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Author Topic: Quick Question  (Read 813 times)

InsigTurtle

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Quick Question
« on: June 13, 2016, 05:29:06 AM »

How do y'all do ear training stuff? Like chord, interval, time signature, and key signature identification.

Just curious, since I was chatting with one of my friends, who has enormous difficulty with that stuff. For intervals, he has this chart with things like "m3 - O Canada" and "p5 - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on it. But I just listen to the two notes and think "D to F is a minor third". So I was wondering how other people here deal with that aural training.
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Olimar12345

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Re: Quick Question
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 05:55:46 AM »

Ear training is just what it's called: training for your ear. Just like any other form of training, it takes dedication and persistence to progress (imagine going to the gym; you don't make progress if you don't go consistently and regularly!). MusicTheoryPro is a free app that can help with regular training through customizable games. For intervals, I would suggest starting with only perfect fourths and perfect fifths, then adding (one at a time) octaves, major and minor thirds, major and minor sixths, major and minor seconds, and major and minor sevenths. Then add in descending and ascending. Writing down what you think you hear through out your day can help as well. If you think you hear a certain interval somewhere, write it down and check later to see if you were correct.


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Olimar12345

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Re: Quick Question
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2016, 08:15:57 AM »

One game on that app has to do with identifying chord qualities. I would recommend only using the audio and try to guess the correct chord type, starting with only major and minor triads, then adding diminished and augmented triads. Once triads are mastered, move to seventh chords (Major 7, dominant 7, minor 7, half-diminished 7, and fully-diminished 7). being able to identify these sounds is so incredibly helpful in just about all facets of music.

Identifying time signatures correctly from only audio requires familiarity with common time signatures and their unique qualities/norms. For example, 3/4 has three quarter notes per measure with the quarter note getting the beat. It ALSO can be characterized by having a strong movement from beat 3 to 1, resulting in a lesser beat 2. Many dances are in triple meter. The only real way to advance at this I feel is to listen to and play a lot of music.

Correctly identifying tonic is probably the most difficult of the things you listed. In my experience, that just came naturally after consistent practicing of everything listed in the posts above, as well as doing an excessive amount of listening, practicing, playing, and transcribing. Once you get the hang of it though, it's one of the easiest things to identify correctly. I really wish there was an easier way to describe this. I might post again once I think about it some more.


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InsigTurtle

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Re: Quick Question
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2016, 08:49:26 AM »

Hmm, well, I'm pretty okay with intervals, time signatures, chord qualities, and key signatures, unless they're modes that aren't Ionian and Aeolian. I still struggle with identifying modes on the spot since I still have to go through the "5 flats based on F okay 5 flats is usually Db major and F is 3 up from Db so it's F Phrygian" process in my head and by that time the music's already modulated to a different key.
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Olimar12345

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Re: Quick Question
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2016, 09:43:11 AM »

That way of identifying the key signature through my experience requires more unnecessary work. It's as if you're working the possibilities of all four answer choices of a multiple choice math problem rather than use a formula to solve the problem at hand; it works, but seems like more work than it needs to be. I've found that identifying tonic first makes it simple: once you know that note is tonic, identify if it is in a major or minor tonality, then use any regularly reoccurring oddities to that as pointers for the mode. For example: I hear that a piece has a definite tonic pitch of A and sounds like it's in minor, easy: A minor. Then I notice there are a lot of F sharps throughout, I might want to consider if it is in the Dorian mode. Just remember that the modes are split into major and minor categories:

Phrygian, Aeolian, and Dorian are the minor modes, ordered from most lowered pitches to least.

Mixolydian, Ionian, and Lydian represent the major modes, again ordered from most lowered pitches to least (with Lydian having a raised pitch (4)).

Locrian is the bastard child mode, being based on the seventh scaled degree and essentially being a "diminished" mode (and being pretty damn hard to tonicize lol).

Although being able to recognize these modes in music can be extremely useful, I would never notate them using the key signature. I reserve that spot for displaying tonic, using accidentals to represent the modes. For example, C Lydian would be written in C major with the F sharps written out. This way at first glance the performer may more easily identify that C is tonic and the alterations are clearly marked. I would almost argue that this way would display the mode BETTER than having it all of the accidentals in the key signature because the performer is treated to an abundance of clarity, both with the identification of tonic (when you see one flat in the key signature, you instinctively think "F major or D minor" before the rest of the modes) and the manual visual representation of the altered pitches that characterize the specific mode.

Man I think I'm rambling lol.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 09:45:30 AM by Olimar12345 »
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NocturneOfShadow

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Re: Quick Question
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2016, 04:14:08 PM »

Can confirm practice is important factor
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Re: Quick Question
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 02:05:49 AM »

Can confirm practice is important factor

Mmhmm. Kinda-ish.

It all came pretty naturally to me, hehe. Was pretty lucky in that regard. When I learnt key signatures I just kept thinking about it when listening to random songs until it became second nature aaand time signatures were similar.

Intervals were harder, but I did a little fun course on sound design and suddenly they were okay. The sound design course basically threw random sounds at you and you had to turn knobs until you recreated their sound - the hardest part was finding intervals when the two voices were detuned or unbalanced.

In essence, repetition with reflection! Keep trying and keep checking your answers. That's the way I did it. Not sure if it works for everyone haha but it's a starting point maybe :)
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InsigTurtle

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Re: Quick Question
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2016, 04:37:09 AM »

Hmm, thing is, it's hard for me to find modal music examples to practice on, since, y'know. So if anyone could help in that regard, it'd be great.

I think I'm pretty good with regular key signatures, though. Those, I'm pretty good with.

The exercise where you name all the notes played in a single chord, that I'm okay with too. But if it's a really crazy chord, I do have to take some time to think about it. I remember my teacher once playing E F A B D# and even though I could name the notes, I had no idea how to name the chord. (Thinking back now, maybe that could have been F7b5/E? I'd have to respell the last two notes, then)
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Olimar12345

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Re: Quick Question
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2016, 05:09:34 PM »

In essence, repetition with reflection! Keep trying and keep checking your answers. That's the way I did it. Not sure if it works for everyone haha but it's a starting point maybe :)

Beautifully said! That's exactly what I meant in practicing, but put into words much better. It's the regular listening of music (any music) and the conscious reflection about it. Having gone through band or orchestra in school greatly aids in this.

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