Thursday, December 15, 2005


About 45 minutes of this evening was spent in the music theory class. It felt satisfying to be able to grasp the concept taught today.

After the class and back at home, I was trying to read in advance what will be taught in the next lesson. However, I was left baffled.

I admit that I don't have a good foundation in music theory. While I have passed Grade 5 Music Theory, but I was largely self-taught. I only started studying for Grade 5 Music Theory a month before the exams. To be able to pass it was good news to me then.

Now that I am taking Grade 6 music theory lessons, I could see how helpful a good foundation in Grade 5 Music Theory would be in enabling me to understand some of the concepts taught in class with greater ease. I could only wish that with some good guidance and diligent study, I would be able to figure out what has left me baffled.

These are a few of the concepts that may seem easy to some others, but have baffled me:

- No part may leap any augmented interval, i.e. augmented 2nd, 4th, or 5th.
- A part may leap a diminished 5th provided it is followed by a note within this interval.

My questions: How can I learn to recognise intervals that are augmented 2nd, 4th, 5th? What is a leap? What does it mean by "within this interval"?

If I can't figure these out before next Thursday, the consoling thing is that I can ask my music theory tutor. But it will be great to be able to figure things out before then.

However, living life out isn't as easy. Who can I really ask when I am baffled? But then, everyone around me can serve as a teacher at some point in time, perhaps?


mistipurple said...

don't worry. it will be very clear once the teacher explains it. every teacher has his own method i have come to understand. my teacher used to be very 'calculative' about theory. that way, we can score full marks as technically, there's no fault that the examiner can find, but the tune does come out queer. lol.

for this interval thing, i used to take the root position and in the major key and if it was needed to 'add' ie, +, i could figure out if it was augmented or - - as being diminished, etc.
sorry if i sound confusing. i suppose i am. argh.

Simple American said...

You are far more advanced than I ever was py. I did not focus on scales too much being a percusionist. Most of my self taught theory focused on transpositiong so I could write songs. Only wrote one and it was never played.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pei Yun, the "name" of the interval depends on what key you're in and what notes are actual written on the paper. For instance, if you're in C and have a C and an F and the F is sharped, then you're dealing with an augmented fourth (C to F is a fourth). If you're in F-sharp and have an F-sharp with a C naural, then you're dealing with a diminished fifth because F# to C# is a fifth.

My theory is a little rusty these days, but by leap I believe they mean the movement in one of the voices from the root to the augmented note (from C to D#, for example).

And I believe (but I could be wrong) that when you leap to a diminished, then you need to make the next note the non-diminished note (going from F# to C natural to C# in a sort of cadential movement ... but I am not sure about this!)

I'm so glad you're taking music theory! I had to quit last summer and wasn't able to pick up on it again because I'm teaching. Hopefully once I am accustomed to teaching, I'll be able to pick up music theory/comp lessons again!