Music Learning Notes (Music Theory and Composition) 17/10/2020

The next few weeks will be interesting as I’ll be getting both piano and CG lessons with different degrees of theory being learned at both Grade 5 (for CG) and Grade 1 (for piano). The funny thing about all this is that I started learning music theory at the age of 12. But there’s a lot that I still don’t know. Returned to the music theory courses on Coursera. Week Four of the U of Edinburgh course continues to stymy my progress. I understand cadences fine. Understand the concept of diminished, augmented, seventh chords …roughly. Understand triads, understand more or less perfect fifths, even fourths! Understand the concept of BUILDING a triad.

But then comes the quiz and…what? I’m still having problems determining what’s augmented, what’s diminished, which is dominant, which is a minor 7th (okay maybe that one I MAY have got right) and they keep throwing in the alto clef plus a whole lot of other stuff.

I also started to read again the Benward and Sarker book which is quite helpful but honestly I think I might wind up resetting the deadline on this particular course for the next two years. It’s a pity because prior to week four I learned a lot (okay, week Four also) that has gone into my notation and my music learning overall. But I’m not quite at university level for music theory. I’m still crawling here and probably learn better while learning stuff in class because then it’s all hands on. You need to know what you’re playing and the dynamics. You need to know what time you’re playing in and what key. Stuff like that. But, for composition purposes, it’s important to know how to build chords and triads. So, I’ll plug on. Already learning about modes and tonics and cadences has improved my composing. I just need to do better. Somehow.

Stuff I am notating:

(1) Delirium on CG– a brand new piece. It has around 13 bars so far. I’m notating in pencil but wondering if I want another manuscript book. Make this one a book for drafts and another one for the finished product.

(2) Still noodling around with Against The Forge (also on CG), adding bars slowly even though the stuff I have “written” so far is probably around 20-30 bars so far. I have yet to get that far in my notating.

As noted in my piano post, I seem to be accidentally revisiting my Lady Dissonance Suite. But my piano playing is still overall between Initial to Grade One level and I’m kind of overwhelmed by how much work I have to do to get better. But hey, maybe I can start by notating this revisit. May be my way of slowly working my way towards notating the whole Suite (and improving upon it, 13 years later).