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Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo

GUEST,Sara 02 Mar 00 - 06:15 PM
Callie 02 Mar 00 - 06:17 PM
Joe Offer 02 Mar 00 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Sara 02 Mar 00 - 06:22 PM
Joe Offer 02 Mar 00 - 06:33 PM
Mbo 02 Mar 00 - 06:44 PM
Bob Bolton 02 Mar 00 - 07:02 PM
Bob Bolton 02 Mar 00 - 07:06 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Mar 00 - 08:32 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 02 Mar 00 - 09:08 PM
sophocleese 02 Mar 00 - 09:36 PM
Sorcha 02 Mar 00 - 09:52 PM
Malcolm Douglas 02 Mar 00 - 10:05 PM
pastorpest 02 Mar 00 - 11:37 PM
Bat Goddess 03 Mar 00 - 07:47 AM
MMario 03 Mar 00 - 08:41 AM
Hyperabid 03 Mar 00 - 08:44 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 03 Mar 00 - 08:55 AM
John in Brisbane 03 Mar 00 - 09:44 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 03 Mar 00 - 09:54 AM
Charlie Baum 03 Mar 00 - 12:38 PM
jeffp 03 Mar 00 - 12:43 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 03 Mar 00 - 01:11 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Mar 00 - 01:16 PM
jeffp 03 Mar 00 - 01:48 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 03 Mar 00 - 08:29 PM
Gypsy 04 Mar 00 - 05:09 PM
MMario 04 Mar 00 - 06:53 PM
catspaw49 04 Mar 00 - 07:07 PM
MMario 04 Mar 00 - 07:30 PM
Sorcha 04 Mar 00 - 07:44 PM
sophocleese 04 Mar 00 - 08:16 PM
GUEST,punkypony 05 Mar 00 - 05:47 PM
Gypsy 05 Mar 00 - 06:03 PM
John in Brisbane 05 Mar 00 - 11:57 PM
Gypsy 06 Mar 00 - 11:40 PM
Homeless 07 Mar 00 - 12:00 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 07 Mar 00 - 03:01 PM
MMario 07 Mar 00 - 03:23 PM
Homeless 07 Mar 00 - 03:54 PM
Gypsy 07 Mar 00 - 04:02 PM
MMario 07 Mar 00 - 04:18 PM
Homeless 07 Mar 00 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Petr 07 Mar 00 - 04:35 PM
MMario 07 Mar 00 - 05:15 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 08 Mar 00 - 11:53 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 08 Mar 00 - 11:53 AM
Mbo 08 Mar 00 - 12:10 PM
Gypsy 08 Mar 00 - 09:47 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 09 Mar 00 - 12:16 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 09 Mar 00 - 12:20 PM
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Subject: how do you figure out a tune from a book
From: GUEST,Sara
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 06:15 PM

How do you figure out the melody to tunes in books or magazines? Sara


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Callie
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 06:17 PM

Do you mean where they just supply words and chords? You can't! --Callie


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 06:19 PM

Hi, Sara - can you give us a better explanation of what you're trying to do? I don't read music very well, so I can't figure out a tune just by looking at the music notation. I go to one of the Internet music sales sites like www.cdnow.com and search for a recording of the song - often, they'll have samples I can listen to. Otherwise, if the songbook has notation printed, I can copy the notes into MIDI software like Noteworthy Composer, and play the tune on my computer.
Give us more information, and we'll try to help.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: GUEST,Sara
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 06:22 PM

Sorry, what I meant was if your not very good at reading music and there are notes how do you figure out how the melody is supposed to go. Thanks


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 06:33 PM

Hi, Sara - Yeah, I think my two ways might work pretty well for you. Click here to get to CDNOW, and try searching for a song.
You can get Noteworthy Composer if you Click here. It's a shareware program, which means you have to pay a $40 fee to get all the features of the program. The free trial version will do everything you want, and it's a very easy program to use. You just copy the notes from the magazine onto a score in Noteworthy, and hit "play." Works like a charm, and you can save the tune and play it later.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Mbo
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 06:44 PM

I don't want to come off as being a jerk or anything, but I'd say the best way to do it is to discover the joys of reading music. I learned to read music when I was 15...it was VERY hard when I first started, also since it was coupled with learned the first baby steps of classical guitar playing. I even went through a Music Theory class, which, though very technical and difficult a lot of times, it was rewarding to finally understand what those little dots were...of course I'm terrible at sight-singing (shudder)!

Another thing you might want to check out is the ABC notation format. You won't regret learning it. Why, last weekend, when I came up with the waltz tune for the Barky song, I had to run write it down, but found myself out of staff paper. So, I just pulled any old scrap of paper and wrote up an ABC for it. Of course, I can't play very well from ABC...that's why I use the program Abc2Win to convert them to standard musical notation. Just some suggestions...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 07:02 PM

G'day all,

I have to agree with Mbo. Musical notation is a wonderful rich language and you learn it like you learn any language - by doing it.

I never had formal music lessons as a child and then at the age of 11 I had to learn recorder at my primary school. I picked up only the smallest smattering of music reading ... and that old dragon of a schoolteacher probably put me off music for another five years! However, a love of singing, that was natural in my family, led me to (Australian) folk music in 1961 and I joined the Bush Music Club in Sydney, and started playing Button Accordion - by ear.

For years I truggled along trying to pick up tunes by ear, then fiddling around with laboriously working out Tonic Solfa (do-re-mi...) and funny chord marking systems for the guitar that I also picked up. Somewhere along the way an adult perception finally came through: it was a lot simpler, richer and, ultimately, easier to read music.

I applied myself and now, like anyone who learns a language late, I am not as fluent as I would be if I had started earlier (ideally as a child) but I can, nowadays, sight read the average folk tune well enough to play a written tune and sing the words at the same time. Having over the past forty years used a half dozen dodgy systems of 'cheating' notation, including one I devised myself, I now rejoice in being able to (~) read music.

We lo longer live in beautifully simple little societies with well understood traditions. Nobody is going to sing or play the tune you really want long enough for you to learn it by ear - or rote. If you want the key to all this wonderful music ... it is music-reading. It is really worth it in the end!

Regards,

Bob Bolton

Dyslexic HTML repaired... You had it <b/>, Bob. The slash boes before the "B" - Like this: </b>.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 07:06 PM

G'day again,

Damn!

Music Reading is more forgiving that HTML! At least you only play one bum note ... it doesn't make the rest of the tune wrong like missing one lousy arrow bracket does in HTML.

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 08:32 PM

I use an old version of Cakewalk that was given away with a magazine that I got sent by accident.   Basically, you put the staff notation in -using the mouse- and it will play the tune to you through the soundcard.  You can save it as a .midi file.  Mbo is quite right to say that learning to read music is the best way, but we don't all have the time: I've found that using a midi editor has taught me more in the last year about how music notation works than I'd learnt in the ten previous years from just looking at it and thinking, "Er, is that a semi-quaver, then?"

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 09:08 PM

Take a keyboard sight reading class, and practice everyday--it is less trouble than learning to use any midi editor or notation software, and at any rate, if you are earnest about using notation software, you will still have to be able to read in order to tell if the program has given you what you really want (and Joe and Malcolm, don't you dare try to tell me that your notation programs always give you the simplest and most accurate notation--it just ain't so!)


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: sophocleese
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 09:36 PM

Practice, practice, practice. But don't put yourself down if its tricky for you. Everybody is different and some people are quick at sight reading while others are fastest learning by ear. My older brother used to tell me I wasn't musical because I didn't pick things up by ear as fast as he did, but I could sight read for recorder far faster and more accurately than he could. More than twenty years later I was still stinging from his put downs when a friend pointed out that until I had sight read the music he couldn't hear it to learn it. It works in reverse for me. There are times when no matter how many times I sing a song I like I still miss one key interval, or a particular combination of notes until I can get my husband to write it out or tell me what's being sung, with the map in front of me (on my eyelids usually) I have the confidence to sing it properly.

One other practical note. Whatever is written down is at best a very, good and close approximation to the melody. As much as you can listen to how other musicians are interpreting the same notes that you're reading and you'll start to understand how they transform from blots on the page, to disconnected notes played or sung roughly, to coherent melody and beautiful music.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 09:52 PM

Nothing beats both! I started out as a Violinist--read the music and if it's not there, don't play it. At about 17 I discovered fiddle music, and it tokk me another 25 years to even figure out what was meant by "ear"! I still cannot pick up tunes very well by ear, but I can now finally adapt the sheet music to what I hear in my head.
Reading music is not that hard, there is a lot less to learn than reading words, and we all (?) learned to do that.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 10:05 PM

MTed:

Well, yes; sometimes .midi editors give you notation that looks a bit weird.  The point of using a .midi editor in this context, though, is to give you a reasonable idea of what a piece of staff notation sounds like, not to write out a tune as staff.  It's worked for me, and I now understand enough about basic notation to be able to make a midi by ear -with some trial and error involved, of course- that sounds the way I want it to.  If it isn't correctly laid out by educated standards, well: provided it sounds right, it's doing the job I want from it.  These things are learning tools, and in my own experience a good deal more rewarding (and much easier to pick up) than sight-reading classes.  Mind you, I've always been able to learn by ear; I suspect that most people are pre-disposed one way or the other, or at any rate find that learning one method on its own makes learning the other very difficult.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: pastorpest
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 11:37 PM

I agree it is worth the effort to learn notation. I have a growing collection of old folk music books mostly found in second hand book stores. With notation you can learn a song you have never heard anyone else sing. Now if I could only learn to play by ear! That I am learning so slowly. Those who can do both have the best of both worlds and are better off in each because of the other.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 07:47 AM

Joe -- Noteworthy looks interesting, but what's available that is similar for Mac?

Linn, the Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: MMario
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 08:41 AM

I've been trying for over 40 years to learn to read music notation. I still can't. Which is particularly frustrating when surrounded by relatives who can look at a new piece of music and go into rapture about how it sounds at first glance!!!!!

BatG - Barfly is the one I've heard about for macs.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Hyperabid
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 08:44 AM

What's wrong with using

---------- xxxxxxx E ---------- o o C ---------- o A ---------- \_____/ F ----------

and

-------Favour--------

-------Deserves------

-------Boy-----------

-------Good----------

-------Every---------

Very simplistic I know but a good place to start...

Hyp


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 08:55 AM

Having said what I said, I'll now backpeddle a little--some people are better by ear and some by reading, but you can learn to do both--I will admit to gravitating toward the ear--(thought I learned to read first) because it is often easier, ewspecially if there is any guitar playing involved, to just listen to a recording--

In fact, when you only have printed music for a folk tune, you usually end up with a thin little melody and you have to figure out what it should feel like on your own--

PS Speaking of Barfly, I have been using it for ABC files, but I can ' figure out how to get it to display standard notation--Anybody?


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 09:44 AM

I'm in the process of writing a (hopefully) simple notation guide for Mudcatters. If I can overcome some HTML Graphics problems I may have it complete in a couple of days. I'll let you know.

M. Ted I'm not familiar with the Mac environment, but its author is a regular at the ABC Users List, of which I am now a member. If you give me a bit more background I will ask him the question.

I'll need to check it out but one of the newer notation pacjages (Melody Assistant?) is Mac enabled. I'll do some looking.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 09:54 AM

Great!!

My question is simple, really, I know that Barfly will convert ABC into standard notation, and I presume that it will display the tune as standard notation (there is a "notehead" in the preference file) but I don't know how to get it to do it--


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 12:38 PM

I used to use a Macintosh program called Deluxe Music Construction Set. I simply transcribed the tune into the program, notating it precisely as it was in the book, and then my computer played it for me, accurately, with all the timing and accidentals precisely as they were written (assuming, of course, that I made no errors in my transcription).

Unfortunately, this is an old program, which doesn't work on PowerMacs--it needs an internal wave generator to generate the tones, and the newer computers have sampled sounds instead. But I keep my old MacPlus around and use it as a music machine.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: jeffp
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 12:43 PM

M.Ted - Pull down the View menu and select "Split screen mode." It will give you three windows in one - the top is standard notation of the selected tune, the middle is the current tune in ABD, and the bottom is an index of tunes in the file. You can edit the ABC in the middle window and the notation will update immediately to reflect your changes. I love Barfly and use it to do all my notation any more. I also use abc4mac to produce postscript and MIDI files from ABC files. I can then pull the postscript file into Adobe Illustrator and clean it up, add additional lyrics, etc. to make a professional looking piece of music. Any more questions about Barfly, let me know and I'll try to answer them. Have fun!

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 01:11 PM

jeffp,

Thanks! Can I take a midi file and convert it to ABC? And can I put this stuff on the web so that it is downloadable? I am working on a web music publishing project, and have been using Finale for a number of years--however you need Finale to open their files, so it isn't practical for 99.999% of web users--They promised to have free or shareware reader program available last fall, but I haven't seen it--


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 01:16 PM

Conventional music notation is actually keyboard instrument tab. If you have a piano (or electronic keyboard), playing the tune, especially just the melody line, is fairly obvious. You still have to work out the timing, which is a requirement for any form of tab, but conventional notation has the advantage over most others in that it's obvious at a glance whether the next note is higher or lower than the last one.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: jeffp
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 01:48 PM

M.Ted - I'm not aware of anything that will do that. If you hear of any, I would be interested in it too.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 08:29 PM

jeffp--Will keep you posted--


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Gypsy
Date: 04 Mar 00 - 05:09 PM

you know...abc to win is shareware, and if you get that, will certainly translate into notation. we have the program, and it is really user friendly. back to the orignal thought...get the book, and learn how to read music. it really isn't mysterious, and if you practice diligently, the light will dawn. try counting out loud, or get one of the new metronomes that has a flashy light as well as a click. getting the notes down is a piece of cake. learning to get the melody down takes a little longer, but perservere! it WILL happen


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: MMario
Date: 04 Mar 00 - 06:53 PM

gypsy ---and how many more decades do I need to practice? I have been trying to learn to comprehend written music for almost 40 years. I got passing grades in my music classes because we never had to sight read an unknown score. (and I can compare what I know by ear to a written score) but I STILL cannot tell what a note *is* when sung, nor what a note on paper should sound like. I can follow a score once I already know it, but hand me an untitled sheet without words and I haven't a clue. Give me an alternate tune with words I know and I can tell it isn't the tune I do know, but couldn't begin to tell you what the *new* one sounds like....


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Mar 00 - 07:07 PM

Mario, I'm a complete computer dumbass. Actually, I'm a complete dumbass and the computer is just added idiocy. But Mario et al. I GOTTA' reinforce what others have said. Keyboard notation, the most common form of written music is very simple and for those of you who can deal with all the myriad complexities of a computer program, even the simplest one.....music is easier!!! I really can't think of ANYTHING about a computer that is as simple as written notes transferred to a keyboard. To play well is something different, but to figure out simple tunes is not.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: MMario
Date: 04 Mar 00 - 07:30 PM

okay, then maybe I CAN read music...because I can sit down with a sheet of music and pick it out on a keyboard, given enough time. usually in the wrong key. What I CAN'T do is look at the score and say "that's in the key of ....." or "that sequence is g a c a b. With a cheat sheet in hand, I can match it to a corresponding picture and figure it out that way, but claiming that is reading music is equivilant of running a paragraph written in russian through a translation program and claiming I can read russian.

On the other hand, a computer, you punch the buttons and things happen. or not. sometimes. maybe. reboot first.

sorry - it's frustrating. Especially when I look at a piece and when I DO pick it out on a keyboard, or put it into Noteworthy and then HEAR it, it turns out to be a tune I've known forever.

Then again, I was in high school before I was convinced that the constellations weren't a world wide conspiracy against me, because I couldn't see them. that turned out to be glasses needed...


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 Mar 00 - 07:44 PM

MMario, the Kkey signature tells you which white notes on the piano are changed to balck notes, #= up a 1/2 step to the next (usually) black key, and b=down a 1/2 step to the next (usually) black key. Can you do-re-mi? when you are looking at printed music, the distance from each space to the next line is a 1/2 step--from from mi to fa in the major scale. Look at the notes, and try to "hear" them in your head in terms of the do-re-mi scale, following the pattern of full and half steps.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: sophocleese
Date: 04 Mar 00 - 08:16 PM

MMario your frustrating me!! I want you here beside me with music in front of us and I could teach you how to do it. Most of it is practice. I'm not fast or brilliant and at the moment, badly out of practice, but it is a learned skill and you seem intelligent and literate and therefore you could do it if it made sense to you. Do you play any instruments? That helps a little.

Exercise number 1, using the Bass clef ( you are male, I think, so you may as well learn to use that one first and then transfer knowledge to the treble clef) sing and write a scale in C. There are no sharps or flats. Start at the second space and sing up the scale, do re mi... putting one note per space or line until you hit middle C, a note with a line through it above the clef. Go back down, writing and singing. Do this several times. Do this daily for a long time you will get used to singing up and down with the notes in C. If you write it as well as just looking at it it really helps pound it into the memory banks.

Then you can start singing and writing arpeggios, doh, me, soh, doh. Do you want more ideas or help? Send me a personal message and I'll be happy to give you some suggentions that could be helpful.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: GUEST,punkypony
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 05:47 PM

Hyp,

From the bottom up, I thought it was F-A-C-E for the spaces and like you said, E-G-B-D-F for the lines. Am I losing my mind?? lol


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Gypsy
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 06:03 PM

Alright, to tell the key, take the sharp farthest to the right, and go one step up. This tells you the key. Go in the other direction for the flat. It's easier for me, cause i play hammer dulcimer, and only have 4 keys to play in, with no flat keys.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 11:57 PM

There's a ton of good advice above. I hope that I have incorporated most of it in my new MudClass Notation Guide. I have had the text written for several days, but the vagaries of putting the whole lot on a Web Page has eluded me - I haven't had the time to figure it all out. If someone has some spare space I will gladly send you the text in HTML plus the dozen or so small GIF's. Please reply to johninbrisbane@hotbot.com

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Gypsy
Date: 06 Mar 00 - 11:40 PM

Oh yeah, check out also the Kitchen Musician site, and Kitchie Boy has a very basic, easy how to class online, no cost. Same same....read it one page at a time, don't go forward until you thoroughly understand, and by the time you are done, it will work. I can't sight read fast or well (YET) but it is working. Just take it slow and steady.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Homeless
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 12:00 AM

MMario - you're not the only one that has trouble with sight reading. I've been "figuring out" sheet music for about 25 years. Every time I get something new I have to translate each note (Let's see, Every Good Boy - OK, that's a B.) and then figure out time values (ONE and a TWO and). But if I hear someone play it once, I've got it. And like you, if I have sheet music in my hand and hear a song, I can tell if it's the song I'm holding. But if it's not, I have no idea what I'm holding sounds like. And I spent 3 years playing recorder, 6 playing bass, and 4 playing organ - all of which I had to "read" music on a daily basis.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 03:01 PM

For you who don't read, but think that you have tried--

The problem that most people have who never quite learn to read music is simple--they try to fudge their way through the music and guestimate what it says--often trying to deal with complex pieces when they can't deal with the easiest stuff (It is the same problem that a lot of self-taught players have, as well--no patience for the basics, so they move on to more complex stuff that they try to fake their way through)

It is much easier to sit down and start from scratch--really learn the basic stuff--and build on it-- memorize the names of the lines and spaces!! Learn to read the key and time signatures--read through the piece, note by note and stop to figure out each of the rhythmic cadences--learn to recognize the beginning and end of phrases--

The critical thing is to stay focussed on the page-- *Play the music as it its written on the page* Keep at it until you can play it smoothly, and you have got all the awkward parts worked out--After you've got it down completely, then you can begin to memorize, interpret, and arrange it--

The best practice for reading is to get a book of instrumental excercises --For guitarists, if you can't find a guitar techique book with single note lines, a clarinet book can work pretty well, because the range is approximately the same--

You could work with melodies in a song book, but excercise books start with the basics and develop them--so they are much easier to start with, and will take you much farther--


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: MMario
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 03:23 PM

M. Ted: I'm glad I'm not in a bad mood, because after what I have written on here, and what you have written, I COULD easily take great offense and resent the implications of your above opening statement. But I won't. At least I'll try. ESAD


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Homeless
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 03:54 PM

I'm a bit heated over the comment also, but rather than going into a lengthy discourse, I think I'll chalk it up to "a person who is gifted in an area that doesn't understand that not everyone has the same gift."


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Gypsy
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 04:02 PM

Nah, I think that Ted is right....and just think, you are reading THIS, and it has 26 letters. Music only has 7. I certainly am not gifted, and not well known for patience, but am slowly getting it down. One thing that really helped me, was to make business sized flash cards. I flip thru them when stopped in traffic, and during odd moments. Really helps alot. Don't have to "read" the mnemonic before figuring out what the note is on the staff. Counting out loud is how i figure out the melody. Can't do it in a group situation yet, but have only been studying for about 6 months. My time will come, i'm sure.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: MMario
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 04:18 PM

dang! virus emergency in the building...will be back with a rebuttal


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Homeless
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 04:32 PM

I've got a rebuttal, but as I'm late for an appointment, I'll give the Reader's Digest version.

How many of you can do Trigonometry in your head? I've been able to do trig since high school. I once tried to explain to someone how the (cos theta, sin theta) pair was just the rectangular coordinates for a line with the polar coordinate of (1, theta) and to convert to a different measurement all you had to do was multiply each by the line length. It's very simple.

But how many of you reading that just learned how to do Trig? It took me a long time to understand that some people just don't grasp ideas that, to me, are obvious.

I know the tones associated with the lines and spaces - at a glance. Bass, treble, and alto clef (though when the alto clef is shift I have to refer to mnemonics). I know the time values associated with notes. I can listen to two tones and tell you what the interval is. Give me a sheet of music and an organ, tin whistle, or guitar, and I can play it - slowly. But I CAN NOT visualize (audialize?) in my head what it should sound like.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: GUEST,Petr
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 04:35 PM

Re: the above question converting midi to abc there is a program called mid2txt. Its on the abc site. I confess that Ive used it only a little bit, (I think it handles only simple midi files however) there is also musicnotate which Ive downloaded (it was in a previous thread in the mudcat) and it seems to be fairly sophisticated and can play midi and convert to music notation but not abc (i think). Im not that familiar with HTML so I cant point to where it is but Im sure if you do a search for it you can find it. I can read music, having played the violin since I was 8. But when I learned, I mapped finger positions to the notes without knowing what the note was (ie. c is the 2nd finger on the a string) so later when I started playing again I had to think if someone said to play B or F (although after a while its not that big a deal). I also found that even though I could read music I couldnt really get the feel of the tune unless I heard someone play it (as mentioned above there is a lot to music that cannot be written down, as in which notes to accent (ie. if you were to play an Irish jig simply as written but were unaware that the accent is on the first of each triplet it wouldnt sound very traditional) Which is why its better to listen as much as possible to other musicians and recordings of a particular idiom) Overall, I think it is better to learn by ear and Ive found that its easier to retain tunes learned by ear and with practice I get much faster at picking up tunes. Traditional musicians often didnt read music anyway. For reference I do use abc and the webwide index of abc tunes if Im not sure about a particular tune. I wish Id known about it before I spent hundreds of dollars on all the tune books I bought. For some styles abc is useful (Irish or Scottish) but not necessarily for old time fiddling where the particular bow shuffle or cross tuning is the important element and cant be represented in abc (at least easily I think)

Finally, one really handy shareware program is cooledit which I got from zdnet.com it lets you slow down music played from cds (played on the cdrom drive) without changing the pitch, great for learning fast fiddle tunes. Petr


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: MMario
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 05:15 PM

okay, killed that virus..now. *deep breath*

I have lost count of the number of people who have tried to teach me to read music. But among them are included two nieces, a nephew, two sisters, a mother, a grandmother, 4 profesional music teachers, two choir directors,several organists, a mortician, and a psych professor. that I can remember off the top of my head. oh - and the model from the fur company - I REALLY wanted to learn from her!!!! Several of them *I* taught various mnemonics and the clefs, etc. but after, as I have said before, nearly 40 years of trying, I still do not READ music. I CAN labouriously translate it into a meaningful form for myself, but it is a long and difficult task (except inputing into Noteworthy, for which I am supremly grateful and joyously will use). And I work with the blasted stuff at least several days each week. I have done more than "think" I've tried. I have tried about every way there is in the book. and probably several that aren't.

using the alphabet analogy, there are far more then 7 letters to the musical alphabet. There are the various flatted or sharped notes between the "letters". then there is the fact that it is POSITIONAL notation, which depending on the modifiers to the basic staff, means the same "letter" can appear in several different locations, yet "be" exactly the same. In ADDITION to which, the "letter" can change it's location, but be modified so it means exactly the same thing. PLUS the "letters" relate to tones that can be sounded. (ANd I have also been unable to reliably learn the tones....that's a whole 'nother story) and that's leaving out timing and duration and accents and expression. But I am concerned with the basic "alphabet" if you will

I'm sorry - it's like someone learning to read being told "feline", "felis felix domestica","chat","kitty"and "puss" all mean "cat". (Which they do) Or trying to learn mathematics with a varying mix of arabic, mayan and roman numerals in base 4, using an abacus.

and the freaking modifiers aren't even next to the "letters"! They are way over there!!


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 11:53 AM

Sorry to anyone if I seemed offensive--the seemily nasty first line was a bit from a first paragaraph, which I thought that I had deleted--Cut and paste a lot when I write these posts--and don't always get everything smoothed out--

MMario--it sounds like you can actually read--although you may not be able to sight-read which is a distinct and different skill--

There is a good book that I have around here somewhere on that has excercises for piano sight-reading, as well as wonderful discussions of the nature of the skill and how to hone it--I will post the info when I find the book--

For what it's worth, there are not very many guitarists that are good sight-readers--classical guitar notation contains so many levels of information that in effect, you must decipher it, a layer at a time--Studio guitarists, who work with orchestral parts, tend to be the best sightreaders, next come Jazz guitarists--Guitar tab is doesn't lend itself to sight reading either--


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 11:53 AM

Sorry to anyone if I seemed offensive--the seemily nasty first line was a bit from a first paragaraph, which I thought that I had deleted--Cut and paste a lot when I write these posts--and don't always get everything smoothed out--

MMario--it sounds like you can actually read--although you may not be able to sight-read which is a distinct and different skill--

There is a good book that I have around here somewhere on that has excercises for piano sight-reading, as well as wonderful discussions of the nature of the skill and how to hone it--I will post the info when I find the book--

For what it's worth, there are not very many guitarists that are good sight-readers--classical guitar notation contains so many levels of information that in effect, you must decipher it, a layer at a time--Studio guitarists, who work with orchestral parts, tend to be the best sightreaders, next come Jazz guitarists--Guitar tab is doesn't lend itself to sight reading either--


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Mbo
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 12:10 PM

Thanks, MTed. I'm a classical guitar player, and sight reading is absolutely horrible for me. When I took Music Theory I in college 2 years ago, I got a total 100 on all the notation/theory related stuff. But I was so bad at sight-singing, I nearly gave myself a B in the class. But I did manage to pull off the A in the end! CG music is VERY layered...with often 3 or more voicings that you must be aware of simultaneously. An underlying note cut short or left to ring overlong can ruin the feeling of the piece. I think I would have been probably better in sight-singing if I was allowed to do just "las" instead of that nasty do re mi stuff. And it's even harder when you get to alternate keys, with do de ra re ma mi...the horror! The horror!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: Gypsy
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 09:47 PM

Still sounds like if you slog away at it, the light will dawn. I will never read music the way and obsessed friend does, who when she asks you what key you are playing in will, and your reply is something like "G", will correct you and give a dissertation on what actual mixolidian THING it it, but I want to read enough to translate the books. My memory just isn't good enough to memorize more than the 200 or so tunes that I know. So I find the written notation important. And, if I can make headway, simply by doggedly doing it, I think others can.


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 12:16 PM

Mbo,now I know where you are coming from--But you can decipher classical guitar music, which means that you're a better, more patient person than I am--

Over the years, I have acquired quite a lot of fingerpicking technique, and the sort of people who are always trying to label other players often assume that I am a classical player--not true!!

I have never had the patience to work up a repertoire of classical pieces--the deciphering isn't even the hardest part, as you point out, the hardest part of playing guitar is getting those notes to speak with the precise duration that the composer intends--every time you play--

My first instruments were Trumpet, Cornet, and Flugelhorn, so I became pretty adept at reading classical orchestral parts-I also play "Composer" piano, which means I can play every phrase in a piece of music, just not together--

Sight singing is always unsatisfactory for the instrumentalist, because there is no mechanical component to producing the music, sight singing requires a leap of faith that the technician in us is never quite comfortable with--

For what it's worth, in the way of a tip, I was taught to worry about the reading the pitch first, and worrying about the note values later, but I do the opposite, I read through a piece to get a feel for the way the rhythmic cadences flow, then go back and figure out what the pitch range and direction of movement is for each phrase, then the intermediate pitches generally fall into place(even if they don't, I know what I have to work on)--


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Subject: RE: Help: how do you figure out a tune from a boo
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 12:20 PM

Gypsy,

Only two hundred songs? That means after only about ten hours of continuous playing, you will have run out of material!!

Only slightly more seriously, it seems like if you know how to play two hundred songs, you pretty much know how to play all most of the other ones too--

As to your know it all friend--since you don't really know what she is talking about, she knows she can get away with rolling off any pedantic sounding mush, whether it is really appropriate or not--next time she mentions "modes", ask her if it is an authentic mode or a plagal mode--and if she falters at all, point out people often misuse the term "Modal" to apply to music that only has one particular elemnt of modal music which would be a modified diatonic scale--but that doesn't satisfy all of the other rules that apply to modal compositions--


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