Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Seven white notes and five black notes, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
- In Western music, each octave is divided…into 12 equal steps.…Without getting into the math of it,…we perceive each pair of adjacent notes…as being equidistant from each other.…This is what the term equal temperament means.…For instance, when I play this note…and its next-door neighbor…(piano notes playing)…we perceive the difference in frequency…between those two notes as the same amount…of difference between these two neighboring notes.…(piano notes playing)…In order to keep all these keys straight, we've named them.…
The seven white keys of the piano…represent the notes A, (piano note playing)…B, (piano note playing)…C, (piano note playing)…D, (piano note playing)…E, (piano note playing)…F, (piano note playing)…and G. (piano note playing)…Once you reach G, the sequence starts…over again with A. (piano note playing)…The five black keys represent modifications…to these notes and are sometimes referred to…as accidental keys.…
Each black key is either higher or lower in pitch…than its white key neighbor…and every black key has two names.…
Professional musician Julian Velard starts the course with the building blocks of harmony: notes, scales, intervals, chords, inversions, and basic chord progressions. He then goes into voice leading—showing how to move from one chord to another by changing just one or two notes—and reviews common song forms, from the familiar verse/chorus/verse of pop to the simple verse of the blues. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the songwriting techniques shown in the chapter within the context of his own original commercially released songs.
- Understanding scales, intervals, and keys
- Triads or three-note chords
- Triad inversions
- Common major-scale chord progressions and cadences
- Voice leading
- Song form elements such as verse, chorus, bridge, hook, and more
- Using common song forms in songwriting
Skill Level Beginner
1. The Building Blocks of Harmony
2. Triads and Chord Progressions
3. Chord Progressions and Voice Leading
4. Song Forms
Next steps1m 16s
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