The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #42448   Message #616933
Posted By: Helen
27-Dec-01 - 06:32 AM
Thread Name: Help: the music goes down to B my flute can't
Subject: RE: Help: the music goes down to B my flute can't

If the tune is in the key of C major (which I have to confess I assumed it was) then you work out the thirds and fifths by counting the notes up from the tonic(i.e, the note which names the key).

So: C D E F G A B 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1st is C, 3rd is E, 5th is G.

If, for example the key is G major, with one sharp on F, then:

G A B C D E F# 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

If it was in a minor key like A minor (i.e. the tonic note is A, but there are no sharps and flats) then:

A B C D E F G 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

So you need to know if it is a major or minor key. Looking at the starting and finishing notes of the melody often helps to decide this. And you need to know what key it is, e.g. C major or G major, or their corresponding minor keys. Then, as my clever friend would say, Robert is your parent's sibling. (Bob's your uncle - for some reason in Oz this phrase means everything is just right/sweet/hunky dory.)

If it's a modal tune then identifying the key is fairly complicated and I don't understand all about that, so it's best not to confuse yourself with complications before you understand the basics. Worry about that stuff later.

On the celtic harp the firsts, thirds, fifths etc are just found by counting strings - as long as the levers are set to make it in any identifiable key. What I'm trying to say is, it's really easy - easy as 1-3-5, in fact.

Hope this helps. Hope I haven't totally bamboozled you.