Musical Alphabet NotesPosted by Mike Schuck
Music is one of the greatest forms of expression that humans have ever created. It can be music you make yourself or listening to someone else’s music, but no matter which kind you are, there is always something new you can learn about it!
Music has inspired many artists throughout history, from writers to painters to sculptors to designers. Artists use musical knowledge in their field to add depth to their work, making sure they understand what styles other people used so their works look authentic.
Musical notes are also very important parts of music. When musicians make sounds, they usually do so using a note-the top tone-or a combination of two or more notes. Some even create songs with only notes!
Luckily for us non-musicians, we don’t have to know how to play all the different notes, but we can at least recognize some of them. This article will go over several types of notes and how to identify them.
B is for ball
The next letter of the musical alphabet is also called the chord or harmonic note. A chord is any note that followed another in music. For instance, the first note of the song “Happy Birthday” is the second quarter-note (also known as an octave) which is one full note higher than the half note.
The third note of the song is the tonic, which in this case is the middle C. All songs start with a tonic to establish their key. The other notes are then related to the tonic by either rising or falling chromaticism.
Chromatics refers to moving up or down within a scale using adjacent tones. For example, if the tonic is the middle C, then the fourth degree of the major scale is D, one tone away. To play this note, you would have to go from E to F at the same time as A to B, both of which are one whole step. This creates a feeling of motion, like dancing.
Izzy Izson has some great resources about chords on his YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.
C is for cake
Let’s take a look at an easy song that starts with the letter “C.” This song is called Cake, and it’s about eating lots of delicious cakes!
The first few notes are played as one chord (also known as a tonal or root key). In this case, the chord is G. The next note you play is an octave higher than the chord, which makes sense because it is going up a whole step.
This creates a harmonic sequence in music, where there is a pattern of chords followed by an ascent one tone (or half-tone) higher.
After these two notes, the rest of the song goes down a minor third away from the original major chord. A minor third is like jumping down a staircase three steps instead of two.
Music theory teaches us that when a piece of music moves away from a familiar place, it is said to be falling into a natural harmonic transition. When this happens, we say the music has moved onto the domain of the relative minor.
For our cake song, this means that after the melody descends the minor third, it stays within its own territory, moving towards the relative major.
D is for dinosaur
Dinosaurs are probably one of the most well-known extinct animals in our culture. They have totally transformed how we perceive life on this planet!
Most people know that dinosaurs were large lizards, but there are some interesting facts about their anatomy and physiology that show they weren’t quite like lizards you will find today.
Dinosaurs had similar shaped bones to those found in birds, which made them very flexible in terms of limb use. Their relatively thin skin allowed heat loss by sweating, and their tall, bony spines helped protect vital internal organs.
Some species were even able to breathe through their skin! This would have given them protection from overheating or poisonous gases if they lived in environments with lots of air pollution.
While it’s not known what caused many groups of dinosaurs to become extinct, climate change has been suggested as a factor. By studying fossils, we can tell when certain types of dinosaurs became extinct and determine possible reasons.
E is for elephant
The next letter is easy to confuse, even for young kids. When you are learning the alphabet song, what goes D comes up as the word “door”! That is because when they write the first few letters of the word, it sounds like the word “dore”.
The second half of that word starts with the same sound as the last letter in the word “elephant”. You can probably already guess how hard this question is!
That is why most people skip over the second part of the D-word and just say “elephants” instead. Because there is no confusion about whether or not that bit exists!
But remember, when you teach younger children their initial lessons they may want to take things more slowly. So be gentle with yourself if you make a mistake.
F is for fountain
Let’s look at some examples of the letter F. The first one is a very familiar sound to most people. It’s the sounds that you make when you breathe out fully. This sound is called an exhale.
The next example uses water as a metaphor. When you are doing something that you love, you feel happy. And when you are spending time with friends or family that you care about, you feel happier.
That feeling is referred to as happiness. So how do we get more of this feeling? By practicing what they call “pleasure psychology.”
It looks like making music is a perfect way to learn this science.
By using your ear to listen to new songs, your brain will pick up patterns and concepts related to music. You will also have opportunities to connect with other musicians and be inspired by their music.
G is for guitar
The next letter is for guitar! Guitarists come in all shapes, sizes, heights, depths, colors, and styles, but they have one thing in common – they play music.
Most people are familiar with the instrument that bears the name ‘guitar’ because it was first manufactured in the 1950s and has enjoyed steady success ever since then.
However, there are several instruments called guitars that look very different than each other. Some use strings made of metal or nylon instead of gut (animal intestine). Others have no frets at all, only markers where you can place your fingers.
Others have fewer strings, which makes them sound like an electronic device. What these devices do is to produce sounds by moving components back and forth rapidly, thus creating vibrations that someone listens to as notes.
H is for house
Let’s take a look at some examples of how to play the song “House.” The first note is played as an open string, which we call the tonic note. This means that it becomes the starting point of the music. In this case, the tonic note is A.
The next three notes are all played using white keys (the second degree of the major scale). These notes can be called the mediant, or middle, chord. They go as follows: B-E-G.
Finally, the last two notes are both played as black notes, or fourth degrees of the major scale. These notes combine to make the fifth degree of the major key. Therefore, the final chord is G–B–D–F.
Now that you know those chords, let us try to sing them! When singing, use your own voice as a reference.
I is for ice cream
If you have ever listened to an artist’s album and noticed that they included some weird, random notes in their songs, those are called musical alphabet notes. They add flavor to the song!
Musical alphabet notes can be anything from a low G chord at the beginning of a song, to a long note with no name following a verse, or even a short tone (like a B) following an extended line.
These non-musical notes are not spoken, so they do not need to be written down anywhere. You just know them!
They contribute something special to the music piece, helping tell its story. When musicians use this technique, people call it including “voice colors” into the song.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
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