Archive | February, 2013

Pedal Point Sheet Music

Pedal Point

Pedal Point A pedal point is a sustained note during which the harmony above it changes in some way so that the overall sound becomes dissonant. As with a lot of music theory it is easier to see it and hear it rather than trying to work out what a definition is talking about so […]

relative major and minor keys

Relative Major and Relative Minor Scales

Relative Major and Relative Minor Scales Relative keys have the same key signature (number of sharps or flats). For every note in the chromatic scale there is a relative major scale and a relative minor scale. It is a really good tool when you are composing as it makes it very easy to modulate (change […]



Rubato The definition of rubato is a flexibility/freedom in the performance of a rhythm. Basically, rubato is when a performer doesn’t stick to the strict rhythms written by the composer, but alters them to give more expression to the performance. Rubato is one of the most controversial performing techniques in music. It divides opinion like […]

Music Pulse


Pulse Pulse or beat is a crucial element of music. The presence (or absence) of a pulse in a musical composition will have a direct impact upon its success. You will find it easy to understand the role of the pulse in music if you keep a clear idea in your mind of the different […]

Musical Structures

Musical Structures

Musical Structures Structure is a crucial element of music. It describes how the different sections in a piece of music are positioned together to form the composition. There are 3 key concepts you need to grasp: Contrast Repetition Continuity In order to understand these concepts in musical structure it is helpful to see them in […]

Musical Interval D to A

Musical Intervals

Musical Intervals The difference in pitch between two notes is called the interval. You will mainly come across this as musicians in 2 ways: 1. Harmony – when two or more notes are played at the same time. The difference in pitch between them is called the interval 2. Melody – when one note is […]

blues pentatonic scale

The Blues Scales

The Blues Scales I am always getting asked by piano players, guitarists and solo instrumentalists to show them the blues scale. They think that learning the “blues scale” will help them to write and perform blues style music – and they are correct! However, there are actually 4 different “blues scales” that can be used […]

C major Degrees of the Scale

The Degrees of the Scale

The Degrees of the Scale Every major and minor scale has 8 notes. These individual notes are called degrees of the scale. We could number them 1-8, but this would get confusing when we start to talk about other numbers such as beats in a bar, chord numbers and fingering for instruments such as piano […]

piano keyboard d natural minor scale

The Minor Scales

The Minor Scales The minor scale is the scale which sounds negative – it is used by composers to depict sad, melancholic or even angry/dramatic moods. However, there are in fact 3 minor scales which you will come across. Each one sounds similarly “minor-like”, but they also have their own unique flavour. Let’s have a […]

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