Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 76: Music Theory!

I apologize for slacking a bit for the past few days.  I have been busy with some to-do items around my house and around my mother-in-law's house, plus I have been back into cooking every meal and spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen this past week making some very good food.  My focus is back, however, and I got down to practicing some yesterday and got some great practice in this morning as well.

I finally received my music theory book this week.  I bought Tonal Harmony, fourth edition, by Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne.  Remember, I explained that my music theory knowledge is kind of like swiss cheese?  I obviously know more than enough to play music properly, but I don't know some things that I consider basic knowledge.  For instance, I can figure out scales on my own because I know if they sound right or not.  I do not know the names of the scales, though, and am not familiar with a popular memory aid known as the circle of fifths.  Know that I know the names of scales, though, I can relay to you that a piece that has four flats in the register is in fact A♭ major.  Yay!  I feel smarter already!

So, the only real notations of importance in Maple Leaf Rag are:

The tempo here is a march.  This should not be played too quickly.  Also note that the time is 2/4 time, where there are two beats to a measure and a quarter note gets one count (or beat).  Four flats in the register means this part of the piece is in A♭ major.

This last bit of the piece is marked with a key change from A♭ major to D♭ major (see the extra flat?).  I'm not sure what "Trio" means other than this is the third part of the piece and it is a bit different.  I'm just guessing here, though.  Anyone care to chime in?

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