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In this video, I talk about five of the fundamentals of music, and how they all link together to create actual music!

Fundamental 1 // Pitch

Let’s start at the very beginning

Julie Andrews (The Sound of Music)

Pitch is a great place to start with the basics of music theory. Having notes that sound higher or lower is fundamental to creating everything else. On a piano it’s really easy to hear the different pitches – to the left you have low sounds, to the right the high sounds. There is a gradual change from low to high as you go up the piano keyboard.

In the Western music tradition, these notes are broken down into 12 individual pitches and repeat, only changing pitch. If you play two notes with the same letter name on a piano, they will sound like the same note but just at different pitches.

Fundamental 2 // Scale

Putting these pitches together in some sort of order will give us scale. You can create a scale almost at random by playing a series of notes. In a future video and blog I will go into much more detail about how scales are created. In this first video we look at how to build a major scale using the sequence:

Tone Tone Semitone Tone Tone Tone Semitone

By following this pattern and starting on any note you will be able to build all of the 12 major scales.

Fundamental 3 // Pulse and Rhythm

Pulse is the heartbeat of a piece of music, and though it can be fast or slow or anywhere in-between, it will be a strong and steady beat, going throughout the piece. This is like a heartbeat and holds a piece of music together, just as your heart beats keeping you together!

Rhythm is the different length of notes which makes up the interesting patterns of music. Shorter and longer note lengths are combined to make all variety of different sounds.

As humans we almost universally respond to music positively. Our hearts beat rhythmically and we sleep at night and wake in the morning through our circadian rhythms. Young children and babies even respond instinctively when they hear a rhythmic beat

Fundamental 4 // Melody

If you combine the first three fundamentals you will be able to get melody. Think of a song. What’s the last song you listened to? Well that song has a melody to it. It might be sung by someone, or it could be played on an instrument, or it could be a mixture of both. 

There is an almost infinite number of combinations of pitches and rhythms and is what makes up all music!

Fundamental 5 // Chords

The final fundamental on this video is chords. Adding chords to a melody will give the music a real sense of feeling, and using a mixture of chords is what makes music, music!

If you have a scale (for example C major) to build diatonic chords along the scale. For the first chord you would take the first, third and fifth notes of the scale to make a C major triad.

I will be going through all through chords in much greater depth in future videos and blogs so please make sure you subscribe to the Music Bites channel on YouTube so you never miss any new videos.

piapiapiaPaul Blog, Music Theory, Video Tutorial

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