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Beginner Finding the key of a song

Clivey

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I doubt McCartney himself would know what key the song is in. He just wrote it.
You are probably right. That pesky music theory eh. Its all digital now but still useful to know the one or 2 notes that won't fit.
 

Nikki

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That's a great little bit of beat triv there . Very special times I bet.Total immersion and genius production .
I think it’s intersting and genius production considering the year they were creating all these classic masterpieces.
 
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randulo

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I forgot to address the part about semitones and lines and spaces. Just to confuse us even more, if there's no key signature, all lines and spaces are either A,B,C,D,E,F, or G. That means, as I said there are two letters (notes) that are half-steps or semitones: E to F and B and C. This is why there are accidentals in the first place. To indicate that the note needs to be raised if a # is in front of it, or lowered if it's a b sign in front. On the other hand, if there is a key signature, the natural sign means to play the note without a sharp or flat.

Let us not get started on double ## or bb.
 

Clivey

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I think it’s intersting and genius production considering the year they were creating all these classic masterpieces.
From a geeky POV they were already using sampled sounds on that album albeit in tape form they used the mellotron, so Paul would have been pretty clued up regarding the manipulation of audio and Martin could do anything the boys could imagine.
Pop music is an illusion full of little tricks ,edits and tweaks and the greats have always been the best illusionists.
 

jbtsax

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I had not heard of Mark Archer so I looked up his offerings on the internet. I am trying to choose my words carefully, but as a career music educator I am appalled at what he is selling to the public and profiting from.

The degree of confusion throughout this thread to me is evidence of the "disservice" disguised as musical "shortcuts" being offered to unsuspecting people aspiring to learn to play music on the saxophone.

Let me offer an example of what I am getting at . I haven't seen a page of the type of "music" Mark Archer puts out, but I suspect it looks something like this:

D B BDE A AB C G GF#D EDCB D EE E AGF#GE D GABE D DCB F#F#G


This is what it would look like if the same song were obtained from a collection of popular songs for alto sax and the player with knowledge of the names of the lines and spaces (EGBDF, FACE) wrote the letter names above the notes as many beginners do. The player has the same advantage as the first system, but has the added advantage of beginning to see the relationships of note values, and the reading of rhythms and the beginnings of learning to read musical notation.

1593992571073.jpeg

Consider how long this thread would be if the OP had posted this and asked what key is it in. ;)
 

Nikki

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I also decided to look up ‘blowout saxophone.’ It’s certainly not the standard way of learning how to read music or play an instrument BUT I can certainly understand it’s appeal. Most people want to learn an instrument so they can start playing songs right away and this method offers just that.

I’ll admit to being very confused by the question at the beginning but I did appreciate his honesty. He admitted to not knowing how to read and told us why he’s asking for help.

I think any method that gets people excited and involved in learning about music is good. It might not be ideal but it does get a certain type of person involved who might never be otherwise.

I am grateful to have had the opportunities I had. My life was most certainly enriched in a more organic way. Yayy me. Lol

 

Nikki

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From a geeky POV they were already using sampled sounds on that album albeit in tape form they used the mellotron, so Paul would have been pretty clued up regarding the manipulation of audio and Martin could do anything the boys could imagine.
Pop music is an illusion full of little tricks ,edits and tweaks and the greats have always been the best illusionists.
Plus they had fame and money.
The money part seems somewhat appealing but fame , in MY opinion is like a double edged sword. You no longer have the same amount of privacy once you’re famous. Your freedom is purchased.
 

eb424

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600
I had not heard of Mark Archer so I looked up his offerings on the internet. I am trying to choose my words carefully, but as a career music educator I am appalled at what he is selling to the public and profiting from.

The degree of confusion throughout this thread to me is evidence of the "disservice" disguised as musical "shortcuts" being offered to unsuspecting people aspiring to learn to play music on the saxophone.

Let me offer an example of what I am getting at . I haven't seen a page of the type of "music" Mark Archer puts out, but I suspect it looks something like this:

D B BDE A AB C G GF#D EDCB D EE E AGF#GE D GABE D DCB F#F#G

This is what it would look like if the same song were obtained from a collection of popular songs for alto sax and the player with knowledge of the names of the lines and spaces (EGBDF, FACE) wrote the letter names above the notes as many beginners do. The player has the same advantage as the first system, but has the added advantage of beginning to see the relationships of note values, and the reading of rhythms and the beginnings of learning to read musical notation.

View attachment 14921

Consider how long this thread would be if the OP had posted this and asked what key is it in. ;)

Hi JBT


sorry for the bluntness but I dont think that your opinion is fair and have to agree with Nikki; There is more than one way to skin a cat (horrible saying and apologies to all you cat lovers out there lol). A brief history.. At 55 years young i woke up one morning and had 2 thoughts, " I have never seen a wild badger" and "I have never played a saxophone". I have no musical ability and went to a school where smoking behind the bike shed was on the curriculum ahead of attending music lessons... I booked a trip to Cornwall and have now seen a wild badger and bought my first alto...that was 3 years ago i moved onto the tenor after a year... I initially bought "a new tune a day"; it was great for fingering and i remember basic music reading from school but tbf i did not want to play twinkle twinkle little star or the other basic tunes, but did as blowout sax gave me better tunes....you refer to the book as musical shortcuts...my philosophy is there are no shortcuts to anything is this wonderful life you have to take from things you want to take the book is but a tool... whilst i would wholeheartedly agree with you that it is not an ideal way of learning it is a fantastic tool that allows you to play some well known tunes get to more difficult notes quicker, learn to cross the bridge, and hear some improvement. My eyes and speed of thought are not what they once were i do not think that i will ever be able to play a tune from a music sheet so will always write the notes above. However i do understand that much more is taken from a music theory.. I always print out the music i feel i should buy what I'm playing and at least i can see the notation quavers minims I know the time signature bass or treble cleff changing the notation on the staff. I can usually work out the key (is yours above G major) and i learn something from each piece of music I print. I am currently learning Hello Dolly and what i learnt from that and confirmed from your example above is that a key signature on the mid F means that all Fs are sharp...I hope this is right and your 2 low Fs are not accidentals LOL... I don't know why the ~ symbol cannot go in the low F space but will now try to find out. At my stage in life I have to many financial and life commitments to have a lesson a week which would be great.. I do try to go monthly. I guess what I am trying to say is that blowout sax gave me the motivation to continue my learning and gave me an understanding of how to play some tunes.. It is up to the individual involved to fill in the blanks, which is what I will try to do.. It is not an ideal way of learning but anything that ignites passion and starts you asking more questions that can only be answered through reading of music has to have some value.. Music reading is complex and I think that even Mr Thomas said that this one was more difficult and Nigeld said that i asked a good question. I love the help that I get from here and appreciate everyone's input..I have learnt a lot from this thread; which I will print and look up the facts. Peoples experience and knowledge costs so i really appreciate in this forum that people give away knowledge for free and I genuinely thank you all for that...without picking up Blowout sax at the start of my journey my motivation for this wonderful instrument may have wained. I have bought literature from here and find the resources brilliant but without the orange book the rest of my life would be unknown instead of being full of the challenges of learning to read music, learning to play the sax and all the frustrations and joy that this is bringing.. For me only 3 years into my journey that was the benefit of Blowout sax.....
 

randulo

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I can not sight read music. I painfully learned the basic elements of written music when I first started playing at about 16, but I was taught the rudiments in the school band on clarinet in grade school (around age 8?). If only I had followed up on that basic knowledge, because at that age, you can build a lifetime ability to read music. As I grew older and wanted to study more complex music, I struggled with it but did pretty much get the fundamentals. This said, I agree with @jbtsax that made-easy systems are not going to get the student far. They may get them started, but in my own view, it's better to play by ear, learning the sound of each note, hearing the relationships and identifying the harmony by ear. As you do that, it's good to get a book that teaches reading, or the elements of how to "decode" written music. It's also good to deal with music you have listened to extensively. Listen again while looking at the written page of it. All those note name letters are meaningless, but looking at the notes in their place with their durations will make things fall into place nicely.
 

eb424

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600
Hi Randulo... I agree totally I can read the basics and have every intention of filling in the blanks... I still for example don't know why a # symbol doesn't go in the low F space and a # symbol on the mid F space means all Fs are sharp.. Its a very complex subject music and as stated above i really appreciate everyone's input and knowledge. I don't want to ask silly questions and sometimes feel like a fish out of water here..I try to use resouces to find the answers myself and can't always do so.. so again thank you all genuinely knowledge is a wonderful thing...
 

randulo

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At my stage in life I have to many financial and life commitments to have a lesson a week which would be great.. I do try to go monthly.
Have you looked at the lessons on YouTube? There are often popular songs with the music notation following the notes. There are all kinds of tutorials about every aspect of technique. Here are three videos at random from a library of tens if not hundreds of thousands of tutorials on learning about music.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyqthu9T2xc


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj34qrl43Jo


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgaTLrZGlk0
 

randulo

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I still for example don't know why a # symbol doesn't go in the low F space and a # symbol on the mid F space means all Fs are sharp.
I think if you watched some of these videos, you might get an answer, but I suspect the answer is simply that this was a convention when the notation was invented. Key signatures show the notes that are always sharp or flat and for exceptions, accidentals are used. There are two places for an F in the staff, someone decided to put the sharp or cluster of sharps in the upper part.

Something like this may be of interest:
 

eb424

Member
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600
Thanks for that i will check them out... i do print out music and write the notes above the stave..structured learning would be so much better, but at a latter stage in life more difficult financially and time commitment wise..I have even thought about taking grades so as I can mark of where I am... I did not learn my trade in an apprenticeship and understand the importance and simplicity of that structure with regards to learning..
 

eb424

Member
Messages
600
I think if you watched some of these videos, you might get an answer, but I suspect the answer is simply that this was a convention when the notation was invented. Key signatures show the notes that are sharp of flat (accidentals) and for exceptions, the natural sign is used. There are two places for an F in the staff, someone decided to put the sharp or cluster of sharps in the upper part.

Something like this may be of interest:

Thanks Randulo...silly questions and all that...
 

randulo

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Thanks Randulo...silly questions and all that...
No one thinks these are silly questions; When you see a toddler stumble trying to walk, you don't think "well, he's being silly". Someone has to take them by the hand, sometimes one parent on each side. Soon the toddler is walking and getting into all kinds of mischief. I fear the answer to why the F# sign is only at the top is simply "that's the way it is". Maybe @tenorviol has an explanation through extensive knowledge of history?
 
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Tenor Viol

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No one thinks these are silly questions; When you see a toddler stumble trying to walk, you don't think "well, he's being silly". Someone has to take them by the hand, sometimes one parent on each side. Soon the toddler is walking and getting into all kinds of mischief. I fear the answer to why the F# sign is only at the top is somply "that's the way it is". Maybe @tenorviol has an explanation through extensive knowledge of history?
Thanks for the prod :)

The arrangement that we use of sharps and flats for key signatures is a convention that's been arrived at. If you look at original music from pre-1700 (ish) you will see that the way that keys were notated was inconsistent. For example, the F# for G major might have been notated as the one on the 1st space rather than the 5th line. I think the conventions that we use had been settled by around 1700.

I do have some facsimiles of music from C16th and C17th - I will have a look when I get a bit of time and if I find some examples, I'll post pics.

There was a great deal of inconsistency with flat keys, especially minor keys. It was common (again until about 1700) to omit one flat from a minor key signature, so G minor would be missing Eb, C minor would be missing Ab etc. The reason (probably - I'm not an expert in this!) is the "missing" flat is on the 6th degree of the scale and in the melodic minor it is always sharpened on the ascent (but left flat on the descent). The 'view' settled I think to putting in the flattened 6th and marking the rising of it with an accidental natural sign.
 
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