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Old 10-02-2006, 03:09 PM
Sherry Crann (sherry)
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Default Hello Lewis, MidiNotate Mus

Hello Lewis,

MidiNotate Musician and Composer both have an "Easy Notes" feature that will show you the note names (C, D, E, etc.) inside the notehead so that you can more easily associate the notes with their positions on the staff. You can also adjust the tempo to what you want for playing along and learning. The fact that each note gets highlighted as it plays makes this a very effective learning tool.

I've been learning how to play sheet music on my electric bass using this feature. When I play at church, I usually just use a chord chart to ad lib a bass line, but actually being able to play a bass line that has already been written as sheet music notation is helpful in some situations.

As you look at the keyboard, you'll notice that the black keys are in a pattern - pseudo-groups of two or three. These are the sharps/flats of the letter notes. To find a C, look at a two-group of black keys, and then hit the white key just to the left of the left-most black key. That is a C. If it's the one in the middle of the keyboard (on a standard 88-key piano), then it's middle C, which in notation is on the line between the treble and bass clefs. The white keys go up in order (left to right), C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D, etc. right on up in pitch. If you hit the black key just to right of a C, that is a C# (C sharp), or it can also be called Db (D flat) depending on the notation. This is true for the other black keys and their corresponding sharps/flats (eg. A#/Bb, F#/Gb, etc). Just to keep things interesting, there is no black key between B and C, nor E and F. I figure it just helps us find our position on the keyboard easier that way

What's pretty cool from a physics standpoint is that each note that is the same letter name (ie, all Cs, or all Ds, etc.) has for it's frequency a multiple of 2 of the same letter note below it. For example, you may have heard of "A 440 standard tuning". This just means that the note "A" at 440 Hz is the standard that is used. The next A after that one is at 880 Hz. To our ears (and brains), each A sounds "the same only different". So you can play a song an "octave" (oct=8, ie 8 white keys up) higher or lower, and it will sound "the same only different".

This has probably been a bit more than you bargained for But I hope some of these points help you understand how the letter names A, B, C, etc. fit in with the notation you see in sheet music, and how they fit in with what we hear when we play it. And using the practice features in Musician and Composer can help you learn those fairly easily

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