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I've been busy so haven't had time to update much. I wanted to mention that at my piano lesson on Monday night, my teacher asked me to sing the melody line of The Orphan in fixed do which I find very difficult (especially since I've never really learned how to do it). That led to a discussion about how music is taught in Russia vs. the US; over there, they learn fixed do before they even learn the names of notes on the staff. She thinks it's better to learn fixed do than movable do, which is more intuitive to me.

We also spent some time working with a sight reading and ear training tool called Soft Mozart. I'll write more about this next week.

Due to heavy traffic yesterday evening, I arrived at our performance a couple of minutes before it started. In fact, I was just taking off my coat and getting my music together when the director called for everyone to stand in place. I thought we were just going to warm up a bit (the start time had been scheduled for a half hour after I arrived), so I was surprised when we actually started performing! So when it came time for my duet, I wasn't quite settled. I almost made a couple of mistakes and I may have sped up a bit, because while I was singing I heard the director (who was playing the piano which was to the left of me) imitating a snare drum to keep time. After the performance I went to talk to the 102 year old guy who I met the last time we performed there, but I don't think he remembered me.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2005 11:57 pm (UTC)
Wow. I learned fixed do first, then a number method, and then movable do. In the lexicon of music theory, the number method works best - 1 is 1 in the scale as well as the root of the I chord, 2 is 2 in the scale as well as the root of the ii chord, and so on. It helps to lock in the idea of the theoretical harmonic movement. It's what I use, after having trained all three.

Ah, well.
Dec. 18th, 2005 12:25 am (UTC)
The number method makes the most sense to me, but perhaps that's because I was exposed to it early in life. It's harder for me to think in terms of absolute names for pitches (that are not the names on the staff), especially while I'm playing.

When I was about eight or so, we got a two octave toy organ for Christmas. The sheet music for such organs has the melody in standard notation, button chords (usually major, sometimes minor and dominant 7th), and numbers that correspond to the keys. Black keys are shown as a '+' following the number (for example: F is 4 and F# is 4+). Sometime after we got the toy organ, I found some of my father's music theory workbooks, so I was able to figure out the notation for chords. However, I never took a real harmony class until 1992. (Actually, I just remembered that I also learned about chords for the brief time I took guitar lessons, which was also around the time we got the toy organ.)

Dec. 17th, 2005 11:57 pm (UTC)
Sorry - that was me who responded above. I thought I as logged in.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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