide the half note in half, we get a quarter note, and the quarter note gets one beat. So now we have four quarter notes. If we divide the quarter note in half, we get an eighth note. So now we have 8 eighth notes which get half a beat each. We can keep going and going. If we divide an eighth note and half, we get a 16th note and then a 32nd note, and then a 64th note, and so on. Now let's clap and count through this chart. We will start with the whole note, 12341234123412. Or this chart covers a lot of note values, but there are few more that we will go over. The dotted notes. When you see a dot by the note is the note value plus half of the note value. So a dotted half note is a half note plus half of a half note, or two beats plus one beat, which equals to three beats. That means a dotted half note gets three beats. A dotted quarter note is a quarter note plus half of a quarter note, which equals to 1B plus half a beat, and is equal to 1.5 beats. That means a dotted quarter note gets 1.5 beads. And a dotted eighth note is an eighth note plus half of an eighth note, which equals to half of v plus a quarter beat and as equal to three quarters of a beach. So a dotted eighth-note is equal to three quarters of a beat. That's it with note values for now. Real quick, let's also go over rests. A rest is a moment of silence. The type of rest tells you how long that silences. Here is a whole rest. It gets four beats. A whole rest looks like a gentleman with the hat off or a magician's hat. So a whole rest is equal to a whole note. Here is the half rest and it gets two beats. It looks like a gentleman with the hat on. So a half rest is equal to a half note. And here's a quarter rest. It equals to one beat and is equal to a quarter note. And here is an, a thrust and its equal to half a beat. And it's equal to end eighth note. And heres a 16th pressed, it's equal to a quarter beat and a 16th note. These are the most common rests that you will see. You may also see a rest with a dot, in which case, applying the same rules as with the dotted notes, we went over all of the basic note values and rests. There are some more advanced note values we did not go over. I will leave them for another class. 9. Bar Lines, Measures, and Time Signatures: In this video, we will learn about bar lines and measures, and then go further to talk about simple time signatures to divide up the notes and make them easier to read. We use bar lines. I highlighted the bar lines in blue here. Between each two bar lines is a measure that beats and music are organized into measures. You can think of the bar lines as walls and the measure as the room in which the nodes will be placed. In most songs, each measure will have the same amount of beats. And now we will go over some simple time signatures to figure out how many beats should be in each measure, you need to look at the time signature. Here are two simple time signatures for four times in 34 time. The top number tells you how many beats will be in each measure. And the bottom number tells you which note, which kind of note gets one beat. So for example, in 44 time, there will be four beats per measure. And the quarter note is going to get one beat, the quarter note because it is a four. This means that in each measure the beats add up to four counts. Here are a few examples. If there are four quarter notes in the measure, that is, each quarter note is equal to one beat, so that is one plus one plus one plus one is equal to four beats. We would count that as 1234. If there are 2.5 notes in the measure, a half note gets two beats. So that's two plus two is equal to four beats. We would count that as y two, 34. And if there is the half note and two quarter notes, that's two beats for the half note, and one plus one for each quarter note, which again is equal to four beats. And we would count that as 1234. Now notice I'm counting to four each time because when in 44 time, since each measure gets four beats, we count each measure to four. And after the bar line, we start counting again from one because it's a new measure. And again, we need to count up to four beats. Let's move on to 34 time. In 34 time, the three on top means that we get three beats in each measure. The four on the bottom means that each quarter note gets one beat. Remember if there's the four on the bottom of the time signature everytime that means that the quarter note gets one beat. This means that in each measure will add up to three beats. Here are a few examples. In our first example, there are three quarter notes. So that's one plus one plus one, which equals to three beats. And we would count that as. 123. In our second example, we have two quarter notes and a quarter rest. So each quarter note gets one beat, and the quarter rest also gets one beat of silence. So that's one plus one plus one equals 23 beats. We would count this as 123. And in our last example, we have two quarter notes and eighth notes. So each quarter note is equal to 1B and each eighth-note is equal to half a beat. So that's one plus one plus half plus half is equal to three beats again. And we would count that as 123. And, or we could, I'm using and to count the eighth note beads. So the other way that we could count that is actually counting the ends every time as placeholders. So this would be the other example, 123. And that way you are sure to actually hold the quarter notes long enough. Now let's take a look at a real song. What is the time signature in the song? How many beats per measure do we have? So how many counts does each measure at up to? Now, I rode in the counts here as an example. So take a look at that. And I'm just going to count and clap this so that you see how this rhythm comes together here. And remember after each bar line on, we'll start counting again from one because each measure adds up to three, so we count to three. And after the bar line we start from one. Also, if you're trying to count something and you know, you should be counting to three and you see a bar line and you haven't gotten to yet, you know that you've made a mistake somewhere, somewhere. So here is the example. One, N2 and N3, N1, N2, N3, N1, N2, N3, N1, N2, N3, N. Notice how each measure, the beats add up to three. Now to practice what we have learned today, the measures, the bar lines, and especially figuring out the time signature and counting. Take a look at a simple song, something that is in 44 time or 34 time, and then try to write in the counts 123 or 1234. Or if there's eighth notes go 1234 and, and just practice writing in those counts, practice counting out loud and clapping as I did. 10. Class Project - Apply What You Learned : For the class project, I want you to apply everything that you have learned so far. Find a simple song for a guide, something Level three or easier. Or as some books may call easy music or elementary pieces. Something like the one we used in the last session. Or even easier than that. Make a copy so that you can mark it up for another option, you can mark up your copy on the computer with your choice of application. There are some good pieces of music from Classical, Romantic era and Baroque. It on I MSRP.org. When you have your copy of music, follow these directions for the class project. Number one, circle the time signature. And notice how many beats there are per measure. Makes sure there is a four on the bottom of the time signature. Number two, right, in the counts for the first two lines of music, Follow the part of the music that moves or has smaller note values, or write the counts for each staff or each hand. Number three, line 34 of the music highlight all of the landmark notes that we talked about in the session about Landmark notes. Number for now, right, in the letter names of each of the nodes in line 34. So the letter names of each of the notes in line 34, both for the treble clef and the bass clef. And number five, Take a picture of your final product and posted to this class. You've done a great job. Thank you so much for participating in the class project. 11. Thank you for watching! : Thank you for working through this class. I'm confident that you are closer to your musical goals. If you enjoyed this class, follow me for more classes like this. I am planning to add an in-depth class all about rhythm and many more classes that will focus on specific view, music, reading concepts. Thank you, and I hope to see you again soon.